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now reading

If you are planning on going to see the new movie Holes, do yourself a favor. Read the book first.

Sure it's a "kid's" book, but that didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying it. In fact, I read a kid's book at least every two weeks, ranging from fourth grade adventure mysteries to high school teen angst books. They're good for your soul.

Now, I'm going to finish my fifteent reading of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

Hmm..perhaps it's time for a new reader's list of favorite children's/young adult books?

Yes, I think it is.


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» Children's Books from mtpolitics.net
Michele posted a little bit about favorite books for children and young adults. I was a pretty voracious reader as... [Read More]


Citizen of the Galaxy, Red Planet, Podkayne of Mars, the Rolling Stones and Between Planets by Heinlein

The Three Investigators (which have been reissued!)

The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander

The Encycolpedia Brown books (not as good as the Three Investigators, but good)

I Am the Cheese

Catcher in the Rye

The Mouse and the Motorcylcle
Charlotte's Web
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
Where the Red Fern Grows
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Outsiders

Susan Cooper: The Dark is Rising Series.

Anything by Robert Cormier, William Sleator, Lois Duncan, Judy Blume

Jacob have I loved by Katherine Paterson

For young children: Henry Allard's "The Stupids" and "Miss Viola Crump" series. Grownup kids laugh too.

Sue Townsend: The Adrian Mole series, starting with "The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Age 13 3/4"

Philip Pullman, "His Dark Materials Series"...the most brilliant fantasy trilogy in the entire universe.

Gotta run with 'Wind in the Willows'. It's worth pulling out every once in a while.

"The Blue Sword," "The Hero and the Crown" and "The Outlaws of Sherwood" by Robin McKinley

"Yellow and Pink" by William Steig

"The Thief" and "The Queen of Attolia" by Megan Whalen Turner

"Dave at Night" by Gail Carson Levine

....just to start, and to skip the obvious(like Swiss Family Robinson)

I LOVED The Mixed up Files when I was a kid! Her other stuff is pretty hilariously wacked out too. Give some of it a shot if you haven't already.

Hope the Holes movie is good -- book was excellent.

A Wrinkle in Time is all-time favorite and applicable to current events

Absolute favorite childhood book: "The Phantom Tollbooth," by Norton Juster.

"a series of unfortunate events" by lemony snicket...clever and wicked

"the chronicles of narnia" by cs lewis...sheer brilliance; i still read the series every year and i am in my 30s

"a wrinkle in time" by madeleine l'engle

ANYTHING by roald dahl

"the phantom tollbooth" by norton juster

the harry potter series by jk rowling

oh, wait....jesus christ -- i CANNOT believe i forgot "the hobbit", goddamnit.


"the hobbit" by jrr tolkien

Right now I'm rereading all the Henry Huggins books.

Other favorites:

Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze (Elizabeth Foreman Lewis)

(Booth Tarkington)

Homer Price
Centerburg Tales
(Robert McCloskey)

I know these ain't exactly new
but dadgummit they work!

Watership Down
Fahrenheit 451
I robot
Charlottes web
Huckleberry Finn
Every thing ever writen by Dr. Seuss
Boy/Girl scout Handbook

And Everything else the little critters
can get their hands on. (with adult supervision of course)

1) Frankweiler rocks
2) The Great Brain books by John D. Fitzgerald
3) The Three Investigators rocks
4) Henry Reed books by Keith Robertson

Reading these books alone will give you ainteresting and fun childhood.

One more-

5) The "Big Red" series of books by Jim Kjelgaard


All of the Anne of Green Gable series

the LIttle House on the Prairie series

Anything by Roald Dahl

Wrinkle in Time

The Robbers Daughter by Astrid Lindgren

So many more. I love young adults books - they have a clear plot and likeable characters. Sometimes that is all I am really looking for in a book.

I can't believe I forgot the Caddie Woodlawn books. They are wonderful.

Island of the Blue Dolphins!

Ack I can't stop thinking of books - now I want to re-read them all.

"A Wizard of Earthsea" by Ursula K. LeGuin

"Harriet the Spy" by Louise Fitzhugh

"Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret" by Judy Blume

"After the Goat Man" by Betsy Byars; her "Summer of the Swans" is also exceptional

An odd but beautiful little book, originally titled "Blood in the Snow" and later "The Silver Fox," by an author named Marlene Fanta Shyer

"A Taste of Blackberries" by Doris Buchanan Smith

"The Incredible Journey" by Sheila Burnford

For younger kids, any of Marguite Henry's 'horsy' books, especially "Misty of Chincoteague."

Oh, this has really opened the floodgates for me - for many year I wanted to write and illustrate children's books. As so often happens, I got sidetracked. Maybe eventually ...

1. Tuesday (AWESOME picture book!)
2. Lost Souls, Drawing Blood and Wormwood by Poppy Z. Brite (not exactly "kid" reading due to the rampant drug use and homoerotica, but the writing is excellent--it even caused me to have a few flashbacks!)
3. A Cricket in Times Square
4. The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy (Poems by Tim Burton)
5. The Stinky Cheese Man (Re-written stories of The Ugly Duckling, etc.)
6. And You Give Me a Pain, Elaine!
7. Any Christopher Pike book
8. Everything by Shel Silverstein

Young Wizards Series by Diane Duane

I got these for my niece becuase of strong female characters.

