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Kern County Library Staff Suggests...: 101 Books Every Child Should Know

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

101 Books Every Child Should Know

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - The classic story of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy in nineteenth-century New England.

The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander - Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper of Prydain, faces even more dangers as he seeks the magical Black Cauldron, the chief implement of the evil powers of Arawn, lord of the Land of Death.

Skellig by David Almond - Unhappy about his baby sister's illness and the chaos of moving into a dilapidated old house, Michael retreats to the garage and finds a mysterious stranger who is something like a bird and something like an angel.

Sounder by William H. Armstrong - The Powerful Newbery Award-winning classic A landmark in children's literature, winner of the 1970 Newbery Medal, and the basis of an acclaimed film, Sounder traces the keen sorrow and the abiding faith of a poor African-American boy in the 19th-century South. The boy's life is changed forever when his father is caught stealing a ham to feed his starving family. His dog, Sounder, is wounded in the incident and waits faithfully for his master to come home.

Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater - The unexpected delivery of a large crate containing an Antarctic penguin changes the life and fortunes of Mr. Popper, a house painter obsessed by dreams of the Polar regions.

The Fighting Ground by Avi - Thirteen-year-old Jonathan goes off to fight in the Revolutionary War and discovers the real war is being fought within himself.

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt - The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing any older.

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie - The adventures of the three Darling children in Never-Never Land with Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up.

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum - After a cyclone transports her to the land of Oz, Dorothy must seek out the great wizard in order to return to Kansas.

The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs - A boy goes to live with his magician uncle in a mansion that has a clock hidden in the walls which is ticking off the minutes until doomsday.

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Bianco - By the time the Velveteen Rabbit is dirty, worn out, and about to be burned, he has almost given up hope of ever finding the magic called Real.

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume - Faced with the difficulties of growing up and choosing a religion, a twelve-year-old girl talks over her problems with her own private God.

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond - A very small bear found by Mr. and Mrs. Brown at Paddington station be comes one of the family.

The Wish Giver by Bill Brittain - When a strange little man comes to the Coven Tree Church Social promising he can give people exactly what they ask for, three young believers-in-magic each make a wish that comes true in the most unexpected way.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett - Ten-year-old Mary comes to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors and discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden.

The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford - A Siamese cat, an old bull terrier, and a young Labrador retriever travel together 250 miles through the Canadian wilderness to find their family.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - A little girl falls down a rabbit hole and discovers a world of nonsensical and amusing characters.

The White Mountains by John Christopher - Young Will Parker and his companions make a perilous journey toward an outpost of freedom where they hope to escape from the ruling Tripods, who capture mature human beings and make them docile, obedient servants.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary - A reckless young mouse named Ralph makes friends with a boy in room 215 of the Mountain View Inn and discovers the joys of motorcycling.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) - The adventures of a mischievous young boy and his friends growing up in a Mississippi River town in the nineteenth century.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr - Hospitalized with the dreaded atom bomb disease, leukemia, a child in Hiroshima races against time to fold one thousand paper cranes to verify the legend that by doing so a sick person will become healthy.

My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier - Recounts the tragedy that strikes the Meeker family during the Revolution when one son joins the rebel forces while the rest of the family tries to stay neutral in a Tory town.

The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi - Pinocchio, a wooden puppet full of tricks and mischief, with a talent for getting into and out of trouble, wants more than anything else to become a real boy.

Prairie Songs by Pam Conrad - "A girl's abiding love for her Nebraska home is shaken with the arrival of a frail young city woman who cannot endure the harsh pioneer life." -- Publisher Weekly

The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper - On his eleventh birthday Will Stanton discovers that he is the last of the Old Ones, destined to seek the six magical Signs that will enable the Old Ones to triumph over the evil forces of the Dark.

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech - After her mother leaves home suddenly, thirteen-year-old Sal and her grandparents take a car trip retracing her mother's route. Along the way, Sal recounts the story of her friend Phoebe, whose mother also left.

The Ballad of Lucy Whipple by Karen Cushman - In 1849, twelve-year-old California Morning Whipple, who renames herself Lucy, is distraught when her mother moves the family from Massachusetts to a rough California mining town.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis - The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl - Each of five children lucky enough to discover an entry ticket into Mr. Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory takes advantage of the situation in his own way.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo - Edward Tulane, a cold-hearted and proud toy rabbit, loves only himself until he is separated from the little girl who adores him and travels across the country, acquiring new owners and listening to their hopes, dreams, and histories.

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes - An appealing story of a poorly dressed Polish girl who finally wins the appreciation of her schoolmates.

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley - The story of the understanding and love between a boy and a magnificent wild horse and the adventures and dangers they shared.

