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Inside A Fuse #8 Production

The Top 100 Children’s Novels Poll: The Big Gaps

Alternate Title: Whaddaya MEAN it’s not on the list?

When I asked my readers to send me their guesses for what would appear on the Top Ten, I knew their misfires would yield a great list of Almost Wases.  Remember that the last book on the Top 100 Children’s Novels Poll (#100 on our list) had nine votes and 39 points.  In alphabetical order then, here is another really great list of titles that either came close to inclusion or missed by a mile:

The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander
(#2)(#5)(#8)(#8) – 21 points

The trickiest part of this exercise was choosing just one entry out of my favorite series. If it were allowed, #2 on my list would be all of the Chronicles of Prydain. – Rachael Vilmar

Hard to pick just one in the series, but this is the one that sticks with me. – Sarah Flowers

[Note: Weep not for Lloyd Alexander.  He still had two books on the Top 100 list.

Sounder by William Howard Armstrong – 0 votes, 0 points

[Note:  Interesting that someone thought it would make the Top Ten but it didn’t get so much as a single vote.  Perhaps the time of Sounder is past?  Defenders, rise up and tell me if you love it.]

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater
(#5)(#7)(#8)(#9)(#9)(#10)(#10)(#10)(#10) – 21 points

A personal indulgence because this is the first laugh-out-loud book “exaggeration” book from my childhood. –  Donna Carey, Chattanooga, TN

The ridiculous events described in serious detail tickle my funny bone on every re-reading. – Faith Brautigam, Director of Youth Services , Gail Borden Public Library District, Elgin, IL

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
(#4)(#7)(#8)(#9) – 16 points

I don’t think I have have to explain this one! – Sally Engelfried

When I finally read the actual Barrie book as an adult, I was mad — truly upset — that I had ever been exposed to another version prior.  The book is brilliant – I was in love. – Aaron Zenz

[Note: Actually, it is even more interesting to note that NOBODY who sent me their prediction of what would appear on the Top Ten thought to include Peter.  He is truly the Lost Boy.]

The House With a Clock In Its Walls by John Bellairs
(#1)(#1)(#4)(#7)(#7) – 35 points

John Bellairs writes so sensitively and perceptively about the mundane trials of childhood, and then turns on a dime and writes some of the most genuinely frightening scenes in middle grade literature. – Rachael Vilmar

My favorite author as a kid was John Bellairs, and whenever I meet someone that also read his books as a kid, I know I’ve found a kindred spirit. When I read Harry Potter, it reminded me of The House with a Clock in its Walls, where Lewis discovers that he comes from a wizarding family and dabbles in magic himself, with some disturbing results. This book will always be with me, and I can’t wait to introduce it to my daughter when the time is right. – Amy (Media Macaroni)

Blubber by Judy Blume
(#3)(#6)(#7) – 17 points

OH this book – it spoke to me so much as a middle school girl stuck in a class with serious girl drama – much like this book. I devoured ALL of Judy Blume’s books, but even as I walked through my collection trying to decide, I remembered how much I identified with that book!!! – Erin Hibshman, Librarian, Rheems and Fairview Elementary, Elizabethtown Area School District

Another Judy Blume title, just to make sure she gets as many points as possible. – Brenda Ferber

Superfudge by Judy Blume
(#8)(#10) – 4 points

Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary
(#1)(#9)(#4)(#6) – 24 points

Ramona Quimby hit her stride at 4. Poor Beezus had her hands full. – Beth Maddigan, Provincial Children’s Librarian, Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries, St. John’s, NL

Most important middle reader author because her books are favorites of both girls and boys alike with wonderful animals included in the mix. –  Donna Carey, Chattanooga, TN

Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
(#2)(#4)(#5)(#7)(#8) – 29 points

Also discovered during that magical summer.
– Jennifer Sauls

Another title I loved as a child.  I must have read Dear Mr. Henshaw two or three dozen times between 4th and 7th grade.  I remember lying in bed with flashlight under the covers reading it from start to finish on many a school night.  Maybe the first newbery winner I read myself and in my opinion still one of the very best.
– Eric Carpenter

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
(#4)(#6)(#7)(#9)(#9) – 20 points

Wonderful story.
– Sarah Sullivan

[Note: In retrospect, it’s odd that Cleary didn’t show up on the Top 100 list more often than she did.]

