What It IsFirst published in 1838, this was one of the first novels that had a child as the hero. It's a great story of rags to riches, of course, and most kids won't get the social commentary about the Victorian era, but the language is great, and Dickens' descriptions are so vivid, it's like watching a movie.
Chris Byrne says, "This was one that my parents read to me as a bedtime story. I remember the action and adventure, and the real sense of tension that Dickens created. Some of the later scenes may be too violent for younger kids, but this is a novel that really helped shape my love of reading because the story and the characters came so alive in my imagination."