The Ultimate List: Our 100 best children's books

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

We celebrated 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 put together a list of the 100 best children's books for Children's Book Week 2013.


We asked 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 lifelong readers. The cut-off age of 14 was chosen as beyond that, children tend to progress to more adult literature.


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


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.


The adventure series are addictive you can not stop reading them !!

12 January 2017

You MUST read Geek Girl, it is the best book you have ever read!

16 November 2016

I'm looking for a book title which nobodys write and I need help


BookTrust reply: Hello Imogen, which book are you looking for?

15 November 2016

Harry Potter is good for 9-11 year olds

25 October 2016

A new book called The Next Father Christmas, it's fantastic

Tony D
23 October 2016

Nice, I luv it👍👌

26 September 2016

i loved wimpy kid do it yourself

4 September 2016

The best books in the world are definitely the Harry Potter books! They are Amazing! Especially for those who love mystery and exciting cliffhangers.☺

28 July 2016

Nice book

9 June 2016

I adore reading. The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Charlotte's Web are some older children's books. Don't forget about the Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss's books, the Bearstein Bears.

3 May 2016

i love books!

16 February 2016

I am Malala

Ayesha N
27 January 2016

Horrible Science is so interesting and good.
Just get one and read.

12 November 2015

Great information about reading and the importance of exposing children to books at an early age!

Marney L
11 November 2015

The Bridge Across The River by Shepherd Thorleif Halvorsen should be on this list. It is the very best collection of children's poetry ever written by anyone, bar none!

Thomas I
15 October 2015

The Snow Merchant by Sam Gayton is a fantastically magical book! My seven-year-old daughter loved it, and so did I.

Kerry Fleming
30 September 2015

I love the book billionaire boy by David Williams he is such a good author

27 September 2015

Zapier Castle by Iris Faith this book was a
great adventure book ,
exciting and showed children to go for their
dreams thanks

maxine Millar Z
10 September 2015

I would recommend Harry Potter series it's full of vocabulary and will put your kids on the edge

8 August 2015

This is great list. As a teacher, I usually look for best books for the children. I use to check out the reading lists. This article is also helpful in preparing my own list of books for my classes.

Nicky Squido
2 August 2015

Great ideas!

16 July 2015


Harry potter and the chamber of secrets is a great book so far.I recommend it to primary schoolers.

29 June 2015

Great to see Alan Garner's The Owl Service. I love Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising series.

Patricia Morrison Jones
31 March 2015


good gesture

jameel ahmed
17 March 2015


I love books

9 March 2015

My twin daughters and I have just finished a wonderful book 'The Land of Dragor - The Gift of Charms' by Julia Suzuki. It's fab! It's more recent so maybe not as well known but I thoroughly recommend it to go on a 'must read' list for kids... It's definitely up there with a lot of the titles already mentioned on the list!

2 March 2015


Check out my children's book "Irie the Caterpillar" on Amazon. Irie, a free-loving and curious young caterpillar, loves life. His name, meaning everything will be alright, was certainly the right choice for this caterpillar. Although, there was one thing that frightened him. He does not like the idea of going inside of his cocoon. His mother and grandmother, very patient with him – explains that sometimes things in life are inevitable – like turning into a beautiful butterfly. Inevitable or not, Irie is very scared of being wrapped up in silk – all by himself.

16 February 2015


MOST of these books are so ancient they were written a long time ago!!!

Annabel loves nachos!
9 February 2015


Love all these amazing books, wish I had all of them a lot!!!!!

7 February 2015


6 January 2015

You forgot Patricia Coombs, who did the Dorrie books and the book 'Molly Mullett' in 1975 -the best childrens books ever written!!

Kathleen Murphy
26 December 2014

great banter

joseph sargeant
23 December 2014

The Weirdstone of Brisengamen (Colin Garner) is worth a read. Mixed in with the reading the Hobbit and various Narnia books when I was 9 have led to loads of later life inspiration in my writing and painting.

Steve Willis
7 December 2014

Where are Geronimo Stilton books

27 November 2014

World of norm or big Nate lol

26 November 2014

I have read all of them and ther are awesome

Diary of a wimpy kid
18 November 2014


My favourites are the Airfield Adventures series by retired pilot Captain Philip Martin-Dye. They're beautifully illustrated and make a perfect bed time story for the little ones!

L Trimming
11 November 2014

We received the new Gregory the Greenfield Giant book yesterday and children have read it all morning! Beautiful. Recommended for every little person, one lovely Giant story.

Andy Hamilton
9 November 2014

Gregory the Greenfield Giant by Chris Horrocks was published this week. My kids love it! Great Christmas present for 4-8 year olds.

Eamonn Flynn
7 November 2014

James and The Gaint Peach - This is one my favorite books ever.

Preethi Shenoy
3 November 2014


if you haven't read divergent you need to run to the library quickly!

21 October 2014

There are loads of books!

17 October 2014

I love the "Famous Five" series. I have all 21 of them! They are very adventurous. E.J xoxo (;

21 August 2014

This is a great list. Its hard to pick a winner but I think "Where the Sidewalk Ends" and "Dinosaurs Before Dark" are my kids favourites. This list here has a lot of other kids book ideas that they will enjoy -

15 August 2014

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

25 June 2014

Truely awesome....

16 June 2014

I love these....

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.

30 March 2014


12 March 2014

i love reading and keep going x

Saphia #1
1 March 2014

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

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

22 January 2014

Best book is the BFG

21 January 2014

keep reading and be a great author

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!

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!

29 December 2013

Where is A Series of Unfortunate Events?

8 December 2013

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

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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!

1 November 2013

what about Ian Serraillier - The Silver Sword?

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?

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!

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!

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!

12 October 2013

Skellig - simply the most brilliant book

Mr K
12 October 2013

Why aren't there more Jacqueline Wilson books?

12 October 2013

I like this

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.

10 October 2013


Gets you stuck in

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??

10 October 2013

The knife that killed me, it's good

10 October 2013

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

10 October 2013

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

10 October 2013

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

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

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

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