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
(#5)(#6)(#7)(#7)(#8)(#9)(#10) – 25 points

Isn’t the good guy –  well at least not the squeaky clean Charlie Bucket type – and I love him for it!! – Beth Maddigan, Provincial Children’s Librarian, Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries, St. John’s, NL

Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
(#1)(#4)(#4)(#7)(#7)(#8) – 35 points

Life in a gypsy caravan!- Stephanie Howell , Lower School Librarian , Carolina Day School , Asheville, NC

Even though all of Roald Dahl’s books have a special spot on my bookshelves, this is my favorite.  It evoked the clearest, simplest feeling of love by a child for a parent that any book has ever done. – Maggi Idzikowski,Media Specialist, Allen Elementary School, Ann Arbor MI

Made me wish I lived in a cozy gypsy caravan and poached peasants. So illegal and subversive, still can’t believe Dahl got away with it. – Jennifer Hubert Swan, Little Red School House, New York, NY

I know most people will probably go for James or Charlie, but I just love Danny and his dad. The scene with the drunk pheasants is one of the most hilarious in children’s fiction. – Sarah Flowers

I LOVE this book. Suspense that just keeps you on the edge of your seat, biting your nails. Give this to any middle school boy or girl, I just dare you.- Susan Eley, Hillside School Librarian, Mt Laurel, NJ

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
(#2)(#3)(#7)(#10) – 22 points

[Note: Movie or not, this one didn’t quite have the love behind it.]

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards
(#6)(#8)(#9)(#9)(#9) – 14 points

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
(#6)(#8)(#10) – 9 points

This was the first book I read as a child that did not end “happily ever after.” It was the first book that really made me think. – Mary Ann Rodman

Ranger’s Apprentice: Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
(#2)(#6) – 14 points

An unconventional choice? Perhaps.  But I’ve handed this book successfully to so many kids and I’ve enjoyed the audiobooks so very much that it had to be on my top ten.  Flanagan writes an imaginative adventures series that points out how you need not be the strongest or the biggest to be good.  he allows for strong female characters, sees them through extremely tough situations, and raises difficult questions.  I am a huge fan. – Abigail Goben

A new favorite of mine by a gifted author who weaves a great tale. – David Ziegler

Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
(#4)(#6)(#8)(#8) – 31 points

Torn between this and Inkheart, but this story has stuck with me a bit more and I’m guessing Inkheart will get plenty of love.Jenn Bertman

[Note: It did.]

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
(#7)(#8)(#8)(#9)(#9) – 14 points

This book described a life so different than my own. It was the first book I read that talked about about menstration in a matter-of-fact way. It talked so many “adult” topics in a way that made *me* feel like I was growing up. I read this around the same time I was reading the Babysitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High books, and it made those books seem so trite and vapid. It was definitely a coming-of-age book for me. – Jennifer Sauls

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
(#4) – 7 points

[Note:  Two people guessed that this would end up on on the Top 10.  Only one person actually voted for it, though.]

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
(#6)(#7)(#7)(#7)(#7)(#10) – 22 points

Wild horses!
– Tina Engelfried

I think my first animal stories were likely TV: Lassie and Flipper and Gentle Ben. But this may have been my intro to animal stories in book form. This is probably responsible for single handedly turning generations of girls into horse lovers.
– Joan L. Raphael, Youth Collections Librarian, San Diego Public Library

[Note: The first of many horse books to be casualties of the list.  Not enough horse lovers out there, I guess.]

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
(#6) – 5 points

[Note: Considering how popular a Newbery Honor it was, what are we to make of the fact that almost no one thought to include it on their list?]

Bunnicula by James Howe
(#3)(#3)(#7)(#7)(#9) – 26 points

[Note: I was really hoping this one would make the Top 100 list as it is a personal favorite of mine.  As you can see, though, nobody ever made it their number one.  The points and the votes just weren’t quite there.]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

(#2)(#3)(#6)(#7) – 26 points

[Note: I find this just as baffling as you do.  All that I can assume is that teachers told their kids not to include this book since it could be considered a graphic novel and not a chapter book.  That might also explain why, in the end, Dog Days (Wimpy Kid #4) got more votes (five in total).

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
(#6) – 5 points

The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay
(#4)(#10) – 8 points

This is a new favorite for me, discovered only a few years ago. Presumably most Australian children know this delightful food-focused classic. – Jennifer Wharton, Youth Services Librarian, Matheson Memorial Library

I may be alone here, but that book rocks. – Matthew Wigdahl

[Note: I believe that this is one of author Philip Pullman’s favorite books.  A pity he didn’t take the poll.]

Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry
(#2)(#3)(#3)(#6)(#8)(#10)(#10) – 35 points

I can not tell you how often I wished Anastasia was my real-life friend, that my mom illustrated books, or that my best friend had a pair of jeans that were so filthy they stood on their own in the closet.
Jenn Bertman

This was the book that introduced me to Anastasia, a smart girl who was quirky and not like every other girl out there. While Lowry’s other books are great, this was a book that I loved re-reading (and then made my own notebook a la Anastasia!)
– Erin Hibshman, Librarian, Rheems and Fairview Elementary, Elizabethtown Area School District

I loved Anastasia because she was a normal girl with normal problems (glasses, acne, cool-but-embarrassing parents, annoying little brothers, etc). She was also smart and funny, and I envied her hiking boots with red laces (and later her tower bedroom).
– Jennifer Sauls

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
(#1)(#3)(#6)(#7)(#9)(#10)(#10)(#10) – 32 points

Betty MacDonald’s Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books, all of them.  (I remember the first two BEFORE the Hilary Knight illustrations).  I actually was asked to leave the school library once in 4th grade because I was laughing so hard.  (As I was usually an almost disgustingly well-behaved kid, this was unusual…)  I reread them a few years ago and still giggle.  The best ones are the ones that rely on natural processes for the “cure”, such as the Fighter-Quarrelers Cure and the Selfishness Cure, not the ones with magic powders and stuff.  They get the ideas across without laying on the morality with a trowel. – Freda Bluestone Birnbaum

[Note: It broke my heart to remove this from the Top 100.  I still don’t think I’ve recovered.]

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
(#4)(#5)(#5)(#7)(#8)(#10)(#10) – 28 points

A contemporary OLD YELLER for dog/animal lovers with a warm-hearted protaganist in Marty. Good parental character as well. –  Donna Carey, Chattanooga, TN

One of my Newbery favorites.  It can be rough reading (emotionally) at times, but I think it’s remarkable.  The sequels are fine, but this one is the best.  – Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton

Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
(#5)(#7)(#9) – 12 points

Such strong characters are here–those you love, those you hate, those you pity, and those you just want to smack a good one straight across the back o’ the head (i.e., Call). Wheeze is so incredibly real, so honest, and, amazingly enough, so is Caroline. Even when you hate her you don’t hate her.
– Kristi Hazelrigg, Media Specialist, Parkview Elementary

The mark of a classic is a book that can span the ages, and that you can get something different out of, each time you read it. I’ve read this one twice in my life: once as a child, where (as the oldest) I identified strongly with Louise’s insecurities and desire for attention. And once as an adult, where I cringed at the parents treatment of Louise and hoped I could be a better parent. I could probably read it again later and get something else from it. And I probably will, too.
– Melissa Fox (Book Nut)

A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
(#2)(#3)(#6)(#7)(#7) – 30 points

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
(#2)(#7) – 13 points

Another great story with vivid setting and characters. An epic story and the best coming-of-age book I know. – Carl Schwanke, Imaginon/Spangler Children’s Library, Charlotte, NC

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
(#1)(#1)(#1)(#2)(#3)(#4)(#5)(#6)(#6)(#6)(#8)(#9)(#10) – 81 points

[Note: You have a right to be confused.  By all rights a book with 81 points should have appeared on the Top 100 list.  Yet this somehow ended up the only Harry Potter book that didn’t make the list.  How is it possible?

The answer lies in the first week the poll results started coming in.  As I got votes I realized that a lot of teachers were assigning this poll to their classrooms.  What’s more, not all the kids seemed to want to include anything aside from what was currently in movie theaters / based on television shows / assigned by their teacher for class.  And so, I had to add this note to the poll rules:

“In the event that a class of kids votes, I will count the votes and tally them.  However, for a classroom child’s vote to count (and I’m sorry to do this guys, but I can’t see any way around it) two adults must have voted for the same book for it to appear on the Top 100 poll.  Individual votes from kids will count as the same as adult votes.  The reason for this is that often teachers will make this poll an assignment in class and it sometimes seems as if not all the kids want to participate.  To avoid vote swaying, we have had to institute this rule.”

I didn’t want to do it and maybe you feel this makes the poll entirely defunct.  I don’t blame you for feeling that way.  But when I release all the votes that I received, you will see that had I counted all the child votes the poll would have been at least 50% fantasy sequels published in the last 5 years.  Perhaps an enterprising soul will feel inclined to show the REAL Top 100 Poll, including all child votes.

I made an executive decision on this one.  My apologies if it displeases.]

