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Topic: Opinion's Needed...really I'm serious

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Subject: Opinion's Needed...really I'm serious
Date Posted: 8/4/2009 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2008
Posts: 145
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I went on the internet today to find a list of "must read" children's chapter books but to my disappointment no such list exist. I am a future teacher; this list would be used for recommending different books to my students. I will kick off the list

Charlotte's Web- E.B White

Mr. Popper's Penguins- Richard Atwater

Mouse and the Motorcycle- Beverly Cleary


Date Posted: 8/4/2009 5:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2009
Posts: 301
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all of the Amelia Bedelia books!

and Where the Wild Things Are, obvi.

and, for older kids -- From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Last Edited on: 8/4/09 5:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/4/2009 6:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
Posts: 1,958
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There are lists that exist. I give one to my parents every year at Back-to-School night, but I am not at at school yet (yay!) and I cannot access my list.

This one seems pretty comprehensive and breaks them down by grade level.


I also found several other lists at this address.


Date Posted: 8/4/2009 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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some of the books on my list might vary slightly in terms of reading level:

  • Where the Red Fern Grows
  • Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
  • The Westing Game
  • Matilda, James & the Giant Peach, The Witches, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (or anything else by Roald Dahl)
  • The Secret Garden
  • Black Beauty
  • the Ramona books
  • the Boxcar Children
  • From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (seconded)
  • A Wrinkle in Time (the whole series is great)
  • The Giver
  • Bud, Not Buddy
  • Superfudge (any of the Fudge books)
  • Redwall
  • Harriet the Spy
  • The Indian in the Cupboard
  • The Not-Just-Anybody Family
Date Posted: 8/4/2009 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,288
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I guess it depends upon the age but here are some favorites of our family:

The Magic Tree House books

The Journey of Edward Tulane (not sure if I have the title exctly right)

Because of Winn Dixie

Any of the books featuring Ramona are great

My sister and I loved the Trixie Belden mystery books


Last Edited on: 8/13/09 11:02 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/4/2009 9:49 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2007
Posts: 2,055
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There are lots of good ones listed already, but here are a few more:

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Bridge to Terabithia by Katerine Paterson

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

Date Posted: 8/5/2009 1:28 AM ET
Member Since: 7/20/2007
Posts: 1,046
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I second Superfudge, i read that book a hundred times when i was a kid.

Also, think about the Junie B. Moody or Ramona books (i have some on my shelf even) and R.L. Stines' Goosebumps books. Kids LOVE Goosebumps.

Date Posted: 8/5/2009 10:51 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I loved the Boxcar Children and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - in fact I just listened to this one on audio a couple of weeks ago! I also enjoyed Charlotte's Web and think it's the only 'sad' one I liked. I also liked a lot of Judy Blume's Tale of a Fourth Grade Nothing/Fudge

Date Posted: 8/5/2009 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,570
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Meet the Austins by M. L'Engle

If you Give a Mouse a Cookie and that whole series.  Our family kids loved these books.

Any and all of the books by Dr Suess.  Especially the early ones.  I taught myself to read at 5 years old with One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

Date Posted: 8/5/2009 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2008
Posts: 1,157
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My kids love Natalie Kinsey-Warnock's books - they are great!  She does a lot of school visits and explains the "story behind the story." Debbie

Subject: Sparrow Hawk Red and Dancing Naked
Date Posted: 8/6/2009 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2007
Posts: 129
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"Dancing Naked" is a great book about teen pregnancy.  It may not be entirely realistic (I wish I could make good decisions as well as the teens portrayed in this book) but it does create wonderful role models.  It's by Shelley Hrdlitschka who has written many other interesting and worthwhile books for teens.  (Kat's Fall comes to mind.)


I also love "Sparrow Hawk Red" by Ben Mikaelsen.  Although it may not be too realistic, it's a great adventure story that does a great job of drawing in reluctant readers, especially younger boys. (9-12).  It also paints a very sympathetic portrait of a young Mexican girl doing her best to survive on the streets. 

