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Top 100 Children’s Novels #13: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

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#13 The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (1997) 93 points I wish this series had been out when I was a kid! One of the best written ever. – Martha Sherod A classic adventure story that’s still less than 20 years old. I love Gen, and loved being completely surprised by the ending the first […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #14: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

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#14 The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (1937) 89 points I know this isn’t exactly a children’s book, but I first read it when I was nine, and I loved it so much I read it and the LOTR trilogy over and over until I was “grounded” from checking them out anymore. – Anna Ruhs Probably […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #15: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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#15 The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1911) 88 points This the very first book I read by myself, and my dad insists I read this book to him over 1000 times. It’s one of the few picture books I keep on my shelf, rather than my son’s. – Erin Moehring Back before having […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #16: Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

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#16 Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (1975) 87 points Imagine coming upon a fountain of youth in a forest. To live forever–isn’t that everyone’s ideal? Babbitt asks profound questions about the meaning of life and death, and leaves the reader with a greater appreciation for the perfect cycle of nature. Intense and powerful, exciting and […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #17: Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

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#17 Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (1964) 83 points Obviously. – Denise Rinaldo More brilliant and sophisticated than most any adult novel, and yet still captivating for my 7 year old. – Lee Behlman I don’t know which I like best, the people on Harriet’s spy route, the fact that she makes up a […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #18: The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander

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#18 The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander (1964) 83 points The best children’s fantasy series I know, and still very much underrated. – Lee Behlman The assistant pig-keeper’s world is the standard by which Fantasy worlds should conduct themselves. Where three mystical women weave destinies and discuss the digestibility of toads. This is a […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #19: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

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#19 Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1932) 81 points Again with the food – I always want a slice of pie, maple syrup on snow, or a stack of pancakes after reading Wilder. – Jessalynn Gale My inclusion of this one even surprises me a bit. I admit to being […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #20: Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

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#20 Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (2000) 81 points Because of Winn Dixie was my #1 pick the first time you did the chapter book poll; in the time since, no other book has threatened to overtake its place as my favorite chapter book of all time. It’s one of the greatest dog stories […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #21: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

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#21 The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (1961) 80 points It was the very first time that I couldn’t put a book down. I was pretty young, and I read it all in one sitting — I was shocked at myself afterward. Those puns! That wordplay! It meant there were other people in the world […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #22: The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

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#22 The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper (1973) 78 points Sure, it’s long, and it’s very, well, 1970s, but the language is gorgeous, and you can’t top the Arthurian-inspired sweeping story. Just don’t see the movie. – Melissa Fox My favorite book to reread at Christmastime. As atmospheric as they come. – Susan Van […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #23: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

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#23 Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (1989) 68 points Does anyone not like Hatchet? I mean, seriously. I had to read this book for school in Grade 5 and had no interest in survival or plane crashes or anything and this book blew me away. And who doesn’t like that old school cover with the hatchet […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #24: Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary

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#24 Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary (1968) 68 points My fourth grade teacher gave this book to me as a Christmas present because I had a kindergarten sister. I’ve loved Beverly Cleary ever since. – Martha Sherod (Ramona is the little sister I never had but always wanted!) – Angela Krause In Anita Silvey’s […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #25: The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

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#25 The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis (1995) 65 points Like Schmidt, Curtis has the ability to make you laugh and cry and think deeply about something, all within a few pages. – Heather Christensen The character voices are so charming and right on. It sweeps you up in this funny […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #26: Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

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#26 Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne (1926) 65 points Time to scrub our minds of Disney and go back to the original. Yes, I was a proud member of a student initiated “A.A. Milne Society” in college. – Aaron Zenz This book has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #27: Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

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#27 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1935) 62 points The summer before I entered fifth grade, thanks to my fourth grade teacher who read aloud Where the Red Fern Grows (which turned the key in the lock of my lifetime reading obsession), I zipped through this beloved series. – Tess Alfonsin […]