Jump to content
Janet

100 Books Every Child Should Read - from The Daily Telegraph

Recommended Posts

This list was published in The Daily Telegraph on 19th January but I forgot all about it! Better late than never.

 

Obviously this is only their view, but I like lists!

 

Early years

 

1. The Twits by Roald Dahl

 

Mr and Mrs Twit pass the time playing nasty tricks on one another. They're both horrid. In his hairy beard, Mr Twit "was always able to find a tasty morsel to nibble on".

 

2. Burglar Bill by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

"I'll 'ave that," is the catchphrase of the rogue who stars in this engaging and beautifully illustrated tale. When Bill accidentally burglarises a baby, it turns out to be a blessing in a stolen basket. "Runfrit, Boglaboll!"

 

3. The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr

Newsnight's Emily Maitlis has a theory that this book is an allegory about sex. Most children understand it as the story of a tiger that eats its hosts out of house and home. Debate continues.

 

4. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

When Max engages in mischief, he is sent to bed without his supper. That's just the start. Sendak's paintings sing, and the text is a joy.

 

5. The Tale of Samuel Whiskers by Beatrix Potter

Tom Kitten learnt nothing from his parents about the consequences of curiosity. Abducted by a psychotic rat, he comes within a whisker of being turned into a pudding. Nightmares guaranteed.

 

6. Yertle the Turtle by Dr Seuss

Theodor Geisel's response to Hitler was more oblique than Stauffenberg's, but as effective. Yertle, king of the pond, commands all the turtles to stack themselves up so he can be top of the heap. Someone's riding for a fall.

 

7. Fungus the Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs

What boy won't thrill to the world of the Bogeymen, all snot, armpits and boils? This gave Raymond Briggs's green crayon the workout of its life.

 

8. The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It Was None Of His Business by Werner Holzwarth and Wolf Erlbruch

Someone's dropping lands on poor mole's head. Who's the culprit? A farmyard investigation is conducted with Germanic seriousness. Mole's revenge is sweet.

 

9. Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

Punchier than The Gruffalo, this has children chanting along as a witch and her animal friends see off a dragon in search of "witch and chips".

 

10. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

"In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf…" so begins this classic board book, its pages drilled with holes as the caterpillar eats his way through the week.

 

11. The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss

"Look at me! Look at me! Look at me now!" The cat's a big show-off, but he knows how to have fun, and his chaotic antics delight.

 

12. Charlotte's Web by EB White

White's 1952 masterpiece describes the friendship between a lonely pig and a talented spider. This poignant tale teaches lessons about love, death and differing life expectancies.

 

13. The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff

When Babar sees his mother shot he reacts as any modern child might: a few tears, then off on a shopping spree. Nice green suit, though.

 

14. Winnie-the-Pooh by AA Milne, illustrated by EH Shepard

Visit Hundred Acre Wood, and meet Pooh, Piglet and Christopher Robin, based on AA Milne's son. This classic story hasn't aged, and EH Shepard's understated illustrations remain the best.

 

Middle Years

 

15. Stig of the Dump by Clive King

When Barney falls down a dump the last thing he expects is to meet a cave boy. Stig was an eco-warrior before the term was invented. Sprightly, comic, classic.

 

16. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

Adopted sisters Posy, Pauline and Petrova Fossil train as a dancer, an actor and an aeroplane pilot. A bally treat.

 

17. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

The Witch of Waste puts Sophie under a spell. To break it, she must brave the castle of the Wizard Howl. Imaginative and terribly funny.

 

18. Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

Learn how the leopard got his spots and the camel his hump. And remember "The Elephant's Child" - whose "satiable suriosity" turns his "bulgy nose" into a trunk?

 

19. The Borrowers by Mary Norton

First published in 1953, this remains a deserved favourite. The Clock family live beneath a floorboard, making do with what "human beans" drop, until one day one of them allows herself to be seen…

 

20. Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffman

These pungent 1840 morality tales are not to be taken literally: in one, a boy gets his thumbs chopped off.

 

21. The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

Jo, Bessie and Fanny climb to the top of a magical tree, above which are endlessly circulating worlds: the Land of Birthdays, or, more unluckily, of Dame Slap.

 

22. Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

Danny and his hard-up father bond over poaching pheasants from nasty Mr Hazell's land - before moral dues are paid.

 

23. George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl

To cure his grumpy grandmother, George Kranky concocts a medicine from shaving foam, sheep dip, engine oil and brown paint. Granny grows huge. The ending is dark even for Dahl.

 

24. Underwater Adventure by Willard Price

Willard Price invented zoologist brothers Hal and Roger Hunt to get children interested in nature. Underwater Adventure takes them into shark-infested seas. Some sharks are human.

