Enjoy these free novels and short stories by Isabella Alden. Just follow the links below to BookFunnel.com. Then, choose whether you want to read the story on your computer, phone, iPad, Kindle, or other electronic device. Or choose the “My Computer” option to read and print the story as a PDF document.
Elizabeth’s Anniversary Week
Each year the Brockton family gathers to celebrate common birthdays; but this year Mrs. Brockton can’t help notice her daughter Elizabeth isn’t enjoying the annual event. Perhaps some illness has befallen Elizabeth to cause her to be so melancholy. But Elizabeth has a secret, one she has been trying to conceal from everyone, especially her mother.
A Christian Endeavor Picnic
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.
The Spool-Cotton Girl
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.
Celia’s Easter Offering
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?
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.
Carl Hammond’s Lesson
Twelve-year-old Carl Hammond is in big trouble. Not only did he disobey his father’s instructions, he lied about it, too. But Carl’s conscience won’t allow him to forget the incident, which makes him wonder: If he confesses his crimes, will his father ever forgive him?
Louie Chalmers’ New Year’s Table
Miss Louie Chalmers just turned eighteen, and she’s ready to throw a party! She wants to impress her friends by serving only the best food and drink; but when she happily embarks upon a lavish shopping spree, an unexpected encounter makes Louie rethink all her party plans.
A Long Christmas
A group of children—all cousins in the same family—discover their enjoyment of Christmas lasts longer when they focus on giving instead of getting.
Esther Field’s father is scheduled to speak at a Christian Endeavor convention in the big city, and he plans to take Esther with him! It’s a dream come true for Esther, who longs to mingle with young people who share her vision of leading others to Christ through service. But things begin to go wrong for Esther as soon as she steps off the train; and by the time her short stay in the city is over, she knows her life will never be the same again.
Miss Emily Mason never passes up an opportunity to do a favor for a stranger and win a soul for Christ. But the latest recipient of Emily’s kindness may not be worthy of her efforts—at least, that’s what her friends say. How can Emily ever know if the testimony she shared made a difference in the young woman’s life?
The Forman Family’s Sacrifice
The Forman family is already counting every penny when they learn they must take in elderly Aunt Elsie. Of course they’ll do their Christian duty by the woman, but that doesn’t mean they have to like it. And if Aunt Elsie overhears their grumblings, maybe she’ll get the message and cut her stay short. But Aunt Elsie overhears more than the family realizes; and she soon learns a secret she’s been keeping might be the key to solving the Forman family’s troubles.
Mrs. Halstead, her husband and daughter take a cottage for the summer at a famous Sunday-school assembly. But the Bible classes, as precious as they are, occupy a good deal of time that Mrs. Halstead used to spend caring for her family. She may be learning a lot about Paul’s letters to the early churches, but her little rented cottage is in chaos from kitchen to bedroom. Before long Mrs. Halstead must make a decision: should her devotion to studying the Bible be stronger than her devotion to her family?
Their Day at the Beach
Frances Farnham and Sherman Kennedy have been friends since childhood, although careers and Life’s interruptions have kept them apart for years; but that’s about to change. They are both traveling to Florida, she for pleasure, he for business; and they have a single afternoon to spend together on the beach, to catch up on news and rekindle their old friendship. But a chance encounter on a train will change their plans—and their lives—forever.
Mrs. Knowlton’s Investment
Mrs. Knowlton turns up her elegant nose over any mention of Missionary Societies. When a friend in need begs Mrs. Knowlton to take her place at a Mission Meeting, she can hardly refuse, though she’d rather be anywhere else. So while she sits with the other ladies, busily fuming and finding fault with every portion of the meeting, Mrs. Knowlton makes a mistake—a mistake so horrible, it just may change her life forever.
When minister John Remington asked a poor church congregation to collect funds for missionaries, the task seemed hopeless. But John did not count on the resourcefulness of Miss Margaret Eustis, the president of that tired little Missionary Society.
While Margaret doesn’t have any coins to add to the collection box, it may turn out the offering she does have is of far greater value than John ever imagined.
Tony Keating’s Surprises
For as long as Tony Keating could remember, people have been telling him he was bad, so it was little wonder he came to believe he was just so. In fact, the entire town predicts Tony will come to no good.
