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!

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 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!

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 read, print, and share with friends.

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!

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 read, print, and share with friends.

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: Elizabeth’s Anniversary Week

Isabella lived during a time when young men and women followed very strict social rules. For example, a gentleman could not speak to or even correspond with a woman without her permission; and often, the young woman couldn’t give permission without first consulting with her parents.

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In her 1898 novella “Elizabeth’s Anniversary Week” Isabella illustrated how those societal rules could end up causing difficulties, misunderstandings, and a lot of heartache.

Every September the Brockton family—aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings—gather to celebrate birthdays. The time-honored tradition should bring joy to all who attend, but Mrs. Brockton can’t help but notice her cherished daughter Elizabeth is far from happy about the annual event. In fact, she’s beginning to suspect some sickness has befallen Elizabeth to cause her to be so melancholy. But Elizabeth has a secret, one she has been trying hard to conceal from everyone, especially her mother.

You can read “Elizabeth’s Anniversary Week” 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 read, 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!

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 read, print, and share with friends.

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!

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 read, print, and share with friends.

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.

New Free Read: Carl Hammond’s Lesson

This month’s free read is “Carl Hammond’s Lesson,” a short story that first appeared in The Pansy magazine in 1892. 

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?

You can read “Carl Hammond’s Lesson” 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 “Read on My Computer” option to print the story and share it with friends.

New Free Read: A Long Christmas

Last week’s post was about some of the ways Isabella’s encouraged readers to “remember the poor always, but especially at Christmas.” Our December free read continues that theme.

“A Long Christmas” is a short story Isabella wrote in 1891 about a group of children—all cousins in the same family—who discovered their enjoyment of Christmas lasted much longer when they focused on giving instead of getting.

“We have everything imaginable already. We need Christmas presents less than any young folks in the kingdom, I suppose.” That’s what sixteen year old Holly tells his cousins when they gather together on Christmas morning, and his cousins agree! But which child should receive the cousins’ unwanted toys and books?

Cover of "A Long Christmas" showing a man and dog outside a small cabin, with tall pine trees covered in snow and a mountain peak in the background.

You can read “A Long Christmas” for free!

Choose the reading option you like best:

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

Or you can select BookFunnel’s “Read on My Computer” option to print the story and share it with friends.