The Ultimate List: Our 100 best children's books

The Ultimate List: Our 100 best children's books
7 October 2013

We celebrate Children's Book Week with Amazon Kindle by announcing our list of 100 books every child should read before they're 14.

 

Drawing from over 90 years' experience of recommending children’s books, our experts have put together a list of the 100 best children's books for Children's Book Week 2013. We're now asking everyone to join the debate and vote online for their favourites from the list - with the nation’s top books announced on 25 November.

 

The exciting 100 combines an eclectic mix of traditional classics and modern greats that we believe are must-reads to fire children’s imaginations and turn them into life-long readers. The cut-off age of 14 was chosen as beyond that, children tend to progress to more adult literature.

 

Claire Shanahan, Head of Arts at Booktrust, said:

We want to celebrate Children's Book Week by starting a discussion about the very best books for children.  We know there will be some debate around the list, and we welcome it! Has your favorite childhood read been left out? Would your child whole-heartedly agree with us, or be dismayed by an oversight? We’ve tried to include stories for everyone – whether it’s an old picture book, a classic adventure story, or a modern tale tackling contemporary issues – the emphasis for us is on wonderful, wacky, and world-changing narratives.

Take a look at the books on our list

 

 

Read more about how we selected the books on our list


Find out more about Children's Book Week 2013

 

UPDATED: We invited you to let us know which titles you thought were missing from our 100 Best Books list - now take a look at our booklist of your favourites. Leave a comment below if you'd like to suggest any further titles to add to this list.

Comments

Love Roald Dahl he's the best
check him out Roald Dahl

Dec
25 June 2014

Truely awesome....

Emily
16 June 2014

I love these....

Emily
16 June 2014

You need to add more books-like Anne of Green Gables. It's still a pretty good list. Definitely needs the Dark is rising sequence.

abc
30 March 2014

nice

raja
12 March 2014

i love reading and keep going x

Saphia #1
1 March 2014

hi
i love these books and i own like already 90 books of these and ive got more and im a massive book lover!!! :):):):):):)):):):):):):)

crystal
26 February 2014

Nice list but my daughter and son aren't big readers unfortunately. The only books they've literally DEVOURED so far were the Unfortunate Events series and the new-ish Orchidus Academy (series?)

Narl Craig
20 February 2014

"Naughty Bus"- by Jan and Jerry Oke!!!!
It's an AMAZING photographic picture book and I've never seen anything else like it. My kids adore it and it's kept them entertained for months!

Steven Jepps
2 February 2014

it's great

ashu
22 January 2014

Best book is the BFG

billy
21 January 2014

keep reading and be a great author

Atikant
10 January 2014

My son has just started reading a great new series of books called young samurai and I would recomend it to anyone who loves lots of action he has only read the first page and he's not stopped reading, its great!

michelle
29 December 2013

Kids must read young samurai especially if they like lots of action, I've only read the first 4 pages and I can't stop reading!

matthew
29 December 2013

Where is A Series of Unfortunate Events?

KYLIUS
8 December 2013

fabulous books, very interesting. read them to my two daughters at bedtime and they were both intrigued to read on

hannah
2 December 2013

I have read several of these great books and I would definitely recommend them to friends and family. The books are well written and the authors are fantastic!

sophie
2 December 2013

Kids must read the book BIllionare Boy - I bought it for my daughter and she loves it!
i also read it! Ha Ha

Kripa Varghese
27 November 2013

Great list! Would have liked to have seen David Walliams' Billionaire Boy make the top 100.

Naz H
26 November 2013

Each Peach Pear Plum was introduced to me when I was born, 33 years on and it's still my favourite and is quickly becoming the same to my children as well.

Melissa
25 November 2013

Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett should be on there. Such a lovely book and Johnny's a great character. I could hardly read the end out loud to my kids through the tears!

Christine H
22 November 2013

The curious incident of the dog in the night time is my favourite and I also love The Hunger Games and Skellig and all Carl Hiassen books

Anjali
14 November 2013

Yes, Iron Man is a glaring omission, my four year old's favourite book!

Christos Lamb
13 November 2013

No Rosemary Sutcliff? Novels like 'Eagle of the Ninth' have been going strong for nearly 60 years and are still engaging the imagination of children today.

Anne
10 November 2013

Two glaring omissions. Firstly Rosemary Sutcliffe, who wrote some of the best historical novels EVER for children. The Eagle of The Ninth should certainly be in there. I reread this again as an adult, recently, and it is still quite wonderful.
The other author missing is Susan Cooper. Her The Dark Is Rising Sequence are magical, superbly written novels which knock spots off Harry Potter.
The mind boggles.

David Manns
9 November 2013

Shannon - this isn't a law that's been drawn up that the reading of these books is mandatory for all subjects of the realm - it's just a nice wee list.

However, if you do not wish to read Harry Potter for (I am presuming) religious reasons, I would suggest thinking again, not condemning a book through presumption. The book is hardly sacrilegious - it is built on strong moral values of love and friendship. JK Rowling is a Christian herself.

