Late Childhood Book List

*The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain (**Audible)

~12, United States, 1884

“The novel’s preeminence derives from its wonderfully imaginative re-creation of boyhood adventures along the Mississippi River, its inspired characterization, the author’s remarkable ear for dialogue, and the book’s understated development of serious underlying themes: “natural” man versus “civilized” society, the evils of slavery, the innate value and dignity of human beings, and other topics. Most of all, Huckleberry Finn is a wonderful story, filled with high adventure and unforgettable characters.” – Amazon
Other synopses: Video SparkNotesCommon Sense Media

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

*The Adventures of Pinocchio, Carlo Collodi (**Audible)

~9, Italy, 1883

Pinocchio, in Carlo Collodi’s original version, is an adventure-filled, menacing fairy tale with a moral. Made by the woodcarver Geppetto, the puppet Pinocchio dreams of becoming a real child. But his unrestrained curiosity, dishonesty, and selfishness put him in constant peril. As he journeys from the deceptive “Field of Miracles,” where he plants gold coins to make them grow, to the land where lazy boys turn into donkeys, Pinocchio’s path is paved with mistakes, willfulness, and danger.And all the while his nose keeps growing bigger and bigger and bigger every time he tells a fib, so all the world can see what a liar he is…” – Amazon
More information: Better Than FoodWikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and TJEd.org’s Classics

**Alice’s Adventures in WonderlandLewis Carroll  (*Audible)

~8, United Kingdom, 1865

“In 1862 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a shy Oxford mathematician with a stammer, created a story about a little girl tumbling down a rabbit hole. Thus began the immortal adventures of Alice… Countless scholars have tried to define the charm of the Alice books—with those wonderfully eccentric characters the Queen of Hearts, Tweedledum, and Tweedledee, the Cheshire Cat, Mock Turtle, the Mad Hatter et al.—by proclaiming that they really comprise a satire on language, a political allegory, a parody of Victorian children’s literature, even a reflection of contemporary ecclesiastical history. Perhaps… Alice is no more than a dream, a fairy tale about the trials and tribulations of growing up—or down, or all turned round—as seen through the expert eyes of a child.” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense MediaWikipedia

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics, BBC’s 11 Greatest Children’s Books, Reader’s Digest’s 25 Best Children’s Books Ever Written, and Common Sense Media’s 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12

*All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque (Audible)

~10, Germany, 1929

All Quiet on the Western Front is Erich Maria Remarque’s masterpiece of the German experience during World War I. I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow…‘ This is the testament of Paul Bäumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army during World War I. They become soldiers with youthful enthusiasm. But the world of duty, culture, and progress they had been taught breaks in pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. Through years of vivid horror, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principle of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against one another…  if only he can come out of the war alive.” – Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotesWikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

*Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery (Audible)

~8, Canada, 1908

“As soon as Anne Shirley arrives at the snug white farmhouse called Green Gables, she is sure she wants to stay forever . . . but will the Cuthberts send her back to to the orphanage? Anne knows she’s not what they expected—a skinny girl with fiery red hair and a temper to match. If only she can convince them to let her stay, she’ll try very hard not to keep rushing headlong into scrapes and blurting out the first thing that comes to her mind. Anne is not like anyone else, the Cuthberts agree; she is special—a girl with an enormous imagination. This orphan girl dreams of the day when she can call herself Anne of Green Gables.” – GoodReads
Other synopses: Common Sense MediaSparkNotes

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, TJEd.org’s Classics, Reader’s Digest’s 25 Best Children’s Books Ever Written, and Common Sense Media’s 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12

The ArrivalShaun Tan

~9, Australia, 2006

“In a heartbreaking parting, a man gives his wife and daughter a last kiss and boards a steamship to cross the ocean. He’s embarking on the most painful yet important journey of his life- he’s leaving home to build a better future for his family. Shaun Tan evokes universal aspects of an immigrant’s experience through a singular work of the imagination. He does so using brilliantly clear and mesmerizing images. Because the main character can’t communicate in words, the book forgoes them too. But while the reader experiences the main character’s isolation, he also shares his ultimate joy.” – GoodReads
More information: Common Sense MediaWikipedia

