141 responses

  1. Shiloh
    April 22, 2013

    I think this is the best list of it’s kind that I’ve seen yet. (Goodness, that sounds a little spammy.) Most lists have a bunch of books I’ve never read, or specifically chosen not to read, and missed some of the really good ones. You have a few of those, but you have SOO many good books that I love, and quite a few that sound like things I want to read and have my kids read. I also love the Emily books by LM Montgomery, and Gene STratton Porter is also a great choice for older kids. Especially Freckles.
    Thanks so much!

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      April 22, 2013

      Ooooh! Which ones did I include that you chose not to read?

      Reply

  2. Cathy @ NurtureStore
    April 22, 2013

    Such a great list Tara and a wonderful resource to have to use with my girls. Glad Paddington made the list 🙂

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      April 22, 2013

      I think I was confused the first time, thinking that Paddington was a picture book instead of a chapter book.

      Reply

  3. Lisa M
    April 23, 2013

    You should consider including “The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread” by Kate DiCamillo. I read it to my 7-year-old twin boys who just loved it. We did have to have some discussion about the poor servant girl with “cauliflower” ears, so that was a little uncomfortable. We did not see the movie.

    Also, my boys loved “The BFG” by Roald Dahl, particularly the made-up words the BFG used. It was quirky and perfect for boys – lots of action and giants eating people and whatnot.
    Lisa

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      April 24, 2013

      We’ll look for those. Thanks!

      Reply

  4. Debbie N
    April 23, 2013

    I love children’s book lists! This one is filled with many of my favorites. If I could add any (that I didn’t notice on the list), I would definitely add The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis), Where the Red Fern Grows (Wilson Rawls), The Railway Children (E. Nesbit), The Magic Faraway Tree (Enid Blyton), The Black Stallion (Walter Farley), The Hobbit (Tolkien), Swallows and Amazons (Arthur Ransome) and Little Lord Fauntleroy (Frances Hodgson Burnett). Some of those were childhood favorites, and some I only discovered in recent years.

    Reply

    • Kelly
      April 24, 2013

      I whole heartedly agree with Debbie N’s additions! Where the Red Fern Grows was a favorite of mine…I still love it! Also, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Tayor (I would recommend that one for older children though as it deals with some hard situations with race in the deep south), Homer Price by Robert McClowski, Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace, Bound for Oregon by Jean Van Leeuwen, All of a Kind Family by Sidney Taylor, Ben and Me by Robert Lawson, Sarah Witcher’s Story (based on a true story) by Elizabeth Yates, Stone Fox by John Renolds Gardiner, Gone Away Lake By Elizabeth Enright, The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner, In Grandma’s Attic by Arleta Richardson, A Dog Called Kitty by Bill Wallace, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson.

      Most of these were favorites of mine growing up, some I have discovered with my children. All are well written. Highly recommend adding these to your list with your daughters.

      Reply

      • Tara Ziegmont
        April 24, 2013

        Thanks for all the great suggestions! I was sure Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry was on the list; I’m not sure why I took it off. I remember writing a summary for it! I haven’t heard of any of the others before, but I’ll be sure to check them out. Thanks!

        Reply

      • Christina Taylor
        June 13, 2014

        So many of your 101 are sitting on my shelf waiting to be shared with my littles!!!! Definitely find A Dog Called Kitty.. You’ll love it. I also loved reading 5 Little Peppers (And How They Grew), and Second-Hand Magic is a must read! There are so many good books, so little time!! I want to read as many to my kids as possible before they prefer to read alone!

        Reply

      • Haley
        April 27, 2013

        All wonderful books; I’ve read and loved most of them. Castle in the Attic was a favorite, and ALL the American Girls as well.

        Others I would include:

        *Maniac McGee — for older kids, since it deals with white/black friendships in America, but it is an EXCELLENT book.

        *The Chronicles of Prydain, by Lloyd Alexander (particularly The Black Cauldron and Taran Wanderer) — also older, but sooooo sooo soo good. Welsh-based fantasy story and coming of age, and there are moments that will probably bring tears.

        *Time Cat — Lloyd Alexander. Gareth the cat has 9 lives, meaning that he can take his human to visit 9 different places and times. I loved this as a kid and I still love it.

        *The Westing Game — a murder mystery. Super, super fun whodunit and really clever.

