Books Glorious Books

The Best Children’s Chapter Books (according to Twitter)

A room without books is like a body without a soul.
(said Cicero, a dude that lived before they invented Netflix)

I’ve always loved books. Some of my earliest memories are sitting in my bedroom with my stack of Roald Dahls, thumbing through The Twits for the 17th time that year. But it’s not just reading books; I also love buying them, handling them and finding them a place on the shelf. I suppose I should really say i’ve always loved owning books, since I own many more than I have ever had the time to read.

Well, one day last year I decided to kit out my daughter, who was then 6 years old, with the ultimate bookcase. She was really getting in to reading chapter books, and I figured having loads to hand in her bedroom would only encourage her to read more. A mix of new and second-hand (ebay, Amazon marketplace, charity shops) kept costs down and I gathered a really super selection.

Beforehand I had taken to Twitter and asked for recommendations. I got hundreds of replies, which just goes to show the impact a good book can have, many being remembered way into adulthood.

Essentially this blog is just one huge list, but hopefully it’s a list that will give you some inspiration when book shopping for your child (or yourself even). Ordered by author’s surname, these are the books on my daughter’s bookshelf as recommend by Twitter. For books that are part of a series, i’ve just listed the first book but I will have most likely bought them all.

Aiken, Joan: The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

Blyton, Enid: The Magic Faraway Tree

Bond, Michael: A Bear Called Paddington

Carroll, Lewis: Alice in Wonderland

Clary, Julian: The Bolds

Cottrell Boyce, Frank – Millions

Cowell, Cressida: How to Train Your Dragon

Dahl, Roald: Fantastic Mr Fox
(also get everything else he’s ever written)

De Saint-Exupery, Antoine: The Little Prince

Edge, Christopher: The Many Worlds of Albie Bright

Fletcher, Tom: The Christmasaurus

Frank Baum, L: The Wizard of Oz

Gaiman, Neil: Coraline

Haig, Matt: To Be A Cat

Hall, Jason: The Hungry Toilet
(technically not a chapter book but an awesome tale so sneaking it in)

Hodgson Burnett, Frances: The Secret Garden

Ibbotson, Eva: Journey to the River Sea

Kerr, Judith: When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit

King, Clive: Stig of the Dump

King-Smith, Dick: The Finger Eater

Kinney, Jeff: Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Kipling, Rudyard: The Jungle Book

Leonard, M.G: Beetle Boy

Lewis, C.S: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

Lindgren, Astrid: Ronia the Robber’s Daughter

Mabbitt, Will: The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones

Magorian, Michelle: Goodnight Mister Tom

Morpurgo, Michael: Private Peaceful

Murphy, Jill: The Worst Witch

Norton, Mary: The Borrowers

Palacio, R.J: Wonder

Pearce, Phillipa: Tom’s Midnight Garden
(my personal favourite – a very special book)

Pennypacker, Sara: Pax

Pratchett, Terry: The Amazing Maurice

Pullman, Philiip: Northern Lights

Ransome, Arthur: Swallows & Amazons

Rowling, J.K: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Rundell, Katherine: The Wolf Wilder

Said, SF: Varjak Paw

Solomons, David: My Brother is a Superhero

Streatfield, Noel: Ballet Shoes

Seuss, Dr – The Cat in the Hat

Talley, Robin: Lies We Tell Ourselves

Tolkien, J.R.R: The Hobbit

Tomlinson, Jill: The Owed Who Was Afraid of  the Dark

Townsend, Sue: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole

Walliams, David: Gangsta Granny
(get all of David’s books – kids LOVE them)

Welford, Ross: The Time Travelling Hamster

White, E.B: Charlotte’s Web

Willams, Lara: The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair

Wynne Jones, Diana: Howls Moving Castle


There are doubtless many many wonderful books – new and old – missed off that list, so please add your favourite to the comments so I can go out and buy it immediately. PS: I don’t have a problem and can give up buying books at any time, honest.

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  • Reply Julia Larden 27 February 2017 at 09:44

    Goood list, and again, how can any child get by without Tom’s Midnight Garden? But is there another ‘The Borrowers’ apart from the one by Mary Norton? Also you need her Bedknobs and Broomsticks. If we are going for great classic childrens books then we need some Edith Nesbits in here I think: starting with perhaps The Treasure Seekers, and The House of Arden. Emil and the Detectives? The Wind in the Willows? Wot, no A. A. Milne?

    • Reply Abbie H 27 February 2017 at 09:56

      You’re right Julia! It is of course Mary Norton. I think I was going cross-eyed yesterday collating this list: updated.

      And many thanks for the other suggestions.

      It is not necessarily classic books I am after (though they are very welcome), but any children’s books people think are wonderful, whether they were written yesterday or 100 years ago.

  • Reply Claire 27 February 2017 at 15:25

    Please please include Colin Dann in your compilation, The Animals of Farthing Wood series and his other books really help inspire respect for animals (and are fantastic stories of course!), ditto Richard Adams’ Watership Down. I see you already included Dick King-Smith who does the same. I’d recommend The Mouse Butcher, Magnus Powermouse and Martin’s Mice of his.

    • Reply Abbie H 6 March 2017 at 11:02

      Many thanks for your suggestions Claire!

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