It took lots of posts before someone mentioned Harriet the Spy. Surprised. Of those that no one's mentioned yet, The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs and (of course) a great big single-volume edition of the Brothers' Grimm's fairy tales are great unsettling antidotes to afterschool specials. And I had a book-record set with Carol Channing reading three of Ludwig Bemelmans's Madeline books. I still haven't forgiven my parents for throwing them away when my little brother started elementary school.

Marguerite, Go Wash Your Feet by Wallace Tripp.

I, too, have been re-reading The Mixed Up Files with fond memories of so many other children's books that I still love and adore... but the two I've been thinking about the most lately are The Secret Summer and Witch's Buttons, both by Ruth Chew.

These are some of the books I remember enjoying as a kid:

Tom Sawyer
Where the Red Fern Grows
Everything by Louis L'Amour
The Martian Chronicles

That's everything I can think of that hasn't been mentioned above.

Wait, you mean NOBODY else read the Boxcar Children obsessively?

Wow. I'd forgotten about "Frankweiler". Great book. So is "A Wrinkle In Time", "The Wind in the Willows" and "The Chronicles of Narnia".

Add in "The Weirdstone of Brisingamen" by Alan Garner. An excellent fantasy book, with a really creepy part about crawling through a long (and claustrophobic) cave.

- The Egypt Game
- The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues
- Active-Enzyme, Lemon-Freshened Junior High School Witch
- The Octagon House
- The Westing Game
- Judy Blume
- Beverly Cleary
Others already mentioned including the Wrinkle in Time series, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Chronicles of Narnia, Heinlein's books for kids, Harriet the Spy, the Phantom Tollbooth, the Little House series... And of course now, I'd add Harry Potter to the list, but he wasn't around back when I was reading all of these others for the first time.

My son raves about Holes. I'm going to have to read it so we can talk about it.

My favorites?
A Wrinkle in Time was such a favorite of mine when I was younger. House of Stairs, Lord of the Flies, but I loved my Trixie Belden books, too...oooo...for the (much) younger set--the Junie B. Jones series--hysterically funny books!

And, anything by Shel Silverstein.

jennifer, i love you!!!

i've been trying to think of the name "the westing game" for years. literally.

i was just about to post: "what's that mystery book with the guy that's named north or west or something?" you rock!! now i wonder if it's still in print...

Most of mine have been mentioned already, but I used to read Edward Gorey's books to my daughter.

"On the shore a bat, or maybe an umbrella."

"A is for Amy, who fell down the stairs. B is for Basil, devoured by bears."

The Giver - Lois Lowry
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
In the Night Kitchen - Maurice Sendak

Coraline by Neil Gaiman is my new current favorite "kid's" book.

Oldie but goodie -- Little Women, Louisa May Alcott.

A Wrinkle In Time had me talking about wormholes long before any of my primary school teachers had a clue what I was going on about...

(I have good memories about the Encyclopedia Brown stories, too...)

Tarzan of The Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

The Great Brain books, the Encyclopedia Brown books, and Roald Dahl. They've all been mentioned already, but they deserve another mention!

OMG- The Westing Game! I loved that book.

It's on Amazon. I must also mention the excellent:

The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel)

By the same author, Ellen Raskin

Boxcar Children rocks!

Captain Underpants( my kids fave)
Harry Potter
Chronicles of Narnia
Alice in Wonderland

As indispensable as Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic are, I don't think "anything by Shel Silverstein" is appropriate children's literature. I seem to remember he got his start publishing bawdy poems in Playboy.

Extending on comments above: the whole Little Women series by Alcott -- Little Men, etc.

ALL of L'Engle's books. She wrote the Wrinkle in Time series, but also a non-science fiction series. Can't remember the titles right now.

And ALL of L.M. Montgomery's books: the Anne series and the Anne series.

I'm going to spend a fortune on Amazon buying all these to read again!

Daniel Manus Pinkwater: Lizard Music; The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death; The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror; Alan Mendelssohn, Boy From Mars; And anything by louis Sachar, who wrote Holes. Somday Angeline is a favorite, so are all the Wayside School stories.

How about the Wizard of Oz seriers, those were pretty good.

The Thief of Always, by Clive Barker is a good kids book....a little creepy though.

The Dragonlance Chronicles were awesome too.

Ender's Game (young adult)
Lemony Snicket series
Earthsea trilogy
Mrs. Brisby & The Rats of Nimh
Narnia & Harry Potter go without saying

how about the thief of always by clive barker? that's a riveting read.

also pretty much anything by judy blume, but particularly the superfudge stuff.

alice in wonderland is one of the most amazing stories ever, and the giving tree still brings me to tears at age 28. the time warp trio books are hysterical, captain underpants is a riot, and harry potter rules. don't forget where the wild things are and the dream-eater.

also, i don't know if it's a kid's book, per se, but i read to kill a mockingbird in junior high and loved it.

i'm delirious with glee because my 7 y.o. has already expressed an interest in shakespeare.