• Malcolm Fernandes

121 CHILDREN’S BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Updated: Mar 26

A LIST OF THE TOP MOST AWESOME BOOKS FOR THE BEGINNER READER — BY AGE AND GENRE



We’re living in the best time for books, story telling and publishing. If you're a reader: there's never been so much to read. If you're an author: there have never been so many places to publish you're work and find an audience. The best part about books (like with a lot of other creative fields) is that it is NOT a zero sum game for creators and readers, alike. In other words, there’s always place for more, there’s always going to be an audience, an appetite, and a desire for more stories, reading material and content in general. But this situation poses a unique problem for the avid book lover or even just someone wanting to read a book.


It’s the problem of choice — too much of it.


And, if you’re looking for children’s books, what do you read next? How do you decide what to look for? OR where to start?


Enter our list of top book recommendations, and, well, we’ve compiled a list of 121 children’s books and listed them by age and genre. Be it books for boys, books for girls or even books for the technically inclined; you'll find it here.


Before we start, here are a few notes:

  • A book has to be fun for the reader! The best books are the ones that keep the reader Entertained, Engaged, Inspired and Informed … and in that order. Click here to find out what books a child is most likely to love.

  • The below list has been compiled based on reader age and genre

  • Use this list of recommended books as a starting point when searching for good reading material

  • This holds true for the book genres and categories listed, as well. To keep it easy, the below list of categories have been simplified with some key genres clubbed

  • This list is compiled based on reader review’s (all have generally received 4 stars and above out of a rating of 5 stars) and their current popularity

  • The most famous books/ classic books have been largely left out as those can be easily found


So, let’s get to it...




121 CHILDREN’S BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS


Reader Category # 1: Ages 1 to 5

Board Books/ Concept Books/ Picture Books



Humor

  • The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith and Katz Cowley

  • Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees

  • The Serious Goose by Jimmy Kimmel

  • Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang and Max Lang

  • The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin

  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak


Poetry

  • National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry by J. Patrick Lewis

  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

  • My First Book of Haiku Poems: Classic Poems by Japanese Haiku Masters by Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen and Tracy Gallup


Growing Up & Facts of Life

  • What Should Danny Do? by Adir Levy and Ganit Levy

  • Seeds and Trees: A Children’s Book About the Power Of Words by Brandon Walden, Kevin & Kristen Howdeshell

  • National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why (National Geographic Little Kids First Big Books) by Amy Shields


Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths

  • Mary Engelbreit's Nursery and Fairy Tales Collection by Mary Engelbreit

  • Five-Minute Stories: Over 50 Tales and Fables by Cottage Door Press

  • 365 Bedtime Stories and Rhymes by Cottage Door Press

  • There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight by Penny Parker Klostermann and Ben Mantle


Nonfiction/ Education/ Reference

  • Stephen Hawking by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara and Matt Hunt

  • Human Body Activity Book for Kids: Hands-On Fun for Grades K-3 by Katie Stokes, M.Ed.



Reader Category # 2: Ages 6 to 8

Early Readers



Humor

  • Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop, Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss

  • The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids: 800+ Jokes! by Carole P. Roman

  • The Office: A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary by Robb Pearlman and Melanie Demmer

  • How to Catch a Mermaid by Adam Wallace

  • How to Babysit a Grandma by Jean Reagan and Lee Wildish

  • Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw

  • Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey


Poetry

  • Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings by Shel Silverstein

  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogers by Fred Rogers and Luke Flowers

  • The Random House Book of Poetry for Children by Jack Prelutsky and Arnold Lobel

  • Kindness Starts With You - At School by Jacquelyn Stagg


Growing Up & Facts of Life

  • The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate and Patricia Castelao

  • Dear Girl by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

  • What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (What-to-Do Guides for Kids) by Dawn Huebner, Bonnie Matthews


Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths

  • The Never Girls by Kiki Thorpe and RH Disney

  • Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm - Margaret Hunt

  • Little Mermaid and Other Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen

  • The Wonders of Nature Hardcover by Ben Hoare


Nonfiction/ Education/ Reference

  • Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came to Be by Charlotte Foltz Jones and John O'Brien

  • National Geographic Readers: Robots by Melissa Stewart

  • National Geographic Readers: Weird Sea Creatures by Laura Marsh

  • An Anthology of Intriguing Animals by DK

  • Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts


Science Fiction, Mystery & Fantasy

  • Trapped in a Video Game by Dustin Brady

  • The Boxcar Children Early Reader Set by Gertrude Chandler Warner

  • Pony Mysteries: Penny & Pepper by Jeanne Betancourt

  • Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy by Jane O'Connor

  • Unicorn Academy by Julie Sykes

  • Story Keeping: The Night I Became a Hero by A. R. Marshall PhD


Action & Adventure

  • Up the Creek! by Kevin Miller

  • Ballpark Mysteries by David A. Kelly

  • The Lost Temple (Jack Jones) by Zander Bingham



Reader Category # 3: Ages 9 to 12

Middle Grade Novels/ Chapter Books



Humor

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

  • Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja by Marcus Emerson, Sal Hunter and Noah Child

  • I Need a New Butt! by Dawn McMillan and Ross Kinnaird

  • Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones


Poetry

  • Imperfect: Poems About Mistakes by Tabatha Yeatts, Margarita Engle and Buffy Silverman

