Best Children's Books
Patricia MacLachlan (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Historical Fiction; Book Themes: Family, Frontier and Pioneer Life
In "Sarah, Plain and Tall", author Patricia MacLachlan tells a moving story about the creation of a family. In simple language, a little girl named Anna talks about how Sarah from Maine comes to the prairie to live with her, her brother, and her widowed father. This historic fiction has won many awards, including Newbery Award, Christopher Award, Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction for Children, Golden Kite Award for Fiction and Notable Children's Book. "Sarah, Plain and Tall" is one of the best children's books. Kids in second grade through sixth grade will enjoy this classic chapter book.
Robert McCloskey (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Children's Picture Books; Book Theme: Animals
"Blueberries for Sal" is a classic book that tells a gentle and engaging story. Funny noise words such as Kuplink, kuplank and kuplunk add to the attraction of this great read-aloud book. A little girl named Sal and a little bear have a bit of an adventure when the little bear follows little Sal's mother and little Sal follows the little bear's mother on a blueberries-picking trip. Preschoolers, kindergarteners and beginning readers will enjoy this Caldecott honor book by Robert McCloskey. "Blueberries for Sal" is one of the best picture books for children.
Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Paperback)
Genres: Fiction - Fantasy Books, Humorous Stories
BFG, the Big Friendly Giant, is a kind and lovable character. His jumbled language will get laughs out of children. BFG and Sophie, a little orphan girl, go on an adventure that ends with the capture of nine horrible giants with the help of the Queen of England. "The BFG" is one of the best children's fantasy books. Kids in 4th grade through 7th grade will enjoy this imaginative humorous story and the magic world created by author Roald Dahl and illustrator Quentin Blake.
Edward Eager (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Fantasy Books
"Half Magic" by Edward Eager is one of the best children's books of the 20th century. In this classic of children's literature, four siblings - Jane, Katharine, Mark, and Martha - embark on fascinating magical adventures after Jane finds a magic coin that grants half of each wish. Children come to learn they need to choose words carefully in order for magic to work as desired. "Half Magic" is a wonderful fantasy book with an engaging story, strong characters and well-thought-out plot.
Mary Norton, Joe Krush, Beth Krush (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Fantasy Books
"The Borrowers" by Mary Norton is one of the best children' books of the 20th century and an enduring classic chapter book that has delighted generations of children. Main characters of the story are the borrowers, tiny people who borrow from humans. One borrower family -- Pod, Homily, and daughter Arrietty -- lives under the floorboards of an old English country house. A boy spotted the borrowers' daughter and they become friends. Danger looms when Mrs. Driver, the housekeeper, discovers their secret home. This engaging fantasy book is good for children in 4th grade through 7th grade.
Richard Adams (Paperback)
Genres: Fiction - Adventure Books, Animal Fantasy; Book Theme: Animals
"Watership Down" by Richard Adams, one of the best novels of the 20th century, is a riveting animal fantasy book beloved by young adults and adults alike. A group of rabbits set out on a long journey to find a new home after a small rabbit named Fiver senses great danger to their warren. They go through many adventures before reaching Watership Down. Soon after the rabbits settle down at their home on the down, they go on another dangerous adventure to fetch female rabbits from Efrafa, a warren tightly controlled by a ruthless Chief Rabbit, General Woundwort.
Part of the attraction of this classic adventure story stems from its diverse and interesting characters. The talking animals have distinct personalities. Hazel the leader is fair, quick-minded and always looks out for the interests of the group. Bigwig the fighter is strong, brave and willing to stick out for the weak. Fiver the prophet is small and nervous. Woundwort the villain is intelligent, fearless and power-crazy. "Watership Down" also includes several chapters of short tales about El-ahrairah, the "Prince with a Thousand Enemies", who is cunning and clever.
Lois Lowry (Mass Market Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Science Fiction
"The Giver" by Lois Lowry is a thought-provoking young adult science fiction novel. The protagonist of this powerful story is a 12-year-old boy named Jonas, who lives in a highly ordered community. The Elders assign jobs, spouses and families. Pain, poverty and war are non-existent. At the coming-of-age Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas was selected to become the new Receiver of Memory. As the giver transfers memories of the past to him, a whole new world opens up for the boy. After he discovers the terrible truth about his community, Jonas goes on a dangerous journey to escape. "The Giver" has received many awards, including 1994 Newbery Medal, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book, ALA Best Book for Young Adults and ALA Notable Children's Book. With original plot and believable characters, "The Giver" appeals to teens in 8th grade and up.
Louise Fitzhugh (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Realistic Fiction
"Harriet the Spy" is one of the best children's books in the genre of realistic fiction. Louise Fitzhugh creates a memorable character in Harriet, who likes to write down everything about everybody in her notebook, including her friends, her classmates and the people she observes on her spy route. Harriet Welsch has a lot to cope with. Her beloved nanny departs. Her classmates, including her best friends, turn against her after reading her notebook. Kids in 4th grade through 7th grade will enjoy the honest portrayal of this 11-year-old girl.
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