When I was a kid, I could not wait to get my hands on the latest book or book series. I was always devouring whatever books my school library had to offer. If I found a book or book series I loved, I would insist that my parents buy it for me. I would read and reread my favorites, always discovering new worlds and new adventures in the pages of my books. I want to share my love of reading with children, and so I thought I could give you some ideas of books that were my favorites as a child and ones I would want my children to enjoy also.

1.    The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) by Ronald Dahl – While giants might not seem like the kindest monsters, at least one was. When a skinny awkward giant and a little girl becomes friends, there is not anything they cannot do. Teaming up with the girl to give good dreams to little children everywhere, the Big Friendly Giant must create the perfect nightmare for the Queen of England in time to warn her of the evil giants’ master plan: to eat children! But will the Queen believe a small child and a fictional monster? Kids will have to read to find out!

2.    The Borrowers by Mary Norton – There is only one thing you need to know: nothing is ever lost, only borrowed. You see, there are tiny people that live in the floors and walls of your house and borrow things. So, the next time something of yours goes missing do not get upset. Just blame the Borrowers. Kids can follow the big adventures of the tiny family in this classic book.

3.    Charlotte's Web by E. B. White – Talking pigs, friendly spiders, and a cranky rat all add up to a classic tale that kids love. When Wilbur the pig befriends a small spider, he gets more than he ever thought. The spider helps to not only save him from being eaten, but make him world famous. This tale of friendship and fun makes for great reading.

4.    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg – When a smart eleven year old girl wants to run away in New York City, where does she go? To the Metropolitan Museum of Art of course! Taking along her little brother (because he has the cash), the two children live happily among the artwork, bathe in the fountain, and enjoy the comforts of the museum. But when a new statue comes in with a strange mystery they are determined to solve it. Traveling to the benefactor, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler’s, home the children uncover an even greater mystery and have to solve a puzzle of immense proportions.

5.    Monster of the Year by Bruce Coville – Two boys accidentally create a contest for the scariest monster. Thinking it is all in fun, they go home to discover a line of monsters appearing to become a part of the contest. Now they are really in trouble. They must name a victor and face the wrath of the losers. But what will Dracula, the Wolf Man, Frankenstein and company do when they lose? Only by reading the book will kids find out!

6.    Chamber of Horrors: Amulet of Doom by Bruce Coville – This is a book for slightly older kids, but has a great mix of terror and suspense. Would you trust a demon? That is what one girl has to decide when she inherits a cursed amulet and must join forces with a demon to free herself and her family.

7.    Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville – Wandering into a magic store might seem like a good idea, but buying a magical egg definitely was not. When Jeremy follows the cryptic storekeeper’s direction and hatches the egg under the light of the full moon, he is in for a huge shock. The baby that comes out is anything but normal. A dragon emerges from the egg and is cute at first, but she grows and grows and grows. Will Jeremy find her a safe place to live, or will she end up a lab rat?

8.    Being of Two Minds by Pamela Service – Ever since birth two children have been able to see into each other’s minds. The only problem is that no one believes them. After all, what do an American girl and a European prince have in common? The crisis comes when the prince is kidnapped and only his far away friend can help him be rescued. Join the adventure as the girl travels to Europe to rescue her friend and save a kingdom.

9.    The Reluctant God by Pamela Service – Archeology is boring. At least it is when you have been following your father from did to dig your whole life. But when a young woman’s father finally comes across a big discovery, she may be in for a surprise. The empty sarcophagus is not as empty as it looks. In fact, the mummy has come alive and is looking for help. They team up to recover his lost treasure and return it to Egypt so that he and his family can rest in peace. A story full of history, excitement, adventure, and even romance, this book is a gem.

10.   Weirdos of the Universe, Unite! by Pamela Service – A boring school assignment turns into an adventure to save the world! When two kids assignment to research old folk tales comes to life, the creepy old stories of the past must band together to save the world from alien invaders. From flying houses to furry critters, there is nothing normal about this book. The only question is: will the folk tales stop arguing and fighting long enough to defeat the aliens, or will Earth and all its stories disappear forever?

11.   Vision Quest by Pamela Service – Heartbroken and lonely after the death of her father, a girl finds a strangely carved stone in the desert outside of her new town. The stone lets her communicate with a Native American boy from long, long ago. Together they work to stop the destruction of ancient lands and bring peace to his people in the past and in the future.

12.    Storm at the Edge of Time by Pamela Service – The darkness is coming, and only one man can stop it. Using his mystic powers, he brings together three guardians from various eras in time. One from the past, a Viking lad, one from the present, a bright girl, and one from the future, a half-alien youth. Together they must defeat the darkness in each era and return harmony to the universe. Along the way they learn just how alike they really are.

13.  Under Alien Stars by Pamela Service – Aliens have invaded. They occupy Earth and most people are not very happy about it. One boy, though, is unhappier than most. His mother works with the enemy. But when he sees an opportunity to kidnap the head alien’s daughter, he jumps at the chance. The only thing is, there are worse aliens out there and they are on their way. He must team up with the girl he kidnapped to defeat the bad aliens and save the Earth. Along the way they learn just what it means to really be human. 

These books are just a few of my favorites from when I was a child. There are many more books out there today that your children could enjoy reading. Try to find these at your local library and encourage your children to pick up a book or two. Reading is one of the best skills any child can learn. Foster a love for reading now and it will pay off big in the future. Remember to keep it fun and happy reading!

About the Author:

This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor of Liveinnanny.com. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: jdebra84 @ gmail.com

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