Share on Facebook

A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

100 Best Children’s Books of All Time

The best children's books capture imaginations, foster a love of reading, and stay with readers long past childhood.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

Best Children's Books Collage Ft Via Amazon.comrd.com, via amazon.com (8)

The very best children’s books

When a child opens a book for the first time, magic happens. Children’s books are doorways to delight, information, engagement, and empathy. They don’t just dare young readers to imagine wondrous lands through wardrobes or magic beneath our muggle noses; they challenge kids to imagine the lives of people different from themselves and make learning about the world feel less like education and more like an adventure.

To round up these all-time best children’s books, we combed through best-seller lists and asked teachers, librarians, and parents to name the beloved books that should be on every child’s shelves. Our list includes Newbery Medalists, Caldecott Medalists, and titles that top many an award and “best of” list. These books span the ages, ranging from 19th-century classics to modern reads that represent important and vital storytelling. You’ll find novels, nonfiction titles, poems, and picture books for every age.

But don’t stop with this list. Regale young ones with popular bedtime stories, nonfiction books for kids, and children’s books about diversity. If your brood is a bit older, stock their shelves with must-read classic books, the best books for teens, and the best books of all time. There’s nothing quite like a good book, so let’s get reading!

For more book trivia and inside info on authors and books news, follow the Reader’s Digest Select Editions page on Facebook. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar By Eric Carle Children's Bookvia amazon.com

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Age: Baby to 3 years

In one of the most popular classic children’s books, a caterpillar eats its way through a week’s worth of food before making a glorious transformation into a butterfly. With colorful artwork made with tissue paper and paint, plus fun holes to stick tiny fingers through, the book goes a long way toward instilling a love of reading in kids. The story touches on everything from counting to the days of the week to the life cycle of living things. Continually selected as one of the best baby books ever written, it has sold 41 million copies worldwide since it was published in 1969.

Shop Now

Dream Big Little One BookVia Amazon.com

2. Dream Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison

Age: Baby to 3 years

It’s never too early for inspiration. With striking illustrations that depict Black women of history, this board book will capture the interest of a baby or toddler. Dream Big, Little One, published in 2018, features 18 encouraging pioneers, including Bessie Coleman, who “flew her airplane high.” Children are introduced to real heroes in a format they’ll love. Older fans of real-life stories will want to check out the best biographies ever written.

Shop Now

Snow Family By Daniel Kirk Children's Book Via Amazon.com Ecommvia amazon.com

3. Snow Family by Daniel Kirk

Age: Baby to 2 years

In this delightful rhyming tale, a human boy engages in wintry fun with a gaggle of kids made of snow. But as they scamper through the woods and get into all manner of trouble, he notices there’s no one to take care of the snow children. So he makes a set of snow parents, who come to life to care for the snow kids just when they need it most. This adorable picture book, published in 2000, offers little ones a story about family, security, and the comforts of being cared for. If you’re looking for more comfort to share with your children, try one of the best family movies.

Shop Now

Babies Around The World By Puck Children's Bookvia amazon.com

4. Babies Around the World by Puck

Age: Baby to 4 years

Bonjour! Hola, amigos! In this adorable 2017 board book, babies from all around the world offer the simplest of greetings: hello. Toddlers and the littlest humans will not only learn how to greet people in other languages, but they’ll also discover the diverse world they’re living in. Cheerful, inclusive illustrations depict happy kiddos engaged in daily life. For parents, this list of the best international fiction will bring our diverse world to life.

Shop Now

Goodnight Moon By Margaret Wise Brown Children's Bookvia amazon.com

5. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Age: Baby to 4 years

In calming, repetitive verse, a young rabbit says goodnight to all the things in the room. Instead of plot, Goodnight Moon looks at the world from the eyes of a very young child, reassuring children with the ritual of naming each object around them. Lulling babies to sleep since 1947, this classic still ranks on best-seller lists, with some estimates of copies sold worldwide topping 48 million. The graceful, soothing prose feels a lot like poetry.

Shop Now

Llama Llama Red Pajama By Anna Dewdney Children's Bookvia amazon.com

6. Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Age: 1 to 3 years

Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama Red Pajama has been one of the most beloved preschool books since it was published in 2005. In it, sweet little Llama gets ready for bed with the comfort and love of his mama. The fun doesn’t stop there; kids will love picking up Dewdney’s other books about Llama’s adventures. It’s a wonderful first book series for toddlers who are just falling in love with reading. Looking for more ways to keep kids entertained? Try cracking these short jokes for kids.

Shop Now

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom By Bill Martin Jr. And John Archambault Children's Bookvia amazon.com

7. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault

Age: 1 to 4 years

Published in 2012, this storybook for kids introduces children to the alphabet as letters try to climb up a coconut tree—then fall down! The New York Public Library named it one of the best children’s books, calling it a “rollicking introduction to the ABC’s.” The rhythmic repetition is fun for kids, as are the bright and simple illustrations by Lois Ehlert. While you’re shopping, pick up these Christmas books for kids to read around the holidays.

Shop Now

And Tango Makes Three By Justin Richardson And Peter Parnell Children's Bookvia amazon.com

8. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

Age: 2 to 5 years

You may find yourself wiping away tears of joy when you read this sweet story to the little ones in your life. First published in 2005, it’s the much-loved tale of two boy penguins who become a couple and start a family. It’s an LGBTQ book that warms hearts and opens minds.

Shop Now

Corduroy By Don Freeman Children's Bookvia amazon.com

9. Corduroy by Don Freeman

Age: 2 to 5 years

It’s hard to read this sweet tale of a teddy bear missing a button and longing for a home without getting a little choked up. After exploring the department store at night, hoping to find his lost button, Corduroy discovers that he can—and should—be loved just as he is. An instant classic when it was published in 1968, Corduroy finds itself one of the most enduringly popular children’s books. If you’re a sleuth like Corduroy, these are the best mystery books for you.

Shop Now

The Snowy Day By Ezra Jack Keatsvia amazon.com

10. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Age: 2 to 5 years

Enter a winter wonderland in this 1962 classic, which earned Ezra Jack Keats the Caldecott Medal for his illustrations. The book was groundbreaking in its depiction of multicultural urban life. Young readers also revel in the universal adventure of exploring new-fallen snow. Parents who love reading will want to check out these memoirs, which are full of wisdom, wit, and universal truths.

