The Top 100 Children's Books on Goodreads!

Posted by Jessica on April 27, 2016
Like Charlie finding his golden ticket to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, a child finding the right book to read opens the door to hours of joy and wonderment...and sometimes Everlasting Gobstoppers! We all have our favorites—the books we read over and over again until the pages were falling out—but which books should be on every kid's shelves? We ran the numbers on millions of titles to find the top 100 children's books according to Goodreads members!

We looked for the best reviewed books, all with average ratings above a 4.0 (a high bar that cuts out giants like Ramona and Huck Finn). This time we also decided to focus our search on chapter books and middle grade books for that magical time when a child has graduated from picture books and is reading alone, but isn't ready for YA favorites such as The Hunger Games. (For teen readers, check out our Top 100 Young Adult Books!) Of course, every child is different and no list is ever complete. What beloved book did you read to tatters when you were a kid?

How many of the 100 have you read? Tell us in the comments!

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How many of the 100 have you read?


Comments Showing 1-50 of 706 (706 new)


message 1: by Riyosha (last edited Apr 29, 2016 06:46AM) (new)

Riyosha Three..... Has any one even read all 100?


message 2: by Satrina (new)

Satrina T I've only read 7 of these but I can see my TBR list growing...


message 3: by Dhfan4life (new)

Dhfan4life Ha, read one. But have seen the movie to countless other ones. Or at the very least remember a teacher somewhere or other reading it to the class. Particularly the Box Car children.


message 4: by Linda (new)

Linda I have read 47. So still plenty to go


message 5: by Francesca (last edited Apr 28, 2016 01:48AM) (new)

Francesca I've read 10 of these. I've seen the movies for a lot of these, though, without realising they were books and some of them are on my to-read list.


message 6: by Morgan (new)

Morgan How is Wizard of Oz not on this list?


message 7: by Joanne (new)

Joanne 23. I need to catch up, I can't believe I missed out on so many of these. Thanks for the list!


message 8: by Heather (new)

Heather I've read 10 and watched the movie versions of 16 others. A few were added to my TBR list, others were already there.


message 9: by Rachael (new)

Rachael I've read 25 of these so far. I need to get reading!


message 10: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Holford 17


message 11: by LobsterQuadrille (new)

LobsterQuadrille 33. I guess I have a new challenge to take on now!


message 12: by E.F.B. (new)

E.F.B. I've read 6, but I just added a bunch to my want to read list.


message 13: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Taylor I've read 17. I actually had to go back and add some of them to my read list because I had forgotten about them until now. :)
But now there are even more books to add to be TBR list... Yay!


message 15: by Yasmin (new)

Yasmin This list is missing The Snow Goose and needs the other Calvin and Hobbes books.


message 16: by slauderdale (last edited Apr 27, 2016 09:49AM) (new)

slauderdale I've read 53, plus 2, plus maybe 4?

I didn't read Sir Richard Burton's "The Arabian Nights" but I did read Mardrus/Mathers' "Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night"; I didn't read "Calvin and Hobbes" but I read "The Essential Calvin and Hobbes," which included all the strips from "Calvin and Hobbes."

I know I've read Aesop's fables, but did I read "Aesop's Fables"? I'm also not sure if I actually read "From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler," "The Incredible Journey," and "Pippi Longstocking" or not. I should read them just to settle the matter.


message 17: by Michelle (new)

Michelle 34


message 18: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Eleven
I would have liked to have seen The Velveteen Rabbit on the list.A wonderful children's book, it might be a bit young for this category though.


message 19: by Karen B. (new)

Karen B. not enough ... I've read 14 and see there are so many I still want to read.


message 20: by Maruf (new)

Maruf Hossain Great list. This would help me to choose my reading list.


message 21: by Aly (new)

Aly Seven


message 22: by Jess (new)

Jess Twelve, but I remember starting one as a kid (The Phantom Tollbooth) and never actually finishing it. Oops.


message 23: by Dalene (new)

Dalene I have read 11 of the books.


message 24: by Haz (new)

Haz 24 with several already on my To Be Read


message 25: by Lau (new)

Lau I'm sorry, but The Arabian Nights is most definitely not a children's book.


message 26: by Emily (new)

Emily 22, but most of them not very recently.


message 27: by Ruth (new)

Ruth I have read 31! So many more to go... Great list


message 28: by Misty (new)

Misty Wright 25! Guess I have some reading to do!