The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald - The exploits of the Great Brain of Adenville, Utah, are described by his younger brother, frequently the victim of the Great Brain's schemes for gaining prestige or money.

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh - When Harriet's classmates find her diary and read what she has written about them, they decide to make life miserable for her.

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman - A bratty prince and his whipping boy have many adventures when they inadvertently trade places after becoming involved with dangerous outlaws.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank - Traces the life of the Jewish girl who hid with seven other people in an attic for two years in Nazi-occupied Holland and chronicled her day-to-day life in a diary which was discovered after her death in German concentration camp.

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes - After injuring his hand, a silversmith's apprentice in Boston becomes a messenger for the Sons of Liberty in the days before the American Revolution.

The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox - Kidnapped by the crew of an Africa-bound ship, a thirteen-year-old boy discovers to his horror that he is on a slaver and his job is to play music for the exercise periods of the human cargo.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett - A young boy runs away from home to rescue an abused baby dragon held captive to serve as a free twenty-four hour, seven-days-a-week ferry for the lazy wild animals living on Wild Island.

Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner - Little Willie hopes to pay the back taxes on his grandfather's farm with the purse from a dog sled race he enters.

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George - While running away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska and is befriended by a wolf pack.

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson - When fourteen-year-old Travis is left in charge of the farm while his father is on a cattle drive, he is assisted by Old Yeller, an ugly yellow stray dog.

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame - The escapades of four animal friends who live along a river in the English countryside--Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger.

The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton - A black family of five moves into an enormous house once used as a hiding place for runaway slaves. Mysterious sounds and events as well as the discovery of secret passageways make the family believe they are in grave danger.

Words of Stone by Kevin Henkes - Busy trying to deal with his many fears and his troubled feelings for his dead mother, ten-year-old Blaze has his life changed when he meets the boisterous and irresistible Joselle.

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry - Paul and his sister Maureen's determination to own a pony from the herd on Chincoteague Island, Virginia, is greatly increased when the Phantom and her colt are among the ponies rounded up for the yearly auction.

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse - In a series of poems, fifteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family's wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of the Depression.

The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson - Odge Gribble, a young hag, accompanies an old wizard, a gentle fey, and a giant ogre on their mission through a magical tunnel from their Island to London to rescue their King and Queen's son, who had been stolen as an infant.

Redwall by Brian Jacques - It is the Summer of the Late Rose. A sinister shadow has fallen across the ancient stone abbey of Redwall. For it is rumored that Cluny is coming -- Cluny, the terrible one-eyed rat and his battle-seasoned horde-- Cluny, whose vow is to conquer Redwall Abbey! The woodland creatures rush to a desperate defense. But what can an abbey of peaceloving mice do against Cluny the Scourge and his army?

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster - A journey through a land where Milo learns the importance of words and numbers provides a cure for his boredom.

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller - Left blind, deaf, and mute after an illness in infancy, Helen Keller overcame her disabilities with the help of Anne Sullivan, her inspired teacher. Her classic autobiography, first published in 1903, covers her first 22 years. This deeply moving memoir offers an unforgettable portrait of one of the 20th century's most remarkable women.

Babe, the Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith - A piglet destined for eventual butchering arrives at the farmyard, is adopted by an old sheep dog, and discovers a special secret to success.

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling - Originally published one hundred years ago, a collection of classic animal tales provides creative and imaginative answers to unanswered questions, such as how the leopard got his spots and where the camel got its hump.

Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight - A collie undertakes a thousand-mile journey in order to once again meet her former master at the school gate.

The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg - Four students, with their own individual stories, develop a special bond and attract the attention of their teacher, a paraplegic, who chooses them to represent their sixth-grade class in the Academic Bowl competition.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle - Meg and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.

Ben and Me by Robert Lawson - Benjamin Franklin's companion, Amos the mouse, recounts how he was responsible for Franklin's inventions and discoveries.

The Tales of Uncle Remus by Julius Lester - A retelling of the African-American tales about the adventures and misadventures of Brer Rabbit and his friends and enemies.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis - Four English school children enter the magic land of Narnia through the back of a wardrobe and assist Aslan, the golden lion, in defeating the White Witch who has cursed the land with eternal winter.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren - Escapades of a lucky little girl who lives with a horse and a monkey--but without any parents--at the edge of a Swedish village.

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting - When his colleague Long Arrow disappears, Dr. Dolittle sets off with his assistant, Tommy Stubbins, his dog, Jip, and Polynesia the parrot on an adventurous voyage over tropical seas to floating Spidermonkey Island.