        *King of the Wind, by Marguerite Henry — about a stableboy for a Sultan and one remarkable young horse. I enjoyed this one growing up.

        *Second the motion for All of A Kind Family! — about a Jewish family on New York’s Upper East Side at the turn of the century. It’s sweet and charming.

        One thing I will say about reading this list, I hadn’t realized that Hundred Dresses was written in the 1940s. Knowing that actually makes it more powerful. Wanda’s family is Polish (“No more call ‘polack”), and if the setting is in the 1940s and not earlier, they would have immigrated after WWII. As in, after surviving the Holocaust (the Reich planned to exterminate Poles as they had done Jews, just over a 50 year period instead of immediately). And then the girls treat her so badly and she’s so nice to them back GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

        Way to go, the LIST made me cry! I hope you’re happy!

        It is a wonderful list though so two thumbs way up.

        Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      April 24, 2013

      I swear I had Where the Red Fern Grows, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry on the list. They must have gotten lost in a save or something. At any rate, thanks for the suggestions! I’ll have to compile all of the additions into another list. 🙂

      Reply

      • Kelly
        April 24, 2013

        Another great one I forgot to add to the list (seriously, where is my brain? I JUST finished reading this one with my kiddos.) is Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. And all of the Thornton Burgess animal books are great as well, especially for younger children just starting to sit still for chapter books!

        Reply

    • Katheryn
      May 8, 2017

      The Railway Children!!! By E. Nesbit!!

      Reply

  5. Suzanne
    April 23, 2013

    What a great list! Reading over it felt almost like visiting with long-lost friends. My mother was a librarian, so I was around books ALL THE TIME. I can’t remember when she started reading these books to me, I was so young; and I continued reading them (more like gobbling them up) for myself as soon as I was able. I am making note of the few books on here that I haven’t read so I can get them and read them as soon as possible. Thanks for such an inspiring post!

    Reply

  6. April 24, 2013

    I’ve read all but 2 on your list and can so appreciate how hard it is to make a list of ONLY 101 books. There are just so many that I enjoy reading for myself and to the kids. I’m especially a big fan of read-alouds that are older but classic – Magic by the Lake, Last of the Really Great Whangdoodle, Mixed up Files, Pippi, etc. Such a nice list – so many books, so little time 🙂

    Reply

  7. Nichole
    April 24, 2013

    What a great list! My daughter is in second grade, and she *loves* Ramona.

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      April 24, 2013

      Thank you 🙂

      Reply

  8. Virginia
    April 24, 2013

    I wouldn’t compare to Harry Potter, though. I read these aloud with 3 different kids, and they are such a feast of sheer laughter…so fun! Lemony Snicket is brilliant at connecting with kids. These are dark tales but so incredible, and so funny. His vocabulary lessons are also very funny. If you just give one to a youngster and let them read it, you will miss all the fun. And they may as well, if their comprehension level isn’t ready.

    Where the Red Fern Grows is so good, it will enchant and even make you cry. And Despereaux? I’d read that again and again for it’s beauty! Can’t wait to read it to my youngest granddaughter.

    Reply

  9. Nellie
    April 24, 2013

    Jumped over here from the Equipping Women in Business Page! Thanks for creating this book list! So many my children have read but so many we need to check out of the library still left on the list!

    Reply

  10. Dawn
    April 25, 2013

    Great list. I am always looking for a good book for my kids to read. Many of the books have been read by my girls. Those that they haven’t read are now on their list to read. Thanks

    Reply

  11. NinaBean
    April 26, 2013

    Many great choices thank you. I would have to add Summer Of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls and Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli.

    Reply

  12. Samantha
    April 26, 2013

    The Tale of Despereaux is REALLY GOOD!! I love Holes, Mouse & The Motorcycle, Number the Stars, and I LOVE the Whipping Boy. It has some excellent lessons. I LOVE the series “Girls to the Rescue” by Bruce Lansky. Each book contains a collection of stories, – fairytales, fables, and true stories, of GIRLS being the heroes in unique circumstances. I LOVE this series!! (For younger readers, about the same level as Number the Stars)
    I need to read a lot of the books on this list..I have faint memories of “100 Dresses” but that was WAY long ago.
    (PS – one good story is I Am David by Anne Holm. It is about a young boy who escaped from a 1950s labor camp, explores the world around him, and finds God through a unique series of events. It is well-written, has lifelong lessons, inspiring characters, and a thrilling storyline!