Shop Now

No David By David Shannon Children's Bookvia amazon.com

11. No, David! by David Shannon

Age: 2 to 6 years

Pick up this story, one of the most charming children’s books about a rascally youngster, and you just might find yourself rooting for the small fry who can’t stay out of trouble. David Shannon’s wonderful illustrations perfectly capture the rowdy high jinks of David, who is always told “No!” You’ll find several follow-ups to this 1998 best seller, all featuring little David’s nonstop naughty nonsense. Keep your little rascals out of trouble by entertaining them with these silly knock-knock jokes.

Shop Now

Knuffle Bunny By Mo Willems Children's Bookvia amazon.com

12. Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

Age: 3 to 5 years

This lighthearted story (cheekily subtitled A Cautionary Tale) explores what happens when a favorite toy goes missing—a situation many kids can relate to. Its interesting mix of city photography and illustration earned it a 2005 Caldecott Honor. Encourage a love of reading and get great books on the regular by signing up for a book subscription box.

Shop Now

The Story Of My Open Adoption By Leah Campbell Children's Bookvia amazon.com

13. The Story of My Open Adoption by Leah Campbell

Age: 3 to 5 years

Open adoption is filled with complex layers of experience and meaning, and Leah Campbell’s story paints a picture that conveys depth and warmth. A great choice for families experiencing open adoption and all kids, this book introduces little ones to the many ways families are made. In this sweet, sensitive tale from 2020, an adopted child goes with his rabbit parents to meet his squirrel first family.

Shop Now

One Love By Cedella Marley Children's Bookvia amazon.com

14. One Love by Cedella Marley

Age: 3 to 5 years

“Let’s get together and feel all right!” You probably know the lyrics to Bob Marley’s singable hit song. In this glorious picture book from 2011, his oldest daughter, Cedella Marley, turns her father’s famous song, “One Love,” into a beautiful story about love within family and community. This is one you can both read and sing to little ones.

Shop Now

Fry Bread A Native American Family Story By Kevin Noble Maillard Children's Bookvia amazon.com

15. Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard

Age: 3 to 6 years

You’ll find Fry Bread on more than a few awards and “best of” lists for 2019, the year it was published. Read it to your little ones, and you’ll also find it deserves the accolades. Kevin Noble Maillard’s beautifully illustrated story depicts a Native American family cooking fry bread. The text evokes poetry as it conveys everything food and tradition can be. Here are more essential Native American books that everyone should read.

Shop Now

We Are Water Protectors By Carole Lindstrom Children's Bookvia amazon.com

16. We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom

Age: 3 to 6 years

This stunningly beautiful best seller won the 2021 Caldecott Medal—the award for the most distinguished picture book. You’ll be in awe of the gorgeous artwork in this poetic story that holds an ecological message about water preservation. After learning about the powerful connections between the land we live on and its connection to Indigenous cultures, young readers will be inspired to make their own pledges to protect water. Parents can create their own artwork (and relax after a day of child-wrangling) with one of these adult coloring books.

Shop Now

The Little Engine That Could By Watty Piper Children's Bookvia amazon.com

17. The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper

Age: 3 to 7 years

Everyone knows the self-motivating refrain “I think I can, I think I can…” Through this tale of a little engine that pulls a train over a mountain, children learn about positivity, hard work, helping others, self-confidence, and perseverance. The story’s origins are vague—it originated as an American folktale—but the version we know today was first published in 1930. Its timeless lessons have made it a true classic and helped it sell millions of copies.

Shop Now

Chalk By Bill Thomson Children's Book Via Amazon.com Ecommvia amazon.com

18. Chalk by Bill Thomson

Age: 3 to 7 years

Kids love the gorgeous, compelling illustrations in this 2010 picture book favorite. The images say it all in this story told without words. Three friends happen upon a mysterious bag of chalk in an empty park. They draw pictures that magically come to life. It seems great until those animated drawings start to cause problems, so the children must draw the solutions too. Chalk teaches children the power of images and helps them learn to tell the story in their own words.

Shop Now

Madeline By Ludwig Bemelmans Children's Bookvia amazon.com

19. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

Age: 3 to 7 years

In this charming story, first published in 1939, the titular character explores Paris with her classmates, then needs her appendix out! She’s the smallest in her class, but she’s also the bravest and handles what could be a scary situation with fearlessness and confidence. The calming rhymes lend a sense of soothingness to the tale. The story sparked numerous sequels featuring the plucky Madeline, plus a 1998 film adaptation.

Shop Now

Green Eggs And Ham By Dr. Seuss Children's Bookvia amazon.com

20. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Age: 3 to 7 years

Green Eggs and Ham is one of the most famous children’s books for a reason. It touches on a universal truth: Most kids don’t like trying new foods. After being urged and refusing, the unnamed main character discovers that he actually likes the title dish. The simple language makes it the perfect book for beginning readers, though bookworms of all ages can appreciate the silly story. More than six decades after its 1960 publication, it remains one of the all-time greatest children’s books and a title frequently referenced by parents, teachers, and—most important—kids.

Shop Now

The Tale Of Peter Rabbit By Beatrix Potter Children's Bookvia amazon.com

21. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Age: 3 to 7 years

Originally published in 1902 to instant success, Beatrix Potter’s classic kids’ book is a mainstay of children’s literature over 100 years later. In the first of many tales, mischievous Peter runs into danger when he disobeys his mother and ventures into the neighbor’s garden. A story about consequences, the playful Tale of Peter Rabbit has a wry sense of humor and irony as Peter’s well-behaved siblings get a sweet supper, while Peter has to sleep off the effects of misadventure.

Shop Now

The Gaybcs By M. L. Webb Children's Bookvia amazon.com

22. The GayBCs by M. L. Webb

Age: 3 to 7 years

“T is for Trans. It’s a brave step to take.” The board book version of this award-winning 2019 book offers a perfect way to teach little kids about LGBTQ+ words and identities. You’ll find a beautiful book with bright artwork that celebrates the joy of being human. This one is perfect for preschoolers but a smart pick for anyone who needs guidance on the topic. Little tykes may be too young for many of these, but the adults in your house will appreciate these LGBTQ movies.

