Children's Novels

If you would like your child to develop a passion for reading you should encourage them to read the very best children's novels available. The more children read, the better readers they become. If they are inspired by excellent books, they will be motivated to read more and more.

Children's Novels

Children's novels are longer in length than children's chapter books, being over around 100 pages. Novels will often have more description in them, requiring greater imagination from the listener or reader. Usually children's novels are targeted towards children aged 8 or older. For children at the lower end of this age range, you may want to check first that you feel the content of the novel is appropriate for your child. Many children's novels can also be very enjoyable to read aloud to younger listeners but again, check the content first to ensure it is appropriate.

To try to come up with a definitive list of the best children's novels I combined over 20 highly regarded lists of children's books including winners of prestigious children's books awards, reading lists from reputable sources and bestselling books of all time. Those books mentioned on more than one list are shown below, with books at the top receiving the most mentions.

The well-known classic "Charlotte's Web" features at the top of the list with seven mentions in the source lists, closely followed by "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" which had six mentions. Roald Dahl appears no less than four times with "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", "The BFG", "James and the Giant Peach" and "Matilda". Unsurprisingly, three of J K Rowling's immensely popular Harry Potter books also feature. For a book which has been loved for generations, try "Little Women" which was written by Louisa May Alcott in 1868.




Charlotte's Web 1. Charlotte's Web book depository amazon
by E. B. White
illustrated by Garth Williams
First published 1952


The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe 2. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe book depository amazon
by C. S. Lewis
First published 1950


A Wrinkle in Time 3. A Wrinkle in Time book depository amazon
by Madeleine L'Engle
First published 1962


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book depository amazon
by Roald Dahl
First published 1963


Maniac Magee 5. Maniac Magee book depository amazon
by Jerry Spinelli
First published 1990


Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry 6. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry book depository amazon
by Mildred Taylor
First published 1976


The Giver 7. The Giver book depository amazon
by Lois Lowry
First published 1993


From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler 8. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler book depository amazon
by E. L. Konigsburg
First published 1967


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 9. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets book depository amazon
by J. K. Rowling
First published 1998


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 10. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban book depository amazon
by J. K. Rowling
First published 1999


Island of the Blue Dolphins 11. Island of the Blue Dolphins book depository amazon
by Scott O'Dell
First published 1960


Little House in the Big Woods 12. Little House in the Big Woods book depository amazon
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
illustrated by Garth Williams
First published 1932


The BFG 13. The BFG book depository amazon
by Roald Dahl
First published 1982


The Hobbit 14. The Hobbit book depository amazon
by J.R.R. Tolkien
First published 1937


The Phantom Tollbooth 15. The Phantom Tollbooth book depository amazon
by Norton Juster
First published 1961


The Witch of Blackbird Pond 16. The Witch of Blackbird Pond book depository amazon
by Elizabeth George Speare
First published 1958


Walk Two Moons 17. Walk Two Moons book depository amazon
by Sharon Creech
First published 1994


Bridge to Terabithia 18. Bridge to Terabithia book depository amazon
by Katherine Paterson
First published 1977


Bunnicula 19. Bunnicula book depository amazon
by James and Deborah Howe
First published 1979


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 20. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone book depository amazon
by J. K. Rowling
First published 1997


Hatchet 21. Hatchet book depository amazon
by Gary Paulsen
First published 1987


James And The Giant Peach 22. James And The Giant Peach book depository amazon
by Roald Dahl
First published 1961


Julie of the Wolves 23. Julie of the Wolves book depository amazon
by Jean Craighead George
First published 1972


Little Women 24. Little Women book depository amazon
by Louisa May Alcott
First published 1868


Matilda 25. Matilda book depository amazon
by Roald Dahl
illustrated by Quentin Blake
First published 1988


Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH 26. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH book depository amazon
by Robert C. O'Brien
First published 1971


Number the Stars 27. Number the Stars book depository amazon
by Lois Lowry
First published 1989


Shiloh 28. Shiloh book depository amazon
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
First published 1991


Sounder 29. Sounder book depository amazon
by William H. Armstrong
First published 1969


Tuck Everlasting 30. Tuck Everlasting book depository amazon
by Natalie Babbitt
First published 1975



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