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50 Books Every Kid Should Read

1

Bread and Jam for Frances

Bread and Jam for Frances

by Russell Hoban
ISBN: 9780060223601

"Jam on toast," sings Frances about the food she likes most--until she has it for the sixth meal in two days.

Best for ages 4 to 6

2

Green Eggs and Ham

Green Eggs and Ham

by Dr. Seuss
ISBN: 9780394900162

Sam-I-am tries to persuade the character in the top hat to try green eggs and ham.

Best for ages 4 to 6

3

Library Lion

Library Lion

by Michelle Knudsen
ISBN: 9780763622626

A lion starts visiting the local library but runs into trouble as he tries to both obey the rules and help his librarian friend.

Best for ages 4 to 6

4

The Lion and the Mouse

The Lion and the Mouse

by Jerry Pinkney
ISBN: 9780316013567

In this wordless retelling of an Aesop fable set in the African Serengeti, an adventuresome mouse proves that even small creatures are capable of great deeds when she rescues the King of the Jungle.

Best for ages 4 to 6

5

Madeline

Madeline

by
ISBN: 9780670445806

Madeline, smallest and naughtiest of the twelve little charges of Miss Clavel, wakes up one night with an attack of appendicitis.

Best for ages 4 to 6

6

Strega Nona

Strega Nona

by Tomie DePaola
ISBN: 9780671662837

When Strega Nona leaves him alone with her magic pasta pot, Big Anthony is determined to show the townspeople how it works.

Best for ages 4 to 6

7

The Mitten

The Mitten

by Jan Brett
ISBN: 9780399219207

Several animals sleep snugly in Nicki's lost mitten until the bear sneezes.

Best for ages 4 to 6

8

The Polar Express

The Polar Express

by Chris Van Allsburg
ISBN: 9780395389492

A magical train ride on Christmas Eve takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus.

Best for ages 4 to 6

9

Where The Wild Things Are

Where The Wild Things Are

by Maurice Sendak
ISBN: 9780060254933

A naughty little boy, sent to bed without his supper, sails to the land of the wild things where he becomes their king.

Best for ages 4 to 6

10

The Arrival

The Arrival

by Shaun Tan
ISBN: 9780439895293

In this wordless graphic novel, a man leaves his homeland and sets off for a new country, where he must build a new life for himself and his family.

Best for ages 6 to 8

11

A Bear Called Paddington

A Bear Called Paddington

by Michael Bond
ISBN: 9780395929513

A very small bear found by Mr. and Mrs. Brown at Paddington station becomes one of the family.

Best for ages 6 to 8

12

Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web

by E.B. White
ISBN: 9780064400558

When he discovers that he is destined to be someone's dinner, Wilbur the pig is desolate until his spider friend Charlotte decides to help him.

Best for ages 6 to 8

13

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

by Jeff Kinney
ISBN: 9780810993136

Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship.

Best for ages 6 to 8

14

The Magic Treehouse (series)

The Magic Treehouse (series)

by Mary Pope Osbourne
ISBN: 9780679924111

Eight-year-old Jack and his younger sister Annie find a magic treehouse, which whisks them back to an ancient time zone where they see live dinosaurs.

Best for ages 6 to 8

15

Ramona (series)

Ramona (series)

by Beverly Cleary
ISBN: 9780688217211

Ramona meets lots of interesting people in kindergarten class, like Davy whom she keeps trying to kiss and Susan whose springy curls seem to ask to be pulled.

Best for ages 6 to 8

16

The Story of Babar

The Story of Babar

by Jean de Brunhoff
ISBN: 9780394905754

An orphaned baby elephant goes to live in the city with an old lady who gives him everything he wants, but eventually returns tothe forest where he is crowned king of the elephants.

Best for ages 6 to 8

17

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

by William Steig
ISBN: 9780671662691

In a moment of fright Sylvester the donkey asks his magic pebble to turn him into a rock but then can not hold the pebble to wish himself back to normal again.

Best for ages 6 to 8

18

Tar Beach

Tar Beach

by Faith Ringgold
ISBN: 9780517580301

A young girl dreams of flying above her Harlem home, claiming all she sees for herself and her family. Based on the author's quilt story of the same name.

Best for ages 6 to 8

19

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

by Judy Blume
ISBN: 9780689841583

Faced with the difficulties of growing up and choosing a religion, a twelve-year-old girl talks over her problems with her own private God.

Best for ages 9 to 11

20

The Black Stallion

The Black Stallion

by Walter Farley
ISBN: 9780394906010

Pulled to a desert island by a wild black stallion he has freed during a shipwreck at sea, then rescued by a southbound freighter, a seventeen-year-old boy befriends the horse, trains him by night, and rides him to victory in a match race.

Best for ages 9 to 11

21

The Borrowers (series)

The Borrowers (series)

by Mary Norton
ISBN: 9780152105303

Miniature people who live in an old country house by borrowing things from the humans are forced to emigrate from their home under the clock.

Best for ages 9 to 11

22

Bud, Not Buddy

Bud, Not Buddy

by Christopher Paul Curtis
ISBN: 9780385323062

Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father--the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.

Best for ages 9 to 11

23

Captain Underpants

Captain Underpants

by Dav Pilkey
ISBN: 9780590846271

When George and Harold hypnotize their principal into thinking that he is the superhero Captain Underpants, he leads them to the lair of the nefarious Dr. Diaper, where they must defeat his evil robot henchmen.

Best for ages 9 to 11

24

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths

by Ingri and Edgar D'Aulaire
ISBN: 9780385015837

Illustrated retellings of the myths about the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece.