I would suggest you might be slightly more justified in refusing to read Philip Pullman, though even then, I am a strict Catholic and have read and enjoyed His Dark Materials.

Reader
2 November 2013

Wish I could have chosen more than one for each category! Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising is a sad omission :-(

Ali Northover
1 November 2013

Where's The Secret Garden?? One of my all time favourites!

Steph
1 November 2013

what about Ian Serraillier - The Silver Sword?

whiterose
27 October 2013

We just love We're going on a bear hunt. I remember sitting with my Daddy and reading it to my younger brother, we'd go walking in the woods and would recite every bit as we went. Now I read it to my daughter and she loves it too. It comes with such happy memories for me.

Stephanie Kirsch
26 October 2013

The groups should be broken down by 0-2, 3-5... there are so many nice books. And there is no Gruffalo on the list?

Juliana
25 October 2013

I agree with the comment about strange allocation into age groups.
Why is there nothing on the list by Cornelia Funke - and no Gruffalo!

Margaret
23 October 2013

My class think there should be How to Train Your Dragon too!

Mr Swain
18 October 2013

Why isn't Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl in there,  it's one of my favourite books!

ethan
16 October 2013

Yes, I would agree with about 60%, but there are some major gaps - The Iron Man by Ted Hughes, Percy the Park-keeper series, just two that come to mind. I agree that there should be some poetry, beginning with Please Mrs Butler by the Arlbergs, and some Michael Rosen. At least some old favourites are included, but surely one Enid Blyton title is enough!

Peta Cato
12 October 2013

Great favourites on the list. Jill Murphy's Peace at Last should be there too!

Ellie
12 October 2013

Skellig - simply the most brilliant book

Mr K
12 October 2013

Why aren't there more Jacqueline Wilson books?

Luca
12 October 2013

I like this

shannon
12 October 2013

What if there are some books you don't like or don't want to read, or if the book is something spiritual to you? e.g Harry Potter (for me) I can't read those types of books.

Sharon Etor
12 October 2013

I read so many of these books myself going back some 40-45 years and my children read them too; I even have some of them still! It's wonderful to see them still on the 'best'list today. Hopefully my future grandchildren will read them too!

Kathryn Collin
12 October 2013

All these books are so reminding me of my childhood. Love it!!!!!!

Tahmina Yasmin
11 October 2013

We're any children actually consulted I the drawing up of this list? A high proportion of these books are on our primary school library but I would question both the age range you have placed some of them into and the inclination of children to read the likes of Joan Aiken, Michael Bond and Laura Ingalls Wilder!
Lists like this tend to be idealistic rather than realistic.

Hilary Tesh
11 October 2013

I just query some of the titles and the categories they are in. I wouldn't put the Wimpy Kid in 6 - 8 or Asterix, they are both for older children.

helen
10 October 2013

Cherub.



Gets you stuck in

William
10 October 2013

I really can't believe that The Knife That Killed Me is not there!  I also can't believe that Wolf Brother is not on the list.

Bond, james Bond
10 October 2013

Where is How to Train your Dragon and Cherub??

Yolo
10 October 2013

The knife that killed me, it's good

Yolk
10 October 2013

I cannot believe that Shadow isn't there. That is the best book ever.

Charles
10 October 2013

Cannot believe that 'green eggs and ham' is not on here!

Tom
10 October 2013

Why is cherub not on there also wolf brother and there are many more Michael morpurgo books

Georgegriffiths
10 October 2013

I think the cherub series should be on the list for the 12-14

Xander Macpherson
10 October 2013

You should do The Edge Chronicles

Ben
10 October 2013

Would have liked to see a one book per author limitation to broaden the list out - sad not to see Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, Mr Gum and many more featured.

Mary Kate
9 October 2013

The Iron King was one of the best books I've ever read

Iron king
9 October 2013

What about Treasure Island and Lord of the Flies - have they now been forgotten?

Gerry Kelly
8 October 2013

This has been good to view as it lets me see new titles to buy or get from the library

Charlotte L.
8 October 2013

Not a single Mo Willems on the list? I love the old classics as much as anyone, but you can't have a list of great children's books in 2013 without at least one of his books on there.

James' dad
8 October 2013

I know and love most of these books, but where is Susan Coopers The Dark is Rising sequence?

Emma
8 October 2013

Sad to see Axel Scheffler's 'Super Scooter' left out- I find his Pip and Posy books unsurpassed in relevance to the real life situations of 2-3 year olds- and would have liked to see 'Wonder' by Palaccio in the 9-11 category!

Babs Gierlichs
7 October 2013

I love that book :D

Harry Potter and the goblet of chips
7 October 2013

Where's are the poetry books? Are you sidelining poetry like everyone else? Surely there should be 'Please Mrs. Butler' or some Charles Causley/Ted Hughes somewhere.

Brian Moses
7 October 2013

Where are the poetry books? Are you sidelining poetry like everyone else? Surely there should be 'Please Mrs. Butler' or some Charles Causley/Ted Hughes somewhere.

Brian Moses
7 October 2013

I know 25 of these books, bringing back soo many memories.  They're all brill - that's made my day

Joe
7 October 2013

Add a comment