Top Ten Children’s Books: Part Two

The world of children’s books outside of picture books is one of the most magical, most exciting places there is. Anything is possible in children’s fiction.

This list is for children who may be beginning to read for themselves, for those aged about 7-12.

In no particular order, and there may be some overlap with ‘older’ books – although I might not recommend it for younger readers, I remember reading Pride & Prejudice aged 11 – this is my list of favourite books and authors for readers aged from about 7-12.

  1. Enid Blyton – The Famous Five, Five Find-Outers and Dog, Malory Towers, St Clare’s, numerous tales of fairy-lands, Magic Faraway Tree. Take your pick, really.
  2. Dick King-SmithHarry’s Mad, Emily’s Legs, The Sheep-Pig (AKA Babe), Lady Daisy, The Water Horse
  3. Jenny Nimmo – particularly the Children of the Red King series
  4. Debi Gliori –the Pure Dead series
  5. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr
  6. The first three Harry Potter novels by JK Rowling (the last two I think are better suited to an older audience and four and five best forgotten)
  7. Roald Dahl – The BFG, Matilda, Danny the Champion of the World, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  8. Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden
  9. Tom’s Midnight Garden  by Phillipa Pearce
  10. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

Some of these I still enjoy today – in fact, I still own copies of all of these authors or books, waiting for the day when my children can read them. A good children’s book can be enjoyed by child and adult alike. Coming up with this list has made me feel quite nostalgic for these books.

What would you give your child, just starting to read on his or her own? What do you remember enjoying at that age?


4 thoughts on “Top Ten Children’s Books: Part Two

  1. Roald Dahl was an absolute favourite when I was growing up – I have recently reread some, but as a child my favourites were Matilda & The Twits.
    I am also the age group that grew up with Harry Potter, so without a doubt they were great and very important reads when I was a child.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same, though I lost interest in Harry with 6&7 – all that waiting for the next book – though I’ve recently reread them for the first time since 7 was published and greatly enjoyed them.
      I didn’t like the Twits so much, though they were wonderfully awful to each other. I preferred Danny the Champion of the World and Fantastic Mr Fox. Though I did always want to be a hammer-thrower because of Miss Trunchbull…


      1. I know what you mean with all the waiting. I definitely had to reread things again later to actually understand what was happening.

        I think the reason I loved The Twits was because they were so wonderfully awful to each other. What they were doing felt.. naughty!
        I don’t remember reading Danny the Champion of the World as a child, but I read it a few weeks ago and absolutely adored it.
        I had forgotten Fantastic Mr Fox, I had the audio book and listened to it almost every night, fantastic book.

        I think the real strength in Roald Dahl’s books is that it’s can be dark and some of the things just feel.. forbidden as a child. People said rude things and did things I (we?) would never be allowed to do. It was exciting!

        Oh how I wish I was still a child discovering all of these new things!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree re: Dahl – he didn’t pretend that adults (or other children) were lovely and life’s a bed of roses.
        I find that rereading all these books as an adult brings new discoveries – things which went over my head as a child.

        Liked by 1 person

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