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50 Must Read Classic Books for Kids

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Looking for a great book list of classic books for kids to read? You are in the right place! 

We are big time readers in our house. I have always loved reading and now I have passed that love onto my kids. I buy a LOT of books. I am probably what you would call a bibliphile (n. One who collects or has a great love of books).

Books make us happy and help my kids to love to learn & that is my goal. I am working hard to bring the best kinds of books into our home and create a library of high-quality classic children’s books. I think having plenty of books available for your children to love helps them develop a great love of reading. Today I am going to tell you some of our favorite must-read classic books for kids. These classic novels have stood the test of time and been loved by so many children.

See Also: 110 Best Picture Books to Read in Kindergarten

Reading Corner from Teach Beside Me

Before we get to the list I need to tell you about a great resource for buying books! Buying books and building a library is not cheap. I came across a great resource for used books recently and can’t wait to tell you all about it. Have you heard of the website Thriftbooks? They sell used books online at great prices. It is a wonderful resource for any book lover! Check it out.  If you join through my link & spend $30, you’ll get a free book (& so will I!)

We also really love our Amazon Audible subscription. That way my young readers can listen to their favorite books when I am not available to read to them!

50 Must Read Classics for Kids

This list is focused on classic novels for younger to middle grade readers. These classic books are full of fabulous stories. In these books you’ll find tales of mystery and intrigue, fairies, wild things, the hundred acre wood and Neverland, lions, secret gardens, goblins, favorite pets, wizards, talking animals, mermaids, trips around the world, and more! You’ll find some with beautiful illustrations. You’ll escape to a world of pure imagination. That’s what I love about reading!

50 Must-Read Classics Books for Kids:

1. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

2. The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

3. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

4. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

5. Heidi by Johanna Spyri

6. Old Yeller by Fred Gipson

7. The Sword in The Stone by T.H. White

8. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

9. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

10. The Chronicles of Narnia (series start with the Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe) by C.S. Lewis

11. Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

12. Little House on the Prairie (series) by Laura Ingall’s Wilder

13. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

14. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

15. The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

16. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

17. Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

18. The Story of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting

19. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White (We all love Wilbur the pig!)

20. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

21. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

22. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

23. The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupery

24. Little Britches by Ralph Moody

25. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

26. Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White (Also the Mouse & the Motorcycle!)

27. My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

28. Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss

29. Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

30. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (& more of Roald Dahl’s books)

31. The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois

32. Thornton Burgess Stories

33. Beatrix Potter Complete Tales (Tale of Peter Rabbit)

34. The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit

35. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

36. Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

37. The Borrowers by Mary Norton

38. Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

39. Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

40. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

41. The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

42. Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

43. A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond

44. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

45. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

46. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

47. Milly-Molly Mandy Storybook by Joyce Lankester Brisley

48. Uncle Wiggly’s Story Book by Howard R. Garis

49. Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

50. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

51. Poppy series by Avi

52. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

53. Shel Silverstein Books: (Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends)

54. The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales

What is your favorite must read children’s book? Let me know if I missed some of your favorites!

Would you rather have a printable list of these classics for kids?  You can have that, too!


See Also:
Books With Homeschool Characters

Best Books for Tween Girls

21 Series Books for Tween Boys

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  1. This is such a great list – thank you for sharing it 🙂

    I am in the middle of making a series of resources for parents with book-themed recipes and several of them are on this list (which is reassuring, lol!). So far, I have Snow White, Charlotte’s Web, The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan. I think that my next one in the series will be Dr. Dolittle…because what kiddo wouldn’t want to make treats for their animals?

  2. Great List! I would also add Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, The Giving Tree, The All-of-a-Kind Family, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and The Betsy-Tacy Series. Loved your entire book list as a child (am now 67) read them to or recommended to my kids and now read with grandkids and great nieces and nephews! Still have bookcases as you show with a fabulous selections of children’s books. No great gift than the love of reading!


  4. I love reading to my kiddos, but I wish teachers at school were able to read more to their students. Some of my favorite memories from elementary school were of my teachers reading to us after lunch each day- A Wrinkle in Time, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, How to eat Fried Worms, Shel Silverstein’s poetry books. One of my favorite courses in university was Children’s Literature!

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