Shop Now

The Name Jar By Yangsook Choivia amazon.com

23. The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

Age: 3 to 7 years

First published in 2001, this beloved picture book is a favorite of school teachers because of its empowering message of acceptance and personal strength. Unhei arrives in America from Korea and finds the kids at school can’t pronounce her name. Some even ridicule her. She decides to choose an American name that’s easy to say but instead finds the courage to honor her roots and identity. Read this one for the beautiful message of embracing cultural differences.

Shop Now

Mommy, Mama, And Me By Leslea Newman Children's Bookvia amazon.com

24. Mommy, Mama, and Me by Lesléa Newman

Age: 3 to 7 years

In this beautiful board book, a toddler experiences the joys of everyday life with two moms. With its lyrical, rhyming text and lovely illustrations, this is one of those children’s books that’s heartwarming for parents and kiddos alike. You’ll find little ones asking to read it again and again for its joyful presentation of a loving home and family. Expand a child’s point of view with the best cartoon movies to watch with the whole family.

Shop Now

Two Homes By Claire Masurel Children's Bookvia amazon.com

25. Two Homes by Claire Masurel

Age: 3 to 7 years

This beloved picture book, first published in 2003, offers children a relatable story about living in two homes after parents become separated or divorced. On its pages, kids will find reassurance that different doesn’t necessarily mean worse and comfort in the knowledge that they’re loved in both spaces. This parent favorite is considered a positive and healing take on what can be a difficult subject for children.

Shop Now

The Velveteen Rabbit By Margery Williams Children's Bookvia amazon.com

26. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Age: 3 to 7 years

This classic story about growing up and outgrowing toys has been capturing hearts since it was first published in 1922. Every generation relates to this beloved story about a child who receives a stuffed rabbit on Christmas. The rabbit becomes real through the boy’s love for it. The timeless story speaks to everyone who’s ever known the comfort of a beloved stuffed animal. Watch out for tears! This sad book will have you crying by the end.

Beautiful Oops By Barney Saltzberg Children's Bookvia amazon.com

27. Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

Age: 3 to 8 years

No list (or private collection) of children’s books is complete without at least one pop-up book. Barney Saltzberg’s exuberant story about the beauty of mistakes uses the form to perfection, making it one of the best toddler books on this list. Published in 2010, this interactive book teaches little ones how to turn an “oops,” any mistake or mess, into a beautiful work of art. Watch a stain transform into a frog and crumpled paper become a horse. It’s the perfect lesson for little kids and a good reminder for parents that errors can be transformed into art. Then check out these hilariously cute kid mistakes.

Shop Now

Curious George By H. A. Rey Children's Bookvia amazon.com

28. Curious George by H. A. Rey

Age: 4 to 7 years

Every child adores the “good little monkey who was also very curious.” H.A. Rey’s charming classic came on the scene in 1941 and has been delighting readers of every age ever since. Young bookworms can’t help but identify with the inquisitive little chimp as he embarks on adventures with The Man with the Yellow Hat. You’ll find seven books in the original series, including multiple adaptations as well as film and television versions. The classic illustrations continue to delight and charm readers of every age.

Shop Now

Don't Touch My Hair By Sharee Miller Children's Bookvia amazon.com

29. Don’t Touch My Hair! by Sharee Miller

Age: 4 to 7 years

Sharee Miller’s winning story ultimately teaches a valuable lesson about personal boundaries. Aria is a young Black girl with bouncy curls. Everywhere she goes, folks want to touch her hair. Her imagination carries her to distant lands, even ones with dragons, so she can avoid the hands that always want to touch her hair without asking. Colorful illustrations add drama to this wonderful story about standing up for yourself when others go too far.

Shop Now

When Aidan Became A Brother By Kyle Lukoff Children's Bookvia amazon.com

30. When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff

Age: 4 to 7 years

This sweet, inspiring story won tons of accolades in 2019, and rightly so. It tells the story of Aidan, a trans boy with a new sibling on the way who wants to get everything just right for the baby. Lovely illustrations accompany this important story about gender transition for kids.

Shop Now

Amazing Grace By Mary Hoffman Children's Bookvia amazon.com

31. Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

Age: 4 to 8 years

How dare anyone tell amazing little Grace that she can’t be Peter Pan in the school play because she’s a girl and Black? Moving illustrations bring to life the fierce independence of a girl who doesn’t let anything hold her back from her power and grace. First published in 1991, it’s become a classic for its celebration of Black pride as mom and grandma lead the way for Grace’s success.

Shop Now

Above The Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball By Jen Bryant Children's Bookvia amazon.com

32. Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball by Jen Bryant

Age: 4 to 8 years

This award-winning picture book tells the true story of the hardships faced by Elgin Baylor, one of the first Black pro basketball players, who became a legend of the sport and faced bigotry off the court. Young readers will learn about his inspiring courage in the face of racism and his extraordinary talent. The illustrations in this gorgeous picture book—created by famed artist Frank Morrison—will blow you away. Published in 2020, it’s an important book about racism for the younger generation.

Shop Now

The Tale Of Custard The Dragon By Ogden Nash Children's Bookvia amazon.com

33. The Tale of Custard the Dragon by Ogden Nash

Age: 4 to 8 years

Ogden Nash is known for his innovative, humorous rhymes. In his famous children’s book, first published in 1936, he tells the story of a young girl with a gentle pet dragon named Custard. Belinda’s dog, cat, and mouse tease Custard for not being brave enough, but when a pirate climbs in Belinda’s “winda,” the characters prove their mettle in the face of danger. Yes, even Custard. Young kids will love the funny rhymes and word play in this classic poem.

Shop Now

Harold And The Purple Crayon By Crockett Johnson Children's Bookvia amazon.com

34. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Age: 4 to 8 years

Imagine if you could create a whole world with a single crayon. That’s what happens to Harold, and his story has been sparking children’s imaginations since 1955. Harold is also a great problem-solver: He draws a boat to climb into after he unintentionally draws an ocean. This simple but lovely story frequently ranks on lists of the best children’s books thanks to its enduring popularity with kids and nostalgic appeal for parents. Have a voracious reader on your hands? Save money with sites that offer free online books for kids.

