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Recommended Reading List

101 chapter books I believe young students should read. You’ll notice I didn’t divide them by age-level. That’s because I’m a firm a believer that no one is ever too young or too old to benefit from these stories. Guided reading of books that other lists might categorize as middle- or high-school appropriate can be your young child’s best teacher in terms of grammar and vocabulary and plain old mind expansion. I have divided them into ‘genres’ to make them easier to find, but many of the books could easily fall into more than one of these categories.



Abel’s Island by William Steig

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

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

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson

The Story of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting

Stuart Little by E. B. White

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White

Watership Down by Richard Adams

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

White Fang by Jack London

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

A Blizzard Year by Gretel Ehrlich

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Holes by Louis Sachar

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

Ramona and Her Mother by Beverly Cleary

Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit

The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit

A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck


Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The Black Book of Secrets by F.E. Higgins

The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh

The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

The Key to Rondo by Emily Rodda

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O’Brien

No Such Thing as Dragons by Philip Reeve

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum


Attack of the Turtle by Drew Carlson

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter

Johnny Tremaine by Esther Forbes

Journey of the Sparrows by Fran Leeper Buss

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Shades of Gray by Carolyn Reeder

The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson


The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emma Orczy

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Uglies by Scott Westerfield

Unwind by Neal Shusterman


A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman


Shakespeare’s Complete Works

The Odyssey by Homer

The Aeneid by Virgil

Dante’s Inferno (if not the entire Divine Comedy)

Shel Silverstein’s poetry books


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  3. Wonderful list! I remember reading many of these. I have already read some to my kids. They have read some to themselves and read some in school. We are definitely a reading family! One that has been a family favorite that I did not see on this list is Shiloh.

    • If I had put All the books I recommend on this list, it would have been more like 505. 🙂 Shiloh is an awesome addition; hopefully future readers will read your comment!

  4. Love this!! I have a 7-year-old niece who loves reading and I want her to get her some new books. Thanks!

    (And I love your stance: “Guided reading of books that other lists might categorize as middle- or high-school appropriate can be your young child’s best teacher in terms of grammar and vocabulary and plain old mind expansion.” I couldn’t agree more!)

  5. This is a wonderful list and resource! My first grader is silent reading the Classic Starts version of the Secret Garden, while I read aloud from the Chronicles of Narnia. We are nearing the end of the series so I’m thankful to find your list for inspiration. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Oh, what wonderful stories to share! Don’t be afraid to read any of the books listed with a child that age, especially if you are reading aloud. I’m here to help, so knowing I’ve inspired you means so much.

  6. I am in love with this list!!! Thank you

  7. Wow! Thank you for this list, great resource. We loved The Secret Garden 🙂

  8. Me too! My kids might kill me, but I’m determined they’ll get through all of them before they leave my house. haha

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