As Walt Disney once said, “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” We couldn’t agree more; reading is one of the single most fantastic and useful gifts that you can give to your children. If you’re looking for something to read with your kids, or perhaps they’re looking for their next fun read, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve come up with a list of our 10 favourite classic children’s books to get you started!
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – JK Rowling
JK Rowling’s boy wizard has become a modern classic and is loved by adults and children alike. The Philosopher’s Stone introduces us to magic and muggles, where Harry learns he is a wizard and has been enrolled in Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. Rowling pulls you in with her magical prose and light-hearted tone. Not only will your kids be enthralled by Harry and his adventures at Hogwarts, studies show that children who read Harry Potter grow up to have a better sense of empathy with others. If there’s one series your kids should read it has to be this one!
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
What better way to spark your children’s imaginations than by visiting Narnia? CS Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia captured the hearts of many. There are seven books in the series, but his famous The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was the first tale to be published. Your kids will fall in love with Aslan and Mr Tumnus, as well as the magic and wonder that Narnia has to offer.
Black Beauty – Anna Sewell
There’s nothing more endearing than a story about animals, and Anna Sewell’s classic is a great place to start. Following a horse named Black Beauty, Sewell’s beloved novel tells us the bittersweet story of Beauty’s journey through life and the people he meets. This is a must-read novel for any child!
Matilda – Roald Dahl
We would heartily recommend anything written by Roald Dahl, but Matilda would definitely be at the top of our list. Dahl’s classic novel about a plucky heroine who loves books just as much as we do has been adapted into a film, and even a hit musical! We’re sure your kids will love to read all about Matilda’s adventures with Miss Trunchbull and the chokey, and all the friends she makes along the way.
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
A more modern classic, Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series is a favourite for many. Riordan was inspired to write Percy’s story by his own son, who was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. Percy’s first novel shows him travelling across America to recover Zeus’s lost lightning bolt, and the series goes on to explore Greek mythology and how it intertwines with the modern-day world. Percy’s adventures are a must-read for all kids who have an interest in mythology and fantastical tales!
Skulduggery Pleasant – Derek Landy
Derek Landy’s skeleton detective is an international hit; his engaging characters combined with witty dialogue and description will have your kids chortling away as they turn the pages. The first novel in the series, Skulduggery Pleasant, follows Stephanie as she discovers the world around her isn’t quite what she thought it was. Along with Skulduggery, she goes on a mission to learn more about the magic world and to solve her uncle’s murder.
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
Another modern classic, Suzanne Collins has become a household name with her thrilling Hunger Games series. Set in the fictional world of Panem, protagonist Katniss Everdeen and her family struggle to survive in district twelve. When Katniss’ younger sister’s name is called to participate in the annual hunger games, Katniss volunteers as tribute to save her from the deadly game where children are pitched against each other in a fight to be crowned the victor.
A Series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snicket
Lemony Snicket’s series follows the story of the Baudelaire children. The orphans are entrusted to the care of Count Olaf, who proves intent on ensnaring their fortune for his own selfish means. The Baudelaires work together to escape his clutches in the first book, The Bad Beginning, often with some entertaining results. Snicket’s deadpan writing style makes for a loveable tale which your children are sure to enjoy.
The Wizard of Oz – L Frank Baum
You’ve probably heard of the wicked witch of the west in the modern hit musical Wicked, but our villain originated from L Frank Baum’s classic The Wizard of Oz. The first book in Baum’s series follows our heroine Dorothy as she is unwittingly transported to the land of Oz, and gets thrown into the middle of the action (quite literally) when her house lands on top of a witch. Baum’s light-hearted tale is sure to entertain your children with Dorothy’s adventures as she goes off to meet the wizard!
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
No list of children’s classics would be complete without The Hobbit. JRR Tolkien’s novel started off as bedtime stories that he told his own children until he was encouraged to write it down. The Hobbit came before his enormously famous Lord of the Rings trilogy, and has a much more light-hearted tone as Bilbo Baggins travels across Middle Earth with the dwarves in tow to recover their horde from the dragon Smaug. This is definitely one where we would recommend you avoid watching the films, however, as they don’t capture the magic that Tolkien penned on the page.
Before you go…
Are there any classics that you think we missed? We’d love to hear about it over on our Facebook page!