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 10:43 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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The Thirteen Clocks, by James Thurber. I think it warped my life - but in a good way.
Date Posted: 8/7/2009 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2005
Posts: 487
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Encyclopedia Brown books were fun.

Subject: Newbery
Date Posted: 8/8/2009 6:42 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2007
Posts: 46
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Here's a website that shows Newbery Medal and Honor Books:




I think this list is a great place to start.

Date Posted: 8/9/2009 9:37 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2006
Posts: 64
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Here are some of our favorites:

 Narnia books

Dr. Doolittle books

Five Children and It, and any other E Nesbit books

Stuart Little, Trumpet of the Swan, EB White books

Roald Dahl books

Bartimaeus trilogy by Joanthan Stroud

Mistress Masham's Repose

Alice in Wonderland, any Lewis Carroll (we liked Sylvie and Bruno)



Last Edited on: 8/9/09 3:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/9/2009 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,741
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there is a book out called 100 Best Boks for Children - you might try to find a copy. The author is Anita Silvey. The book covers up to age 12, and is new enough to mention the first Harry Potter book but none of the subsequent ones.

Subject: More kids books...
Date Posted: 8/12/2009 6:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2009
Posts: 6
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The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle - AVI

Tanglewreck - Jeanette Winterson

Dealing with Dragons series - Patricia C. Wrede

Mary Poppins (whole series!) - PL Travers

Black Unicorn Series - Tanith Lee

All of these feature tough female characters and avoid or ridicule unnecessary gender assignations.

Date Posted: 8/13/2009 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2009
Posts: 3
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Some of my favorites were...

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume - The first of the Fudge series

The Velvet Room by Zilpha Keatley Snyder - I loved this one as a kid and as an adult. It is the story of a girl whose dad is a migrant worker and it's set in California during the Great Depression. When her dad finally finds work on a ranch, Robin finds an abandoned mansion and a room filled with books.

Terry E. (Tear) - ,
Date Posted: 8/13/2009 11:29 PM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2009
Posts: 54
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Magic School Bus

Magic Tree House

Junie B books

Harry Potter


Date Posted: 8/14/2009 5:07 AM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
Posts: 147
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Where the Red Fern Grows

Other Side of the Mountain


Date Posted: 8/15/2009 1:02 AM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
Posts: 7,732
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There is an excellant resource you should use. The title of the book is How to Get Your Child to Love Reading.  The author has several lists of recomended books in several categories and genres (all of which she has personally read as a teacher).  It has 22 reviews on Amazon - all with the maximum 5 star rating. Well worth the $20 investment (less if purchased from Amazon). Unfortunately, there is a long WL for it here.



Date Posted: 8/17/2009 10:52 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 387
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I would also add the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I loved the Mixed Up Files and the Westing Game too.

Date Posted: 8/18/2009 10:03 AM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2008
Posts: 179
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When I was younger, some of my favorite "childrens books" were:

-The Giver- Lois Lowry

-The "Wayside" series- Louis Sachar

-Under the Blood Red Sun- Graham Salisbury

- The "Fingerprints" series- Melinda Metz

- The Outsiders- S.E. Hinton

Date Posted: 8/31/2009 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 3/17/2006
Posts: 1,438
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Many have already mentioned books I have on my website, but you're welcome to look at my "Favorite Books" list and see if anything helps you out there.  I made the list several years ago for me and it's fun when others enjoy it too. :-) 


Date Posted: 8/31/2009 5:46 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 226
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Jason's Gold - Will Hobbs

Down the Yukon - Will Hobbs

Hatchet - Gary Paulsen   plus all the "Brian" books that follow

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH - Robert C. O'Brian

One of my favorite resources is "The Read Aloud Handbook" by Jim Trelease.  I still use the 5th edition which was published in 2001.  Probably cheap on Amazon.