Share the Joy of Reading: 19 Classic Books for Kids

Share the Joy of Reading: 19 Classic Books for Kids | thegoodstuff

Fostering a love of reading is one of the greatest gifts one can give a child. With so many choices in children’s literature, it’s important to introduce the classics. Over the years, many authors have contributed vivid storytelling and lifelong lessons in their books — pass some of these down to a young reader in need of a good book (or read them yourself!)

Find each of these titles at Barnes & Noble! Be sure for the latest Barnes & Noble sales and deals before you purchase your next book.

Books are a great way to expand children’s horizons and introduce them to new worlds and people. Along with books, we’ve found even more educational games and activities for every age!



1. Corduroy by Don Freeman (1968)

A stuffed bear longing for a home searches for the button that will help him get adopted.

2. Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey (1948)

A story of a little girl and a bear cub, each picking blueberries with their mothers on a beautiful summer day.

3. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (1963)

When Max has a bad day he retreats far into his imagination. A story of truly unconditional love.

Elementary School


1. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith (1989)

If you’ve ever wondered what that wolf was really thinking, this is the story for you!

2. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (1989)

A touching story of bravery and kindness set in 1943 Copenhagen.

3. Holes by Louis Sachar (1998)

Stanley is sent to a detention center, Camp Green Lake, where there is no lake. The boys must dig holes five feet wide and five feet deep each day, and Stanley is determined to find out why.

Middle School


1. Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan (2000)

Set during the Great Depression, Esperanza and her mother must leave their comfortable home in Mexico and find safety in the migrant camps of Southern California.

2. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (1967)

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of art is the perfect hiding spot for a brother and sister.

3. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (1989)

When Brian’s plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness, he must survive with only one tool — his hatchet.

4. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (1972)

A 13 year-old girl runs away from her Eskimo village and must survive on the arctic tundra as she attempts to find her way to San Francisco.

5. D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by Ingri D’Aulaire and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire (1962)

An illustrated introduction to the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece.

High School


1. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (1999)

Melinda, who is completely silent following a trauma, must overcome her past so she can begin to speak again.

2. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (2000)

Susan “Stargirl” Caraway is like no one else in her school. A story of love and nonconformity and the downside of popularity.

3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (1999)

A coming of age story like none other, Charlie is faced with first dates and mix tapes and new friends as he adjusts to life as a high school freshman.

Books you can read aloud


1. The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters by Janet and Allen Ahlburg (1986)

Join the postman as he delivers the mail to fairy tale characters including Goldilocks, Jack’s Giant, and Cinderella with actual letters tucked in each page.

2. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (1937)
A timeless classic that’s perfect for reading aloud at any age.

3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (1962)

Meg, her brother, and their friend Calvin cross time and space to search for Meg’s father, who disappeared while doing secret work for the government. Along the way they become involved with some “unearthly” strangers.

4. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (1901)

The book based on J.M. Barrie’s famous play is filled with all of your favorite characters and amazing adventures.

5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (1997)

A wonderful story full of whimsy and magic, but not without courage and heroism.


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