Free Read: What If I Had!

Isabella often wrote stories about what happens when someone chooses to do the right thing, even at the cost of personal sacrifice. This month’s free read is a short story that reflects that theme.

It’s New Year’s Day and Stephen Watson plans to spend it with a friend—until his employer insists Stephen work instead. Poor Stephen can barely contain his disappointment; and when he tells a stranger his troubles, he learns a valuable lesson in charity.

You can read “What If I Had!” for free!

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Free Read: A Ten-Dollar Christmas

This month’s free read is a short story Isabella wrote in 1891 about the joy of giving at Christmas time:

Book cover for A Ten-Dollar Christmas. A woman stands with two children, dressed inc oats and hats, stand on the street looking into a shop window. The window display shows dolls, toys, a Santa Clause coming out of a chimney, a vase of flowers on a table, and a framed print in front of a Christmas tree decorated with toys.

It’s the worst Christmas ever for wealthy Adele Chester. Her mother and father are in Europe, and Adele has been left behind to stay with her Aunt Martha … on a farm! Her parents sent her money to spend, but where would she spend it? And on what? Then a little girl named Janey enters her life, and suddenly Adele’s Christmas takes on a whole new meaning.

You can read “A Ten-Dollar Christmas” for free!

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Or you can select BookFunnel’s “My Computer” option to receive an email with a version you can read, print, and share with friends.

Free Read: An Eventful Thanksgiving

This month’s free read is a short story Isabella wrote about a very unusual Thanksgiving dinner.

Cover of An Eventful Thanksgiving

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When Mrs. Wykoff learns her vagabond son has died in a tragic accident, her grief knows no bounds. She plans to honor his memory by hosting a Thanksgiving dinner with his closest friends, but her lovingly-made plans may be disrupted by a stunning revelation.

You can read “And Eventful Thanksgiving” for free!

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New Free Read: The Trained Nurse

Many of Isabella’s stories feature characters on the lookout for opportunities to share the Gospel. In this month’s free read, a sensible teenager does exactly that.

Miss Winnie Holden is just beginning her career in nursing, but she is committed to healing her patients’ souls as well as their bodies. But when the doctor orders Winnie keep her elderly patient from becoming excited in any way, she wonders how she will ever be able to learn whether the dear man she’s been caring for is a Christian.

You can read “The Trained Nurse” for Free!

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Free Read: An Hour with Miss Streator

Isabella she was an acknowledged expert in developing Sunday-school lesson plans for young children.

At Chautauqua Institution she taught classes for Sunday-school teachers; and because she was “an advanced thinker,” she encouraged teachers to employ modern devices—such as slates and blackboards—to keep their youngest students engaged and eager to learn.

Some of her teaching methods are revealed in this month’s free read, “An Hour with Miss Streator,” an 1884 short story about a young Sunday-school teacher who has more influence over the hearts and souls of her young students than she will ever know.

Book cover showing a classroom of young children. A young woman bends down to speak to a little boy and little girl who stand at the head of the class.

In Miss Streator’s Sunday-school class every child is welcome, even the trouble-makers that have been ejected from other classrooms! Although she’s not a trained Sunday-school teacher, Miss Streator is earnest and determined to teach her young students about salvation. Will her innovative methods help her succeed?

You can read “An Hour with Miss Streator” for free!

Choose the reading option you like best:

You can read the story on your computer, phone, tablet, Kindle, or other electronic device. Just click here to download your preferred format from BookFunnel.com.

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You can read more about Isabella’s efforts to educate Sunday-school teachers by clicking here.

Free Read: Philip Kendall’s Fire

This month’s free read is a short story Isabella wrote in 1916 about the power of faith.

Philip Kendall dreams of going to college, but he has no way to pay for it. His only hope is to convince his long-estranged—and extremely parsimonious—aunt and uncle to lend him the money.

You can read “Philip Kendall’s Fire” for free!

Choose the reading option you like best:

You can read the story on your computer, phone, tablet, Kindle, or other electronic device. Just click here to download your preferred format from BookFunnel.com.

Or you can select BookFunnel’s “My Computer” option to receive an email with a version you can rad, print, and share with friends.

Free Read: A Christian Endeavor Picnic

This month’s Free Read is a short story Isabella wrote about the Christian Endeavor movement and the opportunities its members had to influence others for Christ.

While on vacation, Dorothea Conklin is determined to invite the local teens to her Christian Endeavor prayer meeting, even if her friends oppose her plan. Somehow she must find a way to convince her friends—and the local teens—that there’s room for everyone at an Endeavor prayer meeting.

Sharp-eyed readers might recognize the name of one of the characters in the story: Eurie Shipley. Why does it sound familiar?

Because Isabella introduced Eurie Harrison and Flossie Shipley in her 1875 novel, Four Girls at Chautauqua.

Perhaps when she wrote “A Christian Endeavor Picnic” in 1896, she meant to imply that Eurie Shipley was somehow a relative of those two beloved characters from twenty years before. What do you think?

You can read “A Christian Endeavor Picnic” for free!

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Or you can select BookFunnel’s “My Computer” option to receive an email with a version you can read, print, and share with friends.

New Free Read: The Spool-Cotton Girl

Isabella was very involved in the Christian Endeavor movement and often mentioned the organization in her stores. She strongly believed Christians were called to serve others—even in small ways—as Christ would.

She illustrated the point in “The Spool-Cotton Girl,” a short story she wrote in 1892 about a young girl who labors long and thankless hours in a department store selling the store’s cheapest cotton threads.

Young Marion Wilkes takes her Christian Endeavor pledge very seriously. She always looks for ways to witness for Christ through service to others, even though her job selling cotton threads at the local department store can sometimes test her commitment and her patience.

You can read “The Spool-Cotton Girl” for free!

Choose the reading option you like best:

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New Free Read for Easter

This month’s Free Read is “Celia’s Easter Offering,” a short story Isabella wrote in 1892.

For months Celia Foster has been planning the decorations that will grace her church on Easter morning. It’s important work, but as Easter Sunday approaches, Celia begins to wonder what’s more important: embellishing the church or helping someone in need?

You can read “Celia’s Easter Offering” for free!

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New Free Read: Their Opportunity

This month’s Free Read is a short story Isabella wrote in 1908. You’ll see that it was a very “modern” story that reflected the times; her characters drove about town in automobiles!

Cover image showing a young woman about 1910 dressed in coat and hat exiting a limousine as her chauffeur holds the door open for her.

Poor Rachel Norse is in need of help! She’s far from home, working a job she dislikes, and thinking of abandoning the Christian principles her mother taught her. Little does Rachel know someone is developing an interest in her; someone who can point her in a brand new direction, if only Rachel will have a little faith.

You can read “Their Opportunity” for free!

Choose the reading option you like best:

You can read the story on your computer, phone, table, Kindle, or other electronic device. Just click here to download your preferred format from BookFunnel.com.

Or you can select BookFunnel’s “My Computer” option to receive an email with a version you can print and share with friends.