Appearing in Book Trust’s 100 Best Books for Children and New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books

**Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Audible)

~9, United States, 1791

“[This book] is the unfinished record of his own life written by Benjamin Franklin from 1771 to 1790. The work has become one of the most famous and influential examples of an autobiography ever written.” – Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotesWikipedia

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

*Because of Winn-DixieKate DiCamillo (Audible)

~9, United States, 2000

“One summer’s day, ten-year-old India Opal Buloni goes down to the local supermarket for some groceries – and comes home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog. It’s because of Winn-Dixie that Opal begins to make friends. And it’s because of Winn-Dixie that she finally dares to ask her father about her mother, who left when Opal was three. In fact, as Opal admits, just about everything that happens that summer is because of Winn-Dixie.” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense MediaWikipedia

Appearing in New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books and Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time

**Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ, Lew Wallace (Audible)

~9, United States, 1880

“[This book] is one of the most popular and beloved 19th century American novels. This faithful New Testament tale combines the events of the life of Jesus with grand historical spectacle in the exciting story of Judah of the House of Hur, a man who finds extraordinary redemption for himself and his family. A classic of faith, fortitude, and inspiration.” – GoodReads
Other synopses: AmazonWikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and TJEd.org’s Classics

*Black Beauty, Anna Sewell (Audible)

~8, United Kingdom, 1877

“While forthrightly teaching animal welfare, [this story] also teaches how to treat people with kindness, sympathy, and respect. Black Beauty became a forerunner to the pony book genre of children’s literature.” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense MediaWikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and TJEd.org’s Classics

*The BorrowersMary Norton (Audible)

~8, United Kingdom, 1952

“The Borrowers—the Clock family: Homily, Pod, and their fourteen-year-old daughter, Arrietty, to be precise—are tiny people who live underneath the kitchen floor of an old English country manor. All their minuscule home furnishings, from postage stamp paintings to champagne cork chairs, are “borrowed” from the “human beans” who tromp around loudly above them. All is well until Pod is spotted upstairs by a human boy! Can the Clocks stay nested safely in their beloved hidden home, or will they be forced to flee?” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense Media

Appearing in Book Trust’s 100 Best Books for Children, New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books, and Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time

*Bridge to TerabithiaKatherine Paterson (Audible)

~10, United States, 1977

“Jess Aarons has been practicing all summer so he can be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. And he almost is, until the new girl in school, Leslie Burke, outpaces him. The two become fast friends and spend most days in the woods behind Leslie’s house, where they invent an enchanted land called Terabithia. One morning, Leslie goes to Terabithia without Jess and a tragedy occurs. It will take the love of his family and the strength that Leslie has given him for Jess to be able to deal with his grief.” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense MediaSparkNotes

Appearing in New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books, Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time, and Common Sense Media’s 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12

*Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryRoald Dahl (Audible)

~8, United Kingdom, 1964

“Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense MediaWikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, BBC’s 11 Greatest Children’s Books, Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time, and Common Sense Media’s 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12

*Charlotte’s Web, E. B White (Audible)

~8, United State, 1952

“‘Some Pig. Humble. Radiant.’ These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter. E. B. White’s Newbery Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.” – Amazon
More information: WikipediaCommon Sense Media

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, TJEd.org’s Classics, BBC’s 11 Greatest Children’s Books, Book Trust’s 100 Best Books for Children, New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books, Reader’s Digest’s 25 Best Children’s Books Ever Written, Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time, and Common Sense Media’s 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12

The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories, Hans Christian Andersen (Audible)