Shop Now

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon By Patty Lovell Children's Bookvia amazon.com

35. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

Age: 4 to 8 years

“Walk as proudly as you can, and the world will look up to you,” says Molly Lou Melon’s grandma. Buck-toothed, croaky-voiced Molly takes the advice to heart in this beautifully illustrated story of an intrepid first grader who stands up to a bully. Kids will find the heroine enchanting and brave, and parents will appreciate this 2001 best seller’s lesson about believing in yourself.

Shop Now

I Talk Like A River By Jordan Scottvia amazon.com

36. I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott

Age: 4 to 8 years

Kids will find themselves mesmerized by the gorgeous illustrations and poetic beauty of this award-winning picture book, which was published in 2020. I Talk Like a River is an inspiring story about a boy who stutters. This is the perfect book for young readers who deserve to find their voice and learn that communication comes in many forms, so many of which are beautiful. Need more proof? With 4.4 stars, it’s one of the highest-rated books on Goodreads.

Shop Now

It Feels Good To Be Yourself A Book About Gender Identity By Theresa Thorn Children's Bookvia amazon.com

37. It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity by Theresa Thorn

Age: 4 to 8 years

Though it was only published in 2019, Theresa Thorn’s picture book is well on its way to becoming a classic. It’s a gorgeously illustrated, inspiring, and positive book that promotes sensitivity and offers much-needed lessons for children. You’ll find definitions around gender categories that are easy to understand and relate to, all in a format that’s joyful, positive, and affirming.

Shop Now

Little Red Riding Hood By Jerry Pinkney Children's Bookvia amazon.com

38. Little Red Riding Hood by Jerry Pinkney

Age: 4 to 8 years

Award-winning illustrator Jerry Pinkney’s 2007 redux is a stunning update of the familiar fairy tale. Masterful watercolors tell the tale of a child’s courage during her first solo trip and bring the wolfish danger to life. The Little Red Riding Hood tale teaches kids about gaining independence and following their gut instincts when they’re on their own.

Shop Now

There's A Nightmare In My Closet By Mercer Mayer Children's Bookvia amazon.com

39. There’s a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer

Age: 4 to 8 years

Mercer Mayer has written and illustrated hundreds of popular children’s books, including the Little Critter books. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but 1968’s best-selling There’s a Nightmare in my Closet is a longtime favorite for generations of kids. Mayer’s illustrations capture the essence of childhood with humanity and humor. In this popular story, a youngster faces off with a monster but ultimately learns to befriend fear itself. The illustrations enchant and inspire. For adults looking for some scares, check out these killer horror novels.

Shop Now

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie By Laura Numeroff Children's Bookvia amazon.com

40. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

Age: 4 to 8 years

Adults know what happens when a furry critter comes looking for a cookie: The mouse will ask for milk, for a straw, for all sorts of things until he’s back to asking for a cookie again. This circular story teaches youngsters sequencing and cause and effect. Published in 1985, this first book in the If You Give series has sold millions of copies worldwide and spawned multiple sequels, including If You Give a Moose a Muffin and If You Give a Pig a Pancake.

Shop Now

My Three Best Friends And Me, Zulay By Cari Best Children's Bookvia amazon.com

41. My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay by Cari Best

Age: 4 to 8 years

Zulay is a happy, energetic first grader who loves to hang out with her friends. She also happens to be blind. This story focuses on inclusion in the way it presents Zulay’s special needs as simply a part of life, not unlike challenges that anyone might face. The class holds a field day, and Zulay wants to race, so she does. The back cover of this 2015 hardcover features a Braille alphabet.

Shop Now

The Cat Man Of Aleppo By Karim Shamsi Basha And Irene Latham Children's Bookvia amazon.com

42. The Cat Man of Aleppo by Karim Shamsi-Basha and Irene Latham

Age: 4 to 8 years

Set during the civil war in Syria, this sensitive, stunningly illustrated book depicts the effects of warfare as it shows the human spirit that exists within strife. This true story follows an ambulance driver, Alaa, who takes care of the city’s cats in the midst of the war after many have fled. A Caldecott Honor book, The Cat Man of Aleppo is a window into current events that moves beyond cliché to highlight compassion without shying away from conflict.

Shop Now

Amelia Bedelia By Peggy Parish Children's Bookvia amazon.com

43. Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

Age: 4 to 8 years

First published in 1963, this classic is one of those beloved children’s books that gets passed down through generations. Does your bookshelf house a well-worn copy? Amelia Bedelia is a maid who takes everything literally. Ask her to draw the drapes, and she’ll sketch you a picture of them. This punny book series offers young readers a way to delight in the nuances of the English language.

Shop Now

The Monsters' Monster By Patrick Mcdonnell Children's Bookvia amazon.com

44. The Monsters’ Monster by Patrick McDonnell

Age: 4 to 8 years

Get ready for little monsters Grouch, Grump, and Gloom ‘n’ Doom, who can’t wait to create the ultimate monster. In this 2012 reimagining of the Frankenstein tale, you’ll find a big, scary monster who’s not interested in being scary. In fact, he likes bakeries, the beach, and sharing with friends. This is a book that uses sweetness to defeat things that are scary—it’s a great pick for the kid who still worries there’s a monster hiding under the bed.

Shop Now

The Tub People by Pam Conrad Children's Bookvia amazon.com

45. The Tub People by Pam Conrad

Age: 4 to 8 years

First published in 1989, Pam Conrad’s The Tub People enraptures readers with its stoic and harrowing rendition of bath time adventures. It’s told from the perspective of a family of bath toys that lives along the edge of a bathtub. When the youngest tub person falls down the drain, the rest of the family fret until a solution arrives. This is one of those children’s books with illustrations that convey both unique humor and an emotional center.

Shop Now

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak Children's bookvia amazon.com

46. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Age: 4 to 8 years

The 1963 classic Where the Wild Things Are is all about imagination. No surprise there: The author of the imaginative Harold and the Purple Crayon was Maurice Sendak’s mentor. In the book, young Max creates a whole world for himself after he’s sent to his room as punishment. Eventually, though, he realizes the importance of his home and family. Its exploration of complex emotions and recognition of childhood struggles and their resolutions make this seemingly simple book rich with meaning. Some children may find the monsters scary, but they’re really more jovial than frightening.

