Absolutely Wonderful Children's Books

As long as libraries are free,
your child is rich.
A large and wonderful list of books sorted by reading level.

Books for children, ages 4-8

Mythology Books for middle school students.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. Even though Lemony is a neighbor and a friend, we say his books are fantastic--far superior to Harry Potter. Not for under 10 years of age.

Charlotte's Web--a great book which adults will enjoy as well as children. What book is better than this?

Harry Potter books for young adults. Polpular, but lacks the literary value of Lemony Snicket.

The Smart Little Saver by Matt Fuller. A painless way to teach young people to adopt the value of saving.

Lessons from the 100 Acre Wood--for Pooh Bear lovers. Can be appreciated for children up to 12.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary. Age 6 to 9.

Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary. Age 6 to 9.

Ribsy by Beverly Cleary. If your child is 4-9 and likes dogs, you child will love this book. It is exceptionally well written. Cleary shows in this book that she's a masterful writer. Adults will love reading this book to their children and will marvel at Cleary's talent.

The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe--high end literature which makes it a good read for adults too. Lots of symbolism. Don't give to a child below the age of 12.

The Hobbit--12 to adult.

Stellaluna--a classic and for good reason. Age 3 to 10.

Good Night, Gorilla. -- I love this book. When I get to choose the book, this is the one. Ages 1 to 5.

Dr. De Soto by William Steig --  This book is enchanting. One of the reasons it's great to be a parent. Age 3 to 5.

The Golly Sisters Go West -- this is a wonderfully entertaining book at 3rd grade level. The characterizations are creative and amusing.

Bears--Life in the Wild by Monica Kulling. Figure from 3rd through 5th grade level.

The Big Box by Pulitzer Prize winning author Toni Morrison. Ages 5 through adult. Strong message about confomity and some unhealthy influences of popular culture. Makes a great gift. We've given this book to several of our friends and we know children who consider this their favorite book. Not all reviews have been positive but we like it a lot. Malvina Reynolds would have liked it too.

The Pigman by Paul Zindel. Kind of a reworking of The Ice Man Cometh. Very high interest for middle school and has strong literary value. Zindel's only good book. Take an 11 year old who hates books, make him read the first three pages, and he will not give you the book back even if you threaten him with bodily harm. It's too bad Zindel went on to write garbage. His Man in The Moon Marigolds was fightfully overrated as a play.

Cheaper by the Dozen -- ages 11 to 17. Dated and delightful.

Matilda by Roald Dahl. We've met a number of people who love this book with a passion.

The Human Comedy by William Saroyan. 12 and over

My Name is Aram by William Saroyan. 11 and over.

James and the Giant Peach by Roadl Dahl

The Little Prince. All ages.

Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. Dialect makes it a challenge but it connects to the heart and mind of a 12 year old.

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. Like The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, this is almost too advanced to be a child's book and is replete with symbolism. Extraordinarily well written. High end literature. OK for 12 years if a smart 12.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Probably best read at 17. An amazing novel.

Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. Not for under 17. Many cite this as their favorite book.

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. Dated by loved by many 10-13 year olds.

Rumblefish by S. E. Hinton. Flashbacks make it difficult to follow and is a little depressing. 10 to 13 year olds.

The Cay --  6th grade. Controversial but good.

Bridge to Terabitha --  6th grade. Excellent book.

Island of the Blue Dolphins -- 6th grade

Tuck Everlasting -- a strange book. Well written with some unexpected, shocking violence. 4th grade to 6th grade but could be appreciated by adults.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. This is far better than average literature. Best for 15 and older.

The Yearling. Very good coming-of-age book. Age 11 - 15.

A Day No Pigs Would Die

Mariposa by Francisco Jimenez

The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez. Age 12 and older. Absolutely excellent.

Animal Farm by George Orwell. Age 16 and above.

A large list of children's books sorted by grade level.

Morrill Books