~9, Denmark, 1835

“The fairy tales Hans Christian Andersen wrote, such as “The Snow Queen,” “The Ugly Duckling,” “The Red Shoes,” and “The Nightingale,” are remarkable for their sense of fantasy, power of description, and acute sensitivity, and they are like no others written before or since. Unlike the Brothers Grimm, who collected and retold folklore, Andersen adopted the most ancient literary forms of the fairy tale and the folktale and distilled them into a genre that was uniquely his own.” – Amazon
Other synopsis: Wikipedia

Appearing in Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time and TJEd.org’s Classics

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-PoohA. A. Milne (Audible)

~8, United Kingdom, 1928

“In 1926, the world was introduced to a portly little bear named Winnie-the-Pooh. Along with his young friend, Christopher Robin, Pooh delighted readers from the very beginning. His often befuddled perceptions and adorable insights won the hearts of everyone around him, including his close group of friends. From the energetic Tigger to the dismal Eeyore, A. A. Milne created a charming bunch, both entertaining and inspirational. These simple creatures often reflected a small piece of all of us: humble, silly, wise, cautious, creative, and full of life. Remember when Piglet did a very grand thing, or Eeyore’s almost-forgotten birthday?” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense Media

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics, BBC’s 11 Greatest Children’s Books, Book Trust’s 100 Best Books for Children, New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books, Reader’s Digest’s 25 Best Children’s Books Ever Written, Time Magazine’s 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time, Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time, and Common Sense Media’s 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12

Diary of a Wimpy KidJeff Kinney (*Audible)

~9, United States, 2007

“It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary.” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense MediaWikipedia

Appearing in Book Trust’s 100 Best Books for Children and Common Sense Media’s 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12

**The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank (Audible)

~11, Netherlands, 1947

“In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.” – Amazon
Other synopses: Common Sense MediaWikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Common Sense Media’s 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12

*Esperanza RisingPam Munoz Ryan (Audible)

~8, United States, 2000

“Esperanza thought she’d always live a privileged life on her family’s ranch in Mexico. She’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home filled with servants, and Mama, Papa, and Abuelita to care for her. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California and settle in a Mexican farm labor camp. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard work, financial struggles brought on by the Great Depression, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When Mama gets sick and a strike for better working conditions threatens to uproot their new life, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances-because Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense MediaWikipedia

Appearing in New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books and Common Sense Media’s 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12

**Frankenstein, Mary Shelley (**Audible)

~12, United Kingdom, 1818

“With Frankenstein, [Mary Shelley] succeeded admirably in the task she set for herself: to create a story that, in her own words, ‘would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror — one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart.’” – Amazon
Other synopses: Video SparkNotesTED-Ed

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

*The GiverLois Lowry (Audible)

~12, United States, 1993

“The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense MediaWikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books, and Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time

*Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift (**Audible)

~11, Ireland, 1726

“Regarded as the preeminent prose satirist in the English language, Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) intended this masterpiece, as he once wrote Alexander Pope, to “vex the world rather than divert it.” Savagely ironic, it portrays man as foolish at best, and at worst, not much more than an ape. The direct and unadorned narrative describes four remarkable journies of ship’s surgeon Lemuel Gulliver, among them, one to the land of Lilliput, where six-inch-high inhabitants bicker over trivialities; and another to Brobdingnag, a land where giants reduce man to insignificance. Written with disarming simplicity and careful attention to detail, this classic is diverse in its appeal: for children, it remains an enchanting fantasy. For adults, it is a witty parody of political life in Swift’s time and a scathing send-up of manners and morals in 18th-century England.” – Amazon
More information: SparkNotesWikipedia

*The Graveyard BookNeil Gaiman (Audible)

~10, United Kingdom, 2008

“Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family.” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense MediaWikipedia

Appearing in Book Trust’s 100 Best Books for Children and New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books

*Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (Audible)

~8, Germany, 1812

Grimms’ Fairy Tales… is a collection of fairy tales by the Grimm brothers or “Brothers Grimm” – Wikipedia
“When Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their “Children’s and Household Tales” in 1812, followed by a second volume in 1815, they had no idea that such stories as “Rapunzel,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “Cinderella” would become the most celebrated in the world.” –  Amazon

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and TJEd.org’s Classics

*Harriet the SpyLouise Fitzhugh (Audible)

~8, United States, 1964

“Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. In her notebook, she writes down everything she knows about everyone, even her classmates and her best friends. Then Harriet loses track of her notebook, and it ends up in the wrong hands. Before she can stop them, her friends have read the always truthful, sometimes awful things she’s written about each of them. Will Harriet find a way to put her life and her friendships back together?” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense MediaWikipedia

Appearing in New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books and Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time

The Harry Potter SeriesJ. K. Rowling

Audible: 1234567

~8, United Kingdom, 1995

Harry Potter is a series of fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry’s struggle against Lord Voldemort, a dark wizard who intends to become immortal, overthrow the wizard governing body known as the Ministry of Magic and subjugate all wizards and Muggles (non-magical people).” – Wikipedia
More information on Common Sense Media: 1234567

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Book Trust’s 100 Best Books for Children, New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books, Reader’s Digest’s 25 Best Children’s Books Ever Written, Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time, and Common Sense Media’s 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12

*HatchetGary Paulsen (Audible)

~12, United States, 1986

“Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson, haunted by his secret knowledge of his mother’s infidelity, is traveling by single-engine plane to visit his father for the first time since the divorce. When the plane crashes, killing the pilot, the sole survivor is Brian. He is alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother had given him as a present. At first consumed by despair and self-pity, Brian slowly learns survival skills—how to make a shelter for himself, how to hunt and fish and forage for food, how to make a fire—and even finds the courage to start over from scratch when a tornado ravages his campsite. When Brian is finally rescued after fifty-four days in the wild, he emerges from his ordeal with new patience and maturity, and a greater understanding of himself and his parents.” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense MediaWikipedia

Appearing in Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read and New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books

*Heidi, Johanna Spyri (Audible)

~10, Switzerland, 1880

“Little orphan Heidi goes to live high in the Alps with her gruff grandfather and brings happiness to all who know her on the mountain. When Heidi goes to Frankfurt to work in a wealthy household, she dreams of returning to the mountains and meadows, her friend Peter, and her beloved grandfather.” – GoodReads
More information: Common Sense MediaWikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and TJEd.org’s Classics

The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien (Audible)

~8, United Kingdom, 1937

“Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.” – Amazon
More information: WikipediaGoodReads

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, TJEd.org’s Classics, Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read, Book Trust’s 100 Best Books for Children, New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books, Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time, and Common Sense Media’s 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12

HolesLouis Sachar (Audible)

~10, United States, 1998

“Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes. It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense MediaWikipedia

Appearing in Book Trust’s 100 Best Books for Children, New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books, and Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time

How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie (Audible)

~12, United States, 1936

“Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, How to Win Friends & Influence People will teach you six ways to make people like you, twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.” – Amazon
Other synopses: WikipediaGoodReads

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

The Hunger Games TrilogySuzanne Colins

Audible: Hunger GamesCatching FireMocking Jay

~12, United States, 2008

“In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense Media: 123Wikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Book Trust’s 100 Best Books for Children, and Common Sense Media’s 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12

*The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeC. S. Lewis (Audible)

~8, United Kingdom, 1950

“Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense Media

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, BBC’s 11 Greatest Children’s Books, Book Trust’s 100 Best Books for Children, New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books, Reader’s Digest’s 25 Best Children’s Books Ever Written, Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time, and Common Sense Media’s 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12

Little House SeriesLaura Ingalls Wilder

Audible: 1234

~8, United States, 1932

“In these books, Laura Ingalls travels with her family from the Big Woods of Wisconsin, to the prairies of Kansas, and up to Minnesota—all while facing the challenges of life on the frontier. And in Farmer Boy, Almanzo Wilder lives with his brother and sisters on a big farm in New York State.” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense Media