    Reply

  13. ConnieFoggles
    April 26, 2013

    Happy to say that I’ve read a lot of these books and have read them to my daughters. It’s so hard to find a favorite, but The Borrowers, The Wind in the Willows, Matilda and The Little House on the Prairie Series are on the top of my list. I liked to read books that had characters of other cultures (I’m white) and mix up fiction and non-fiction.

    Reply

  14. Jessica @FoundtheMarbles
    April 27, 2013

    LOVE this list. Thank so much for sharing it.

    Reply

  15. Melissa
    April 27, 2013

    There are so many wonderful titles! I was wondering/hoping you or another of your readers could help me find a book from childhood since everyone is so versed.

    I can’t remember the title or author, and I remember reading it in elementary school – roughly 1980 – 82. It begins with a girl and her little brother in the botanical gardens/zoo looking at the flowers on a very hot summer day. They are bored and looking for a place to cool off. The brother picks one of the flowers and they are chased out of the gardens by the groundskeeper. They end up in the museum because it’s cool there and find an exhibit of an old log cabin. It’s behind glass so they can’t touch anything. The girl gets a headache from the smell of the flower in the close space and crushes the flower against the glass. Suddenly the glass disappears and they’ve traveled back in time to pilgrim times and they have these great adventures.

    Someone please tell me they remember this.

    Reply

    • Corinna Mansfield
      November 22, 2013

      I’ve been trying to find this book for a long time!!! I can’t remember the name or the author either!!!!

      Reply

      • Mhairi
        March 15, 2014

        Have you tried this site. Although I have never posted a query on here I do use it to find books that I can remember but not the titles. If you use your find tab and type in some words you might find the book you are looking for: http://www.loganberrybooks.com/solved-c.html

        Reply

  16. Shana D
    April 28, 2013

    Bookmarking this post because sadly there are a bunch of books on here that I have never read, Peter Pan being one of them. Thank you for sharing this list Tara.

    Reply

  17. Grace Hoover
    April 28, 2013

    Your information on The Secret Garden is a little off. It is Mary’s cousin who is weak and sickly, not Mary. Also the garden is not within the walls of the house, it is a locked, walled in garden outside (among many other walled in gardens left unlocked). It is a really beautiful story about choosing love and life over fear, anger and hatred.

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      April 29, 2013

      Thanks for setting me straight. 😉

      Reply

  18. Lynn
    April 28, 2013

    Like the list. My daughter really loves to read and has easily read half of these. I would add to it the Box Car Children.

    Reply

  19. Catherine
    April 29, 2013

    What a great list. I am always looking for chapter book ideas to read with my daughter. Thanks!

    Reply

  20. Meaghan
    April 29, 2013

    The BFG (big friendly giant) by Roald Dahl is another of my childhood favorites I didn’t see on this list

    Reply

  21. musingsfromme/jill
    April 30, 2013

    Amazingly thorough list! I recently did a clear out of books from my girls’ bedrooms. We are book readers so you can imagine that many books on your list were on their shelves. Faves…the Files of Ms Basil Frankwiler (I know I mangled this title!), Harriet the Spy, the Magic Treehouse, and the Indian in the Cupboard. Great list!!

    Reply

  22. Becca
    May 1, 2013

    Great list, but I’d highly recommend adding “Frindle” by Andrew Clements. I taught elementary school for 9 years and now have a masters degree in library science with am emphasis in children’s lit. It’s one of my all time favorites. Also, you might try the Emily series by L.M.Montgomery. 🙂

    Reply

  23. Laurie
    May 3, 2013

    Such a wonderful list. A couple of titles must be relatively new, because I don’t recognize them, but overall, they bring back such great memories for me. I can’t wait to start introducing some of these titles to my grandson. We still have many of these books packed away from my kids’ days of reading. I’m glad others suggested some of the titles I hoped/expected to see on your list.

    An author I never seem to see on lists like this, but I really think should be is Zilpher Keatley Snyder. She wrote the Egypt Game and my very favorite, the Velvet Room. I don’t remember how many times I read that book when I was young. Many of her books are no longer in print, but I awhile back, I managed to special order many of the titles for my own kids and I have them all on a shelf, waiting for my grandson. When I was a children’s librarian, I made sure the school had a copy of each one I could find. It wasn’t long before the kids were borrowing them.