Shop Now

Pete The Cat I Love My White Shoes By James Dean And Eric Litwin Children's Bookvia amazon.com

47. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by James Dean and Eric Litwin

Age: 4 to 8 years

This best seller was self-published in 2008, catapulting the Pete the Cat character to superstardom. HarperCollins eventually picked up the book—and dozens of other books for young kids centered on the lovable feline. In the first book, Pete wears white shoes that change colors throughout the story. They get dirty, but that’s nothing to worry about! This charming tale enraptures kids with its endearing outlook on low-stress living told with exuberant artwork.

Shop Now

Dreamers By Yuyi Morales Children's Bookvia amazon.com

48. Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

Age: 4 to 8 years

Dreamers tells the true story of Yuyi Morales, who immigrated to the United States in 1994 with her infant child. Gorgeous images accompany the lyrical words. The book won the Pura Belpré Award for Latinx children’s picture books—Morales has won six so far! The book is a gorgeous, emotional exploration of her experience and the richness of the culture she brought with her. Don’t miss these great books by other Latinx authors.

Shop Now

My Heart By Corinna Luyken Children's Bookvia amazon.com

49. My Heart by Corinna Luyken

Age: 4 to 8 years

Stunningly evocative artwork accompanies a simple poem filled with power in this breathtaking 2019 picture book. It begins with the line “My heart is a window” and follows a little girl as she nurtures a heart plant on her sill. Keep your tissues close by because this one touches adults’ hearts as well as kids’ with its tale of love, empowerment, and everything a heart can hold and be.

Shop Now

Casey At The Bat By Ernest L. Thayer Children's Bookvia amazon.com

50. Casey at the Bat by Ernest L. Thayer

Age: 4 to 8 years

“The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day/ The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play.” You might be familiar with the famous opening lines from Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s 1888 poem, which captures the thrills of America’s favorite pastime. The poem endures thanks to its witty verse and clever rhymes as well as its powerful lesson about ego and arrogance. It tells the story of a baseball team that comes from behind with the bases loaded. The crowd blares a “muffled roar” as “Mighty Casey” steps up to bat. Will the hero hit a homer? Read and find out.

Shop Now

The Oldest Student How Mary Walker Learned To Read By Rita Lorraine Hubbard Children's Bookvia amazon.com

51. The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard

Age: 4 to 8 years

Prepare to be inspired right along with the kiddos who read this book about a woman born into slavery who didn’t read because owners didn’t allow literacy for those who they enslaved. After she was given freedom, she worked, lived through the Civil Rights Movement, and didn’t learn to read until she was 116. Brilliant cutout collages form the illustrations, and the prose is searing and lyrical as it tells the story of Mary Walker, a truly incredible human. If you’re inspired by true life stories, you’ll love these uplifting autobiographies.

Shop Now

Carmela Full Of Wishes By Matt De La Pena Children's Bookvia amazon.com

52. Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Peña

Age: 4 to 8 years

Your kids may be familiar with Matt de la Peña’s award-winning Last Stop on Market Street, and they’ll be pleased to know his 2018 follow-up, Carmela Full of Wishes, brings the same magic to the page. Like their favorite classic children’s books, this is a story kids will want to read over and over again. A little girl follows her big brother through the neighborhood as he runs errands on her birthday. You’ll find a beautiful story about hope and love told with spare, poetic writing and lovely images that capture Carmela’s spirit.

Shop Now

I Am Mixed By Garcelle Beauvais And Sebastian A. Jones Children's Bookvia amazon.com

53. I Am Mixed by Garcelle Beauvais and Sebastian A. Jones

Age: 5 to 6 years

This delightful and gorgeously illustrated picture book, published in 2012, celebrates mixed race ethnicity with the story of two twins, Nia and Jay. The pair deal with questions at school and learn to honor all the parts of their heritage. The book features an introduction from biracial actress Halle Berry and closes with discussion questions for parents and a place for kiddos to record their family tree and the richness of diverse heritage.

Shop Now

Ada Twist, Scientist By Andrea Beaty Children's Bookvia amazon.com

54. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

Age: 5 to 7 years

Ada Twist is the perfect inspiration for the little scientists in your household. This best-selling 2016 picture book from The Questioneers series has been adapted into a Netflix series. Ada’s a curious second-grader who goes full force in STEM subjects with adventurous, exhilarating results. Not only does the book inspire kids to ask questions and invent, but it also features artwork with an enlivening spirit that will keep their attention from start to The End. Find girl-power books for the adult set on this list of the best feminist books.

Shop Now

Khalil And Mr. Hagerty And The Backyard Treasures By Tricia Springstubb Children's Bookvia amazon.com

55. Khalil and Mr. Hagerty and the Backyard Treasures by Tricia Springstubb

Age: 5 to 8 years

This underrated picture book from 2020 tells the sweetest story about a friendship between a young boy and his elderly neighbor. The two bond over digging, one gardening and the other treasure hunting. As they spend time together and teach each other about friendship across differences, they see the true treasure is their bond. If you’d like to introduce stories about building bridges with others—whether across age, culture, or any other separation—this is a great place to start.

Shop Now

Where The Sidewalk Ends By Shel Silverstein Children's Bookvia amazon.com

56. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Age: 6 to 8 years

This collection by children’s author and illustrator Shel Silverstein offers young readers a humorous and insightful introduction to poetry. Silverstein’s poems test the limits of the imagination and will have little ones giggling with delight. The book was banned in the past for reasons today’s parents will probably find pretty silly, though it’s far from Silverstein’s only controversial book. Others include childhood favorites like The Giving Tree and A Light in the Attic, the latter of which became the first children’s book to hit the New York Times Best Seller list when it released in 1981.

Shop Now

Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day By Judith Viorst Children's Bookvia amazon.com

57. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Age: 6 to 9 years

Everyone’s had one of those days when everything seems to go wrong, and Alexander is no exception. Kids relate to his humorous difficulties, and the book lets young readers acknowledge their own frustrations even as they work to overcome them. The 1972 classic remains a perennial favorite for every kid (and grown-up) who’s ever had a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day.