There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom by Louis Sachar
(#3)(#3)(#3)(#4)(#6)(#9) – 38 points

Remains one of the funniest books I have ever read.
– Karen Halpenny, Book Editor, Sesame Street Events Co-Chair

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
(#2)(#7)(#9)(#10) – 16 points

Deeply wise and profound, and unique and artistic, it’s still a wonderful read for all. One of the few books (I’m not ashamed to say) I cried over when I first read it, and something that can genuinely, in its own quiet way, can change your world views. Plus it is a great story, and, hey, international. – Billy

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
(#6)(#7)(#7)(#9)(#10) – 16 points

If something new is going to make it onto this list, it’s my favorite story of cream puffs and Shakespeare and boys with ridiculous names.  Toads, beetles, bats!

Funny and lovely.
– Lisa Gordis, Barnard College

A Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
(#3)(#5)(#6)(#7)(#7)(#8)(#8)(#9) – 35 points

Genius characters, not cliched, even the ones that verge on stereotypes. – Schuyler Hooke

Stands-the-test-of time, magic happens, great illustrations! – Kate Colquitt, Teen Services Librarian, The Greenburgh Public Library, Elmsford, NY

Please let this make the top 100! This book needs a renaissance!- Dreadful Penny

The most charming book about a bug ever. – Katie Fee, Associate Marketing Manager, Bloomsbury Children’s Books and Walker Books for Young Readers

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
(#2)(#6) –14 points

For the lessons in empathy that still live with me. – Elena Blake

The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatly Snyder
(#8) – 3 points

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
(#1)(#1)(#3)(#6)(#7)(#10) – 38 points

My favorite adventure book as a boy which I re-read each year for many years. – David Ziegler

The greatest pirate story ever written, action, adventure, exotic locales, vivid characters, and a true coming-of-age tale that doesn’t wrap things up nicely and neatly (young Hawkins has nightmares about it afterwards) What more could you want? – Carl Schwanke, Imaginon/Spangler Children’s Library, Charlotte, NC

[Note: It will depress some of you, but until the last three days of the polling month this book was continually on the Top 100 list.]

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
(#6)(#7) – 9 points

Just so much fun.
– Sarah Haliwell

The Boxcar Children
by Gertrude Chandler Warner
(#2)(#3)(#7)(#8)(#8)(#10)(#10)(#10)(#10) – 31 points

The first book was the best because the kids had the most independence and ingenuity.  The drivel currently being pushed out as the continuing series makes me nauseous. I knew vampires had hit super saturation in children’s literature when there was a Boxcar Children book about it.  I’m waiting for the angels book.  – Abigail Goben

This made me want to live in a boxcar – I wonder if it’s the first survival book for children. – Paige Ysteboe

Stuart Little by E. B. White
(#3)(#5)(#9) – 16 points

This title and Charlotte’s Web began my lifelong love of reading. – DeAnn Okamura

[Note: As near as I can figure, folks felt inclined to include only one E.B. White book on the list.  As such, both this title and The Trumpet of the Swan (with a mere three votes and 7 points to its name) lost out.]

The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
(#1)(#3)(#5)(#8) – 27 points


About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Thanks for the great list,you did a really good job. Most of my childhood favorites were there, but I don’t understand the absence of writers like E. Nesbit and Diana Wynne Jones. I was of the opinion that any book list concerned with children must mention these writers…

    Well, you can’t please everyone. Anyway, nice work 🙂

    PS: Did anyone vote for Neil Gaiman’s Coraline?

  2. David Ziegler says

    Aaarrr! So ye be tellin’ me Treasure Island just missed yer top one hunred? Curses! I be giving the black spot ta all ye scurvy curs what ignored this best o’ all pirate tales….

    My favorites in this list, besides a certain pirate book, are: Ranger’s Apprentice – Ruins of Gorlan, Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Danny Champion of the World, Shiloh, Bunnicula, Black Cauldron, The House With a Clock in its Walls, Artemis Fowl and the Cricket in Times Square. Maybe it’s just me, but this “Missed the Top 100” list seems a bit more friendly to reluctant readers and boys.

    Is it possible to break down how many females vs. males voted in the poll?

    Had I listed more of my childhood favorites on my original list, it would have included Snow Treasure, Lost on the Barrens (Farley Mowat), The Enormous Egg, Silver for General Washington, Paddle to the Sea, and Minn of the Mississippi (both by Holling C. Holling).

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Top 100 list, and the exercise of trying to pick and rate my favorites, plus so many great discoveries. I stand in awe of Betsy’s accomplishment in pulling off this great feat. Kudos!!!

  3. Jim (Teacherninja) says

    Thanks for this! Another fantastic list of books. what’s funny is I think I’ve read more of these than the ones that made the “official” list.

    I still think Heart of a Chief is a great book–it’s just not well known enough.

