Eleanor Estes, Louis Slobodkin (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Realistic Fiction; Book Themes: Friendship, School life
"The Hundred Dresses" by Eleanor Estes and Louis Slobodkin is a Newbery Honor award winner and a classic children's book in the genre of realistic fiction. The story's main character Wanda Petronski, a Polish-American girl from a poor family, is teased by classmates at school for being different and for saying she has one hundred dresses at home while she is wearing the same faded dress to school every day. Only after Wanda's absence from school do Maddie and Peggy find out the true story about the one hundred dresses and try to make amends. "The Hundred Dresses", one of the best chapter books of the 20th century, appeals to kids in second grade through sixth grade.
C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Fantasy Books
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, the first book published in the Chronicles of Narnia series (although number two of the series in chronological order), is one of the best children's books of the 20th century. This classic fantasy book tells a captivating story of four Pevensie children, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, who enter the magic land of Narnia through a wardrobe in an old English house. It is Lucy who first looks inside a wardrobe and discovers the magical world of Narnia. She befriends a faun named Mr Tumnus who tells her that the land of Narnia is being ruled by the evil White Witch Jadis. The witch has cursed Narnia so it is always winter but never Christmas. Then Lucy's siblings also venture into the land of Narnia. They meet talking animals like Mr. and Mrs. Beaver and help the Great Lion Aslan free Narnia from the witch's reign. Unfortunately, Edmund is seduced by the White Witch's false promises and betrays his siblings. The Great Lion sacrifices himself in order to save Edmund. The wicked witch is ultimately defeated and the four children become kings and queens of Narnia. This classic tale is filled with fantastic characters, exciting adventures and battles between good and evil. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a great chapter book for children in 4th grade through 7th grade.
Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Paperback)
Genres: Fiction - Fantasy Books, Humorous Stories
"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl is a favorite children's fantasy book. In this classic chapter book, Charlie Bucket is one of five children who win golden tickets to visit Willy Wonka's magic chocolate factory. For Charlie, life will be changed forever. Author Roald Dahl produces a few very memorable characters, such as Willy Wonka, Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde, and Grandpa Joe. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is a humorous story that has delighted children for decades.
Madeleine L'Engle (Paperback)
Genres: Fiction - Fantasy Books, Science Fiction
"A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle is a truly great classic children's book and one of the best chapter books of the 20th century. Its literature awards include Newbery medal. The main characters of the story are three children: Meg Murray, her brilliant younger brother Charles Wallace, and her friend Calvin. They travel through time and space to rescue Meg's father, who is held prisoner by dark forces on the planet of Camazotz. "A Wrinkle in Time" is a good read aloud book. Children in 4th grade through 7th grade can learn about the battle between good and evil and the power of love from this science fiction and fantasy book.
Kate DiCamillo (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Realistic Fiction; Book Themes: Animals, Friendship
"Because of Winn-Dixie" by Kate DiCamillo, a 2001 Newbery Honor book, tells a heartwarming story about love, friendship and tolerance. Main characters of the realistic fiction book are Opal Buloni, a 10-year-old girl, and Winn-Dixie, the dog she has found in the town grocery store. Opal has just moved to Naomi, Florida with her preacher father. Her mother left them seven years ago. Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal makes new friends. Among them are Gloria Dump, a kind old lady called a witch by children, Miss Franny Block, a librarian who loves to tell stories, and Otis, a pet shop worker who plays music to animals. These quirky characters are part of the charm of the chapter book. "Because of Winn-Dixie" appeals to children in 4th grade through 7th grade.
Kate DiCamillo, Chris Van Dusen (Hardcover)
Genre: Fiction - Humorous Stories; Book Theme: Animals
Mercy Watson to the Rescue, by Newbery-winning author Kate Dicamillo, is a delightful early chapter book for beginning readers. Full of silliness and fun, this humorous story features a lovable pig named Mercy Watson as the main character. One night, Mercy Watson feels afraid when sleeping alone, so he goes in bed with Mr. and Mrs. Watson. With the added weight, a hole opens up under the Watsons' bed. The "boom" and "crack" sounds wake Mercy up and he runs off to the kitchen in search of hot toast with butter on it. Finding none there, Mercy goes to visit the Lincoln sisters who live next door. After a few comical twists and turns, two firemen come and rescue Mr. and Mrs. Watson, who think Mercy has alerted the fire department. Chris Van Dusen's colorful and expressive illustrations complement this easy-to-read story very well. Mercy Watson to the Rescue is a good book for children in kindergarten, first grade, second grade and third grade.
John Reynolds Gardiner, Greg Hargreaves (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Realistic Fiction; Book Theme: Animals
In the chapter book "Stone Fox", by John Reynolds Gardiner, main character little Willy enters a dogsled race in order to win prize money and save his grandfather's farm from tax collectors. One of the other racers is Stone Fox, a Native American who has never lost a dog sled race. Children in third grade through sixth grade will enjoy this inspiring story about little Willy and his loyal dog Searchlight. "Stone Fox" is a great book to read aloud.
Patricia MacLachlan (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Historical Fiction; Book Themes: Family, Frontier and Pioneer Life
In "Sarah, Plain and Tall", author Patricia MacLachlan tells a moving story about the creation of a family. In simple language, a little girl named Anna talks about how Sarah from Maine comes to the prairie to live with her, her brother, and her widowed father. This historic fiction has won many awards, including Newbery Award, Christopher Award, Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction for Children, Golden Kite Award for Fiction and Notable Children's Book. "Sarah, Plain and Tall" is one of the best children's books. Kids in second grade through sixth grade will enjoy this classic chapter book.
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