Shop Now

The Hundred Dresses By Eleanor Estes Children's Bookvia amazon.com

58. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

Age: 6 to 9 years

This sensitive and heartbreaking story about personal triumph in the face of bullying was published in 1944. A young girl is relentlessly ridiculed for wearing the same tattered dress to school every day. Her whole family is harassed because of their ethnicity. The young girl tells the other students about all the dresses she has at home, but that makes the teasing worse. A Newbery Honor book illustrated by a Caldecott Medalist, The Hundred Dresses is a short book with a powerful ending that remains as relatable today as it was 77 years ago.

Shop Now

Stolen Words By Melanie Florence Children's Bookvia amazon.com

59. Stolen Words by Melanie Florence

Age: 6 to 9 years

In this beautiful picture book from 2017, a young girl asks her grandfather to share his language, Cree, with her. He relates the painful history of how it was taken from him when he was placed in a residential school as a child and separated from his Native family. The book features both English and Cree as the young girl helps her grandpa tell his story. This is a powerful picture book that sensitively renders the enduring pain of the violence toward Indigenous peoples alongside their enduring strength. The book offers a mode of healing that’s beautiful and poignant.

Shop Now

The Undefeated By Kwame Alexander Children's Bookvia amazon.com

60. The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander

Age: 6 to 9 years

Kwame Alexander calls his picture book a “love letter to Black America,” and it’s possibly the most apt description of this stirring story. Alongside stunning illustrations of Black Americans throughout history, Alexander’s powerful poem speaks to their perseverance, faith, and resilience in the face of unspeakable trauma. At the end, there’s a description of each important person, so kids can learn about the heroes of the past as they strive to better the future. The Undefeated won the 2020 Caldecott Medal, and it will move your soul with an awe-inspiring representation of Black people’s history, strength, and power. Buy this book for the kids and one of these other books by Black authors for Mom and Dad.

Shop Now

The Story Of Simone Biles A Biography Book For New Readers By Rachelle Burk Children's Bookvia amazon.com

61. The Story of Simone Biles: A Biography Book for New Readers by Rachelle Burk

Age: 6 to 9 years

This 2020 addition to the Biography Series for New Readers is a best seller for a reason. Simone Biles may be the greatest gymnast of all time—if not the greatest athlete of all time—and this inspiring, educational book tells her story. The format, with colorful illustrations, a glossary, a quiz, and bold keywords, is set up to make learning fun and inspirational. Kids love the series, especially this lively entry that offers a glimpse into Biles’s incredible life and her many accomplishments.

Shop Now

The Boxcar Children By Gertrude Chandler Warner Children's Book Via Amazon.com Ecommvia amazon.com

62. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Age: 7 to 10 years

Since 1924, Gertrude Chandler Warner’s mysteries have enthralled children, selling over 70 million copies. This series of chapter books follows four orphans, Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny, who escape their grandfather and move into a defunct boxcar, determined to raise themselves. The long-running series is packed with adventure and mystery, and young readers find themselves enthralled with the tale of siblings bonded by love and filled with gumption.

Shop Now

We Are Still Here By Traci Sorrellvia amazon.com

63. We Are Still Here!: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know by Traci Sorell

Age: 7 to 10 years

This stunning, brightly illustrated picture book offers kids a way to understand Indigenous culture and history. Published in 2021, this crucial read recovers a lost history and brings the resilience and richness of Native culture to the fore. The book is structured around a student’s presentation for Indigenous People’s Day. Featuring vital history, along with the refrain “We are still here,” it’s a powerful and educational book for kids. The extra information, glossary, and time line at the end provided further context and additional learning opportunities.

Shop Now

Ways To Make Sunshine By Renee Watson Children's Bookvia amazon.com

64. Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson

Age: 7 to 10 years

Get ready for the witty, delightful narration of Ryan Hart, a fourth grader with whom young readers will long to make friends. Follow her as she adjusts to a move to Portland, Oregon, performs in the talent show, hangs out with friends, and generally tries to be nice to everyone around her. Her experience as a young Black girl offers positive representation as she “spreads sunshine.” The first lively, funny novel in the Ryan Hart series, this 2020 book is already a big hit with young readers.

Shop Now

The Wind In The Willows By Kenneth Grahame Children's Bookvia amazon.com

65. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Age: 7 to 10 years

Say hello to Mole, Mr. Toad, Badger, and Ratty, the beloved characters in one of the most enduring children’s books, first published in 1908. The book features several stories about the adventures of the animals in the Wild Wood. They’re delightful because they live like humans with human friendships, troubles, and even motor cars. Kenneth Grahame’s world is one of drama and solidarity as it illustrates what it means to be a true friend.

Shop Now

Stuntboy, In The Meantime By Jason Reynolds Children's Bookvia amazon.com

66. Stuntboy, in the Meantime by Jason Reynolds

Age: 7 to 12 years

In this 2021 novel, Portico (aka Stuntboy) deals with issues most kids can relate to, like anxiety and constant parental bickering. The story moves with zip, dash, humor, and heart as the intriguing Portico finds his way. Jason Reynolds has created in Portico a massively charming kid who’ll win over readers from page one. Raúl the Third’s stunning illustrations paint an immersive picture of a neighborhood and bring Portico’s story to life. It’s a funny book kids will turn to again and again.

Shop Now

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid By Jeff Kinney Children's Bookvia amazon.com

67. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Age: 7 to 13 years

If you introduce kids to the first book in Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, prepare to have the next in the series at the ready. Kids get fanatical about this relatable, popular series, which has been adapted for film and TV. The first book, published in 2007, introduces Greg and his bestie, Rowley, who are dealing with coming-of-age awkwardness and the never-ending high jinks of kid life. The text appears handwritten, with accompanying drawings—just like a diary. Bookworms who like this book will surely love these graphic novels for kids.