 

25. Tintin in Tibet by Hergé

After Tintin reads of a plane crash in the Himalayas, he dreams his friend Chang has survived. Uniquely, there are no villains - just a tender yeti and acres of snow.

 

26. The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales

Sourced from medieval German folktales by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm in the 19th century, these sanguinary stories deal with abduction, cannibalism and worse.

 

27. Erik the Viking by Terry Jones, illustrated by Michael Foreman

Erik tells his wife that he must go to "the land where the sun goes at night"; off he travels on an atmospheric adventure, terrifically illustrated.

 

28. When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs

Jim and Hilda Bloggs's preparation for a nuclear attack remains enthralling. First comic, then moving.

 

29. Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by TS Eliot

This delightful collection of verse sees cat-loving Eliot capering about with his trousers rolled. A perfect introduction to the pleasures of poetry for children.

 

30. The Iron Man by Ted Hughes

Since it appeared in 1968, the late Poet Laureate's children's book has become a classic. Benign iron bloke falls from sky, battles space-bat-angel-dragon, saves world. Bliss.

 

31. The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear

Edward Lear's bizarre story of inter-species elopement and gastronomic adventure still charms and diverts. Runcible.

 

32. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

"Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." But reading about Mole, Ratty, Toad and Badger runs it a close second.

 

33. The Worst Witch Collection by Jill Murphy

Before Harry Potter there was Mildred Hubble, the worst witch at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches. A tale of flying broomsticks, rivalries and magical pedagogy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Continued...

 

Middle Years (Continued)

 

34. Peter Pan by JM Barrie

JM Barrie's Neverland adventures were first performed as a play, and later turned into a novel. Clap your hands if you believe.

 

35. Mr Majeika by Humphrey Carpenter

Mr Majeika, with his tuft of hair, is ever ready to cast spells on unruly pupils - most notably Hamish Bigmore, whose rudeness gets him changed into a frog. Charming and funny in equal measure.

 

36. The Water Babies by Charles Kinglsey

Tom the sweep drowns after being chased from a rich household and falls into a sub-aquatic purgatory. But once he proves his worth he is allowed wonderful adventures.

 

37. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Seven-year-old Sara Crewe is sent back from India to Miss Minchin's Seminary for Young Ladies in England, to discover she has lost her fortune to a swindler and her father to disease. A stirring tale.

 

38. I'm The King of the Castle by Susan Hill

A powerful and claustrophobic study of bullying, this has a real narrative grip and a frightening message. No reader remains untouched.

 

39. The Wave by Morton Rhue

Teacher Ben Ross doesn't think his students understand what it was like to live in Nazi Germany, so he devises an experiment. A powerful story about the risks of conformism.

 

40. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Pippi is impulsive, irrepressible, red-haired and so strong you won't believe it. Her bizzare adventures delight children and confound health and safety.

 

41. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Charlie Bucket's adventures in Willy Wonka's factory - the chocolate rivers, the minia-tuarisation room, the Oompa Loompas - will live for ever.

 

42. Bambert's Book of Missing Stories by Reinhardt Jung

Shy Bambert sends his half-written stories into the world attached to balloons for whoever finds them to finish. Stories come back from all over the world, and the final story is heartbreaking.

43. The Firework-maker's Daughter by Philip Pullman

Lila's father doesn't want her to follow his career in fireworks so she must prove herself on an epic quest that takes in dragons and pirates.

 

44. Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

As Tom lies in bed preparing for the most boring holiday of his life, the clock strikes 13. Racing downstairs he sees daylight and a beautiful garden where there should be darkness. Incredibly exciting.

 

45. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

A bored young boy pushes his toy car through a toy tollbooth, and finds himself in the kingdom of Wisdom. Genius wordplay, slapstick and a real sense of fun.

 

46. The Silver Sword by Ian Serrallier

Just after the Second World War, a group of children navigate war-torn Europe armed with little more than a letter opener. Tense, demanding and adult.

 

47. Cue for Treason by Geoffrey Trease

After Peter Brownrigg chucks a stone at his landlord, he has to flee to London. Here he meets Shakespeare and uncovers a plot to kill Queen Elizabeth. Tudor derring-do.

 

48. The Sword in the Stone by TH White

The trials of Arthur have never been more amusingly described. Merlin is the archetype for all dotty wizards.

 

49. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K LeGuin

LeGuin's fantasy lands are scrupulously realised, but it is emotional complexity that makes her books so engrossing. Here a young wizard has to come to terms with the destructive power of his magic.

 

50. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling

The third book may be the best in JK Rowling's series. All the usual Potter tricks are here, but the highlight is the Dementors, the terrifying guards of Azkaban prison.

