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The 25 Books Every Kid Should Have on Their Bookshelf

It’s been 70 years this month since Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s masterpiece of innocence, simplicity and wonder Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) was first published. Few books or stories have managed to capture the sense of joy and honesty of children, of mystery in the universe, and of the beauty of simple acceptance, nearly as effectively as the story of The Little Prince. It really must be a staple on any bookshelf, but particularly in households with children.

In honor of the anniversary, Flavorwire put together a slideshow of (to their minds) The 25 Books Every Kid Should Have on Their Bookshelf. Here is the list they came up with:

1. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
3. The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill
4. The Sweetest Fig by Chris Van Allsburg
5. Matilda by Roald Dahl
6. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
7. Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
8. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
9. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
10. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
11. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
12. Half Magic by Edward Eager
13. Peter Pan and Wendy by J.M. Barrie
14. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
15. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
16. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
17. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
18. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
19. The Giver by Lois Lowry
20. The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
21. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
22. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
23. Lizard Music by Daniel Manus Pinkwater
24. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
25. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

Which of those do you agree or disagree with? What do you think they missed? For more great suggestions for children’s books, be sure to look at 30 Books for a Six-Year-Old, and 50 Books for an Eleven-Year-Old.

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Beth Carswell

About Beth Carswell

I've been reading, selling, researching, loving and writing about books with AbeBooks since 2000.

2 Responses to “The 25 Books Every Kid Should Have on Their Bookshelf”

  1. Aging Lit Major April 12, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    I have a shelf dedicated to the children’s books that (1) I loved and (2) survived many moves across many decades. Half Magic is one of them–I’ve often worried I was the only one who remembered it. I Capture the Castle has been a favorite since I came upon as an adult. Great picks! But what about The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe? Peter Rabbit? The Velveteen Rabbit? And I think I’d swap out Huckleberry Finn and put in Tom Sawyer because there are many dimensions to Huck that can be better appreciated with maturity.

  2. Aging Lit Major April 12, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    The shelf of cherished books I’ve kept from childhood is only one shelf because of losses during many moves across several decades. But Half Magic and I Capture the Castle have stayed with me and I thank you for remembering them. What about The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Peter Rabbit? The Velveteen Rabbit? And I’d swap out Huckleberry Finn and replace it with Tom Sawyer–I think of Huck as more adult reading.