Shop Now

Choose Your Own Adventure By R.a. Montgomery Children's Bookvia amazon.com

68. Choose your Own Adventure by R.A. Montgomery

Age: 7 to 14 years

This mega-popular book series emerged in the late ’70s and continues to be an addictive rite of passage for little bookworms everywhere. The short novels follow an adventuring protagonist, and at the end of each page, the reader gets to choose whether to go for more derring-do or play it safe. Kids love racing through once and then rereading it while making different choices to land on different endings. Young readers will find themselves hooked on these fun page-turners. They’re also the perfect novels for kids who think they don’t like reading.

Shop Now

Alice's Adventures In Wonderland By Lewis Carroll Children's Bookvia amazon.com

69. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Age: 8 to 11 years

Another classic British fantasy, the 1865 story of Alice and her trip down the rabbit hole to an alternate world is equal parts mind-boggling and imagination-sparking. Although its exact meaning continues to puzzle scholars, Alice’s experiences question the nature of reality, and for kids, navigating the adult world can seem just as baffling. Before you hand your old copy of the book to your kids, know this: First editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland are rare and worth a fortune—$2 to $3 million to be exact.

Shop Now

Amari And The Night Brothers By B. B. Alston Children's Bookvia amazon.com

70. Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston

Age: 8 to 12 years

Published in 2021 and already a best seller and favorite with readers, this magical mystery is filled with the kind of wit and surprise that keeps kids flipping pages well past bedtime. The titular Amari packs a punch as a heroine who’ll do anything to find her missing brother. As Amari finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue featuring fairies, aliens, various fantastical creatures, and a gang of magical criminals, readers will find themselves enthralled with her story. Like the best beach reads, this book is the perfect escape.

Shop Now

Bridge To Terabithia By Katherine Paterson Children's Bookvia amazon.com

71. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Age: 8 to 12 years

Katherine Paterson’s stunning tearjerker won the 1978 Newbery Medal, and the story still captures young readers today. Jess and Leslie are outcasts at school but become fast friends away from the fray. They create a magical world in the nearby woods, where their imaginations can save them from the realities at home. It’s a sensitive novel about deep friendship and the ways love and tragedy can make us stronger than we imagined.

Shop Now

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory By Roald Dahl Children's Bookvia amazon.com

72. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Age: 8 to 12 years

Everyone recognizes the wacky, charming Willy Wonka, whether played by Gene Wilder in the 1971 original film or Johnny Depp in the 2005 remake. But the character’s gleeful genius originates in the now classic novel first published in 1964. Meet Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, and other child baddies, along with the famous Charlie Bucket, who is the most deserving golden ticket recipient in the book. The whole world wants a ticket to the famously secretive factory, and things only get more exciting and suspenseful once the winners and their guardians step inside for the tour. This book remains a funny, thrilling page-turner and is considered one of the best fiction books of all time.

Shop Now

Charlotte's Web By E. B. White Children's Bookvia amazon.com

73. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

Age: 8 to 12 years

This tender 1952 classic tells a tale of friendship featuring a spider named Charlotte, a pig named Wilbur, and a girl named Fern. But the cycle of life in this pastoral farm setting doesn’t make for a happy-go-lucky story—death does occur, although in a peaceful way. Caregivers should be aware of questions that may arise as children make the transition to reading literature with deeper themes, like this one.

Shop Now

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin Children's bookvia amazon.com

74. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Age: 8 to 12 years

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon may be the most beloved novel in Grace Lin’s beautiful, best-selling fantasy book trilogy, which illuminates a world of Chinese folklore. In this 2009 novel, the first in the series, heroic Minli takes off on a magical quest, with a dragon in tow, to find the Old Man in the Moon and ask him help her struggling family. Kids will also love Lin’s Starry River of the Sky and When the Sea Turned to Silver.

Shop Now

Elsie May Has Something To Say By Nancy J. Cavanaugh Children's Bookvia amazon.com

75. Elsie May Has Something to Say by Nancy J. Cavanaugh

Age: 8 to 12 years

If you’re looking to immerse middle grade readers in a historical time and place, try 2017’s Elsie Mae Has Something to Say, which is set in 1933 in rural Georgia. A young girl decides to write President Roosevelt and ask him to preserve the local Okefenokee Swamp from being overtaken by developers. Readers will fall in love with Elsie Mae’s zest and gumption as she decides to take on local criminals in her quest to become a hero. For more books by female authors, browse our list of the greats.

Shop Now

Jaden Toussaint, The Greatest By Marti Dumas Children's Bookvia amazon.com

76. Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest by Marti Dumas

Age: 8 to 12 years

Jaden Toussaint is the perfect hero: a five-year-old mastermind bent on outwitting grown-ups in this delightful series. In the first book, he leads the other first graders in starting a petition to get more screen time—and they want it now! Told with humor, this engaging and precocious brainiac, who himself hates to read, will be a surefire hit with new readers. The series started in 2015 and features lively illustrations to keep kids engaged and interested.

Shop Now

The Bad Beginning By Lemony Snicket Children's Book Via Amazon.com Ecommvia amazon.com

77. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

Age: 8 to 12 years

Lemony Snicket’s popular Series of Unfortunate Events books will turn any kid into a lifelong reader. Children will fall headfirst into this first book, published in 1999, and race through to the end of the series. They’ll meet orphans Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire, who face off with their evil relative, Count Olaf, when placed in his care. Unfortunate indeed. The prose is clever and wry, and the narration revels in humorous absurdity as the kids outwit the malevolent relative who tries to steal their inheritance.

Shop Now

One Crazy Summer By Rita Williams Garcia Children's Bookvia amazon.com

78. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Age: 8 to 12 years

The first book in Rita Williams-Garcia’s award-winning series for young readers, this 2010 novel follows sisters Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern as they come of age in 1968. Readers tag along with these intrepid Black girls as they visit their mother in Oakland, California, and find themselves in the middle of the Black Power movement. The novel brilliantly explores the experience of being a young Black girl in America during this time period. Children will be enraptured by the strength and resilience of Delphine, who is put in charge of her younger sisters. Follow up with P.S. Be Eleven and Gone Crazy in Alabama, the next books in the series. It’s a wonderful mother-daughter book to read.

