Jump to content

Recommended Children's Books


Recommended Posts

Here are some juvenile series that are really popular right now. I understand completely that many of you will say "WTF! That's not good literature!" and you would be right. The problem is that many young people stop reading for pleasure at around 10 or 11, especially boys. There's just too much competition with video games, movies, TV..you know what I mean. A lot of people (myself included) hold to the theory that if we can just keep them reading, even if it's not great literature, they will eventually make reading a habit that continues on through high school and young adulthood.

For those of you who would still prefer to spend your money on what is traditionally considered "good literature" (and I don't blame you), I've included lists of the Newbery and Caldecott award books. The Newbery Award is given to the best children's literature each year. The Caldecott is awarded to the best picture book each year. I'm sure you'll recognize many of the titles on both lists.

Popular Series: You can google the series name and author just as it appears below and find hundreds of titles that elementary children will enjoy.

A-Z Mysteries – Roy (juvenile)

Series of Unfortunate Events – Snicket

Captain Underpants – Pilkey

Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot Series – Pilkey

The Magic Treehouse – Osborne

Charlie Bone Series – Nimmo

Warriors Series – Hunter

Diamond Brothers Mystery Series – Horowitz

Chet Gecko Mysterys Series – Hale

The Land of Elyon Series – Carman

The Sisters Grimm Series – Buckley

Secrets of Droon series – Abbott

American Girl series –

Various authors and various genres (historical fiction, mystery)

Amber Brown series - Danziger

Dear America – various authors (historical fiction)

Dear Dragon series – Hillert (Juvenile easy)

The Royal Diaries – various authors (Juvenile historical fiction)


2007: The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron

2006: Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins

2005: Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

2004: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo

2003: Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi

2002: A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

2001: A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck

2000: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

1999: Holes by Louis Sachar

1998: Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

1997: The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg

1996: The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman

1995: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

1994: The Giver by Lois Lowry

1993: Missing May by Cynthia Rylant

1992: Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

1991: Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

1990: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

1989: Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman

1988: Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman

1987: The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman

1986: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

1985: The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

1984: Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary

1983: Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt

1982: A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard

1981: Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson

1980: A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-1832 by Joan W. Blos

1979: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

1978: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

1977: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

1976: The Grey King by Susan Cooper

1975: M. C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton

1974: The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox

1973: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

1972: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien

1971: Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars

1970: Sounder by William H. Armstrong

1969: The High King by Lloyd Alexander

1968: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

1967: Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt

1966: I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino

1965: Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska

1964: It's Like This, Cat by Emily Neville

1963: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

1962: The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

1961: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

1960: Onion John by Joseph Krumgold

1959: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

1958: Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith

1957: Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorenson

1956: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham

1955: The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong

1954: ...And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold

1953: Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark

1952: Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes

1951: Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates

1950: The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli

1949: King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry

1948: The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois

1947: Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

1946: Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski

1945: Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson

1944: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

1943: Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray

1942: The Matchlock Gun by Walter Edmonds

1941: Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry

1940: Daniel Boone by James Daugherty

1939: Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright

1938: The White Stag by Kate Seredy

1937: Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer

1936: Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

1935: Dobry by Monica Shannon

1934: Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women by Cornelia Meigs

1933: Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Lewis

1932: Waterless Mountain by Laura Adams Armer

1931: The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth

1930: Hitty, Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field

1929: The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly

1928: Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon by Dhan Gopal Mukerji

1927: Smoky, the Cowhorse by Will James

1926: Shen of the Sea by Arthur Bowie Chrisman

1925: Tales from Silver Lands by Charles Finger

1924: The Dark Frigate by Charles Hawes

1923: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting

1922: The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon


2007: Flotsam, by David Wiesner

· 2006: The Hello, Goodbye Window ,by Norton Juster; illus. by Chris Raschka

· 2005: Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

· 2004: The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein

· 2003: My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann

· 2002: The Three Pigs by David Wiesner

· 2001: So You Want to Be President? Illustrated by David Small; text by Judith St. George

· 2000: Joseph Had a Little Overcoat Simms Taback

· 1999: Snowflake Bentley, Illustrated by Mary Azarian; text by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

· 1998: Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky

· 1997: Golem by David Wisniewski

· 1996: Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann

· 1995: Smoky Night, illustrated by David Diaz; text: Eve Bunting

· 1994: Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say; text: edited by Walter Lorraine