    Thanks for the list

    Reply

    • Sam Murdock
      February 19, 2015

      Oooh, I love Zilpher Keatley Snyder and The Egypt Game was one of my favorite books as a kid. My daughter is into the Ramona books right now, and she also just read Logic Lotty and really liked that one. Love this list!!!

      Reply

  24. Christie
    May 14, 2013

    This is a wonderful list; and I “second” many of the suggestions listed in the comments =) Another great one to add is Naya Nuki. It’s the story of the Shoshone girl who was kidnapped at the same time as Sacajawea. Except that instead of being sold and married to a fur trader, she was enslaved by another Indian tribe 1000+ miles from home. And at the age of ~12, she escaped and survived a solo-trip home. There is a very happy ending to this one, and my boys never wanted me to stop reading!

    Reply

  25. Maria LaBarbera
    May 18, 2013

    A great one i would include is the Girl Who Could Fly, wonderful and unexpected. Also, the I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis, a Skype visit with her is worth every penny.

    Reply

  26. Deb Mishler
    May 26, 2013

    Great list Tara! I just found 3 Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books at a yard sale that Seth is enjoying. I hadn’t heard of them before but thought I’d seen them on your list so I picked them up and I’m really glad I did. They kind of remind me of the old Uncle Wiggily books I read growing up. :O)

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      May 27, 2013

      I don’t know Uncle Wiggly, but that Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is awesome. Will Jordan sit, too, or just Seth?

      Reply

      • Deb Mishler
        May 27, 2013

        Oh yes, Jordan likes them just as much!

        Reply

  27. Emily
    June 1, 2013

    Stone Fox is another great chapter book. I read it to my second grade class this year and they loved it.

    Reply

  28. Christine
    June 2, 2013

    “that” Julie Andrews Edwards also wrote one of my very favorite books called “Mandy”. I also love the author Andrew Clements. Most of the books I’ve read by him were awesome-Frindle, No Talking, Things Not Seen… Perhaps not for the youngest ones as well.
    Thanks for the list from this mom and 3rd grade teacher!

    Reply

    • rushingtoread
      June 14, 2013

      I was a fifth grade teacher, and Andrew Clements is also one of my favorites! Definitely recommend Frindle and Extra Credit as amazing reads!

      Reply

  29. Erin
    June 5, 2013

    What a great list! Would love to see some Madeleine L’Engle books on there – A Wrinkle in Time, any of the Austin family series (in particular, A Ring of Endless Light). Thanks for putting this together – I’d completely forgotten some of them, and I’m glad to be reminded!

    Reply

  30. Audrye
    June 8, 2013

    Thank you, thank you for recommending Ella Enchanted. It was my favorite book as a teen & I still enjoy it now at 26. 🙂 The movie was such a poor representation of the book.

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      June 10, 2013

      Isn’t that always the case? 😉

      Reply

  31. Lynne
    June 12, 2013

    I have only read five. ;(

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      June 12, 2013

      That’s okay! It’s not too late to read a sixth. 🙂

      Reply

  32. Maria LaBarbera
    June 12, 2013

    Thanks for the list! It’s a good one. It inspired me to post the “suggested summer reading list” I made on my library website for the summer. It’s a list based on my opinion. 🙂 I finished a book called “Dovey Coe” today that is worth a read.

    Reply

  33. Angeles
    June 21, 2013

    First, thanks for this list – it’s filled with books I loved, read and re-read, and have read to my daughter. She’s 17 now, but I think there are a couple we’re going to check out and read aloud to one another anyway. 🙂

    Secondly, your link within this post that’s supposed to go to the chapter books links right back to this post. Bummer.

    Reply

  34. Inez Kelley
    June 22, 2013

    What a fabulous list and brought back so many memories. I loved Peter Pan, The Little Princess, Harriet the Spy and many of these growing up. I would also add Old Yeller and The House Without a Christmas Tree to your list.

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      June 23, 2013

      Oh, Old Yeller. I left that one off on purpose. I know a lot of people like it, but I can’t handle the trauma of the shooting even as an adult. I’ll have to look for The House Without a Christmas, though! Thanks for the recommendation!

      Reply

  35. Megan
    June 24, 2013

    This is a great list and I love the additional suggestions as well. I didn’t read them all but I didn’t see Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis mentioned. I taught upper elementary school for 12 years and this was my favorite read aloud. It is such a fantastic book. I am a big fan of this author in general but this book is my favorite.