    As for Sounder/Shiloh/Old Yeller, I think people had the same thought I did and could only bring themselves to put one sad dog book on the list and it looks like Where the Red Fern Grows rose to the top.

  4. Chris in NY says

    Ohhh, good list. I would have thought Anastasia might have made it….

  5. Regarding the absence of Wimpy Kid…

    I wonder if your list has the same problem as the Newberys, the Oscars and so many others — the search for “distinguished.”

    “Distinguished” is nice, but so is convulsive laughter.

    Scroll through the top 100 and you’ll only find a few funny books and as far as I can see only Roald Dahl and Sideways Stories representing the actual humor category.

    The Wimpy Kid saga is still unfolding. Perhaps if this poll were done again in a few years when the series is complete and part of school library canon…

  6. Regarding male votes vs. female, women pretty much overshadowed men 4:1 or so. Then again, the comments on this post so far have been mostly male. Interesting.

    I’d count Rowling as a funny writer too. I think Wimpy Kid’s problem was it’s odd mix of cartoon and writing. Folks didn’t know if it counted as a “chapter book” or novel. I think it does, but it sort of stands out in a category entirely of its own.

  7. My Boaz's Ruth says

    Actually, I very much appreciate you making that rule about adults voting as well. I already feel like kids voting made some huge changes to the list. (and there were too many harry potters.) Partly because, unlike the adults, 20-30 students in a class are more likely to have recently read/have on the top of their minds the same book and so more likely to be putting the exact same books on the list as each other rather than scattered folks with different backgrounds, etc.

    And yes, this poll is at least as much about which books had wider dissemination.

    Maybe, SamR, convulsive laughter is great for the moment, but most people don’t feel that it has the lasting power of a less humorous book. *shrug* that could be why there are so few humors. When the series is complete, I actually expect Wimpy Kid to fade away similar to the Animorphs that were so popular for a while.

    (And there was a LOT of Roald Dahl)

  8. The House With a Clock in its Walls, Anastasia Krupnik, and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle especially are so dear to me- those are books I’ve read and reread over and over!

  9. Fascinating. I was delighted to see how close it was for some of my favorites. The saddest omission for me was that not a single Eleanor Estes book made the top 100, though I confess I wasn’t sure if The Hundred Dresses (short as it is) should count as a novel. But that book, The Moffats or Ginger Pye would all have been worthy inclusions. I loved Estes’ work in my own childhood (still do) and I’ve been delighted to see how my daughter loves it too.

    If I’d gone with my husband’s gut, I would have predicted Peter Pan in the top ten. It’s not a favorite of mine, but he absolutely loves it and was astonished to think that it wouldn’t make this list at all. He felt sure it would come in high.

    I think one reason more Beverly Cleary books didn’t make the top 100 is simply because her books are so rich — there was just too much to choose from, and I suspect a lot of Cleary votes got split.

    Among newer things, I was so happy to see The Wednesday Wars got some votes…what a wonderful book! I was a bit surprised to not see A Crooked Kind of Perfect make the almost-cut.

    Animal books didn’t fare well in general, did they? At least not realistic ones.

  10. Oh, and I meant to say I’m also surprised that Heidi didn’t make the almost-list. A classic I found late — and one I love.

  11. My Boaz's Ruth says

    My husband was/is pretty upset with me that I didn’t tell him about this poll in time to submit his own top 10. (I didn’t think he’d be interested. This is not the blog he follows, even after I pointed out the top 100 picture books poll back when!)

    I was most disappointed in the lack of love for Swiss Family Robinson.
    His favorite in that series (lloyd Alexander) is the Taran Wanderer. He’ll be sad to see it got no love because he missed out.

  12. You know, I didn’t vote, so I have no right to complain, but there are a few books I’m amazed didn’t make it on here: (or didn’t even get a vote)

    I read these books in the third or fourth grade.

    • Any of the Great Brain books.
    • Carry On Mr. Bowditch (one of my favorites as a kid)
    •Cheaper by the Dozen
    • The Dueling Machine by Ben Bova

    At any rate, thanks for doing the poll. Tbis is great fodder for myself to read all these YA books I never did.

  13. Laurie (Six Boxes of Books) says

    Still no Daniel Pinkwater, even on this list. Huh.

  14. My Boaz's Ruth says

    Cheaper by the Dozen would have been about 4 on my top 10, but I was told that it was true, so didn’t qualify 🙁

    I love the Great Brains. But too many I loved more. Have not read the others.

  15. Betsy,

    Just a quick question to clarify…these are the books that people had predicted would make the top 10, but which didn’t make the top 100 at all, correct?

