Children’s fiction has a special place in my heart. Perhaps because I grew up reading, or perhaps because children’s fiction conveys profound yet simple wisdom that regular fiction often overlooks.
Regardless, I love children’s fiction. Since the last few posts on here have been rather philosophical, I thought today that I’d share something a little lighter hearted with you all.
For the purposes of a shorter, sort of, list, this post is strictly children’s fiction, not children’s literature. Between those two categories, my favorites add up to twenty or so books and I figured y’all wouldn’t want to read that big of a list. 😂 If you’d like me to do a follow-up post on my favorite classic children’s literature, please comment below.
Favorite Children’s Literature
1) Chains: Laurie Halse Anderson
This book, simply put, is amazing. I read it for the first time during 4th or 5th grade and absolutely loved it. Since then I’ve reread a couple times. The story follows Isabella, a patriot spy who works as a slave in a Loyalist household. She takes careful note of her master’s doings and reports all back to the emerging American nation. Overall, Chains delves into what freedom truly means by asking if freedom is for just those of one color or for all people. (If you enjoy this book, there are two more books in the Seeds of Courage series.)
2) The Penderwicks: Jeanne Birdsall
I’m slightly embarrassed to admit I reread this whole series as recently as last year. (*covers face with hands*) The Penderwicks is a heartwarming series of sisters that is very reminiscent of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (I feel like I’ve mentioned this book way too many times on this blog. I guess you could say I like it… just a tiny bit.) Honestly, there’s not much more I have to say about these books. They make me smile and I’m sure they’ll make you smile.
3) Annie, Between the States: L.M. Elliott
I can’t decide if this book qualifies as children’s fiction or young adult fiction; I’ve seen it labeled as both. Annie, a Virginian girl with Confederate soldier brothers, grows in her understanding of what it means to love when she falls in love with a wounded Union soldier. Honestly, I don’t remember much about the book as I read it in seventh grade, but I remember really enjoying it and finding the story particularly touching. Perhaps I’ll reread it soon. (If you like this book, I recommend Two Girls of Gettysburg by Lisa M. Klein)
4) The Dear America Series
This photo, as the only Dear America book I own, represents the whole series. I devoured these books in elementary school. The Dear America series is a collection of diaries set during significant times in American history. Each was a unique history lesson that really brought history down to a personal level. There are many sub-branches of this series like My America, The Royal Diaries, My Name is America, Dear Canada, My Austrailian Story, etc, etc. Just check out the Goodreads page https://www.goodreads.com/series/49549-dear-america
5) Walk Two Moons: Sharon Creech
Goodness. I haven’t read anything by Sharon Creech in eons. In elementary school though, she was my go to author. I practically read everything of hers. She had a knack my writing stories that leave you in a little puddle of tears (happy and sad). Walk Two Moons, is no exception. The story follows Sal as she tells the story of her and her mother to her grandparents while on a roadtrip. Ultimately its a story of family and those, I think, are the best kinds.
6) Flipped: Wendelin Van Draanen
THIS BOOK. I CANNOT NOT TALK ABOUT IT IN CAPITOL LETTERS. But that might be annoying for those reading this so I’ll write normally. (*clears throat*) Flipped is basically my childhood book. I’ve seen the movie a million times, actually I rewatched it this weekend, and read the book more than once. In short, it follows Julie Baker and Bryce Loski through elementary school and middle school. Julie has a massive crush on Bryce until eigth grade when she realizes he has some series character flaws. At the same time Bryce realizes that Julie may be the most irredescent (read the book and you’ll understand the word choice) human being to ever walk the planet. Essentially its a coming of age story that is extremely relatable. I LOVE IT.
7) Tuck Everlasting: Natalie Babbitt
This book is my childhood. I read it in fourth grade and was virtually obsessed with it for a year. As short as it is, it packs a mighty punch. Tuck Everlasting is about an eleven year old girl, Winnie Foster, who discovers a family who has literally found the fountain of youth. The Tucks accidentally drank this water about a century before Winnie’s time and haven’t aged since. While spending time with Winnie, the Tucks try to make it clear to Winnie that we were not meant for eternal life on earth, but they also tell her that whether or not she drinks for the spring is her choice. Powerful stuff. (Also, the movie, while not being completely accurate to the book, is amazing. Same message, just a tweaked story line.)
8) The City of Ember: Jeanne DuPrau
I do not like science fiction. It makes me feel extremely unsettled and rather gross. Not to offend anybody, I have nothing against anyone who likes that genre, its just not my cup of tea. However, I loved this book. The City of Ember is about two thirteen year olds, Lina and Doon, who live underground in a city powered by electricity. The two, along with everyone else in the city, have no idea they live underground. It’s been this way for two hundred years. Lina and Doon begin to realize that thier city is in danger when they find some long forgotten escape instructions left by the builders. (It was built as a refuge during a time when people thought the world was ending.) These instructions say that the city should have been evacuated years ago. The two friends then embark on a great adventure to save their city and discover much about the world as they do so. Great book. There’s also three more in the series which are interesting as well. (Don’t watch the movie. For lack of a better word, its awful and cheap and horribly unlike the book. It makes me feel gross.)
9) Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry
Family. Freedom. Friendship. Farmlife. This book has it all. Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry is profound. (I mean, how could it not be with that title. It gives me shivers each time I read it.) Essentially, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry is Cassie Logan’s coming of age story during a time when black land owners were not looked well upon. The story tells how Cassie graples with the racism and injustice toward those of different skin tones and brings us to consider history in a very intimate light. I read this in 5th grade and again with my class in 6th grade, but it is an amazing story for all ages.
10) The American Girl Doll Books
Yes, I know these are for little girls. And yes, that is my American girl doll. And yes, I do still dress her up… and brush her hair. And yes, I’m much too old for dolls. Don’t judge. Anyway, these books, like the Dear America series, opened up my 2nd grade eyes to American history and probably were the kickstart of my abiding love for reading and history. Also, the mystery American Girl books? – Those were great.
There you have it folks!
Have you read any of these books?
What are your favorite children’s books?
(All photos belong to me.)
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