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Books For KidsBooks For Kids

167 Most Important Children's Books

Divided into two lists by age-level, these are classic and contemporary classic children's books that everyone will want to read. You may check each title's location and availability in the Library's catalog by clicking the title of the book.
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop
A collection of nearly sixty fables from Aesop, including such familiar ones as "The Grasshopper and the Ants," "The North Wind and the Sun," "Androcles and the Lion," "The Troublesome Dog," and "The Fox and the Stork."

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
by Joan Aiken
A melodrama set in the early 19th century in England, where two little girls must outwit their evil governess-guardian.

Little Women
by Louisa May Alcott
Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young ladies in nineteenth-century New England.

Mr. Popper's Penguins
by Richard Atwater
The unexpected delivery of a large crate containing an Antarctic penguin changes the life and fortunes of Mr. Popper, a house painter obsessed by dreams of the Polar regions.

Jenny and the Cat Club
by Esther Averill
Jenny Linsky, a black cat who lives with Captain Tinker in New York City, has adventures with the neighborhood cats who belong to the Cat Club.

The Devil's Storybook
by Natalie Babbitt
Ten stories recount the Devil's exploits, successes and failures, in Hell and in the world above.

Tuck Everlasting
by Natalie Babbitt
The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing any older.

Peter Pan
by James Barrie
The adventures of Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up.

The Wizard of Oz
by L. Frank Baum
After a cyclone transports her to the land of Oz, Dorothy must seek out the great Wizard in order to return to Kansas.

A Bear Called Paddington
by Michael Bond
A very small bear found by Mr. and Mrs. Brown at Paddington station becomes one of the family.

Old Mother West Wind
by Thornton Waldo Burgess
The adventures of Peter Rabbit, Johnny Chuck, Reddy Fox, the Merry Little Breezes, and all their companions in the fields, the woods, and the streams.

The Secret Garden
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Ten-year-old Mary comes to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors and discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden.

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet
by Eleanor Cameron
A mystery man inspires two boys to build a space ship which takes them to the planet of Basidium to help the Mushroom people.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll
A little girl falls down a rabbit hole and discovers a world of nonsensical and amusing characters.

Through the Looking Glass
by Lewis Carroll
In this sequel to "Alice in Wonderland," Alice goes through the mirror to find a strange world where curious adventures await her.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle
by Beverly Cleary
A reckless young mouse named Ralph makes friends with a boy in room 215 of the Mountain View Inn and discovers the joys of motorcycling.

Ramona the Pest
by Beverly Cleary
Ramona meets lots of interesting people in kindergarten class, like Davy whom she keeps trying to kiss and Susan whose springy curls seem to ask to be pulled.

Beezus and Ramona
by Beverly Cleary
Beezus' biggest problem was her 4-year-old sister Ramona. Even though Beezus knew sisters were supposed to love each other, with a sister like Ramona, it seemed impossible.

Ramona Quimby, Age 8
by Beverly Cleary
The further adventures of the Quimby family as Ramona enters the third grade.

Book of Greek Myths
by Edgar & Ingri D'Aulaire
The stories of the gods, goddesses, and mortal descendents of Zeus

The Great Brain
by John D. Fitzgerald
The exploits of the Great Brain of Adenville, Utah are described by his younger brother, frequently the victim of the Great Brainís schemes for gaining prestige or money.

Harriet the Spy
by Louise Fitzhugh
Eleven-year-old Harriet keeps notes on her classmates and neighbors in a secret notebook, but when some of the students read the notebook, they seek revenge

My Father's Dragon
by Ruth Stiles Gannett
A young boy determines to rescue a poor baby dragon who is being used by a group of lazy wild animals to ferry them across the river on Wild Island.

My Side of the Mountain
by Jean George
Thirteen-year-old Sam Gribley relates his adventures during the year he spends living alone in the Catskill Mountains.

The Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame
The escapades of four animal friends who live along a river in the English countryside--Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger.

Favorite Tales From Grimm
by Brothers Grimm
Little Snow White -- Rumplestiltskin -- The two brothers -- Allerleirauh -- The goose girl -- Little Red Cap -- The Bremen town musicians -- Snow White and Rose Red -- Fundevogel -- Rapunzel -- Hansel and Gretel -- The fisherman and his wife -- The valiant little tailor -- Little Briar Rose -- Thumbling -- The golden bird -- Cinderella -- The six swans -- The girl without hands -- Fitcher's bird.

Raggedy Ann & Andy and the Camel With the Wrinkled Knees
by Johnny Gruelle
Raggedy Ann and Andy set out on a magical adventure to rescue a doll that is stolen from the nursery and along the way they make friends with Camel, who was stolen away himself years earlier.

Misty of Chincoteague
by Marguerite Henry
Two youngsters' determination to own a Chincoteague pony is greatly increased when the Phantom and her colt are among those rounded up for the yearly auction.

Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery
by Deborah & James Howe
Though scoffed at by Harold the dog, Chester the cat tries to warn his human family that their foundling baby bunny must be a vampire.

The Jungle Book
by Rudyard Kipling
Selected stories from Kipling's two "Jungle Books" chronicle the adventures of Mowgli, the boy reared by a pack of wolves in an Indian jungle. Also includes "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi."

Just So Stories
by Rudyard Kipling
How the whale got his throat -- How the camel got his hump -- How the rhinoceros got his skin -- How the leopard got his spots -- The elephant's child -- The sing-song of old man kangaroo -- The beginning of the armadilloes -- How the first letter was written -- How the alphabet was made -- The crab that played with the sea -- The cat that walked by himself -- The butterfly that stamped.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
by E.L. Konigsburg
Having run away with her younger brother to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, twelve-year-old Claudia strives to keep things in order in their new home and to become a changed person and a heroine to herself.

Rabbit Hill
by Robert Lawson
New folks are coming to live in the Big House. The animals of Rabbit Hill wonder if they will plant a garden and thus be good providers.

The Complete Nonsense Book
by Edward Lear
All nonsense limericks, zany alphabets, Owl and Pussycat, songs, nonsense botany, etc., illustrated by Lear.

A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeleine L'Engle
Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
by C.S. Lewis
Four English school children find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magic land of Narnia and assist Aslan, the golden lion, to triumph over the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter.

Pippi Longstocking
by Astrid Lindgren
Escapades of a lucky little girl who lives with a horse and a monkey--but without any parents--at the edge of a Swedish village.

The Giver
by Lois Lowery
Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

The Lost Years of Merlin
by T. A. Barron
A young boy who has neither identity nor memory of his past washes ashore on the coast of Wales and finds his true name after a series of fantastic adventures.