SLJ List of Top 100 Children’s Books

This week, I found School Library Journal’s blog that compiled a list of the top 100 children’s books, as suggested by teachers and students.

With as much children’s and young adult literature that I’ve read, I’m surprised to find I’ve only read 43 of the 100. That’s 57 I have left to read! Many of them are classic examples of children’s literature, but there are a few more contemporary ones mixed in (for example, most of the Harry Potters are on the list).

So…as if I need another reading goal, I’ve decided to try for reading at least 20 of these this summer.

[Side note: this will help in my other goal of reading 100 previously unread books this year. As of yesterday, when I finished by 50th previously unread book of the year, I’m halfway through! These 20 will get me closer.]

The 57 books I have to choose from:

5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E. L. Konigsburg

8. The Secret Garden, Francis Hodgson Burnett (which I own and have started several times, though never completed. This should definitely be one of the 20.)

10. The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster.

12. The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien (my bookmark is about halfway through…I need to finish…also one of the 20)

16. Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh

17. Maniac Magee, Jerry Spinelli

18. Matilda, Roald Dahl

21. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Rick Riodan

23. Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder

26. Hatchet, Gary Paulsen

27. A Little Princess, Francis Hodgson Burnett

29. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll (yeah, I know…also one of the 20)

30. The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper

31. Half Magic, Edward Eager

32. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Robert C. O’Brien

37. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Mildred Taylor

39. When You Reach Me, Rebecca Stead

40. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum

42. Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder

45. The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman

47. Bud, Not Buddy, Christopher Paul Curtis

48. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy, Jeanne Birdsall

49. Frindle, Andrew Clements

51. The Saturdays, Elizabeth Enright

52. The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick

53. Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

55. The Great Gilly Hopkins, Katherine Paterson

58. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Joan Aiken

59. Inkheart, Cornelia Funke

60. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Avi

62. The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew), Caroline Keene

63. Gone-Away Lake, Elizabeth Enright

65. Ballet Shoes, Noah Streetfield

67. Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher, Bruce Coville

69. The Mysterious Benedict Society, Trenton Lee Stewart

70. Betsy Tacy, Maud Hart Lovelace

72. My Father’s Dragon, Ruth Stiles Gannett

73. My Side of the Mountain, Jean Craighead George

74. The Borrowers, Mary Norton

76. Out of the Dust, Karen Hesse

77. City of Ember, Jeane DuPrau

78. Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes

79. All-of-a-Kind Family, Sydney Taylor

80. The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman (I’ve heard mixed reviews on this, but I’m still eager to read it. This will probably be one of the 20 as well.)

81. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Grace Lin

82. The Book of  Three, Lloyd Alexander

83. The Thief, Megan Whalen Turner

84. Little White Horse, Elizabeth Goudge

85. On the Banks of Plum Creek, Laura Ingalls Wilder

88. The High King, Lloyd Alexander

92. Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine

93. Caddie Woodlawn, C. R. Brink

94. Swallows and Amazons, Arthur Ransome

96. The Witches, Roald Dahl

97. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Kate DiCamillo

98. Children of Green Knowe, L. M. Boston

99. The Indian in the Cupboard, Lynne Reid Banks

Some of these I don’t even recognize, and a lot of others I know as being older books. There aren’t as many recently published on here as I would like, and there are some that I’m shocked were left off (what about The Book Thief or The Devil’s Arithmetic?)

So…my goal is to read at least 20 of these by the end of the summer, though I suspect I could get through a lot more than that. Then, after I’ve read most of the books on this list, I’ll make my own list (of less than 100 probably) of books that I think should absolutely be read and why.

So, readers, now that you’ve made it through this lengthy list, where should I start? What books on this list of ones I haven’t encountered yet do I absolutely need to include in the 20 I’m going to read this summer?

2 thoughts on “SLJ List of Top 100 Children’s Books

  1. Have you not read any of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books? If not, those should definitely be on your list.

    I’ve read eight of these–Phantom Tollbooth, The Hobbit, the three Wilder books, Hatchet (I own it if you want to borrow it), Caddie Woodlawn, The Great Gilly Hopkins. I’m also in the middle of The Penderwicks.

    Since you like Katherine Paterson anyway, you should probably put Gilly Hopkins on your list too.

    The Phantom Tollbooth is entertaining, though a little odd.

    As for the others, they’re worthwhile reading, but not on my list of favorite childrens books.

    • Haley says:

      I own some of the LIW books, but I think they’re at home. I loved the TV show when I was little, but for some reason, never even opened the books. Time to remedy that perhaps.

      I think I own Hatchet (in fact, I’m pretty sure I picked it up at a book sale because you recommended it so highly, so that will probably be one of them, too).

      Let me know what you think about The Penderwicks. I’m intrigued by the title alone. 🙂

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