    Reply

  36. Ashley
    June 26, 2013

    I love this list! Have you ever read Fantastic Mr. Fox? My 2nd graders looooove it!

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      June 26, 2013

      No, I’ve never seen it. Who’s the author?

      Reply

  37. Patty
    June 30, 2013

    I’m so glad Miss Hickory made the list. I thought I was the only person who really enjoyed this sweet book.

    Reply

  38. Shayna
    July 2, 2013

    I am 32 and read “Out of my Mind” last year when I picked it up at thrift shop. The book is absolutely fantastic. Makes you stop and think twice about the person that you see that is incredibly physically handicapped. Many people don’t realize their mind can be sharp.

    I have a book suggestion, but it’s for much older children, like teenagers: “13 Reasons Why” by Jay Asher.

    Reply

  39. emily
    July 3, 2013

    I love the list! And I second (or third) many of the comments.

    The Westing Game
    Zilpha Keatley Snider
    Boxcar Children
    A Wrinkle in Time

    I’d also suggest some books by Anne Lindbergh (my favorite people “The People in PIneapple Place”: http://www.amazon.com/People-Pineapple-Place-Anne-Lindbergh/dp/1567924115

    And my favorite, still of all time: “The Diamond in the Window.” http://www.amazon.com/Diamond-Window-Hall-Family-Chronicles/dp/0064400425

    Reply

  40. Heather @ A Nurse’s Wildflowers
    July 12, 2013

    This is an awesome list! I have been scouring the web for good books for my 5th grade daughter and this is going to be a very helpful list. I am wondering if you know of a resource that alerts parents to possible conflicts to family beliefs? Like if a book would be suitable for a child raised in a Christian home?

    Thanks again! Looks like this took a lot of work:)

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      July 15, 2013

      That’s a tough one, Heather. I don’t know of any sites like that. It would be tough to write because every Christian family has different preferences. For instance, I allow fantasy stories with magic, but not anything with sexual themes. Some families in my church have much stricter guidelines. I think your best bet is to read the book before you let your daughter read it.

      Reply

      • Kristy
        August 27, 2014

        Focus on the Family’s website gives content reviews of books, and movies for parents. – Profanity/ violence/ sex/ etc.

        http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/protecting_your_family/book_reviews_for_parents.aspx#ss-complete

        Reply

      • Linda
        October 1, 2014

        I agree with the suggestion to read it yourself first if you think you might have concerns about a book…..but, what better place to read a book that may have differing opinions than your own than snuggled up together with your child and in a place where you can safely have a conversation about the topics. Your child will encounter opposing ideas sooner or later when you’re not around. I think having had a conversation with the parent allows them the freedom to ask questions in a “safe” environment and prepares them for conversations away from home.

        Reply

  41. kristy
    July 25, 2013

    I love this list. Perhaps an additional hundred could be added with all the suggestions! My daughter and I really loved The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. The story of a glass rabbit and his journey from owner to owner.

    Reply

  42. Patricia
    August 7, 2013

    LOL, you had me at hating the fairy series. I KNOW of which you speak. I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one trying to get their daughters to turn to other options. My kids love the Mr. Putter series by Cynthia Rylant (beginning readers) and the Boxcar Children. Which fortunately has a ton in that series.

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      August 10, 2013

      I have a little secret. I let my daughter get one of the fairy books out of the library – I told her she could have her dad read it to her at bedtime. And he’s reading it! (She tried to read it on her own, but she’s not quite able to yet.) She quit hounding me about the books, and I didn’t have to read it. Score! 😉

      Reply

  43. Jenny
    August 7, 2013

    I’ve got to add the original Boxcar Children book. That is my favorite book ever and my daughter loved when I read it to her as well.

    Reply

  44. Jeremy
    August 7, 2013

    This is a great list–one I’ll bookmark and refer to when we are looking for something to read.

    I concur with your librarian that Bunnicula is good. I’d be careful with Nancy Drew. Some of them are good, but the quality is uneven. Like the Hardy Boys books, the early ones were better than the later ones, and the new series are plain awful. Kids who like mystery/detective books would also like Sherlock Holmes.

    Reply

  45. Leon Shivamber
    August 7, 2013

    What a fantastic list. Glad to see so many of them on the list that I enjoyed as a child. Thank you!