· 1993: Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully

· 1992: Tuesday by David Wiesner

1991: Black and White by David Macaulay

· 1990: Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China by Ed Young

· 1989: Song and Dance Man, illustrated by Stephen Gammell; text: Karen Ackerman

· 1988: Owl Moon, illustrated by John Schoenherr; text: Jane Yolen

· 1987: Hey, Al, illustrated by Richard Egielski; text: Arthur Yorinks

· 1986: The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

· 1985: Saint George and the Dragon, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman; text: retold by Margaret Hodges

· 1984: The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot by Alice & Martin Provensen

· 1983: Shadow, translated and illustrated by Marcia Brown; original text in French: Blaise Cendrars

· 1982: Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

· 1981: Fables by Arnold Lobel

· 1980: Ox-Cart Man, illustrated by Barbara Cooney; text: Donald

· 1979: The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble

· 1978: Noah's Ark by Peter Spier

· 1977: Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions, illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon; text: Margaret Musgrove

· 1976: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears, illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon; text: retold by Verna Aardema

· 1975: Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott

· 1974: Duffy and the Devil, illustrated by Margot Zemach; retold by Harve Zemach

1973: The Funny Little Woman, illustrated by Blair Lent; text: retold by Arlene Mosel

· 1972: One Fine Day, retold and illustrated by Nonny Hogrogian

· 1971: A Story A Story, retold and illustrated by Gail E. Haley

· 1970: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

· 1969: The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, illustrated by Uri Shulevitz; text: retold by Arthur Ransome

· 1968: Drummer Hoff, illustrated by Ed Emberley; text: adapted by Barbara Emberley

· 1967: Sam, Bangs & Moonshine by Evaline Ness

· 1966: Always Room for One More, illustrated by Nonny Hogrogian; text: Sorche Nic Leodhas, pseud. [Leclair Alger]

· 1965: May I Bring a Friend? illustrated by Beni Montresor; text: Beatrice Schenk de Regniers

· 1964: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

· 1963: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

· 1962: Once a Mouse, retold and illustrated by Marcia Brown

· 1961: Baboushka and the Three Kings, illustrated by Nicolas Sidjakov; text: Ruth Robbins (Parnassus)

· 1960: Nine Days to Christmas, illustrated by Marie Hall Ets; text: Marie Hall Ets and Aurora Labastida

· 1959: Chanticleer and the Fox, illustrated by Barbara Cooney; text: adapted from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales by Barbara Cooney

· 1958: Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey

· 1957: A Tree Is Nice, illustrated by Marc Simont; text: Janice Udry

1956: Frog Went A-Courtin', illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky; text: retold by John Langstaff)

· 1955: Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper, illustrated by Marcia Brown; text: translated from Charles Perrault by Marcia Brown

· 1954: Madeline's Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans

· 1953: The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward

· 1952: Finders Keepers, illustrated by Nicolas, pseud. (Nicholas Mordvinoff); text: Will, pseud. [William Lipkind]

· 1951: The Egg Tree by Katherine Milhous

· 1950: Song of the Swallows by Leo Politi

· 1949: The Big Snow by Berta & Elmer Hader

· 1948: White Snow, Bright Snow, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin; text: Alvin Tresselt

· 1947: The Little Island, illustrated by Leonard Weisgard; text: Golden MacDonald, pseud. [Margaret Wise Brown]

· 1946: The Rooster Crows by Maude & Miska Petersham

· 1945: Prayer for a Child, illustrated by Elizabeth Orton Jones; text: Rachel Field

· 1944: Many Moons, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin; text: James Thurber

· 1943: The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

· 1942: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

· 1941: They Were Strong and Good, by Robert Lawson

· 1940: Abraham Lincoln by Ingri & Edgar Parin d'Aulaire

· 1939: Mei Li by Thomas Handforth

· 1938: Animals of the Bible, A Picture Book, illustrated by Dorothy P. Lathrop; text: selected by Helen Dean Fish

Misc. recommendations: I will add to this at whim. :)

The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Selznik

Anne of Green Gables - Montgomery

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not-a-librarian here, but I compiled a short list myself. I've taught early childhood for about 26 years. I have a personal library of over 200 children's books in my office. I selected a few of my favorites. I know I am slanted to the younger ages, but I tried to spread out my recommendations.

First let me say I second the David Macaulay and Weisner suggestion from Bookwhore. They are excellent for any age imho.

Also, I agree that even if not 'great literature' some of the series books out there right now are very popular and what you want is to foster the love of reading. Snicket and Pilkey are two that I hear about a lot.

Any books by Robert Munsch. Something Good and Paper Bag Princess are two of my favorites, but they are all good. Excellent for the older age children also.