 

51. The Chronicles of Narnia Box Set by CS Lewis

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe isn't the only Narnia story worth reading. The Silver Chair is a powerful allegory of mental slavery; and Voyage of the Dawn Treader sees a talking mouse paddle over the edge of the world.

 

52. His Dark Materials Box Set by Philip Pullman

Pullman's riposte to CS Lewis is a trumpet-blast against dogma - but, above all else, a gripping adventure.

 

53. The BFG by Roald Dahl

At the witching hour, a giant blows sweet dreams into children's bedrooms. When orphan Sophie sees him one night, he takes her to his cave. Beware whizzpoppers!

 

54. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

Childcare used to be a bit less hands on ("Better drowned than duffers. If not duffers won't drown") and one cannot read the adventures of these four children in a lost Eden without a lump in the throat.

 

55. Clarice Bean, Don't Look Now by Lauren Child

At first glance one for the girls, but boys should read it too. Over the series Clarice has matured from an infant with a quirky vocabulary into a complex, engaging teenager.

 

56. The Railway Children by E Nesbit

When their father is accused of treason, Bobbie, Peter, Phyllis and their mother move to the country. They pass the time watching trains go by and proving their father innocent, which is nice.

 

57. The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde

Wilde's giant wants to keep children out of his garden so that he can have it to himself. But it stays shrouded in snow until one day, when the giant's hard heart is softened by one of the boys

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Continued...

 

Early teens

 

63. Call of the Wild by Jack London

Jack London introduced some dark themes into this story of Buck, a sled dog in the Yukon who rediscovers his wild nature when put to the test.

 

64. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

Never was mathematical and philosophical playfulness given such entertaining shape. Tenniel's line-drawings crown these classics.

 

65. The Outsiders by SE Hinton

This powerful novel about school gangs was published when SE Hinton was just 18. The Greasers and the Socs clash in typical teenage fashion - but then someone dies.

 

66. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Smith is better known for A Hundred and One Dalmatians, but although this, her first novel, is quieter, it shines brighter. Narrated in diary form by 17-year-old Cassandra, it documents the lives of her eccentric family.

 

67. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

1832, and wolves have over-run a fictional kingdom of England. Orphans Sylvia and Bonnie fall into the hands of an evil Miss Slycarp and must use all their wits to escape. A mercilessly shadowy thriller.

 

68. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A classic story of America's Deep South. Scout and Jem see their father, Atticus, defend Tom Robinson - an innocent black man - from the charge of rape. Atticus is inspiring without being priggish.

 

69. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

The rousing story of Pip's rise, fall and rise pips Oliver Twist as the best book with which to start reading Dickens, purely on account of his description of being in love.

 

70. The Owl Service by Alan Garner

Welsh myths, a portrait hidden behind a plaster skim, adolescent yearnings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From that list I've read - or have an interest in reading...

Early years

3. The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr
I read this to my children

5. The Tale of Samuel Whiskers by Beatrix Potter
Read this one to my niece (she used to call her Bixtree Potter awww) - mine never really liked BP.

7. Fungus the Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs
Someone bought me this when I was about 19!

9. Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
I got this for £1 on ‘World Book Day’ when my son was little

10. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
A classic!

11. The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
I read these as a child. My children didn’t like these though. (The recentish film version is freaky - urgh!).

12. Charlotte's Web by EB White
I love this book - have read it to my children

13. The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff
When Babar sees his mother shot he reacts as any modern child might: a few tears, then off on a shopping spree. Nice green suit, though.

Had to leave the Daily Telegraph’s comment in as it made me laugh. I read this as a child but I don’t remember it affecting me either - I guess I’m a modern child at heart too!

14. Winnie-the-Pooh by AA Milne, illustrated by EH Shepard
Aww - I still have my childhood copy

Middle Years


16. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
I bought this a few weeks ago after seeing the BBC adaptation at Christmas. I didn’t read it as a child - more of an Enid Blyton girl!

18. Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
Have it in the loft but never read it

19. The Borrowers by Mary Norton
I read it as a child - can’t remember an awful lot about it though.

21. The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
Another classic

31. The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear
Who doesn’t know this story?!

34. Peter Pan by JM Barrie
I read this as a child too. I recently bought it to reread, and its new sequel, Peter Pan in Scarlet

36. The Water Babies by Charles Kinglsey
I thought it was one of those ‘should read’ books - until I read Kell’s review LOL!

37. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Aww love it!

38. I'm The King of the Castle by Susan Hill
On my Amazon ‘Wishlist’

41. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Another childhood read

43. The Firework-maker's Daughter by Philip Pullman
On my Amazon ‘Wishlist’

44. Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
I love this one. Must reread it one day...

46. The Silver Sword by Ian Serrallier
I read this about two years ago and enjoyed it.

47. Cue for Treason by Geoffrey Trease
Love the sound of this one *Adds to Amazon Wishlist*

50. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
Loved all these!