    Reply

  46. Emily S
    August 7, 2013

    Great list! Thanks for sharing. I would also recommend The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall. Charming stories about a charming family. Great read aloud.

    Reply

  47. Mary Rynsburger
    August 8, 2013

    Thank you for this great list! My daughter and I are looking for some new reads. We (or she) have read a lot of these books and I we have loved them too.

    We also really loved The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (I read them to her, and they inspired such great discussion!) And some of my favorite reads have been the American Girl History Mysteries (stand-alone books, there are 22 in the collection–not the ones associated with the Historical Character dolls), those were such a great way to discuss the history of our country.

    Thanks again!

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      August 10, 2013

      American Girl History Mysteries? I’m going to look for those. I think my daughter would love them!

      Reply

  48. Barbara Mojica
    August 17, 2013

    This is a fantastic list. Proud to say that I have read 85 of these…..

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      August 20, 2013

      I think that’s more than I’ve read. Way to go!

      Reply

  49. Fran
    September 2, 2013

    Great list! I noticed lots of classics that I read when I was younger and which my own children have enjoyed reading. If you are interested in adding to the list, I highly recommend the children’s novel, The Bloody Book Bag Ordeal, by C. Maguire. It is hilarious. My girls loved it!

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      September 3, 2013

      Thanks for the tip!

      Reply

  50. Emily Elliott
    September 4, 2013

    Thank you so much for this list. My 4 year old and I are heading to the library this week to start our reading adventure. I would like to recommend The Giver by Lois Lowry. It is an emotionally deep book that opens discussion on a myriad of social topics. A must for reading with older children. I read it in the 5th grade (without a parent) but did not fully begin to comprehend many of the issues discussed until much older. I am a Christian and believe this is a great book for discussing God’s plan for the world and how we can distort this plan when we separate our lives/societies from His good will.

    Reply

  51. Cathy
    September 29, 2013

    I love this list – I’m a 5th grade teacher and am always looking for read-alouds that will keep the interest of boys and girls. I would also add Frindle and Wrinkle in Time

    Reply

  52. Marcella
    October 3, 2013

    Thank you for all of your time putting together such a wonderful list! My mother read many of these books to us 7 children when we were young. I am trying to do the same for my sweet kids. We are starting The Swiss Family Robinson this week! I am so grateful for your hard work. It has helped me to increase our book list of must reads. I could not remember several of the titles of the books Mom had read to us, but I remembered the stories. You helped me find many of them! Thanks

    Reply

  53. Susannah
    October 8, 2013

    Love this list. I also love The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett and The Giver by Lois Lowry.

    Reply

  54. Susannah
    October 8, 2013

    Oh and I loved A single Shard by Linda Sue Park.

    Reply

  55. Laura
    March 16, 2014

    This brings back some memories. I loved Freckle Juice – but back then I loved everything Judy Blume wrote. I was excited to see Nancy Drew on here and was surprised not to see the Hardy Boys, I loved both of them.

    Thanks for this post. I’ll be saving it for future reference.

    Reply

  56. Jacqui B
    May 19, 2014

    Love the list. Another book you might want to consider is Hitty — Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field. Hitty is a very small wooden doll with a perpetual smile who was carved in the early 1800s out of mountain-ash (for good luck) by a kindly peddler and given to the young daughter of a New England sea captain. This charming story is told in the first person by Hitty. During her first century as a toy she survives incredible dangers, countless owners (not all nice little girls, either) and numerous narrow escapes. Such a good book. I actually first read this as an adult and loved it!

    Reply

    • Eric
      June 6, 2014

      This book sounds like it was the inspirration for The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.

      Reply

  57. Patty Rose
    June 11, 2014

    A little known book that I have always loved is MVP by Douglas Evans. My third graders loved it all six years I taught! http://smile.amazon.com/MVP-Magellan-Project-Douglas-Evans/dp/1590786254/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402540403&sr=8-1&keywords=mvp+by+douglas+evans

    Every kid’s dream is to be named as the most valuable player. But how many ever dream that the game is a race around the world (no flying allowed) in just forty days? That’s the challenge Adam faces in the great Global game. As the player for the Magellan Voyage Project, he competes against others for a four-million dollar prize! Trackers with blowguns and a nefarious baron don’t make things easy. The winner and nominee for many state readers choice awards including the Nutmeg Award, the Sunshine State Award, and the Rebecca Caudill Award

    Reply

  58. Amy Riggan
    June 13, 2014

    This is a great list! If you haven’t read, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, stop what you are doing and find yourself a copy! It is an incredible story of a porcelain rabbit and the people that love him. This book always ranks as one of my 4th graders favorites.

