Classic Book List

A mother of two girls, third grade and fifth grade, recently asked me if I would compile a list of classic books that would be level and interest appropriate for her daughters. She was frustrated and disillusioned with the types of books her girls have been reading. "Please, she begged, no more books with gossipy girls who complain about school and their parents!"

I wasn't surprised to hear her complaint; it's one I hear from many parents. Below is a list of mostly classic books that are sure to inspire your children. Please note, the letter reading level is the guided reading level; that means it might be a bit higher than the level your child reads independently. Maybe challenging, they are also books that would be great to read as a family. Also, some books I recommended are part of a series; I may not have listed each book in the series, but I do suggest checking them out. When children read books in a series, they are usually motivated to move on to the next book and KEEP READING!

Any more suggestions? Requests? Please comment!

Guided Reading LevelBook TitleContributors
NCatwings ReturnUrsula K. Le Guin; S. D. Schindler
NCatwingsUrsula K. Le Guin; S. D. Schindler
ORamona and Her FatherBeverly Cleary; Alan Tiegreen
OMrs. Piggle-WiggleBetty MacDonald; Hilary Knight
OThe Mouse and the MotorcycleBeverly Cleary; Tracy Dockray
ORunaway RalphBeverly Cleary; Paul O. Zelinsky; Louis Darling
ORamona Quimby, Age 8Beverly Cleary; Alan Tiegreen
OPippi LongstockingAstrid Lindgren; Louis S. Glanzman; Florence Lamborn
OThe Hickory ChairLisa Rowe Fraustino; Benny Andrews
PEncyclopedia Brown Sets the PaceDonald J. Sobol
PRobinson CrusoeDaniel Defoe; Daniel Dofoe
PEmily's Runaway ImaginationBeverly Cleary; Joe Krush; Beth Krush
QJames and the Giant PeachRoald Dahl; Quentin Blake
QSuperfudgeJudy Blume
QMr. Popper's PenguinsRichard Atwater; Florence Atwater; Robert Lawson
QThe Wind in the WillowsKenneth Grahame
QLittle House in the Big WoodsLaura Ingalls Wilder
QDear Mr. HenshawBeverly Cleary; Paul O. Zelinsky
QFudge-a-ManiaJudy Blume
RSadako and the Thousand Paper CranesEleanor Coerr; Ronald Himler
RMisty of ChincoteagueMarguerite Henry
RThe Indian in the CupboardLynne Reid Banks; Brock Cole
RThe Trumpet of the SwanE. B. White; Fred Marcellino
RCharlie and the Chocolate FactoryRoald Dahl; Quentin Blake
RStuart LittleE. B. White; Garth Williams
RSarah Plain and TallPatricia MacLachlan
RCharlotte's WebE. B. White; Garth Williams
RShilohPhyllis Reynolds Naylor
RDouble FudgeJudy Blume
RThe Whipping BoySid Fleischman
SSweet Clara and the Freedom QuiltDeborah Hopkinson; James E. Ransome
SFrom the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. FrankweilerE. L. Konigsburg
SBen and MeRobert Lawson
SThe Gold CadillacMildred D. Taylor; Michael Hays
SMatildaRoald Dahl; Quentin Blake
SSeedfolksPaul Fleischman; Judy Pedersen
TThe Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeC.S. Lewis
TThrowing ShadowsE. L. Konigsburg
TBridge to TerabithiaKatherine Paterson; Donna Diamond
THarriet the SpyLouise Fitzhugh
TThe Tiger RisingKate DiCamillo
UThe View from SaturdayE. L. Konigsburg
UThe FledglingJane Langton; Erik Blegvad
UThe Secret GardenFrances Hodgson Burnett
UWringerJerry Spinelli
UBud, Not BuddyChristopher Paul Curtis
UNational VelvetEnid Bagnold
UNumber the StarsLois Lowry
VAlice in WonderlandLewis Carroll
VOn the Far Side of the MountainJean Craighead George
VTuck EverlastingNatalie Babbitt
VAnne of Green GablesLucy Maud Montgomery
VAnne of AvonleaLucy Maud Montgomery
VSilent to the BoneE. L. Konigsburg
WA Wrinkle in TimeMadeleine L’Engle
WManiac MageeJerry Spinelli
WThe Phantom TollboothNorton Juster; Jules Feiffer
WThe Kite FightersLinda Sue Park
WRoll of Thunder, Hear my CryMildred D. Taylor
WThe Invention of Hugo CabretBrian Selznick; Brian Selznick
XWhere the Red Fern GrowsWilson Rawls
XThe Little PrinceAntoine de Sainte-Exupery
YCheaper By The DozenErnestine Gilbreth Carey; Frank B. Gilbreth; Donald McKay
YThe GiverLois Lowry
ZThe Adventures of Tom SawyerMark Twain
ZLittle WomenLouisa May Alcott
ZOld YellerFred Gipson
ZBlack BeautyAnna Sewell
ZTreasure IslandRobert Louis Stevenson
V-WMary PoppinsP.L. Travers