Everyone, that is, except Lorena Stanfield. Being new in town, Lorena doesn’t know about Tony’s reputation as the town scamp. With her fresh perspective Lorena sees Tony’s potential for good. But will her gentle influence be enough to transform Tony’s life?
The Little Card
Miss Teenie Burnside’s health may cause her to stay at home, but that doesn’t mean she can’t minister to others. In fact, when she uses her talents to draw and letter some little cards—each with one of the Bible’s Golden Texts—she hopes her cards will encourage others to read God’s Word. Little does Teenie know just how many people her little cards will reach, or what impact they will have on the lives of strangers in need.
Miss Elsie Burton is looking forward to her vacation in the city. Just think! An entire week of fun, shopping, and seeing old friends. But when her pastor bids her good-bye at the train station with the gift of an odd little book of Bible verses, Elsie embarks upon a journey of self-discovery she never anticipated.
Which Shall I Take?
Everyone who knows Miss Carrie Benham thinks she is a bright and sweet-natured, but in her heart, Carrie’s spirit may not be as giving as people think.
So her older brother Ford devises a plan that forces Carrie to choose between bringing pleasure to herself or pleasure to others. Which will Carrie choose?
This charming short story is about friendship, first impressions, and Thanksgiving blessings.
When little Sadie is left in the yard to play by herself, she makes a solemn promise to always stay “on this side of the gate.” Despite her promise, Sadie decides to explore the wonders to be found beyond her family yard; and it isn’t long before she realizes her broken promise has led to danger, and a lesson she will never forget.
Our Church Choir
Auntie Barber’s church always invited everyone—whether they could carry a tune or not—to join in the songs of praise. But when the church went through a renovation of fresh paint, modern carpets and a new minister, the music was changed, too.
Could it be the new choir’s musical offerings were meant to praise someone other than the Lord? Auntie Barber was certain there was only one way to lead the choir back to their true purpose.
A Dozen of Them
Twelve-year-old Joseph has many challenges in his life, but he made a promise to his older sister he would read at least one Bible verse each month and make it a rule to live by. To Joseph it’s a silly promise—how can reading one Bible verse a month make any difference? But to his astonishment, Joseph begins to see changes in his own life and in the lives of those around him, all because of the Bible verses he reads and memorizes.
Through the Woods
When Helen and Winnie set out for an overnight visit with a beloved aunt, they anticipate a fun time and a safe journey. But it only takes one wrong turn to change their fun to fright, and one act of kindness to teach them a valuable lesson.
It’s the Fourth of July and young Davie Carson wants to attend all the celebrations. He also plans to apply for a coveted job opening at the local book store. But no sooner does Davie arrive in town, than his plans begin to go terribly wrong; and Davie begins to wonder if he has missed the greatest opportunity of his young life.
Young Claribel begins her Easter morning with the best intentions. She wants to commemorate Christ’s resurrection by offering her most beautiful possession to the church. But a friend in need may cause Claribel to stray from her purpose.
Living a Story
On a snowy afternoon, three school friends pass the time by making up stories. For two the girls, the stories are simply fun diversions; but for Sarah Brewster, one of their stories trikes a little too close to home
On Which Side Were They?
At a recent Junior Christian Endeavor meeting, Miss Williams crafted her lesson with care. Her goal: make certain every Endeavorer has chosen Jesus to be their friend and guide. Imagine her surprise when one young member refuses to make a commitment to Christ! Miss Williams is determined to get to the bottom of the matter, but even she is surprised to find other forces are at work among the Junior Endeavorers.
Isabella Alden wrote this short story in 1893 when she was deeply involved in the Christian Endeavor movement.
How it Happened
When Mr. Porter hires Stephen Turner to work in his store, he doesn’t have high hopes for the boy’s success. All he can see are Stephen’s ragged clothes and sad expression. But it isn’t long before Mr. Porter and his wife learn their first impressions were mistaken. And when they see their darling baby daughter fall immediately in love with Stephen, they welcome him into their home. But not all good fortune lasts forever; and when tragedy threatens the Porters, it’s up to Stephen to help them in any way he can.
New Sunday-school teacher Miss Smith finds herself drawn to one of her pupils, Mary Burton. Little Mary is fair-haired and blue-eyed, but it is her expression of Godly contentment that catches Miss Smith’s eye. But troubles in her life soon cast a shadow over Mary. Can Miss Smith help her regain her contented spirit?
