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Posted by on Apr 24, 2012 in Children's Books, Family, Featured, Language Arts, Learning Activities, Lists, Parenting, Reading, Resources, Reviews and Giveaways, Uncategorized | 93 comments

100 Chapter Books You MUST Read to Your Children!!

100 Chapter Books You MUST Read to Your Children!!

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 “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” ~ Emilie Buchwald

Reading to our children is one of THE most important things we can do as a parent.  Marilyn Jager Adams said, “Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read.” As an educator, I could not  agree more. Reading to our children opens doors, inspires creativity, and sets young minds on the path towards lifelong learning. I don’t think I could say it better than Jacqueline Kennedy, “There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” As an avid reader, a kindergarten teacher, a mother, and a children’s literature enthusiast, I am thrilled to present to you 100 children’s chapter books that you MUST read to your children!

I carefully selected each of the books on this list, and chose based on overall appeal, readability, and ability to capture (and delight, enthrall, and inspire!) a young audience. The majority of books on this list are appropriate for children/readers ages 5-10, although a few will appeal to a younger/older audience. My hope is that you will be inspired to head to your local library or bookseller, and begin working your way through this list with your children/grandchildren.

“So please, oh please, we beg and pray, go and throw your tv set away! And in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall.” ~Roald Dahl

1. Matilda by Roald Dahl

2. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

3. Ramona Forever by Beverly Cleary

4. Holes by Louis Sachar

5. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

6. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

7. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

8. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

9. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards

10. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald

11. The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

12. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

13. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

14. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

15. 5 Children and It by E. Nesbit

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

17. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

18. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson

19. The Borrowers by Mary Norton

20. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Patterson

21. Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

22. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

23. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

24. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

25. Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

26. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

27. Stuart Little by E.B. White

28. Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater

29. The Wish Giver by Bill Brittain

30. Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary

31. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne

32. The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth

33. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

34. Freckle Juice by Judy Blume

35. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

36. Ramona and her Mother by Beverly Cleary

37. George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl

38. Homer Price by Robert McCloskey

39. Frindle by Andrew Clements

40. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

41. Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen

42. Mandy by Julie Edwards

43. Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

44. All-of-aKind Family by Sydney Taylor

45. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

46. Nurse Matilda by Christianna Brand

47. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

48. Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace

49. Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol

50. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

51. The Field Guide: Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi

52. The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry

53. How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Crowell

54. The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo

55. Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff

56. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

57. Loser by Jerry Spinelli

58. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

59. Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

60. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

61. The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

62. The BFG by Roald Dahl

63. Stuart’s Cape by Sara Pennypacker

64. The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

65. The Worst Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

66. The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling

67. Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

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

69. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

70. Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary

71. The Story of the Amulet by E. Nesbit

72. The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White

73. The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis

74. Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary

75. Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry

76.  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming

77. Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

78. Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

79. Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

80. The Great Brain by John Dennis Fitzgerald

81. Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier

82. The Time Warp Trio: Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Sciezska

83. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

84. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos

85. Belle Prater’s Boy by Ruth White

86. Sounder by William H. Armstrong

87. The Littles by John Peterson

88. Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers

89. The Secret Zoo by Bryan Chick

90. A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin

91. No Flying in the House by Betty Brock

92. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

93. Miracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies

94. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

95. The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

96. Henry Reed Inc. by Keith Robertson

97. Tornado by Betsy Byars

98. Babe: The Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith

99. The Moffats by Eleanor Estes

100. My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ~ Dr. Seuss

*Please share this post with your family, friends, and social networks to get more parents reading to their children! Let’s help raise up a new generation of readers!

Click HERE for the printable version of this list! Take it to the library, your local bookstore, garage sales, etc! Find a new favorite!

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  1. What a great list! One title that I might add is “Mr Pudgins” by Ruth Christoffer Carlson. It is little know, but truly a gem.

  2. I have a 3 year old that loves reading, we just finished Winnie the pooh and was wondering if you knew which books on your list would be good to start at her age?!

  3. Thank you kindly for the list……I have always read to my son and sometimes it is hard to choose what ones ….this list is AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!

  4. I’m 23 and was pleasantly surprised at how many of these were books I remember from my childhood. In fact, I still have a number of these on my shelf because I couldn’t bear to part with them. I’m about to become an auntie now and, while I know it will be awhile before he can sit through these, I can’t wait to share my favorite stories.

    • I’m so glad you spotted some old favorites…I can relate. I’m 32 and I picked a ton from my childhood too! Some books you are never meant to outgrow. Love that you want to read to your nephew too! =)

  5. I read quite a few of these inmy third, fourth, and fifth grade classrooms. i have friends that have reqd some of them with their younger kids as well. all classes Iever had loved “Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”. Lots of theaters perform it as a play as well. i have never met q child that did not love Harry Potter and want to keep reqding the whole series after the first book. i havereqd them all three times. i can’t wait for my son to be old enough toenjoy them. I also love “There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom” by Louis Sachar. It is really funnyqnddeqls with issues of bullying and self-esteem.
    Thanks for compiling this list.

  6. Thanks for the list! I am definitely excited to read some of those…and would like to suggest Pippi Longstocking if nobody else has already. As a mother of a daughter I am always looking for good strong female role models to combat pop culture’s ideal woman, and Pippi kicks ass.

    • I loved Pippi Longstockings myself and was just checking to see if anyone else had mentioned it. I can’t wait to read these to my daughter. I also loved The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, not sure if these fit the others though.

  7. Oh, I’m just dying for my son to get to the point where I can read things like Encyclopedia Brown with him! For now, I’m just thrilled that he’s finally starting to like Scooby Doo.

  8. Hi Bekki! I love your list! As a first grade teacher I always read the book “The Doll People” by Ann Martin to my class. Every year some little boy would groan and complain that I was reading a “girl book.” I would tell them that I guaranteed that the boys would love it and that they would be the ones begging me to read one more chapter every day. They always were! I’ve now read it to my daughter and she loves it as well.

    • I loved that book! Thanks for reminding me about it.

  9. I would highly recommend Little Britches by Ralph Moody. We are reading it now and my kids are loving it! They are age 6, 8 & 10 and I am loving it as much as they are. I’m very disappointed to discover our library does not have any more books in the series.

  10. I love your list! Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry is a favorite of mine so I was happy to see it on there. Currently reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to my 9 and 5 year old boys. So fun to share the stories I loved with them. Thanks for sharing your list!

  11. I would like to add a book that I have found my third graders love. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate Decamillo. It is a wonderful story. Love your selection.

    • I have read that book! It is a good one. =)

    • I also did The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and my Grade 5 students loved it.

  12. This list of books looks very good for Children !!!!

    • I think they should add Julie of the wolves. Amazing book but not to young

  13. A Winkle in Time. Love the book and message. Also The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

  14. Wow!! Just chance upon your blog and wish I had discovered it way earlier! Great stuff here and thank you so much!

  15. Love The Wind in the Willows and the Original Mary Poppins Series

  16. You must add ‘The orchard underground’ by Mat Larkin!! I have read it 4 times already!!!


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