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50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They're 12

From picture books to graphic novels, fantasy to family fun, these must-read books have the power to hook both boys and girls. Some are cultural touchstones that belong in every kid's library. Others open kids' minds to cultures beyond their own. And some are modern releases that have the timeless quality of classics -- the kinds that get handed down to siblings and passed around classrooms. Whether you have a reluctant reader or budding bookworm, check out these sure-fire, kid-tested titles. (We've included a few rated best for 12 and up for the precocious readers out there!)
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1
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (Mo Willems)
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (Mo Willems)
2
Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site
Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site
3
Goodnight Moon (Margaret Wise Brown)
Goodnight Moon (Margaret Wise Brown)
4
The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle)
5
Where the Wild Things Are (Maurice Sendak)
Where the Wild Things Are (Maurice Sendak)
6
Harold and the Purple Crayon (Crockett Johnson)
Harold and the Purple Crayon (Crockett Johnson)
7
The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Beatrix Potter)
The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Beatrix Potter)
8
The Cat in the Hat (Dr. Seuss)
The Cat in the Hat (Dr. Seuss)
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9
Frog and Toad Are Friends (Arnold Lobel)
Frog and Toad Are Friends (Arnold Lobel)
10
Madeline (Ludwig Bemelmans)
Madeline (Ludwig Bemelmans)
11
The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh
The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh
12
Mercy Watson to the Rescue (Kate Dicamillo)
Mercy Watson to the Rescue (Kate Dicamillo)
13
Ramona the Pest (Beverly Cleary)
Ramona the Pest (Beverly Cleary)
14
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl)
15
Ivy + Bean
Ivy + Bean
16
Stuart Little
Stuart Little
17
Where the Sidewalk Ends (Shel Silverstein)
Where the Sidewalk Ends (Shel Silverstein)
18
Charlotte's Web
Charlotte's Web
19
Coraline
Coraline
20
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
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21
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
22
The Tale of Despereaux (Kate Dicamillo)
The Tale of Despereaux (Kate Dicamillo)
23
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
24
Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Green Gables
25
A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning: The Short-Lived
A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning: The Short-Lived
26
Big Nate Collection
Big Nate Collection
27
Bridge to Terabithia
Bridge to Terabithia
28
Bud, Not Buddy (Christopher Paul Curtis)
Bud, Not Buddy (Christopher Paul Curtis)
29
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Jeff Kinney)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Jeff Kinney)
30
The Hobbit
The Hobbit
31
Percy Jackson and the Olympians the Lighting Thief
Percy Jackson and the Olympians the Lighting Thief
32
Little House in the Big Woods
Little House in the Big Woods
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33
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
34
A Wrinkle in Time
A Wrinkle in Time
35
Esperanza Rising
Esperanza Rising
36
Hold Fast (Blue Balliett)
Hold Fast (Blue Balliett)
37
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the I
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the I
38
Inside Out & Back Again
Inside Out & Back Again
39
My Side of the Mountain
My Side of the Mountain
40
Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party (Ying Chang Compestine)
Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party (Ying Chang Compestine)
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