George And The Dragon (not quite the story you expect) by Chris Wormell is wonderful for the 7-8 year olds.

And anything by Audrey Wood for the youngest. King Bidgood's In The Bathtub or The Napping House are both great.

Also any of the 'If You Give A...' series by Laura Joffe Numeroff. They are listed as ages 4-8, but those books sort of span all ages, same with any of the classics by Leo Lionni.

...and a big thank you to Bookwhore also. I'm a visual gal and I tend to be drawn to the Caldecott Award winners and sometimes skip over the Newberys. Nice to see such comprehensive lists. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not to be out done by my BFF! :lilredani:

The Nebraska Children's Choice Literary Award Winners.

Voted on by all public school students in the state.



1983 Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs Judi Barrett

1984 Miss Nelson Is Back Harry Allard

1985 Round Trip Ann Jonas

1986 Peabody Rosemary Wells

1987 Miss Nelson Has A Field Day Harry Allard

1988 Don't Touch My Room Patricia Lakin

1989 Piggins Jane Yolen

1990 The Magic School Bus: At The Waterworks Joanna Cole

1991 Tacky The Penguin Helen Lester

1992 The Talking Eggs Robert San Souci

1993 Riptide Frances Ward Weller

1994 The Rough-Face Girl Rafe Martin

1995 Martha Speaks Susan Meddaugh

1996 Soap! Soap! Don't Forget the Soap! Tom Birdseye

1997 John Henry Julius Lester

1998 The Toll-Bridge Troll Patricia Rae Wolf

1999 Rugby and Rosie Nan Parson Rossiter

2000 No Such Thing Jackie French Koller

2001 Bubba the Cowboy Prince Helen Ketteman

2002 The Grannyman Judith Byron Schachner

2003 Bedhead Margie Palatini

2004 Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream Deloris Jordan and

Roslyn M. Jordan

2005 Togo Robert Blake

2006 Substitute Teacher Plans Doug Johnson

2007 My Lucky Day Keiko Kasza



1981 Bunnicula James Howe

1982 Yours Till Niagara Falls, Abby Jane O'Connor

1983 Superfudge Judy Blume

1984 Nothing's Fair In Fifth Grade Barthe DeClements

1985 A Dog Called Kitty Bill Wallace

1986 Night Of the Twisters Ivy Ruckman

1987 The War With Grandpa Robert Kimmel Smith

1988 Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You Barthe DeClements

1989 Ferret In The Bedroom, Lizards In The Fridge Bill Wallace

1990 Wait Till Helen Comes Mary Downing Hahn

1991 There's A Boy In The Girls' Bathroom Louis Sachar

1992 Is Anybody There? Eve Bunting

1993 Nightmare Mountain Peg Kehret

1994 Stepping On The Cracks Mary Downing Hahn

1995 Rescue Josh McGuire Ben Mikaelsen

1996 The Grand Escape Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

1997 The Best School Year Ever Barbara Robinson

1998 Titanic Crossing Barbara Williams

1999 Shiloh Season Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

2000 Jaguar Roland Smith

2001 The Ghost of Fossil Glen Cynthia DeFelice

2002 The Ghost of Lizard Light Elvira Woodruff

2003 Because of Winn-Dixie Kate DiCamillo

2004 Skeleton Man Joseph Bruchac

2005 Loser Jerry Spinelli

2006 Escaping the Giant Wave Peg Kehret

2007 The Old Willis Place: A Ghost Story Mary Downing Hahn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

JaMar has a great idea! Almost every state has a list of books that the children vote on every year as their favorites. In Nebraska it's the Children's Choice Award, in Missouri it's the Mark Twain Award. Michigan, which is where these books will be going, has the Great Lakes Great Books Award. I imagine the teachers in Kalamazoo would be thrilled to have copies of this year's GLGB nominees because they're usually in high demand by the students. I think rohdy has specifically mentioned grades K through 6th. Here's the list from the 2007-2008 ballot for the Great Lakes Great Books:

