My Favorite Books for Children


In a previous post, I mentioned how large a role good books have played in my life. And being a bit of a packrat, I’ve accumulated many tomes over the decades. Even after donating roughly half of my books when we moved to Sligo Park Hills, I still had bookshelves groaning under the weight of double-stacked rows. That’s why one of my requirements for building a house was a real library. It’s a dream come true.

I’ve often been asked about my favorite books, a question that defies a succinct answer. But I certainly have many best-loved books, so I thought I’d share them here. I’ll post them in three lists: favorite books for children, favorite fantasy & science fiction books, and other fiction and nonfiction favorites.

Like the Movies database on this site, these lists don’t try to be current. Rather, I’m focusing on books that I grew up with—ones that might even be overlooked by today’s readers. I also do not mean these are books you should read—I enjoyed very few of the books I was forced to read in various English and literature classes. These are simply books I loved reading (and re-reading). I think you’ll enjoy them too.

Favorites of Children’s Literature

Alexander, Lloyd
  • The Chronicles of Prydain
Blume, Judy
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
  • The Tarzan series (first 4 books)
Carroll, Lewis
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There
Christopher, John
  • The Tripods trilogy
Cooper, Susan
  • The Dark Is Rising sequence
Dahl, Roald
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Danny the Champion of the World
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More
Eager, Edward
  • Half Magic
Edwards, Julie (AKA Julie Andrews)
  • The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
Farley, Walter
  • The Black Stallion
Fitzgerald, John D.
  • The Great Brain series
Futrelle, Jacques
  • The Thinking Machine
George, Jean
  • My Side of the Mountain
Gilbreth, Frank B.
  • Cheaper by the Dozen
Goscinny & Uderzo
  • The Adventures of Asterix series
Henry, Marguerite
  • King of the Wind
  • The Adventures of Tintin series
Juster, Norton
  • The Phantom Tollbooth
Kipling, Rudyard
  • The Jungle Book
  • Just So Stories
Konigsburg, E.L.
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
  • Jennifer, Hecate, MacBeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth

Note: Konigsburg won the Newbery Medal and a Newbery honor in the same year for these remarkable books.

Lawson, Robert
  • Rabbit Hill
Le Guin, Ursula K.
  • The Earthsea trilogy
L’Engle, Madeleine
  • A Wrinkle in Time
Lewis, C.S.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
Lofting, Hugh
  • The Story of Doctor Dolittle
Macaulay, David
  • Cathedral
  • Castle
Merrill, Jean
  • The Pushcart War
Milne, A.A.
  • Winnie-the-Pooh
  • The House at Pooh Corner
Nesbit, Edith
  • Five Children and It
  • The Phoenix and the Carpet
  • The Story of the Amulet
O’Brien, Robert C.
  • Mrs. Frisby and Rats of NIMH
  • The Silver Crown
O’Dell, Scott
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins
Paterson, Katherine
  • Bridge to Terabithia
Pène du Bois, William
  • The 21 Balloons
Raskin, Ellen
  • The Westing Game
  • The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel)
  • The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues
Rockwell, Thomas
  • How to Eat Fried Worms
Rodgers, Mary
  • Freaky Friday
  • A Billion for Boris
Selden, George
  • The Cricket in Times Square
  • The Genie of Sutton Place
Silverstein, Shel
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends
  • A Light in the Attic
Sobol, Donald
  • The Encyclopedia Brown series
Steig, William
  • Abel’s Island
Stevenson, Robert Louis
  • Treasure Island
Titus, Eve
  • Basil of Baker Street
Tolkien, J.R.R.
  • The Hobbit
Travers, P.L.
  • Mary Poppins
White, E.B.
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • The Trumpet of the Swan
  • Stuart Little
Wilder, Laura Ingalls
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • Farmer Boy



Children’s book recommendations

This is a great list!  Mia and I will go through it this weekend and place holds at the library for a bunch of the ones she hasn't read yet. The ones from here that she has read have also been favorites of hers, so clearly your tastes sync up well.

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