  • Poetry for Kids by Robert Frost, Jay Parini and Michael Paraskevas

  • It's Raining Pigs & Noodles by Jack Prelutsky and James Stevenson

  • Poetry for Kids by Emily Dickinson, Susan Snively and Christine Davenier


Growing Up & Facts of Life

  • Guts by Raina Telgemeier

  • Pax by Sara Pennypacker and Jon Klassen

  • Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

  • Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

  • Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhhà Lai


Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths

  • Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan

  • Wisdom Tales from Around the World by Heather Forest

  • Fairy & Folk Tales of Ireland by W. B. Yeats

  • Tales of Japan: Traditional Stories of Monsters and Magic by Chronicle Books and Kotaro Chiba


Nonfiction/ Education/ Reference

  • A Smart Girl's Guide: Knowing What to Say: Finding the Words to Fit Any Situation (Smart Girl's Guide To...) by Patti Kelley Criswell and Brenna Hansen

  • George's Secret Key by Lucy Hawking and Stephen Hawking

  • Kid Scientists: True Tales of Childhood from Science Superstars (Kid Legends) by David Stabler and Anoosha Syed

  • Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys by Cara Natterson and Micah Player

  • National Geographic Kids 125 True Stories of Amazing Animals by National Geographic Kids

  • The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden


Science Fiction, Mystery & Fantasy

  • The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier and Douglas Holgate

  • Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene

  • The Hardy Boys by Franklin W Dixon

  • The Secret Lake: A Children's Mystery Adventure by Karen Inglis


Action & Adventure

  • DOTTY and the Calendar House Key by Emma Warner-Reed

  • Theodore Boone by John Grisham

  • Legend of the Star Runner: A Timmi Tobbson Adventure by J. I. Wagner



Reader Category # 4: Ages — 13+

Young Adult (YA) novels



Humor

  • An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

  • Would You Rather for Teens: The Ultimate Game Book For Teens Filled With Hilariously Challenging Questions and Silly Scenarios That The Whole Family Will Love! by Hayden Fox

  • It's Kind of a Funny Story Paperback by Ned Vizzinni

  • The Princess Diaries Kindle Edition by Meg Cabot

  • Try Not to Laugh Challenge Joke Book 13 Year Old Edition by Howling Moon Books and C. S. Adams

  • Ghost Hunters Adventure Club and the Secret of the Grande Chateau by Dr. Cecil H.H. Mills


Poetry

  • The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

  • Poetry Speaks Who I Am: Poems of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence, and Everything Else by Elise Paschen

  • Every Word You Cannot Say by Iain S. Thomas

  • 101 Famous Poems by Roy J. Cook

  • Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell

  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur


Growing Up & Facts of Life

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and Bahni Turpin

  • A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park

  • Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott and Mikki Daughtry

  • This Was Never About Basketball by Craig Leener

  • Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults): A True Story of the Fight for Justice by Bryan Stevenson


Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths

  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

  • Harley Merlin and the Broken Spell: Harley Merlin by Bella Forrest

  • Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

  • His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

  • Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

  • The Door in the Hedge: And Other Stories by Robin McKinley


Nonfiction/ Education/ Reference

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey

  • Stuff That Sucks: A Teen's Guide to Accepting What You Can't Change and Committing to What You Can by Ben Sedley PhD

  • The Teen Girl's Survival Guide: Ten Tips for Making Friends, Avoiding Drama, and Coping with Social Stress by Lucie Hemmen PhD

  • The Ultimate Self-Esteem Workbook for Teens: Overcome Insecurity, Defeat Your Inner Critic, and Live Confidently by Megan MacCutcheon LPC


Science Fiction, Mystery & Fantasy

  • The Girl Who Looked Beyond The Stars (Sheena Meyer) by L. B. Anne

  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

  • The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler

  • Asbury High and the Thief's Gamble by Kelly Brady Channick

  • The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events Lemony Snicket

  • Scythe by Neal Shusterman

  • Library of Souls, A Map of Days, and The Conference of the Birds by Ransom Riggs


Action & Adventure

  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

  • Lord of the Flies Mass by William Golding

  • The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner

  • The Girl Who Dared to Think by Bella Forrest

  • Divergent Series by Veronica Roth



Bonus Recommendations (By Author)



As mentioned previously, we've left out some of the most popular books/authors from this list, for a couple of reasons: 1: They are incredibly easy to find, 2: You can pick any book by some of these authors and you'll find a solid consistency in their style, tone, pace and themes (not to mention popularity, as well). Nevertheless, we've put some of these authors in a list for you and highly recommend them for readers of all types:


  • Roald Dahl

  • David Walliams

  • Sudha Murthy

  • Jacqueline Woodson

  • E. B. White

  • Enid Blyton

  • Eric Carle

  • C. S. Lewis

  • J.K Rowling

  • J. R. R. Tolkien



In Conclusion


There are hundreds for really good children's books and authors out there and though it can seem taxing to search for the books that you (or you're child) will love, it's doesn't have to be that way. Finding the right book is a just matter spending a little time looking and above all — having fun.


Happy Reading!



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So, what are you going to read next? Do you agree with our recommendations? What other awesome books/ authors have we missed out? Go ahead, let us know by posting a reply OR popping us an email to malcolmfernandesbooks@gmail.com






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