Best for ages 9 to 11

25

Ella of All-of-a-Kind Family

Ella of All-of-a-Kind Family

by Sydney Taylor
ISBN: 9780929093055

When Jules comes to see her after his return from the war, Ella finds it difficult to have some time alone with him.

Best for ages 9 to 11

26

Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising

by Pam Muñoz Ryan
ISBN: 9780439120418

Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.

Best for ages 9 to 11

27

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

by E.L. Konigsburg
ISBN: 9780689853227

Having run away with her younger brother to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, twelve-year-old Claudia strives to keep things in order in their new home and to become a changed person and a heroine to herself.

Best for ages 9 to 11

28

The Giver

The Giver

by Lois Lowry
ISBN: 9780395645666

Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

Best for ages 9 to 11

29

Harriet the Spy

Harriet the Spy

by Louise Fitzhugh
ISBN: 9780385327831

Eleven-year-old Harriet, who is a spy, plans to be a writer, and keeps a secret notebook filled with thoughts and notes on her schoolmates and people she observes on her after school spy route. However, her classmates find out and read her notebook, retaliate, and she learns that writing is not to use against your friends.

Best for ages 9 to 11

30

Holes

Holes

by Louis Sachar
ISBN: 9780374332655

As further evidence of his family's bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.

Best for ages 9 to 11

31

Island of the Blue Dolphins

Island of the Blue Dolphins

by Scott O'Dell
ISBN: 9780395069622

The gripping story of young Karana, an Indian girl who survives by herself for eighteen years on a deserted island off the California coast. A quiet acceptance of fate characterizes her ordeal.

Best for ages 9 to 11

32

James and the Giant Peach

James and the Giant Peach

by Roald Dahl
ISBN: 9780679980902

A fairy tale about James Henry Trotter, an unhappy little orphan who lives with his aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker. Story tells of various adventures.

Best for ages 9 to 11

33

One Crazy Summer

One Crazy Summer

by Rita Williams-Garcia
ISBN: 9780060760885

In the summer of 1968, after traveling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

Best for ages 9 to 11

34

The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth

by Norton Juster
ISBN: 9780394820378

A journey through a land where Milo learns the importance of words and numbers provides a cure for his boredom.

Best for ages 9 to 11

35

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

by Mildred Taylor
ISBN: 9780803774735

A black family living in Mississippi during the Depression of the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination which its children do not understand.

Best for ages 9 to 11

36

A Series of Unfortunate Events

A Series of Unfortunate Events

by Lemony Snicket
ISBN: 9780064407663

After the sudden death of their parents, the three Baudelaire children must depend on each other and their wits when it turns out that the distant relative who is appointed their guardian is determined to use any means necessary to get their fortune throughout this series of books.

Best for ages 9 to 11

37

Smile

Smile

by Raina Telgemeier
ISBN: 9780545132053

Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after girl scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with the on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there's still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends that turn out to be not so friendly. Raina's story takes us from middle school to high school, where she discovers an artistic voice, finds out what true friendship really means and when she can finally smile.

Best for ages 9 to 11

38

The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux

by Kate DiCamillo
ISBN: 9780763617226

The adventures of Despereaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess that he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.

Best for ages 9 to 11

39

Where the Red Fern Grows

Where the Red Fern Grows

by Wilson Rawls
ISBN: 9780385323307

The story of a young boy's love for two hunting dogs and his coming of age in Oklahoma in the 1930's.

Best for ages 9 to 11

40

Wonder

Wonder

by R.J. Palacio
ISBN: 9780375869020

Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.

Best for ages 9 to 11

41

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time

by Madeleine L'Engle
ISBN: 9780374386139

Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.

Best for ages 9 to 11

42

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak
ISBN: 9780375831003

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

Best for ages 12 and up

43

Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia

by Katherine Paterson
ISBN: 9780690013597

All summer, Jess pushed himself to be the fastest boy in the fifth grade, and when the year's first school-yard race was run, he was going to win. But his victory was stolen by a newcomer, by a girl, one who didn't even know enough to stay on the girls' side of the playground. Then, unexpectedly, Jess finds himself sticking up for Leslie, for the girl who breaks rules and wins races. The friendship between the two grows as Jess guides the city girl through the pitfalls of life in their small, rural town, and Leslie draws him into the imaginary world of magic and ceremony called Terabithia. Here, Leslie and Jess rule supreme among the oaks and evergreens, safe from the bullies and ridicule of the mundane world. Safe until an unforeseen tragedy forces Jess to reign in Terabithia alone, and both worlds are forever changed. In this poignant, beautifully rendered novel, Katherine Paterson weaves a powerful story of friendship and courage.

Best for ages 12 and up

44

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars

by John Green
ISBN: 9780525478812

Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life. Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named

Best for ages 12 and up

45

The Harry Potter (series)

The Harry Potter (series)

by J.K. Rowling
ISBN: 9780590353403

Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Best for ages 12 and up

46

The Hunger Games trilogy

The Hunger Games trilogy

by Suzanne Collins
ISBN: 9780439023481

In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.

Best for ages 12 and up

47

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

by C.S. Lewis
ISBN: 9780060556501

Four English schoolchildren find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magic land of Narnia and assist Aslan, the golden lion, to triumph over the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter.

Best for ages 12 and up

48

Monster

Monster

by Walter Dean Myers
ISBN: 9780060280772

While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

Best for ages 12 and up

49

The Outsiders

The Outsiders

by S.E. Hinton
ISBN: 9780670532575

The struggle of three brothers to stay together after their parent's death and their quest for identity among the conflicting values of their adolescent society.

Best for ages 12 and up

50

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

by Anne Brasheres
ISBN: 9780385729338

Four best girlfriends spend the biggest summer of their lives enchanted by a magical pair of pants.

Best for ages 12 and up


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