    The full list of books that people voted for, but which didn’t make the top 100, is still to come, yes?

    Loving following the continuing saga, and hoping there’s another day’s worth to come!

    Thanks again!

  16. Anastasia Krupnik is the reason I moved to Massachusetts. No lie.

  17. I found out about this too late to vote, but I’m surprised there’s nothing by Dick King-Smith on here. But then, I think he’s not very well known in the US, despite being the author of Babe. We discovered him this winter, when someone gave us “Lady Lollipop” as a present, and now I’m on a mission to introduce him to the world…

  18. Beth–I voted for Heidi, but it doesn’t look as if anyone else did.

  19. I’m just discovering this project now, and I’m really impressed. (As are all my friends: I posted it on Facebook and 3 people immediately stole it.) And I’m a data geek, so I may even ask Eric for the spreadsheet.

    That said, where the heck is The Pushcart War? (Ditto The Great Brain and Encyclopedia Brown.)

  20. Connie Rockman says

    To My Boaz’s Ruth (love that moniker) – Taran Wanderer is also my favorite of the Prydain books, but I voted Book of Three (my #1) as the start of a wonderful adventure. I hope many more folks discover the greatness of that series through this list.

    Lovely to see others who are crazy for Mrs. Piggle Wiggle – I read some of the stories aloud recently to a group of 4-6 graders and they begged for more. The setting may be a bit dated, but the storytelling and humor are rich and alive.

    A few horses – but still no Black Stallion – how can that be??

    And how sweet to see the love for The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles – written before the term “celebrity author” had ever been heard. I always loved that Julie used her married name as author (it was originally published as just Julie Edwards) and didn’t trade on her fame so the book could stand on its own.

  21. So many lovely books! I was surprised that Peter Pan didn’t make the top 100. It was always a favorite of mine, but fell in my 11-20 range, and so I didn’t vote for it myself.

    And it’s nice to see love for “The Thief Lord”. I think it might be my favorite of Funke’s work, and that’s a hard choice to make.

  22. (grrr, it ate my comment, grrr.)

    My Boaz’s Ruth, I DID vote for Taran Wanderer (#6 on my poor, underrepresented list), so that can be some consolation to your husband.

    Adangeus, I voted for Coraline (#10 on my list), and I got the sense from something Betsy said in the Graveyard Book entry that other people had, too—and that there was no overlap between Coraline voters and Graveyard Book voters. Though, to be honest, I forgot Haroun and the Sea of Stories, which ought to have appeared on my list and bumped Coraline off.

  23. Betsy, I 100% agree with( and applaude ) your decision on the classroom lists. In order for a tally of the “best of” something (ie. books) to be meaningful, the larger the pool of candidates the more valid the outcome. Someone who has been reading children’s novels for 50 years has so much more to choose from than someone who has been reading them for 5 years.

  24. Oh, these are great books, too. Bottom line, a book that makes anyone’s top ten list, especially from a bunch of librarians, is going to have a lot of merit. Of my top ten, I tried to cheat to count Winnie-the-Pooh AND House at Pooh Corner by voting for The World of Pooh as #2, so it didn’t make the list. My #5, The Queen of Attolia (which I really think of as YA) didn’t make the list, but The Thief did.

    The one I knew wouldn’t show up but wish everyone knew about is MOMO, by Michael Ende, who also wrote THE NEVERENDING STORY. When I moved to Germany, a copy of MOMO in the original language was the first thing I bought. It’s about a girl who has a gift for listening and is able to defeat the Gray Men, who are time thieves. No one else can even see them. They convince people to save time, but then they steal the time. That’s why the more you try to save time, the less you have. A great story that’s also convicting! (Yet reads as a wonderful tale, not as a moralistic fable. It feels like it could really be happening.)

  25. People commented while I was writing my long comment —
    Connie, The Black Stallion books were my absolute favorites when I was a kid, but I’m afraid my other choices pushed them off my vote list, just barely.
    Sherry, I came super close to voting for Heidi, to the point that on another day I probably would have.
    This is where it would be fun to see whom the top 100 AUTHORS would be, if you just counted their votes toward the author, not the individual book. Beverly Cleary would appear a lot higher, I’m sure!

  26. Genevieve says

    Connie, I didn’t learn that Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles was really by Julie Andrews until I grew up. Loved that book as a kid. So creative and strange – I still remember the High-Behind Splintercat and the Prock and the Whiffle Bird, and the seemingly lovely boat that dispensed amazing ice cream sundaes . . . and the professor with his umbrella covered with yellow butterflies, to encourage people to look up instead of down.

    So very glad that other people voted for Wednesday Wars, too! I hope it will have staying power and gather more votes by the tenth-anniversary poll. My son’s teacher has assigned it to his reading group and they are loving it, and I’m so impressed that she assigned it.

    Highly enjoyed the Miss Piggle-Wiggle books as a kid, glad to see them here.

    Would have expected to see Lisa Yee’s “Millicent Min, Girl Genius” here, if this is a list of good books people voted for, not people’s top ten predictions (I don’t think it can be that, because Betsy said no one put Peter Pan on their predictions list).

  27. Barbara Ecton says

    I don’t see Thimble Summer,by Elizabeth Enright — another almost perfect novel in my opinion; or, Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce — a great time travel, maybe the best.

    Great list though!

  28. Fear not, folks. The books you love that didn’t appear on this list either (I really should have included Heidi, doggone it) will be printed in full in two days time. Tomorrow I’ll print out the books that came the closest to making it. They’re the unofficial #101-120. After that. . . . EVERYTHING.

  29. Jennifer Schultz says

    I voted for Babe, the Gallant Pig and Ginger Pye; I had a feeling that they might not make the list, but wanted them to at least have a chance. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s list!

  30. J. L. Bell says

    Suggestion for next poll: top children’s book series.

    Series are so much a part of children’s reading and children’s publishing, and, as some of these novels and those on the lists show, people often remember series as a whole.

  31. hoping for some Steig tomorrow!

  32. I just want to put in a word for Diana Wynne Jones, as did Adangeus. I so wish she would show up on more of these lists, and that she had a group of fans as prodigious as her talent.

  33. I agree about the “series” request. I spent an entire summer break at my grandmother’s reading “The Liitle House on the Prairie” series and while no single book stands out in my memory, the overall feeling of enjoyment is revived each time I see the set on my bookshelf!

  34. Oh I love Dick King-Smith’s books too. Babe: The Gallant Pig is one of the best read-alouds ever. It was surprising to see how many excellent British authors didn’t make it. No Nesbit on this list at all…though her influence is surely felt in so many people’s work, including Edgar Eager and C.S. Lewis.

  35. And Beth, the whole Sophie series is great. A perfect introduction to “quirky girl” type books. My daughter wants to write to him and ask for more.

  36. Brooke Shirts says

    Here’s to hoping that Sid Fleischman gets his due in the 101-120 list. Although, I think the problem with his novels is that there are too many to vote for. Which do you choose? The Whipping Boy? By the Great Horn Spoon? I’m partial to Djingo, Django, myself, although I’m probably pretty much by my lonesome on that one.

  37. No Diana Wynne Jones! I had two in my original top 10, but by the time we’d reached #12 and I voted for my prediction of the top ten, I knew that there were other books that had more time and weight behind them, so I left them off.
    I still think it’s a crime that not one of her books made it though. 🙁

  38. As I read this post in the wee hours this morning I kept turning to my cat to comment and exclaim. She was not much invested in the conversation.

    Work has been too crazy til now to comment a large:

    Lovely to see Anastacia. I wished they’d come out with different covers. I can’t get today’s fems interested.

    I don’t think there is a book I detest more than Sounder. After reading it I wanted to put my head in the road and have a really big truck run over it. So dismal. Give me Mildred Taylor any day.

    Ranger’s Apprentice is another scorching hot series here abouts.

    It would have been nice to have Piggle-Wiggle and Boxcar on the list, but as I wasn’t willing to give them space I will keep the whimpering to a minimum.

    Year Down Yonder and Wednesday Wars just missed my list as well. Here hoping Holling Hoodhood shows up next time.

    If this current crop of readers grows up to participate in a poll like this, many will cite the Wimpy Kid books as what got them reading.

  39. Connie Rockman says

    Barbara – can’t believe I forgot Tom’s Midnight Garden – yes, yes, the best time travel book ever … and if I had re-read it more recently it would have absolutely made my top ten. Oh, so many books, so few spaces!

  40. One book I love, and which I was hoping might turn up somewhere, is Diane Stanley’s Bella at Midnight. One of the best mid-grade fairy-tales/fantasies ever, in my humble opinion, and yet I hardly ever hear it mentioned. Any other fans out there?

    Taran Wanderer is arguably my favorite Prydain book as well, though the whole series is wonderful. I’m glad to see that Black Cauldron got some votes too.

    Erika, I bet Dick King-Smith would love it if your daughter wrote to him! We’ve sent emails/notes to a couple of my daughter’s favorite picture book authors and gotten some wonderful notes in return.

