Classic Children and YA Books (Rae’s Top Five)

I love to read. I always have and always will. Darting in and out of fantastical places, fighting dragons, befriending dragons, saving the world or falling in love was as easy as opening classic children and YA books. In fact, I just finished re-reading Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series – a wonderful stroll through memory lane for me.

As a mother, I’ve tried to instill that same love of reading into my kids – with mixed results. So, when Becca asked me to write about my favorite children’s books, I jumped at the chance.

Anything by Dr. Seuss

Ted Geisel AKA Dr Seuss

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Young kids love silly, and silly is a wonderful way to interest them in reading. Dr. Seuss had a gift for outrageous stories that celebrate the ridiculous, but teach some subtle messages. His deceptively simple illustrations were strange enough to interest the boys and charming enough to draw the girls.

The Monster at the End of this Book - Starring Grover of Sesame Street
The Monster at the End of This Book

“I told you and told you there was nothing to be afraid of.”

Grover. Who doesn’t love Grover?! This book was originally written to teach kids how to read books from beginning to end – but it does so much more than that. It entertains (the illustrations are marvelous), and it teaches. With lovable, furry old Grover as a main character, a story that pushes forward and entices, and a surprise ending (we won’t tell!) it keeps even those children with short attention spans captivated through the very end.

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Charlotte’s Web

“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing.”

This story of unlikely friends – a pig and a spider – teaches about love and loyalty and patience and sacrifice. I was introduced to this title at a young age, and that’s what it taught me. Grand lessons for any person, at any age. And if you’re prone to mild arachnophobia? This just might cure it.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables

“Life is worth living as long as there’s a laugh in it.”

This series follows a young orphan, Anne Shirley, as she comes of age in WW2 Canada. Her exuberance changes the lives of those around her, and growing and loving along with her is a wonderful life lesson in finding joy in the small things.

The Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene
The Nancy Drew Series

“Ned said, ‘Nancy Drew is the best girl detective in the whole world!’

‘Don’t you believe him,’ Nancy said quickly. ‘I have solved some mysteries, I’ll admit, and I enjoy it, but I’m sure there are many other girls who could do the same.'”

What a wonderful series to grow up with! Nancy was my first hero – she did everything the boys did, but better. And I never doubted that with intelligence and energy and curiosity, I could do anything I set my mind to as well.


There are just as many wonderful children and YA novels available for today’s children. Need I mention Harry Potter? Or Percy Jackson? And don’t forget Aulexic’s own P.I. Penguin series, of course.

Read to your kids. Show them that you enjoy reading. There are lessons to learn and adventures to be had.

What are YOUR favourite classic children and YA books?

Share them with us in the comments below!


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