Ten Books Every Child Should Read

After hearing the story of how I came to be published at fifteen, several moms I know asked me to write up a list of books that influenced me when I was a child, and my writing when I grew older. To tell the truth, this seemed like a daunting task, but was definitely one I was willing to undertake!

So I recently sat down to compile a list. A list I like to call, “Ten Books Every Child Should Read”. (I love the name–so straightforward and, well, straightforward) It is made up of ten books I read in elementary school (and one in high school), that had the greatest impact on how I viewed fiction as well as writing. And the best part is that they are all books I still enjoy reading today! So whether you are eight, eighteen, or forty-eight, these are books you will probably enjoy reading. Pass them on to your children, friends, or anyone else you know who is interested in reading good fiction, and wants to write good fiction, too.

Ten Books Every Child Should Read (Boy or Girl!)

  1. Tom Sawyer – And please, please, please do not give your child an edited version. Yes, I know it has questionable language and content but it is reflective of the times. Other than that, it is funny, engaging, and (sometimes) sweet.
  2. Alice in Wonderland – For increasing your child’s vocabulary. Don’t be alarmed if he or she begins calling things “curiouser and curiouser” and asking “how is raven like a writing desk?”
  3. Peter Pan – While I am avidly against magic—white or black—there is one “magic” I do believe in: the imagination of a child. Foster your child’s imagination, don’t squelch it. There are few things better for your boy or girl than to rough and tumble as pirates in the woods or run around the kitchen with spoons as sword fights. There is a rare and beautiful innocence about a child’s play world that will fade as he or she grows older. So cherish it while it’s here!
  4. The Witch of Blackbird Pond – No, it’s not really about a witch. But it is historically accurate and intriguing all the same.
  5. James and the Giant Peach – Believe it or not, reading this book as a child actually caused me to sit around and think for a while afterwards.
  6. The Little Prince – Agh! A philosophical book disguised as a children’s story! The genius! This book actually made me cry after I read it.
  7. Cheaper By the Dozen – Wildly hilarious and filled with very rich characters.
  8. A Wrinkle in Time – Classic.
  9. Bridge to Terabithia – Check on your child when he’s finished reading and see if there are any tears sliding down his cheeks. I’m almost willing to bet there are.
  10. Gone With the Wind – This is my absolute favorite book, just because it’s so well written, but I would suggest waiting until high school to let your child read it because it can be kind of heavy.

You’ll notice the two most important characteristics of books for me is that they have to be imaginative and funny. If you have a sense of humor and an active imagination, chances are someone or another will love to read your writing. 🙂

Let me know if you have any questions!



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  1. * BlueSalad says:

    i’m going to read Gone With The Wind and Alice In Wonderland.
    I have not gotten to those yet! Looking foward to completing your list. 😀

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 6 months ago
  2. * tyler says:

    with the exeption of 4, 6 and 10 ive read em all many times:P oh, and a wind in the door (the sequel to wrinkle in time) is really good too!!! oh and too add an 11th book, read “redwall”

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 5 months ago

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