back to top

37 Children's Books That Changed Your Life

To celebrate the 95th Children's Book Week (May 12 to 18), we asked our fans and followers to tell us what children's book changed their lives. We received HUNDREDS of responses on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Tumblr. What follows is a compilation of some of our favorites.

Posted on

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster


It's hard to know what was the most popular response to our question but The Phantom Tollbooth was certainly among the most popular. As @CammieFinch5 said on Twitter: "The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. For any word lover at any age. I've fallen in love with the Kingdom of Wisdom."

Ronia, The Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren


This subversive story of the friendship between a boy and a girl who are the offspring of fueding robber barons was suggested by @martevansanten on Twitter. If you haven't read it yet, do and don't be surprised when it becomes your favorite book.

Go Dog. Go! by P. D. Eastman


A lot of people suggested this book because it was one of the first ones they ever read! For example: @beerdude1960 on Twitter said: "The greatest kids book written, Go Dog, Go! By P.D. Eastman. Absolutely encouraged my love of reading."

The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques


This epic series of books about small noble creatures has feasts, battles, and the classic struggle between good and evil. If you are a person who loves to get lost in tales of complicated quests, this was probably your gateway drug.

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh


"I felt very much like an observer (still do) and to find a character my same age with my same outsider's view of the immediate world was like crossing a bridge into another person's state of mind." -- Pamela B., via Facebook.

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery


The original Anne of Green Gables was suggested over and over again, with good reason. What other book teaches you about how great and uncomfortable it is to be true to yourself while simultaneously warning you about the dangers of raspberry cordial?

The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling


Many people suggested this one but Katie W. on Facebook put it best when she said: "It sounds terribly cliché (and I don't know if they count as children's books) but Harry Potter. It united practically my entire generation."

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

A classic story of survival and falconry that makes every kid want to run off to live in the woods. Christy H. on Facebook says: "The adventure, the self-sufficiency, the ability to get lost -- and found -- in the great outdoors. It left a permanent mark on my values. Such a great book!"

The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg


This beautifully illustrated story illustrates the literary principle that there are only three plots: someone leaves town, someone goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town. And actually they are all the same story.

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!