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics, BBC’s 11 Greatest Children’s Books, Book Trust’s 100 Best Books for Children, and Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time

*The Little PrinceAntoine de Saint-Exupéry (**Audible)

~10, France, 1943

“A pilot crashes in the Sahara desert. While attempting to fix his plane a thousand miles from any habitation, he meets a strangely dressed little boy who seems to have come from nowhere and who demands that he draw a sheep. “When a mystery is too overpowering, one dare not disobey,” so the pilot attempts to draw a sheep. Gradually the Little Prince reveals his story…” – Common Sense Media
More information: SparkNotesWikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, BBC’s 11 Greatest Children’s Books, Book Trust’s 100 Best Books for Children, New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books, and Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time

The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien

Audible: The Fellowship of the RingThe Two Towers, and The Return of the King

~9, United Kingdom, 1954

“In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. From Sauron’s fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion. When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom. The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.” – GoodReads
More information: WikipediaSparkNotes

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read, Book Trust’s 100 Best Books for Children, and Common Sense Media’s 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12

**Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Frederick Douglass (Audible)

~10, United States, 1845, Free Edition

“The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is an 1845 memoir and treatise on abolition written by famous orator and former slave Frederick Douglass during his time in Lynn, Massachusetts. It is generally held to be the most famous of a number of narratives written by former slaves during the same period. In factual detail, the text describes the events of his life and is considered to be one of the most influential pieces of literature to fuel the abolitionist movement of the early 19th century in the United States.” – Amazon
Other synopses: WikipediaGoodReads

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time and TJEd.org’s Classics

*The Outsiders, S. E. Hinton (Audible)

~11, United States, 1967

“No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he’s got things figured out. He knows that he can count on his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. And he knows that he can count on his friends—true friends who would do anything for him, like Johnny and Two-Bit. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up on “greasers” like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect—until the night someone takes things too far.” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense MediaGoodReads

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read, and Common Sense Media’s 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12

*Pippi LongstockingAstrid Lindgren (Audible)

~8, Sweden, 1950

“Tommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbor, and her name is Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a pet monkey named Mr. Nilsson. Whether Pippi’s scrubbing her floors, doing arithmetic, or stirring things up at a fancy tea party, her flair for the outrageous always seems to lead to another adventure.” – Amazon
More information: WikipediaGoodReads

Appearing in Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, Book Trust’s 100 Best Books for Children, New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books, Time Magazine’s 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time, and Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time

The Ramona SeriesBeverly Cleary (Audible)

~8, United States, 1955

“Kids everywhere feel connected to Ramona’s unique way of looking at the world as she tries to adjust to new teachers, encounters bullies at school, and puts up with her bossy older sister. The scrapes she gets herself into—like wearing pajamas to school or accidentally making egg yolk shampoo—are funny and heartwarming, and sometimes embarrassing. No matter what, Ramona’s lively, curious spirit shines through.” – Amazon
More information on Common Sense Media: Ramona the PestRamona and Her FatherBeezus and Ramona

Appearing in New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books, Reader’s Digest’s 25 Best Children’s Books Ever Written, and Common Sense Media’s 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12

**The Secret GardenFrances Hodgson Burnett (**Audible)

~9, United States, 1911

“‘When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle, everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen’… So begins the famous opening of one of the world’s best-loved children’s stories… [T]his is the poignant tale of a lonely little girl, orphaned and sent to a Yorkshire mansion at the edge of a vast lonely moor. At first, she is frightened by this gloomy place, but with the help of the local boy Dickon, who earns the trust of the moor’s wild animals with his honesty and love, the invalid Colin, a spoiled, unhappy boy terrified of life, and a mysterious, abandoned garden, Mary is eventually overcome by the mystery of life itself—its birth and renewal, its love and joy.” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense MediaWikipedia

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time

*The Swiss Family Robinson, Johann Davide Wyss (Audible)

~8, Switzerland, 1812

“Following a wild and raging storm, the Swiss family Robinson are stranded at sea. But the thundering waves have swept them off to a tropical island, where a new life awaits them. Their ship is laden with supplies and the island is packed with treasures, so they soon adapt and discover new dangers and delights every day.” – Amazon
More information: WikipediaGoodReads

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

*Tales from the Arabian Nights (Audible)

Note: these paperback and audible versions are not the same.