    Reply

  59. Jen
    July 13, 2014

    Great list! Just a FYI – Cheaper By The Dozen discusses birth control and preachers “pinching rear ends” – albeit in a humorous way, but not something everyone might be ready to discuss with their kiddos. We stopped reading it. Thanks again for all the great books!

    Reply

  60. Danealle
    August 21, 2014

    Soany of these are awesome! And I second many of the add ons in the comments, the only one I didnt see that I would add is the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede.

    Reply

  61. Jeanne
    August 21, 2014

    Loved your list and have read many with my daughter and younger son. Since you have daughters, I can say that the Historical American Girl Series books are all really good and my daughter had read and re-read many of the ones we read together when she was younger.

    Although they have been mentioned by others I have to put in a special plug for the Besty-Tacy Series (10 books in total) and we’ve read them all starting in kindergarten and finishing at the end of 4th grade. They are just super and so fun we’ve read many three and four times.

    And the All of a Kind Family series as well. My daughter just loved them and was so interested in the lives and customs of the turn-of-the-century Jewish family.

    Excited to see Ginger Pye on the list. I am reading this with my son and it is so good as all the Eleanor Estes books we’ve tried have been (The Moffats).

    Reply

  62. Sherri LaFever
    August 22, 2014

    We’ve read many of these books as well as several of the ones mentioned. My kids all loved to be read to and they would all bring books to read in the car (either by me or by themselves) when we traveled. I so miss those days. Waiting for some future grandchildren to be born so I can read these stories again.

    Reply

  63. Dawn
    August 22, 2014

    This list made my day! I love so many of these books- The Witch of Blackbord Pond is still my favorite book of all time. I agree that this is the best compilation of children’s books I’ve seen. I won’t repeat suggestions that I’ve already seen, but I will recommend Little Women and My Friend Flicka.

    Reply

  64. Annette H
    August 23, 2014

    There were at least two that were forgotten… Where The Red Fern Grows and Old Yeller. No child should be denied the priviledge of these stories. (Yes, I cried and had to have a 10 year old read some parts!)

    Reply

  65. Abby
    September 2, 2014

    Great list! The ones I would add are Princess Academy, The hobbit and Skellig. I adored and reread all three. Also the Harry Potter series since I grew up with it and I am so excited to read it to my daughter.

    Reply

    • Abby
      September 3, 2014

      Thought of more! The Midwife’s Apprentice, takes place in the middle ages about a girl who through a series of events ends up apprenticed to a midwife. Something Upstairs by Avi is scary but so good and goes into some of the history of Rhode Island.

      Reply

  66. holly
    September 18, 2014

    I think the only thing on this list thats missing is the dude books. I loved them in 3rd/4th grade

    Reply

  67. Kel
    September 18, 2014

    Favorites I would add: Tanglewood Secret and others by Patricia St. John; The Bonze Bow; and an old one, Teddy’s Button. Great list!

    Reply

  68. Wendy
    September 27, 2014

    Any chance that you have this list in a pdf format?

    Reply

  69. Tyler
    September 30, 2014

    Stellar list, but definitely more geared to girls. I would add (for boys) at least one “Choose your own adventure” book, and at least one sports book by Matt Christopher.

    Reply

  70. Heather Johnson
    October 1, 2014

    I have to say that Beezus and Ramona was the first book in the series not Ramona and Her Father. It’s a great series though.

    Reply

  71. Carmela
    October 5, 2014

    I’ve just read & enjoyed your list of 101 children’s books. If you & you daughter enjoy Laura Ingalls Wilder, you will likely also enjoy Understood Betsy by Elizabeth Canfield Fisher. It was written in the early 1900s, set in Vermont & one of my all-time favorites.

    Reply

  72. Jessie
    December 15, 2014

    I’ve read quite a few of these books. Good list. Just so you know Nancy Drew is 18 not a little girl. And I think Misty of Chincoteague is based on actual events.

    Reply

  73. Marsha
    February 22, 2015

    Can I get the list emailed to me so I can print it without all the comments?