51. The Chronicles of Narnia Box Set by CS Lewis
Ditto - have reread TL, TW&TW and The Horse and His Boy recently and aim to read the rest of the set sometime soonish!

52. His Dark Materials Box Set by Philip Pullman
I’m currently studying the first one for my A level English Lit coursework - I will read the final two after June.

56. The Railway Children by E Nesbit
I adore this book.

The two film versions are probably my favourite ‘children’s film’ - the second (where Jenny Agutter plays the mother rather than Bobbie) is truer to the book - but the first film is the one I remember most fondly!

58. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Read as a child

Early teens

63. Call of the Wild by Jack London
This one’s in the loft unread too!

64. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll Love these books - must reread soon

66. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Ugh - read this one in 2006 and hated it!

68. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Read 2007 and loved it!

69. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
On my Amazon Wishlist (am currently reading Mister Pip which is what prompted me to add it)

73. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Read January 2008 - about time too!

76. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
I enjoyed it but it didn’t inspire me to go on to the LoTR books!

77. War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
On my ‘to read’ pile

84. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Read this last year but found it rather dull.

87. Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee
I really ought to read this

92. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
I’ve just read Huck Finn for English Lit - I might try this when my A Level is over.

94. Holes by Louis Sachar
Mater B loved this - I ought to read it

96. My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
Read this in 2006 - utterly charming

97. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
*Adds to Amazon Wishlist*

98. Carrie's War by Nina Bawden

Aww loved this one as a child

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I'll have to keep a copy of this list for Tadpole. This kid is going to get so many books! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never mind keeping the list for the kids, I'm keeping this one for myself! :lol:

 

I've read 21 so far, with about a dozen others on my TBR pile.

 

Thanks Janet!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read lots of these, but I've just added more to my Amazon wish list!

 

Janet, it's funny--I love Little Women and often re-read it, I think I Capture the Castle is one of the best books ever written (the last page gives me shivers), but I loathed Carrie's War. I used to re-read it hoping somehow I'd missed some kind of happy ending that would make it less depressing. I agree with you re. the Alice books and To Kill a Mockingbird, though. :-)

 

Oh, and this made me laugh!

 

90. The Song of Hiawatha by H W Longfellow

Just say something in this rhythm. It will sound like Hiawatha. Read it to your horrid children. Hear them chant the verses loudly. On it goes ad infinitum. Heaven help the hapless parent.

 

:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This list was published in The Daily Telegraph on 19th January but I forgot all about it! Better late than never.

 

Obviously this is only their view, but I like lists!

 

Really This is a nice Collection of Books .............. thanks for this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah! Am bookmarking this one.

I was looking for this list - having remembered reading it when I first joined.

 

Glad to have found it - thanks for this Janet!

 

(I've sadly read only 16 of the 100, but on the happier side, there are 84 delightful reads waiting for me!)

Edited by bree

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for bumping up the thread, bree, I've never seen it before, this was posted half a year before I joined the forum. This looks like a great reference list, I've been meaning to look out for popular English children's classics, my knowledge of them being very, well, non-existing at the moment.

 

 

I've only read:

A Little Princess +

I'm The King of the Castle

Pippi Longstocking

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban +

The Chronicles of Narnia -

Just William

The Bad Beginning +

Alice in Wonderland

The Outsiders

To Kill a Mockingbird +

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Anne of Green Gables +

Lord of the Flies -

 

Coincidentally I'm currently reading:

The Phantom Tollbooth (+)

 

And I have on TBR:

Peter Pan

Tom's Midnight Garden

Great Expectations

Frenchman's Creek

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

 

Some of the books on the list are ones I wouldn't necessarily see as children's books and was surprised to see them on this list. And some books are so awful I wouldn't make any kid read them (ahemLordoftheFliesahem).

 

And where is Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren? It's so much better than some Pippi Longstocking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read 29, and quite a few of them not until I was an adult, but I've got to the stage now where it's too late to grow up :giggle:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've actually read 36 of them - hurrah! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some fantastic (and some unusual) books on this list. Forget the kids, I need to read more of these, I've only managed 22 out of the 100!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right so I've read

  • Burglar Bill by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Winnie-the-Pooh by AA Milne, illustrated by EH Shepard
  • Stig of the Dump by Clive King
  • The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales
  • The Iron Man by Ted Hughes
  • The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear
  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  • Peter Pan by JM Barrie
  • Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
  • The Railway Children by E Nesbit
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
  • Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery
  • Holes by Louis Sachar
  • The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson

 

On my TBR I have

  • The Borrowers by Mary Norton
  • Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (Currently Reading)
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Wow I've actually read 18, I'm quite impressed with that :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×