~10, Middle East, 1704 (Originally)

“King Shahryar kills a new wife every night, because he is afraid she will stop loving him. But his new bride Shahrazad has a clever plan to save herself. Her nightly stories–of Sinbad the Sailor, Ali Baba, and many other heroes and villains–are so engrossing that King Shahryar has to postpone her execution again and again…” – Amazon
More information: YouTubeWikipedia

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, and TJEd.org’s Classics

*Tales of a Fourth Grade NothingJudy Blume (Audible)

~8, United States, 1972

“Two is a crowd when Peter and his little brother, Fudge, are in the same room. Grown-ups think Fudge is absolutely adorable, but Peter and his pet turtle, Dribble, know the truth. From throwing temper tantrums to smearing mashed potatoes on the wall, Fudge causes mischief wherever he goes!” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense MediaWikipedia

Appearing in New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books, Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time, and Common Sense Media’s 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12

*To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (Audible)

~12, United States, 1960

“A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.” – Amazon
Other synopses: Video SparkNotes, Crash Course p1 and p2

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Encyclopedia Brittanica’s 12 Novels Considered the “Greatest Book Ever Written”, Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read, and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List

*Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson (*Audible)

~10, United Kingdom, 1882

“Traditionally considered a coming-of-age story, Treasure Island is a tale noted for its atmosphere, characters and action, and also as a wry commentary on the ambiguity of morality – as seen in Long John Silver – unusual for children’s literature. It is one of the most frequently dramatized of all novels. The influence of Treasure Island on popular perceptions of pirates is enormous, including such elements as treasure maps marked with an “X”, schooners, the Black Spot, tropical islands, and one-legged seamen bearing parrots on their shoulders.” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense MediaWikipedia

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics, Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read, and Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time

**Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe (Audible)

~8, United States, 1852

Uncle Tom’s Cabin is the story of the slave Tom. Devout and loyal, he is sold and sent down south, where he endures brutal treatment at the hands of the degenerate plantation owner Simon Legree. By exposing the extreme cruelties of slavery, Stowe explores society’s failures and asks a profound question: “What is it to be a moral human being?” And as the novel that helped to move a nation to battle, Uncle Tom’s Cabin is an essential part of the collective experience of the American people.” – Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotesWikipedia

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time and TJEd.org’s Classics

Watership DownRichard Adams (Audible)

~9, United Kingdom, 1972

“Set in the Hampshire Downs in Southern England, an idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of “suspense, hot pursuit, and derring-do” (Chicago Tribune) follows a band of rabbits in flight from the incursion of man and the destruction of their home. Led by a stouthearted pair of brothers, they travel forth from their native Sandleford warren through harrowing trials to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society. “A marvelous story of rebellion, exile, and survival” (Sunday Telegraph)…” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense MediaWikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and Book Trust’s 100 Best Books for Children

*A Wrinkle in TimeMadeleine L’Engle  (Audible)

~10, United States, 1962

“It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.” A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book.” – Amazon
More information: Common Sense Media

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, BBC’s 11 Greatest Children’s Books, New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books, Reader’s Digest’s 25 Best Children’s Books Ever Written, Reedsy Discovery’s 120 Best Children’s Books of All Time, and Common Sense Media’s 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12

Related Pages

  1. How to Raise a Reader
  2. How to Introduce a Book to a Learner
  3. The Most Noteworthy Books of All Time
  4. The Most Noteworthy Books of All Time (Chronologically)
  5. The Best Children’s Books
  6. Babies and Toddlers Book List
  7. Early Childhood Book List
  8. Teenagers Book List