A Classic List Of Must-Read Children's Books

Lesley Blume i i

hide captionLesley M. M. Blume is the author, most recently, of Tennyson.

David X. Prutting
Lesley Blume

Lesley M. M. Blume is the author, most recently, of Tennyson.

David X. Prutting

As summer vacations draw to a close and school-age children begin the mad scramble to fulfill their summer reading obligations, author Lesley M. M. Blume recommends a few timeless books that may not be on the required book lists.

Blume, the author of several books for young adults, says that parents owe it to their kids to introduce them to the classics.

"It is our responsibility to introduce classics to the next generation, because there's such a flood of new titles on the book market right now, especially in young adult literature, and we have to make sure that the books that we love go into the hands of our own children," Blume tells Linda Wertheimer.

Her book list includes a fair number of books about orphans, because, as Blume says, kids seem naturally drawn to stories in which the parents are absent: "Any child can relate to the fantasy of creating a kids-only utopia from scratch in the woods... This is something you see over and over again in classic literature and films. No rules, no baths, no schoolwork."

'The House with the Clock in Its Walls'

Lesley Blume's Recommended List of Classic Children's Literature:

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner, paperback, 154 pages, Albert Whitman & Company, List Price: $4.99

The Witches by Roald Dahl, paperback, 208 pages, Puffin, List Price: $6.99

The Devil's Storybook by Natalie Babbitt, paperback, 112 pages, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, List Price: $7.95

Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster, paperback, 116 pages, Aegypan, List Price: $9.95

Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers, paperback, 176 pages, HarperTeen, List Price: $5.99

Cover: Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer, hardcover, 256 pages, Random House, List Price: $19.95

The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois, paperback, 192 pages, Puffin, List Price: $6.99

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsburg, paperback, 176 pages, Aladdin, List Price: $9.99

Watership Down by Richard Adams, paperback, 476 pages, Scribner, List Price: $16

The House with the Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs, illustrated by Edward Gorey, paperback, 192 pages, Puffin, List Price: $5.99

Books Featured In This Story

The House With a Clock in Its Walls
The House With a Clock in Its Walls

by John Bellairs

Paperback, 179 pages | purchase

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  • The House With a Clock in Its Walls
  • John Bellairs
Watership Down
Watership Down

by Richard Adams

Paperback, 476 pages | purchase

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  • Watership Down
  • Richard Adams
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

by E.L. Konigsburg

Paperback, 162 pages | purchase

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  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
  • E.L. Konigsburg
The Twenty-One Balloons
The Twenty-one Balloons

by William Pene Du Bois

Paperback, 179 pages | purchase

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  • The Twenty-one Balloons
  • William Pene Du Bois
The Phantom Tollbooth
The Phantom Tollbooth

by Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer

Hardcover, 255 pages | purchase

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  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer
Freaky Friday
Freaky Friday

by Mary Rodgers

Paperback, 168 pages | purchase

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  • Freaky Friday
  • Mary Rodgers
Daddy-Long-Legs
Daddy-Long-Legs

by Jean Webster

Paperback, 114 pages | purchase

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  • Daddy-Long-Legs
  • Jean Webster
The Devil's Storybook
The Devil's Storybook

by Natalie Babbitt

Paperback, 101 pages | purchase

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  • The Devil's Storybook
  • Natalie Babbitt
The Witches
The Witches

by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake

Paperback, 206 pages | purchase

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  • The Witches
  • Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake
The Boxcar Children
The Boxcar Children

by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Paperback, 154 pages | purchase

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Purchase Featured Books

  • The Boxcar Children
  • Gertrude Chandler Warner

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