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      February 23, 2015

      You’re welcome to copy and paste the text into a word document for easier printing, or you can use the Print button at the bottom of the post. If you do that, select to print only pages 1-9. That will give you the text of the post without the comments.

      Reply

  74. Bo
    July 5, 2015

    HARRY POTTER!!!!!

    Reply

  75. Nataly Lozano
    March 9, 2016

    A great book to consider is “Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls. I read it to my fourth grade students every year towards the end of the year (It was read to me by a teacher in elementary school). It is a great book to finish the year with and inspire them to always do their best.

    Reply

    • Emily
      May 22, 2016

      Such a beautiful book! I can barely make it through the first chapter without starting to cry.

      Reply

  76. Sara
    March 26, 2016

    Hi! I’m a 23 year old bookworm and I just had to add a book to the list. I can’t remember exactly what it’s about but it’s still my all time favorite book. The court of the stone children. I can’t remember the author, but it is amazing. It starts off a little slow but it’s definitely worth it.

    Reply

  77. SE
    May 17, 2016

    Ok list. Not very diverse though. There are so many fabulous books by people of color that should always be considered so that children learn that their own world is not the whole world.

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      May 17, 2016

      Would you care to offer any suggestions?

      Reply

  78. Emily
    May 22, 2016

    Some great titles here. You might check out The All-of-a-Kind Family. It’s about five Jewish sisters living with their family in New York in the early 1900s. The sisters especially love going to the library. I loved the book as a girl.

    A few other suggestions I would make: The Westing Game and The Mysterious Benedict Society series for elementary kids. For younger ones, the Amelia Bedelia series.

    I have to ding you a little bit on the Secret Garden, though. It may not be to your taste, but I think you oversimplified the plot. The story is much richer and more nuanced than your description suggests. The garden becomes the change agent in a story that is really about a spoiled girl learning to care about other people.

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      May 22, 2016

      I very recently listened to The Secret Garden audiobook, and it was my new favorite audiobook ever. I truly loved that story and have been meaning to rewrite what I wrote here.

      Reply

      • Emily
        May 22, 2016

        Hooray!

        Reply

  79. Chantha
    December 19, 2016

    I love your list! Which of these books do you recommend for boys? I have yet to find a book that he loves or wants to read just another chapter. I will try to go through this list with him.

    Reply

    • Courtney
      December 24, 2017

      My boy is very into Ivy and Bean. Not the best books, not junk in my opinion either, but it opened the door for us to read other chapter books with him. From Ivy and Bean we went to Boxcar Children, and then others on this list.
      I don’t recommend How to Train Your Dragon. That is one case where in my opinion the movie is better than the book.

      Reply

  80. Sarah Katherine
    August 10, 2017

    I love this list! Lots of favorites and solid good books. The additions in the comments were also so good. I wholeheartedly second The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall! She hits the nail on the head with her kid-personalities. You could also add Redwall by Brian Jacques- a great series that boys love (but, as a girl, I love it too). I would also add The Cay. It provokes thoughts about race and disability.

    I recently read Harriet the Spy and thought she was a mean snoop who couldn’t learn from her own mistakes. I really don’t understand why it’s on every kid book list.

    Really, anything by Gail Carson Levine is great. And the Fantastick Mr. Fox is by Roald Dahl.

    Make a 2nd List!!!

    Reply

    • Tara Ziegmont
      August 10, 2017

      Funny you should mention Harriet the Spy. I just reread Pippi Longstocking and hated it. She made me think of one of those know it alls who lies to make everything so much cooler than it really is.

      Reply

  81. Susan
    January 4, 2018

    There are many beloved books on your list. I’d suggest removing Indian in the Cupboard and Island of the Blue Dolphins, as they are really offensive. You might want to add in some books about non-white people, like Louise Erdrich’s books or Christopher Paul Curtis’ books.

    Reply

  82. Ann
    May 31, 2018

    I’m so glad you included Summer of the Monkeys to this fantastic list. I’ve read it every year to my fourth graders and still cry at the end. Love it!! Great list. I’ll look forward to trying out a few of them this coming school year.

    Reply

  83. Julie Anne Peters
    June 19, 2018

    Tara, Wonderful list!

    about Pippi Longstocking…

    I enjoyed the story. It is very much as I remember from when our grade school teacher read to our class. however, fifty plus years has added a reality check to receiving the information. I have to remind myself that this is for children and they have the ability to dream across the universe. I am going to share this with my children.

    Reply

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