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The 50 Best Books for Kids

In honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday (he'd be 108 this year) and the NEA's Read Across America Day on Friday, March 2, we decided it was time to put together the definitive list of best books for children. The task wasn't easy: After all, children's books are among the most indelible sources of memory—and therefore opinion—on the planet. We knew we didn't want only 20th-century classics, and also that we wanted to mix in a few graphic novels and nonfiction works, genres that have come a long way in recent years. And of course we wanted something for every child, from tots and emerging readers to middle-grade kids and middle-school students. (We stopped at roughly age 12, though many in the oldest age category are teen and adult gems as well.) A lot of our personal favorites made the cut (Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat, Harry Potter, A Wrinkle in Time) but we're also thrilled that the top 50 include some new classics we'd never heard of.
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from timeout.com · made by Eli Dragen
avg. score: 19 of 50 (38%)
required scores: 1, 11, 16, 21, 27 

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1
Where the Wild Things Are
Where the Wild Things Are
2
Charlotte's Web
Charlotte's Web
3
Goodnight Moon
Goodnight Moon
4
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
5
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
6
The Cat in the Hat (Dr. Seuss)
The Cat in the Hat (Dr. Seuss)
7
A Wrinkle in Time
A Wrinkle in Time
8
The Snowy Day (Ezra Jack Keats)
The Snowy Day (Ezra Jack Keats)
9
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
10
Knuffle Bunny
Knuffle Bunny
11
The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden
12
Harriet the Spy
Harriet the Spy
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13
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl)
14
Madeline
Madeline
15
The Hobbit
The Hobbit
16
Phantom Tollbooth
Phantom Tollbooth
17
The Complete Adventures of Curious George
The Complete Adventures of Curious George
18
Holes
Holes
19
Ramona the Pest
Ramona the Pest
20
Chicka Chicka BOOM BOOM!
Chicka Chicka BOOM BOOM!
21
The Arrival
The Arrival
22
Matilda
Matilda
23
The Tale of Peter Rabbit
The Tale of Peter Rabbit
24
Bark, George
Bark, George
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25
The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Brian Selznick)
The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Brian Selznick)
26
Anna Hibiscus
Anna Hibiscus
27
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
28
A Light in the Attic (Shel Silverstein)
A Light in the Attic (Shel Silverstein)
29
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
30
George and Martha
George and Martha
31
The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
32
Caps for Sale
Caps for Sale
33
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
34
The Paper Bag Princess
The Paper Bag Princess
35
Number the Stars
Number the Stars
36
Olivia
Olivia
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37
Coraline
Coraline
38
Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11
Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11
39
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters
40
Are You My Mother?
Are You My Mother?
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