The Call of the Wild by Jack London - The adventures of an unusual dog, part St. Bernard, part Scotch shepherd, that is forcibly taken to the Klondike gold fields where he eventually becomes the leader of a wolf pack.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry - In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty Bard MacDonald - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle loves children, both good and bad. She never scolds, but has positive cures for children with special problems such as answering back or never wanting to go to bed.

Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia Maclachlan - When their father invites a mail-order bride to come live with them in their prairie home, Caleb and Anna are captivated by their new mother and hope that she will stay.

Homer Price by Robert McCloskey - Six episodes in the life of Homer Price including one in which he and his pet skunk capture four bandits and another about a donut machine on the rampage.

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne - Contains the adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, and their friends.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery - Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor - When he finds a lost beagle in the hills behind his West Virginia home, Marty tries to hide it from his family and the dog's real owner, a mean-spirited man known to shoot deer out of season and to mistreat his dogs.

The Borrowers by Mary Norton - Miniature people who live in an old country house by borrowing things from the humans are forced to emigrate from their home under the clock. Includes a letter and a sketch of Homily and Arrietty by the author.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien - With nowhere else to turn, a field mouse asks the clever escaped lab rats living under the rosebush to help save her son, who lies in the path of the farmer's tractor, too ill to be moved.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell - Records the courage and self-reliance of an Indian girl who lived alone for eighteen years on an isolated island off the California coast when her tribe emigrated and she was left behind.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen - After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson - The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer, who subsequently meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway, Terabithia, during a storm.

A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck - A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother.

Freak the Mighty by W.R. Philbrick - At the beginning of eighth grade, learning disabled Max and his new friend Freak, whose birth defect has affected his body but not his brilliant mind, find that when they combine forces they make a powerful team.

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings - A young boy living in the Florida backwoods is forced to decide the fate of a fawn he has lovingly raised as a pet.

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls - A young boy living in the Ozarks achieves his heart's desire when he becomes the owner of two redbone hounds and teaches them to be champion hunters.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling - Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

A Fine White Dust by Cynthia Rylant - The visit of the traveling Preacher Man to his small North Carolina town gives new impetus to thirteen-year-old Peter's struggle to reconcile his own deeply felt religious belief with the beliefs and non-beliefs of his family and friends.

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan - Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.

Holes by Louis Sachar - As further evidence of his family's bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - An aviator whose plane is forced down in the Sahara Desert encounters a little prince from a small planet who relates his adventures in seeking the secret of what is important in life.

Bambi by Felix Salten - Describes the life of a deer in the forest as he grows into a beautiful stag.

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden - The adventures of a country cricket who unintentionally arrives in New York and is befriended by Tucker Mouse and Harry Cat.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell - A horse in nineteenth-century England recounts his experiences with both good and bad masters.

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein - Come in - for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein's world begins. You'll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.

Singularity by William Sleator - Sixteen-year-old twins Harry and Barry stumble across a gateway to another universe, where a distortion in time and space causes a dramatic change in their competitive relationship.

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket - After the sudden death of their parents, the three Baudelaire children must depend on each other and their wits when it turns out that the distant relative who is appointed their guardian is determined to use any means necessary to get their fortune.

The Witch of Blackbird by Elizabeth George Speare - In 1687 in Connecticut, Kit Tyler, feeling out of place in the Puritan household of her aunt, befriends an old woman considered a witch by the community and suddenly finds herself standing trial for witchcraft.

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli - After his parents die, Jeffrey Lionel Magee's life becomes legendary, as he accomplishes athletic and other feats which awe his contemporaries.

Heidi by Johanna Spyri - A Swiss orphan is heartbroken when she must leave her beloved grandfather and their happy home in the mountains to go to school and to care for an invalid girl in the city.

A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson - A collection of poems evoking the world and feelings of childhood.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor - An African-American family living in Mississippi during the Depression of the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination which its children do not understand.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, becomes a thief for a band of dwarves and soon finds himself in the midst of a war with the evil goblins and wargs, and forced to make a decision between the call of duty and the pull of the simple life.

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers - An extraordinary English nanny blows in on the East Wind with her parrot-headed umbrella and magic carpetbag and introduces her charges, Jane and Michael, to some delightful people and experiences.

Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voight - Now that the four abandoned Tillerman children are settled in with their grandmother, Dicey finds that their new beginnings require love, trust, humor, and courage.

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White - When he discovers that he is destined to be someone's dinner, Wilbur the pig is desolate until his spider friend Charlotte decides to help him.

The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White - A retelling of the Arthurian legend.

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder - A family travels from the big woods of Wisconsin to a new home on the prairie, where they build a house, meet neighboring Indians, dig a well, and fight a prairie fire.


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