100 best children's books
This is our list of the 100 best books for children from the last 100 years: a suggestion of titles to read before you're 14.
In 2015, a team of experts put together this list: broken down into four age groups, with 25 books in each.
Please note: This list was published in 2015. We are currently working on a revised and more up-to-date list which more adequately reflects the brilliant diversity of children's literature over the last 100 years. Please take a look at Books We Love for our reviews of current brilliant books.
100 best books for children: see what made the list
Read our reviews for all of the books, split up into age range.
Take a look at our pick of the best books for 0-5 year olds from the last 100 years.
Take a look at our pick of the best books for 6-8 year olds from the last 100 years.
Take a look at our pick of the best books for 9-11 year olds from the last 100 years.
Take a look at our pick of the best books for 12-14 year olds from the last 100 years.
A big thank you to everyone who donated to the BookTrust appeal. With your amazing support, we have sent surprise book gifts to over 12,250 vulnerable children to bring joy and brighten their Christmas.
The nation's favourites
We also asked the nation to vote for their favourite top 10 from these 100 best books, and here is the definitive ranking:
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J K Rowling
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- The BFG by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- Winnie-the-Pooh by A A Milne, illustrated by E H Shepherd
- The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J R R Tolkien
- Charlotte's Web by E B White
- Northern Lights [from His Dark Materials trilogy] by Philip Pullman
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis
Great Books Guide
Your guide to our favourite children's books from the past year: download as a PDF or find online booklists split by age group.
New books we love
We review lots of new books every month, and here's where you can find the ones we liked best of all.
100 Best Books poster
Want to keep track of all the stories you've read and enjoyed? Download our poster showing our 100 best children's books.