There’s nothing her grandchildren love more than to gather around Grandma Burton in the evening and listen to her stories about the miracles God performed in her life. It’s a special time of learning and loving, as Grandma Burton shares cherished memories and Bible verses that prove God’s love and care.
Choker and Old Stuffy
Struggling medical students Tom Benton and Dick Graves are so poor they have to take turns wrapping up in a ragged old comforter just to stay warm during the cold winter months! But a chance invitation from an unexpected source will soon change their lives forever.
Experience has taught Angela that even the simplest mistake can have dire consequences. It’s no wonder she doesn’t want to admit breaking a prized dish while working in the kitchen of Mrs. Parker’s very nice home. Should Angela hide the evidence of her crime, or follow her conscience at admit the truth? No matter which path she chooses, Angela is certain she will end up a very unhappy girl!
Helen the Historian
Helen may be only eight years old, but she knows all about God’s love. She’s happiest on Sunday mornings when her young friends gather about her and listen to the Bible stories she tells. And maybe—if she tells the stories well enough—those Bible stories will make a difference in the lives of her young friends, too
The Doctor’s Story
When the Reverend Joseph Mentor tells his young visitor, Frank Horton, a story from his past, he does so with a purpose. Dr. Mentor believes every good Christian can and should find work to do in the Lord’s House; it’s just a matter of finding the right niche for each person. The question is, can they find the right niche for Frank Horton?
The Harrisville Young Ladies’ Band
Fannie Archer is president of a missionary band that is rapidly failing. No one in town is interested in supporting missionaries who do God’s work in far-off countries. But Fannie is, and she’s desperate to bring some life and new members into the group. It isn’t until Fannie confides in her cousin that she realizes her leadership of the group has been wrong from the start. Can she make a success of the ladies’ band, after all?
A Test Case
Young Cora Perkins is about to have her greatest dream come true, thanks to her Aunt Patty. Cora will spend an entire year in Boston studying music, and Aunt Patty will foot the bill! Cora couldn’t be happier, and she quickly makes friends at her new school. But while Cora learns to make beautiful music, she also learns some unfortunate lessons from her classmates; lessons that could hurt the people she loves most.
Gertrude Morrison and her friends have a special relationship with their pastor, Mr. Neale; so when he gives each girl a journal, asking them to write in the diaries every day, Gertrude is happy to oblige. There’s just one catch: Gertrude and her friends must fill their journals’ pages with descriptions of how their daily actions measure up against the Bible’s Golden Texts. It doesn’t take long for Gertrude to realize Mr. Neale’s assignment may prove harder to follow than she first thought!
When Miss Florence Percival comes upon a kitten in the snow, she promptly returns it to a girl named Hetty, and quickly realizes little Hetty is bearing quite a few burdens. Poor Hetty lives with a very cross aunt who can’t say a kind word; and Hetty’s injured knee prevents her from taking a single step.
With Thanksgiving only days away Florence wants to make a difference in Hetty’s life. And in the process she just might be able to soften Aunt Jane and find a cure for Hetty’s knee!
Mrs. Dunlap’s Commentary
Mrs. Dunlap is a model wife, mother, and homemaker. She’s the perfect hostess when guests drop by, and regularly teaches a Sunday-school class.
Given such stellar qualities, Mrs. Dunlap must surely be a model Christian; but one unusually trying Monday reveals the truth about Mrs. Dunlaps’ character.
What She Could
New teacher Alice Merwyn may be young and inexperienced, but she wants to make a difference in the lives of her young students. But influencing children for good will mean sacrifice on her part. Is Alice up for the challenge?
Young Jennie couldn’t be happier with the new life she has made for herself in the city; but when trouble occurs at work, it’s only natural that she, as the newest employee, would be accused on the deed. Will Jennie’s reputation for honesty and doing the right thing be enough to defend her?
The Exact Truth
The Bible is full of golden texts but Zephene Hammond thinks they’re just words on a page. Although she considers herself a Christian, she doesn’t think those Bible verses have any real meaning in her life.
So when her Sunday school teacher challenges Zephene to look at the golden texts with fresh eyes, she reluctantly agrees. Before long, Zeph sees that the Bible really can fit into her daily life and help her become a girl who always tells the exact truth.