The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe By C.s. Lewis Children's Bookvia amazon.com

79. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Age: 8 to 12 years

Introduce young readers to another magical world with the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia series, published in 1950. The four Pevensie children are sent to a house in the country to escape the Blitz in London, England, during World War II, but they soon find a wardrobe that leads them into a parallel universe of mythical beings and talking animals—which is also under threat. Kids may need post-reading discussions to work through difficult themes, such as betrayal, forgiveness, death, and rebirth. A critical and commercial success, it’s one of the best-selling children’s books of all time. If you’d prefer to read the series in the order the events occur instead of publication order, pick up Lewis’s The Magician’s Nephew before reading this book.

Shop Now

Ramona By Beverly Cleary Children's Booksvia amazon.com

80. Ramona by Beverly Cleary

Age: 8 to 12 years

Ramona is a hugely relatable character who doesn’t always behave exactly as she should but learns lessons along the way. Written between 1955 and 1999, Beverly Cleary’s beloved series focuses on Ramona’s daily trials and tribulations as well as her relationship with her family, including her older sister, Beezus. But she handles the scrapes she gets into with wit and spunk, and the stories’ realism makes this series a must for elementary school–aged readers. Two books in the series received prestigious Newbery Honors for children’s literature, and another garnered the National Book Award. Buy the entire audiobook collection for the most entertaining car rides you’ve ever experienced with kids.

Shop Now

Song For A Whale By Lynne Kelly Children's Bookvia amazon.com

81. Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly

Age: 8 to 12 years

Ever feel like no one is listening to you? This is the perfect novel for kids who can relate to protagonist Iris, a 12-year-old technology and science whiz who is also deaf. When her science teacher tells the class about a whale who sings on a frequency no other whale can hear, Iris decides to create her own song for the mammal. With the help of her grandma, she goes on a quest to be heard and to help a whale. This is a fast-paced heart-warmer from 2019.

Shop Now

Tales Of A Fourth Grade Nothing By Judy Blume Children's Bookvia amazon.com

82. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

Age: 8 to 12 years

Getting addicted to Judy Blume books as a kid is one of those telltale signs you’ll end up a voracious reader for life. Blume’s Fudge series begins with Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Readers will fall in love with Peter Hatcher, the wry elementary school kid living in New York City. But his wild 2-year-old brother, Fudge, manages to steal the show and the series. Fudge is the most lovable rascal you’ll come across. While it was first published in 1972, the series still moves along with relatable charm for modern readers.

Shop Now

The Phantom Tollbooth By Norton Juster Childrens Bookvia amazon.com

83. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Age: 8 to 12 years

Norton Juster’s masterpiece, originally published in 1961, remains as charming and witty as ever. Milo is always bored until he finds a strange package waiting for him after school. Soon, he’s traveling through a mysterious tollbooth into other worlds, where he has grand adventures. This classic novel brims with wordplay: He meets Tock, a watchdog with a clock body (get it?) and tries to return Princess Rhyme and Reason to the Empire of Wisdom. It’s a true delight for young readers.

Shop Now

Winnie The Pooh By A.a. Milne Children's Bookvia amazon.com

84. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

Age: 8 to 12 years

Inspired by his son, his son’s toys, and the woods around his English country home, A. A. Milne crafted one of the finest works of children’s literature. Though the book was published nearly a century ago, in 1926, his characters continue to delight today. What makes them so everlasting? Touched with gentle British humor, the stories celebrate the innocence of childhood with a deep understanding of how children think and respond to situations, just as Pooh and his friends do. An immediate success when it was published, Winnie-the-Pooh hasn’t been out of print since and ranks as one of the all-time best-selling children’s books.

Shop Now

The One And Only Ivan By Katherine Applegate Children's Bookvia amazon.com

85. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Age: 8 to 12 years

Katherine Applegate knows how to enthrall young readers. While all of her novels are stellar, 2012’s The One and Only Ivan, told from the perspective of a gorilla enclosed at a mall exhibit, truly entrances kids. It’s loosely based on a true situation and was made into a film, which was released in 2020. Ivan spends decades in captivity then befriends a young elephant in this heartwarming tale that not only hit number one on the New York Times Best Seller list but also won the Newbery Medal.

Shop Now

Wonder By R.j. Palacio Children's Bookvia amazon.com

86. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Age: 8 to 12 years

This compelling 2012 megahit was adapted into a popular movie starring Julie Roberts and Owen Wilson as the parents of Auggie, a child born with a facial difference who struggles to find acceptance at a school where he’s known as “the freak.” As heartwarming as the movie is, the book is even better. Though it’s narrated by several characters, Auggie’s voice stands out. His wit and courage will immediately capture readers’ attention and tug their heartstrings.

Shop Now

When You Trap A Tiger By Tae Keller Children's Bookvia amazon.com

87. When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

Age: 8 to 12 years

Tae Keller’s 2020 best seller just won the 2021 Newbery Medal, the top award for children’s literature. It’s a loving story about a young Korean American girl who must face her grandmother’s terminal illness. And part of that involves taking on fantastical tigers. The book mixes Korean folklore with the everyday problems of a young girl dealing with family havoc while finding her own voice. The great writing carries readers through a heart-wrenching, relatable story.

Shop Now

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum Children's bookvia amazon.com

88. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Age: 8 to 14 years

If your kids love the musical movie from 1939, introduce them to the literary masterpiece from 1900 that inspired the fantasy tale. L. Frank Baum’s inventive story is the first of many novels about Oz and its beguiling, fantastical wonders. Join Dorothy and her dog, Toto, as she searches for a way home after her house is swept away in a tornado. She awakes with a shock and finds herself in the lush fairy-tale world of Oz, where the adventures begin.

Shop Now

Anne Of Green Gables By L. M. Montgomery Children's Bookvia amazon.com

89. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Age: 9 to 12 years

One of the greatest female heroines of all time, independent, intelligent, and imaginative Anne can’t help but win over the hearts of her adoptive parents in turn-of-the-century Prince Edward Island, Canada. Although she frequently gets into hilarious mishaps, she always means well. Her self-confidence, rich inner life, kind nature, and academic aspirations make her as great a role model today as she was in 1908, when the book was first published. Young readers may need a little help to get through some of the flowery descriptions of the Canadian countryside, but it’s worth it, as its worldwide sales (more than 50 million copies!) can attest. Looking for more to read? Don’t miss these great works of historical fiction.

Shop Now