1. Autumn Grayson says:

    I’ll go ahead and include a list of some of my childhood faves:

    The Girl Who Owned A City by O. T. Nelson
    Kazan, Father of Baree by James Oliver Curwood
    Baree, The Story Of A Wolfdog by James Oliver Curwood
    White Fang by Jack London
    Call Of The Wild by Jack London
    The Phantom Stallion series by Terri Farley
    King Of The Wind by Marguerite Henry
    The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann D Wyss
    My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
    Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
    Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
    The Stink Files by Holm and Hamel
    The Wings of Fire series by Tui T Sutherland
    The Cat Pack series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    The Poppy series by AVI
    The Good Dog by AVI
    The Last Dog On Earth by Daniel Ehrenhaft
    Dark wing by Kenneth Oppel
    Guardians of Ga’Hoole series by Kathryn Lasky
    Wolf, The Journey Home by Asta Bowen
    Dragons In Our Midst series by Bryan Davis
    The Dragonback Series by Timothy Zahn
    Allegiance by Timothy Zahn
    The Tale of the Swamp Rat by Carter Crocker
    Whittington by Alan Armstrong
    Lion boy series by Zizou Corder
    The Dragonkeeper Chronicles by Donita K Paul
    The Circle trilogy by Ted Dekker
    The Lost Books series by Ted Dekker
    The Dragons of Spratt, Ohio by Linda Zinnen
    The Royal Diaries series by Kristiana Gregory (tells the stories of historical princesses like Cleopatra.)
    Warriors series by Erin Hunter

    And there’s a few I can’t remember the author names of. One’s called Cougar, and it’s about a kid that moves with his legal guardians to a different home. At that property, there was a barn that burned down with a horse inside. The kid finds an abandoned bike in that barn and fixes it up and rides it day to day. He gradually starts seeing the ghost of the horse that died in the barn fire (Cougar), so he’s unwinding that mystery while facing bullies at school.

    There’s another one called Wolf At The Door, about a girl who has to move to the woods with her family. She and her mom pass by a ‘zoo’ on the way there, which was basically this alcoholic guy keeping a bunch of animals in poor condition on his property and charging money for people to see them. The girl and her mother rescue a wolf kept at this ‘zoo’, and the rest of the story chronicles what happens to their family as they adjust to their new lives and become further involved in wolf conservation efforts.

    Another one I don’t even remember the title of, but it’s about a girl with divorced parents. She lives with her father and his new wife, and she hates living with them because they are too structured in terms of rules(when it comes to her), but don’t really intervene when her younger step siblings do things like break projects that she worked hard on for school. She then gets her things and walks for a couple days until she reaches her mother’s house. Along the way she is followed by a cat, which starts a very interesting scenario. If I recall correctly, the girl wants to stay with her mother…but also wants to keep the cat. And her mother won’t let her keep the cat due to allergies or something. Actually, I kinda want to find that book again and maybe analyze it sometime in a blog post, because from what I recall that book did a decent job being relatable and showing a complex situation. If someone knows the book I’m talking about and remembers the title, please let me know.

    And, wow, that’s a ton of animal books and not necessarily a ton of fantasy. I did read more fantasy, I just can’t recall them off the top of my head. Well, this list features books for various age levels of teens and kids, and has different levels of dark content(animal books can be a little violent, though not all are. The Last Dog On Earth also had a little bit of smoking and cussing, but it wasn’t glorified)

    For picture books, or maybe a level or two above that…I remember liking the Serendipity series by Stephen Cosgrove

    • Dear America (girls) and My America (boys) are the series that started the Royal Diaries. I’m only adding the girl and boy modifiers because that’s the gender “writing” the books. Often times there’s a Dear America and My America series for the same events, which are fascinating to read to see the differences.

      • Leanna says:

        There’s also a Canadian equivalent series called “Dear Canada” ?

        The Newbery medal books encompass a lot of different genres but I recommend them all. Just check the back copy of a specific book to know if it would interest you or your child.

        Also everything by Shannon Hale is amazing.

    • I considered some of the books on your list, Autumn, but I wasn’t sure a book like White Fang was a children’s book. Still, you’ve made an impressive list and included a lot of books I didn’t have down. Thanks!


      • Autumn Grayson says:

        You’re welcome. 🙂 Thanks for the opportunity to reminisce on what I used to read 😛 And I hope lots of people look at our lists and find some new faves. Several of the titles on your list are also books I loved, but I didn’t include them in mine since it’d be redundant to repeat them.

        I don’t think White Fang is actually childrens literature, and the same goes for many classics. But a lot of times classics get shelved in the kid’s section because people want to encourage children to read classics. Along with some other reasons, like them thinking a book only qualifies as ‘adult’ if it has certain graphic content in it. A lot of people loved reading stuff like White Fang when they were kids, at any rate, so it’s probably good to remind people of those books. Especially since children with more serious mindsets often hate the silliness of some more modern kid books.

        Ted Dekker’s Circle Trilogy is for adults (I don’t recommend people read Green until they’ve read all the other books in the series, though.) But the Lost Books series is for teens and takes place between the Circle books. So, since the Circle Trilogy is reasonably appropriate for teens and ties in with the Lost Books (Ted Dekker’s teen series) I thought I’d recommend them as well. I think Allegiance is for adults too, but I read it as a kid and it was pretty clean from what I remember.

  2. Autumn Grayson says:

    Also, I think for a time audible was giving free or cheap access to a lot of kid’s books. Not sure if that’s still going on, but it’s worth looking into.

  3. Ticia says:

    I LOVE kid lit, it’s one I read just because.

    Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper- fantasy
    anything by Madeline L’Engle with the exception of House Like a Lotus- mostly fantasy
    Dianna Wynne Jones- fantasy
    Young Wizards series by Diane Duane- fantasy
    Artemis Fowl- fantasy
    Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, and several of her other books continue in that world- fairy tale retelling
    Dear America and its companion book series My America (“diaries” set in American history, there’s a third series the Royal Diaries)- historical fiction
    Marguerite Henry books (Misty of Chincoteague, and all of her other horse books)- realistic fiction (but now historical because they’re mostly 50+ years old)
    The Borrowers- light fantasy

    I’ve listened to loads of books with my kids as audiobooks, and then there’s the dozens I’ve assigned them to read, but these are the ones I’m thinking of off the top of my head.

    • I love hearing that you’re giving your kids a “book experience.” I think listening to books is how most of us were introduced to reading. Now, of course, we can continue to enjoy stories from that perspective because of audio books. Again, it’s good to see a list of children’s books from someone who appreciates the genre. Thanks.


  4. Rachel Strnad says:

    Ticia, I just saw you mentioned Diana Wynne Jones. I love her books! My favorites are the Howl’s Moving Castle series.
    My husband and I loved the Trailblazer series when we were kids.
    In terms of young reader books, here are a few;
    The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DicCamillo
    Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes (really anything by her is good)
    The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede
    A little older readers might enjoy the Tiffany Aching books by Terry Pratchett
    There’s also The Theif, and the subsequent books in that series, by Megan Whalen Turner.
    Connie Willis is technically an adult author, but her books are also appropriate for teens and tweens.

  5. Kathleen Eavenson says:

    For anyone who enjoys Shannon Hale’s Princess books, here are a few more. They’re upper elementary school age to YA

    Sherwood Smith
    Crown Duel
    Court Duel (sequel to above)
    A Stranger to Command (prequel to the above, published after. Introduces hero of 1st 2 as a young man)
    (These 3 are related)
    A Posse of Princesses
    ( This is not related to the above titles)

    Catherine Murdock
    Princess Ben

What do you think?