A Modern Sacrifice
The daughter of a minister, Kissie Gordon was raised to work for Jesus, not dance all night. But after her father’s death, the lure of having nice clothes and attending parties quickly become Kissie’s driving ambition, until one fateful evening when she realizes how close she came to ruin. Kissie saved herself. Now can she save her friends, too?
Mrs. Harry Harper’s Awakening
Poor Mrs. Harper finds herself living in a new city where she knows no one. Even worse, she has no purpose to fill her days while her husband is at work. Then a chance meeting with a group of women turns her life upside down, when she’s mistaken for a member of a women’s club. Soon that women’s meeting awakens Mrs. Harper’s spirit in ways she never could have imagined.
Pictures from Mrs. Pierson’s Life
Mrs. Pierson considers herself a good Christian. She attends church regularly, and her husband contributes to a Foreign Mission fund. Isn’t that enough? When her days are filled with social functions and trips to the dressmaker, how can she possibly find time to do all the things the ladies at church expect of her?
When I was a Girl
An event from Isabella’s childhood inspired this short story. After young Isabella wins a prestigious prize, rumors of cheating quickly spread through the school. Who could be so jealous as to start such a horrible rumor? And how can Isabella ever hope to clear her good name?
On graduation day four students—best friends Gertrude, Eunice, Barbara and Bernice—vow to stay in touch and reunite at each others’ weddings; but their plans are soon tested as they each return home to unexpected trials. And for one of the young women—whose future once appeared the brightest—a new romance may endanger her very soul. Can her friends unite in time to help her rediscover her life’s purpose and her faith in God?
It’s a special day for the Lester family; eldest son Cleveland is finally returning home after a seven year absence. While everyone else is happy that Cleveland will again be part of the family, young Helen isn’t. She remembers him as a wayward young man who smoked and drank, and teased her relentlessly.
But Cleveland has changed; and he wants to share the reason for his transformation with the people he loves. Soon Helen begins to trust Cleveland, and opens her heart to the message of salvation he is eager to share.
Memory’s Picture Gallery
A young couple learns the joys and heartaches of true love, devotion, and abiding faith in this charming short story.
Sidney Martin’s Christmas
For the first time in his young life Sidney Martin must spend Christmas alone in the big city. How he wishes he could see his family and share in their spirit of Christmas! Instead, he must spend the blessed day alone, doing nothing in particular and mattering to no one. But an odd circumstance may help Sidney realize that the spirit of Christmas is alive in his heart, after all.
Agatha’s Unknown Way
Agatha Hunter is willing to brave the dangers of the big city so she can realize her dream of attending a church missionary meeting. Surely there will be hundreds of women there, working together for the Lord’s cause!
But the actual missionary meeting falls far short of her expectations. Instead of kindred spirits, Agatha finds a group of women more interested in housekeeping than evangelism. Can Agatha plant a seed for Christ in the hearts of these city people?
My Daughter Susan
Miss Susan Carleton fills a single day with more testimony and kind Christian acts than most people accomplish in a lifetime. With so many lives to be helped and souls to be won, Susan stays busy from morning till night.
What inspires Susan to work so hard on God’s behalf?
Spun from Fact
New Christian Jeanie Barrett is certain she can do good works for the Lord; but soon after she embraces salvation, Jeanie suffers one great loss after another. Is God testing Jeanie’s new-found faith? Or is He leading her to a life of ministry more glorious than she ever imagined?
Miss Priscilla Hunter
Miss Priscilla Hunter’s church is in desperate need of repairs, but no one in the congregation is willing to contribute a penny toward the work that must be done—until Priscilla Hunter takes matters into her own hands. She’s determined to raise the funds needed to make God’s house a model place for everyone to worship the Lord.
People Who Haven’t Time and Can’t Afford It
Mrs. Leymon’s eyes have been opened! She wants to make a difference in the lives of the poor souls in her town who live in deplorable conditions, and she wants the ladies at church to help. But when the other ladies refuse to aid in her cause, Mrs. Leymon won’t give up. If she can get just one person to help, she knows the rest of the ladies will follow.
What She Said & What She Meant
There’s gossip in the air and reputations are being lost. Even the town’s beloved doctor isn’t safe from the hateful rumors. As one person after another discovers the pain of being shunned for something they didn’t do, one member of the congregation decides to take a stand. She’s determined to get to the bottom of the horrid stories and put an end to them once and for all.