KidLit, The List

Yes, here it is, people!  In its infancy, having only been born today (18th June, 2013)!  Labour was intense and lasted through the night but we finally have a bouncing baby page that will grow (I hope!) with every feed of a new (or even very old) book added .  Remember!  The KidLit List belongs to us all.  It can only grow if it’s properly nurtured.  Personally, I think that this is our opportunity to demonstrate that our children are important to us, as is what their diet consists of.  With the right books, be it a colourful rag book or an inflated-plastic bath book, a word-a-page starter or a whole phrase/sentence-a-page primer, a beautifully crafted and illustrated world of magic and delights or a traditional collection of tales with glossy ‘plates’, an early-reader novel that is so thin it can slip through cracks or a weighty tome for the child who can’t read enough to sate their appetite, our children (and I mean all children, not just those we are personally blessed with) can discover everything in books!  Non-fiction bringing in the sum total of human knowledge and understanding or fiction that sends the mind speeding into realms far beyond old Earth.  Let’s do our best to bring the children all things: fun, magic, mystery, frights and knowledge!


Ages 3 plus (includes reading to the child)

Brer Rabbit Stories by Enid Blyton

Brer Rabbit hardly needs an introduction.  The coming together of the African trickster and the Algonquin (Native American) rabbit spirit in the form of Brer Rabbit created a special magic.  Of course, first encountered the adventures of Brer Rabbit, his friends, and their enemies through Walt Disney’s Song of the South movie, which brought together live action and animation for Uncle Remus to relate his fun tales.  These are just some of the stories, as told by Enid Blyton.

Recommended by Steve K Smy
Book link (I believe this edition is out of print but there appears a very good, inexpensive supply)


Ages 5 to 12

Detective Stephy Wephy Holmes in: The Missing Cake by Josh Rader

This book inspired a fourth grade in Honduras (and their Teacher) to interview this Kansas author (and his author brother) via Skype.

The fourth grade are in my Spotlight section
The book is in KID’S KORNER which is accessed via my Main new (to me) authors blog 🙂

Recommended by The Story Reading Ape
Book link


Ages 6 to 12

Muffin and the Mouth of Doom by Paul Warren

Because it is simply magical! Paul Warren is the modern day Tolkien but for younger children. He weaves an epic story of good versus evil in a very unique way. Paul Warren is also a very talented illustrator and illustrates these stories himself with engaging characters full of humour and eccentricity. As a teacher, I had read these stories to enthralled classes for many years now and had halls of 250 children completely captivated with these amazing tales which they remember for years afterwards. I’m hoping my own stories have that sort of longevity! Muffin and the Keeper, Muffin and the Urgs, and Muffin and the Yarli are also favourites, but Muffin and the Mouth of Doom is particularly special – Indiana Jones meets Tolkien for kids! Highly recommended!!!! (Unfortunately, it seems many of these are out of print but they are still available on Amazon and elsewhere.)

Recommended by Sophie E Tallis
Book link


Ages 8 plus

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver should be required reading for both children and adults. It’s an amazing book–deep and meaningful while still accessible to readers of nearly all ages. While the themes of the book have been explored in other well-known novels (1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451 and Animal Farm, to name a few), Lowry’s story is original and engaging. In short, she asks, what are we willing to trade for absolute safety? When we eliminate all risk in life, do we also eliminate some of the joy?

Recommended by Dex Raven
Book link

Ages 8 to 14

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

This book is a jewel: an intelligent explanation of why death is a necessary part of life, written for a YA audience. Winnie’s adventures with the Tuck family teach her perhaps the most important lesson anyone can learn, and I suspect it’s a rare heroine who pleases her readers by choosing NOT to live forever.

Recommended by Lizzie Ross
Book link


Ages 9 to 15

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

This is the only free-verse narrative to win the Newbery Award (1998), but that’s not the top reason for my recommending it. I grew up in Oklahoma, where this novel is set, and stories of the Great Depression were shared around the dinner table when I was young. Hesse’s novel rings so true to what life was like for those farmers who stayed, fighting weather and the dying land to make a living for their families. Billie Jo, the heroine, must find a way past her own tragedy as well, making this a complex and challenging novel.

Recommended by: Lizzie Ross
Book Link


Ages 10 and up

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage. The characters are well crafted. It was a Newbery honor book for 2012 as well as a bestseller. Fiction. Recommended by: L. Marie Book linkThe Gate by John Connolly.

There aren’t a lot of books from the horror genre that are both well written and aimed at younger readers. The Gates stands out as one of the best of these types of books I’ve ever read. As an adult, I enjoyed it a great deal. Any kid who likes fantasy with a slightly dark spin will enjoy it, too. Connolly manages to take a fairly dark premise and make it kid-friendly, creating a tale that embodies the classic good-against-evil struggle in a fun, unique way.

Recommended by: Dex Raven
Book Link


Age indeterminate

(Books that some children will enjoy but which are difficult to place in an age range, though most are probably best suited for older children to read or younger children to have read to them.)

A Dctionary of Fairies by Katharine M Briggs

I bought this book many years ago, for reference purposes in my writing.  It proved both invaluable for that purpose and very entertaining.  There are several abbreviated versions of folklore tales that kids will love.

Quote: “A magnificently researched, illustrated directory of the fairies of the British Isles. There are entries on assipattles and mumpokers, on fairy dress, on fairy crafts and food, and, most useful this, on spells to obtain power over these fiendish little people. It is so entertaining that it is recommended as a bedside companion than as a serious technical reference book.”

Reference – folklore
Recommended by: Steve K Smy
Sadly, currently out of print, though used copies may be found, but these are often very expensive. …

1 thought on “KidLit, The List

  1. Pingback: Do we really need another list of top YA books? | Lizzie Ross

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