Ah, this is where the fun begins. The Children’s Book List was more of a Top-Ten Good-Book List; this is a very biased personal-favorites list. I’ll include later books I think are generally good. The only way I can make this work is by listing a whole series as one entry. Right now there are only nine books– I’m trying to decide on the last one.
Top Ten Chapter Books for Young Adults:
Any of the books in the Anne series by L.M. Montgomery. Would it have been possible to survive adolescence without Anne? Possibly, but it would not have been half so enjoyable. I wish people would read these instead of remembering impressions from movies.
Of course, the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. These shaped my imagination so strongly I literally would have jumped into a time machine to don a bonnet and apron and go live out west with Laura, twisting hay with cold fingers during the winter notwithstanding. I managed to live most of my girlhood clad in a bonnet and apron anyway, and my family (4 brothers and father included) stopped by De Smet on a trip out west once. I even managed to marry a man named Alfonso, which is very close to Almonzo.
Little Women and all other well-known title by Lousia May Alcott. We desperately needed a fourth sister after reading these. Who was Meg? Who was Beth? Do I have to be Amy? Why aren’t I Jo? These were our conversations. I cannot really express how good these were.
The All of a Kind of Family books by Sydney Tayor. Another series about lots of sisters, except this time about a turn-of-the-century Jewish family in NY and much less well-known. These are so darling and enjoyable I can’t stand it.
The Grandma’s Attic series by Arleta Richardson. Rebekah and I identified so strongly with these books and laughed so hard reading them I must include them.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, obviously. If I had to choose just one series to pack and read to my children on the deserted island we got sent off to, this would be it. I don’t think there’s an author in world whose style I enjoy more than his. These helped me understand so many things within Christianity and are essential.
I didn’t read the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling until this year but they already are on the top ten.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare and all other books by here, but especially this one. Have you read this? Please drop everything and do so.
Gone-Away Lake, Return to Gone-Away and the Melendy series by Elisabeth Enright. Besides the fact that Elisabeth Enright spells her name with an “s” and her initials are “E.E” just like mine were, she is wonderful. My mom read these when she was a girl, these were always family favorites. They go in and out of print, but are so good!
More good titles: