the final mega-mungo list of the best 100 children’s novels

by marjorieingall on April 13, 2010

Betsy Bird over at Fuse #8 finally finished her countdown of the best 100 children’s novels. I’m so sad it’s over! The ones I’ve read are in bold:

100. The Egypt Game – Snyder (1967)
99. The Indian in the Cupboard – Banks (1980)
98. Children of Green Knowe – Boston (1954)
97. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane – DiCamillo (2006)
96. The Witches – Dahl (1983)
95. Pippi Longstocking – Lindgren (1950)
94. Swallows and Amazons – Ransome (1930)
93. Caddie Woodlawn – Brink (1935)
92. Ella Enchanted – Levine (1997)
91. Sideways Stories from Wayside School – Sachar (1978)
90. Sarah, Plain and Tall – MacLachlan (1985)
89. Ramona and Her Father – Cleary (1977)

88. The High King – Alexander (1968)
87. The View from Saturday – Konigsburg (1996)
86. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Rowling (1999)
85. On the Banks of Plum Creek – Wilder (1937)
84. The Little White Horse – Goudge (1946)
83. The Thief – Turner (1997)
82. The Book of Three – Alexander (1964)
81. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon – Lin (2009)
80. The Graveyard Book – Gaiman (2008)
79. All-of-a-Kind-Family – Taylor (1951)

78. Johnny Tremain – Forbes (1943)
77. The City of Ember – DuPrau (2003)
76. Out of the Dust – Hesse (1997)
75. Love That Dog – Creech (2001)
74. The Borrowers – Norton (1953)
73. My Side of the Mountain – George (1959)
72. My Father’s Dragon – Gannett (1948)
71. The Bad Beginning – Snicket (1999)
70. Betsy-Tacy – Lovelace (1940)
69. The Mysterious Benedict Society – Stewart ( 2007)
68. Walk Two Moons – Creech (1994)
67. Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher – Coville (1991)
66. Henry Huggins – Cleary (1950)
65. Ballet Shoes – Stratfeild (1936)
64. A Long Way from Chicago – Peck (1998)
63. Gone-Away Lake – Enright (1957)
62. The Secret of the Old Clock – Keene (1959)
61. Stargirl – Spinelli (2000)
60. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle – Avi (1990)
59. Inkheart – Funke (2003)
58. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase – Aiken (1962)
57. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 – Cleary (1981)
56. Number the Stars – Lowry (1989)
55. The Great Gilly Hopkins – Paterson (1978)
54. The BFG – Dahl (1982)
53. Wind in the Willows – Grahame (1908)
52. The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007)
51. The Saturdays – Enright (1941)
50. Island of the Blue Dolphins – O’Dell (1960)
49. Frindle – Clements (1996)
48. The Penderwicks – Birdsall (2005)
47. Bud, Not Buddy – Curtis (1999)

46. Where the Red Fern Grows – Rawls (1961)
45. The Golden Compass – Pullman (1995)
44. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing – Blume (1972)
43. Ramona the Pest – Cleary (1968)
42. Little House on the Prairie – Wilder (1935)
41. The Witch of Blackbird Pond – Speare (1958)
40. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – Baum (1900)
39. When You Reach Me – Stead (2009)
38. HP and the Order of the Phoenix – Rowling (2003)

37. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry – Taylor (1976)
36. Are You there, God? It’s Me, Margaret – Blume (1970)
35. HP and the Goblet of Fire – Rowling (2000)
34. The Watsons Go to Birmingham – Curtis (1995)
33. James and the Giant Peach – Dahl (1961)
32. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH – O’Brian (1971)

31. Half Magic – Eager (1954)
30. Winnie-the-Pooh – Milne (1926)
29. The Dark Is Rising – Cooper (1973)
28. A Little Princess – Burnett (1905)
27. Alice I and II – Carroll (1865/72)
26. Hatchet – Paulsen (1989)
25. Little Women – Alcott (1868/9)
24. HP and the Deathly Hallows – Rowling (2007)
23. Little House in the Big Woods – Wilder (1932)
22. The Tale of Despereaux – DiCamillo (2003)
21. The Lightning Thief – Riordan (2005)

20. Tuck Everlasting – Babbitt (1975)
19. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Dahl (1964)
18. Matilda – Dahl (1988)
17. Maniac Magee – Spinelli (1990)
16. Harriet the Spy – Fitzhugh (1964)
15. Because of Winn-Dixie – DiCamillo (2000)
14. HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Rowling (1999)
13. Bridge to Terabithia – Paterson (1977)
12. The Hobbit – Tolkien (1938)-
11. The Westing Game – Raskin (1978)
10. The Phantom Tollbooth – Juster (1961)
9. Anne of Green Gables – Montgomery (1908)
8. The Secret Garden – Burnett (1911)
7. The Giver -Lowry (1993)
6. Holes – Sachar (1998)
5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – Koningsburg (1967)
4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – Lewis (1950)
3. Harry Potter #1 – Rowling (1997)
2. A Wrinkle in Time – L’Engle (1962)
1. Charlotte’s Web – White (1952)

Hm, so I’ve read 61 out of 100. I’m working on rectifying that — I ADORED Love that Dog, so I will definitely read the other Sharon Creech title on the list, and I have adored the two other Karen Hesse titles I’ve read (neither made the list: Brooklyn Bridge and Letters from Rifka — the latter was on both my and Josie’s top 10) so I will certainly read Out of the Dust. I have City of Ember and Holes on hold at the library right now.

The thing that struck me is that oy, I gotta be getting old, because Josie has read a number of titles I haven’t. She’s read  The Bad Beginning (#71), Betsy-Tacy (#70), Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher (#68), Ballet Shoes (#65), The Great Gilly Hopkins (#55), The BFG (#54) and either Tuck Everlasting or Bridge to Terabithia (I forget which — I haven’t read them and I always get the two confused for some reason). I am thrilled to have spawned a crazed reader — she’s like me when I was her age, completely deaf when she’s absorbed in a book; the house could burn down around her and she wouldn’t notice — but it is strange to contemplate the fact that she already has a huge reading life that doesn’t include me.

On the upside, there are still titles neither of us has read that we can explore together. Joy! Nachas!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt Cibula April 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Okay there is NO WAY that you have not read The Westing Game. It’s so right up your alley that they should call it…um…well, hmm…like, a bowling pin? or something? Anyway, go there first I would say. Also, although Holes and Maniac Magee are both about ew icky boys, they are both very awesome and you will love. Me, I need a heaping helping of Pippi Longstocking, I guess. Kinda nervous but still bravely I soldier on.

laura k April 13, 2010 at 1:12 pm

I am so pleased to see The Egypt Game on this list! It’s one of my favorite children’s books that no one has heard of (although clearly some people have). And I second the vote for The Westing Game. I re-read that recently and liked it just as much as I did when I was 11. And Bridge to Terabithia is very sweetly sad, and was the only book that my brother would read and admit to liking when he was young.

marjorieingall April 13, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Josie and I just counted and she’s read 51!

Matt, I also have Holes on hold from the library to read with Josie — I KNOW we’ll love it.

This is going to sound ridiculous but I ordered The Westing Game from the library and when it came it was a mass-market paperback with tiny type and it just looked so daunting I sent it back unread.

Diane April 13, 2010 at 8:48 pm

I’m glad I’m not the only one who can’t believe you haven’t read The Westing Game – it’s a half day read easily. And glad to hear you have The City of Ember on hold at the Library. May I please recommend The Mysterious Benedict Society please? Josie will love it, or at least I think she will. Good vs. Evil, smart kids saving the day, what’s not to like?

Frume Sarah April 14, 2010 at 11:39 am

I can’t believe that you’ve never read “Anne of Green Gables.” I reread the series annually and am waiting until Lil is old enough to take a trip to Prince Edward Island. I dream of which I’ve dreamed since I was a girl.

Molly April 21, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Hang on, I’m late to this party, but: you seriously haven’t read The Westing Game? For real? If the edition you found turned you off, then I will take it upon myself to find an older trade pb copy. Because truly, it’s just magic. Meanwhile, Frume Sarah and I are off to PEI.

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