Grades K - 1st

Belinda and the Glass Slipper Amy Young

Big Chickens Leslie Helakoski

Houndsley and Catina and the Birthday Surprise James Howe

Mammoths on the Move Lisa Wheeler

Max’s Words Kate Banks

Mystery Bottle Kristen Balouch

The New Girl…and Me Jacqui Robbins

Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen Cari Best

Grades 2nd - 3rd

Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery Kevin O’Malley

Clementine Sara Pennypacker

An Egg is Quiet Dianna Aston

Mackinac Bridge: The Story of the Five-Mile Poem Gloria Whelan

The Magician’s Boy Susan Cooper

The Man Who Named the Clouds Julie Hannah and Joan Holub

Mural on Second Avenue and Other City Poems Lilian Moore

Seen Art? Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

Grades 4th - 5th

The Hero Schliemann: The Dreamer Who Dug for Troy Laura Amy Schlitz

How We Are Smart W. Nikola-Lisa

The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey Louise Borden

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane Kate DiCamillo

Porch Lies: Tales of Slicksters, Tricksters, and Other Wily Characters Patricia C. McKissack

Ryan and Jimmy: And the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together Herb Shoveller

Travels of Thelonious (The Fog Mound) Susan Schade and Jon Buller

The Year of the Dog Grace Lin

Grades 6th - 8th

10,000 Days of Thunder: A History of the Vietnam War Philip Caputo

The Amazing Life of Birds (The Twenty-Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech) Gary Paulsen

The Book of Everything Guus Kuijer

The Boy Who Ate Stars Kochka

Bread and Roses, Too Katherine Paterson

Down the Rabbit Hole: An Echo Falls Mystery Peter Abrahams

London Calling Edward Bloor

Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time Lisa Yee

Grades 9th - 12th

After the Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings, and Flew Away Joyce Carol Oates

American Born Chinese Gene Luen Yang

The Book Thief Markus Zusak

Life As We Knew It Susan Beth Pfeffer

Rash Pete Hautman

Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations One School at a Time Greg Mortenson

Uglies Scott Westerfeld

When I Was a Soldier Valerie Zenatti

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Amazing! This is just amazing!

Is there another phrase besides "thank you" I can use? Something bigger and grander and more meaningful? I am speechless at the huge amount of help I have received here.

Until someone tells me....I will have to go with yet another.....

Thank You!

Or I could bake everyone cookies? LOL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now what do we do? We have all of those great recommendations from our resident librarians and others, so where do we send what we choose or should we do some kind of a coordinated effort from FCA. I think Merrieee was willing to gather money, wasn't she? It would be easier if we all posted in this thread so the info could be in one place for all to see but hey, the reality of the situation is............well anyway, I may have missed something but I want to do my part. :fca:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now what do we do? We have all of those great recommendations from our resident librarians and others, so where do we send what we choose or should we do some kind of a coordinated effort from FCA. I think Merrieee was willing to gather money, wasn't she? It would be easier if we all posted in this thread so the info could be in one place for all to see but hey, the reality of the situation is............well anyway, I may have missed something but I want to do my part. :fca:

Toots, the final details are still being worked on. Sad to say.

On Monday I should be able to get the approval...for sure...from the venue.

Tues....at the latest....we should have a PO box set up for people to send books or gift cards, to. Whichever they would like.

Those sending items to the PO box will receive a notice back that we received their contribution. Providing they remember to tack on their return address! We will be doing this on Nov 29th.

I hope that helps.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe I read that Nov. 23rd is the last day to get the books in the mail for this drive. Luckily I am going to Kalamazoo so I went out last night and bought a couple of my favourite books to take with me. "Harriet The Spy" by Louise Fitzhugh, and a copy of Stuart Little/Charlotte's Web/Trumpet Of The Swan all bound together in one book. I took my son with me and of course he had to have a book as well. He loves to read those manga books that are really more comic than book. But at least he loves to read!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Received a lovely e-mail from my contact at KCIS today and thought you would all like to know what she had to say....

I did want to be sure you saw the note of appreciation that is on our KCIS website these days.


We are in the process of sorting the books by grade level so they will be ready for Bagels and Books this spring. We received at least 18 copies of Mikayla so we plan to give one copy to each elementary school. We also have some special sets of books we are giving to principals so they can give those special sets as they would like, to reward special efforts in the schools.

Also book plates were created by a member of their staff to go into the donated books. I am hoping they will send me a link to the book plate design, so I can bring a picture here.

Again, thanks to all who donated, particiapted and helped. It was a simple thing, that will benefit many!


And here it is, the book plate that was placed in each book....


While it looks as though there is a smudge in and around the words 'honor of' it is in fact a random, faint, star burst pattern that is scattered across the page the book plates were printed on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This isn't a book but it seem to be relevant to the topic...

A Story Before Bed

This lets parents, grandparents, and anyone with a special child in their lives record audio and video of themselves reading a children’s book into their webcam right in their web browser. Children can watch these recordings anytime they like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...