Seema ♥Nerdgirl♥ The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series should be on this list!


Seema ♥Nerdgirl♥ I read Sadako and The Thousand Paper Cranes!


message 31: by Mary (new)

Mary Corbal I have read five of them, and I have seen the movies of another four.


message 32: by Joseph (new)

Joseph 38 for me.


message 33: by Crystal (new)

Crystal 19


message 34: by Jennifer (last edited Aug 21, 2018 02:54PM) (new)

Jennifer 39
Updating to 54! (8/21/18)


message 35: by Serena (new)

Serena Only five. And I don't think The diary of a young girl is a children's book at all


message 36: by Carol ꧁꧂ (last edited Apr 27, 2016 01:00PM) (new)

Carol  ꧁꧂ My favourite list in this spot so far! Well done Jessica. I've read 17 on this list.
May I also suggest Black Beauty by Anna Sewell It's rating is currently 3.93 so only just below the bar!


message 37: by ella (new)

ella Read nine, and middle grade is my favourite. :/


message 38: by Sammm (new)

Sammm Hopefully within 5-10 years Jonathan Stroud's Lockwood & Co. series would enter Top 100; I honestly feel like it's only not on yet because the series is relatively too new....
The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co., #1) by Jonathan Stroud The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co., #2) by Jonathan Stroud The Hollow Boy (Lockwood & Co. #3) by Jonathan Stroud
But then again, there're a few books published in 2015 with less than 10k ratings being selected... Not so show how to feel about that.

And well.... I know Cornelia Funke's Inkworld trilogy didn't make the cut because their average ratings were all slightly below 4.0.... Shame really imo. xP

All in all nice list though! Thanks for putting it together!


message 39: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Disappointing list - too many classics are missing and there is a lot of junk here - sorry but Avatar is not a top children's book on any list and this is way too American and lacks real depth in terms of genre and diversity


message 40: by Lance (new)

Lance 30


message 41: by Hayley (new)

Hayley I've read 13 of these books (most of which I loved!), and had two read by a teacher!


message 42: by Sammm (new)

Sammm Jeffrey wrote: "Disappointing list - too many classics are missing and there is a lot of junk here - sorry but Avatar is not a top children's book on any list..."

Hmmm, I suppose NEXT TIME if Goodreads do this again they can attempt to try splitting it from pre-2000 and post-2000 works? LOL... That ways the pre-2000 one would be guaranteed to feature more "classic" works, and whatever that's the trend nowadays can all battle it out in the post-2000. At least HP would get to compete with the long lasting ones... If it survives xP. Agreed with the Avatar comment, not that I have anything against it, but it feels rather out of place with the rest of the selections.


message 43: by Carol ꧁꧂ (new)

Carol  ꧁꧂ Jeffrey wrote: "Disappointing list - too many classics are missing and there is a lot of junk here - sorry but Avatar is not a top children's book on any list and this is way too American and lacks real depth in t..."

It does say at the top they have used ratings of over 4.0 by GR readers as the starting point.


message 44: by Noah (new)

Noah The Arabian Nights is definitely not a children's book. What is the definition used for children's book?


message 45: by M (new)

M 24! I love Watership Down, but it seems strange to me to have it on this list.


message 46: by Christine (new)

Christine I read 8 of them. I feel that some of these are more YA and not "children's". Sadly a lot of these books will never see the praise they deserve because not many adults respect books geared towards children...

I read most of these books in my list as a child and frankly, I think I enjoy them more as an adult.


message 47: by Kendra (new)

Kendra Harris 29! :)


message 48: by Enna (new)

Enna Whoa I've read 47 books on this list.


message 49: by Alyssa (new)

Alyssa Wyatt about 18


message 50: by Catherine (last edited Apr 27, 2016 03:59PM) (new)

Catherine There are several listed here that I can't recall whether or not I've read....I'll just have to read them "again"!!! But I do knkw I read the entire Little House series by Laura Ingals Wilder, The Black Stallion, The Secret Garden and all of Winnie the Pooh. Also..I read numerous unlisted books...Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys series, Beatrix Potter, Jane Eyre, Little Women series.


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