  41. When I voted, I KNEW The Wednesday Wars wouldn’t make the top 100, but went for it anyway, so I’m glad to see that it makes other folks happy.

  42. Barbara – The best part of this list is finding out about books I missed the first time around. So I enter Tom’s Midnight Garden into Amazon to read the summary and reviews and notice that the review that is most helpful to others was written by, now get this, E.R. Bird in 2005. Could it be…? Hmmm. So it’s on to Tom’s Midnight Garden right after I finish Anne of Green Gables.

  43. Oooh, the thought of a 101-120 list is very exciting!

    This has been so great- there are many more books that I’ve loved but neglected to put on my list. And with one 3rd grader this fall and three more coming up, we have a great reading list.

  44. Copy that, Radar 3, this is E.R. The Fuse is blown. Repeat that, The Fuse is blown. Institute Operation Anonymous. Over.

  45. Sondy, I own MOMO. It’s my favorite nickname and I was soooo excited when I found it in a store that I had to have it, and I fell in LOVE with it. I absolutely love Michael Ende’s writing–The Neverending Story was a favorite movie when I was a kid and the book is just beautiful! Just wanted to let you know you aren’t the only one 🙂

  46. I had two in my personal top ten that didn’t make the cut on the official list and Tom’s Midnight Garden was one of them so I join the other fans in their surprise.

    It is my personal hope, that if this poll is repeated in 20 years that all of those readers who were turned on to reading by Wimpy Kid , have read so widely that they learn to recognize that, unlike the large majority of the books in this Top 100, while funny it may be, it has little else to recommend it in a top 100 of all time. I’m hoping as Lucia pointed out in her comment here that the extra years of reading novels will give some of these Wimpy Kids fans a bit more perspective. I know personal tastes vary and I do believe kids have the right and need to read what they want to read sans my judgement of quality, but this is a series I just can’t bring myself to “recommend” to any but the most reluctant of reluctant readers. I just can’t get past how Greg just passes his “meaness” down to his little brother and his best friend. It’s like the meanest bits of Dahl’s books but without the quality of writing and imagination.

    Well, a girl can hope, can’t she?

  47. I find that shocking that only TWO others put Stuart Little in their top ten. Maybe I need to reread it, but I still think of Stuart to this day when I walk through Central Park!

  48. I love SOUNDER!!!

    Note to self: Next time participate in polls and surveys. :o(

  49. Laurie (Six Boxes of Books) says

    Barbara wrote, “I don’t see Thimble Summer,by Elizabeth Enright — another almost perfect novel in my opinion.” I am so pleased, though, that Enright has two books in the top 100 as she is truly one of the great American authors. I think The Saturdays and Gone-Away Lake are superior to Thimble Summer, and I’m happy that so many other people voted for them too.

    Diana Wynne Jones: every time another Harry Potter book appeared on the list, I thought how the DWJ fans must be gnashing their teeth. Sorry she didn’t make it into the top 100.

  50. Genevieve says

    DeAn, I love Stuart Little (and The Trumpet of the Swan), but I didn’t put them on my top ten because I had Charlotte there and was already pushing other books out to get it down to 10. But I did think Stuart would show up somewhere on the list – guess most people vote-split like I did. Sorry, Stuart.

  51. My Boaz''s Ruth says

    Dianna Wynne Jones — Hrms. I like her books. They are fun reads (though I didn’t find her as an author until I was an adult and another friend recomemdned her.) But none of them really stick out their heads, one above the other. The closest is the Christamanci series. And even then.. Well, I like to read them once, not re-read? I guess what I’m saying is that she has quantity and consistent quality, but maybe there is something about her books that just don’t make themselves stuck? So, as an author she’d make a list. But when you have to choose an individual book, not so much…

  52. Came too late to join the fun but I guessed Charlotte’s Web as in the top 3 – I put The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe there too but missed by one. I also put Anne of Green Gables there – but I’m a Prince Edward Islander and that’s my excuse. She made the top ten and that’s pretty good. I haven’t noticed any Eva Ibbotson – Star of Kazan is lovely and so is Island of the Aunts. ALso no Rumer Godden – another loved author. Other than that, I’ve seen most of my favourites. Except the book with the main character whose name is Ramona (not the famous R Quimby) who lived in New England and was a chubby little tomboy whose father was a doctor – I can clearly remember a picture of her riding on a tree branch and pretending it was a horse. Sigh. One of my favourite childhood books – and I can’t remember the title or author. (read it in the 60’s) Does anyone recognize it?
    Thanks for this wonderful list!