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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.

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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."
Via wordpress.com

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."

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

"I haven't stopped reading since I read The Secret Garden. I was in second grade." -- Terry O., via Facebook.
Via blogger.com

"I haven't stopped reading since I read The Secret Garden. I was in second grade." -- Terry O., via Facebook.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

"The Giving Tree. Introduced my 5yo self to 'bittersweet' and thus the concept that 2 conflicting emotions can coexist in 1 feeling." -- @KatherineMemmel, via Twitter.
Via blogger.com

"The Giving Tree. Introduced my 5yo self to 'bittersweet' and thus the concept that 2 conflicting emotions can coexist in 1 feeling." -- @KatherineMemmel, via Twitter.

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

Another one of the top suggestions was this classic. On Twitter @EPeevie wrote: "From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was 1st book I read over n over; started my habit of re-reading great books."
Via blogger.com

Another one of the top suggestions was this classic. On Twitter @EPeevie wrote: "From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was 1st book I read over n over; started my habit of re-reading great books."

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

"Where The Red Fern Grows. It's joy, heartbreak and a hell of a story." -- @EJessaL, via Twitter.
Via rainbowresource.com

"Where The Red Fern Grows. It's joy, heartbreak and a hell of a story." -- @EJessaL, via Twitter.

The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Many people suggested this series. On Twitter @taliabenamy said: "The Little House on the Prairie series. Loved the adventure, the simplicity, and the history!"
Via blogger.com

Many people suggested this series. On Twitter @taliabenamy said: "The Little House on the Prairie series. Loved the adventure, the simplicity, and the history!"

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

The lesson of Miss Rumphius is: travel the world, live by the sea, and make the world a more beautiful place. If you have a problem with that, you might need to reevaluate a few things.
Via blogger.com

The lesson of Miss Rumphius is: travel the world, live by the sea, and make the world a more beautiful place. If you have a problem with that, you might need to reevaluate a few things.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

"Black Beauty, it turned me onto reading. I ran to my Mom crying because the man was beating Beauty when he fell, and Mom knew she had won me to the book side." -- Judy Ann C., via Facebook.
Via upload.wikimedia.org

"Black Beauty, it turned me onto reading. I ran to my Mom crying because the man was beating Beauty when he fell, and Mom knew she had won me to the book side." -- Judy Ann C., via Facebook.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

"Bridge to Terabithia, hands-down: a magical forest kingdom along the path to which one experiences a heavy dose of reality." -- @EvanPSchneider, via Twitter.
Via wordpress.com

"Bridge to Terabithia, hands-down: a magical forest kingdom along the path to which one experiences a heavy dose of reality." -- @EvanPSchneider, via Twitter.

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.
Via divinealignment.net

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.

The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupery

"The Little Prince, it's changed my life everytime I've read it." -- Diane Y., via Facebook.
Via media.npr.org

"The Little Prince, it's changed my life everytime I've read it." -- Diane Y., via Facebook.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

A very frequent suggestion! "A Wrinkle in Time - girls can be smart." says Monta H., on Facebook.
Via upload.wikimedia.org

A very frequent suggestion! "A Wrinkle in Time - girls can be smart." says Monta H., on Facebook.

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."
Via blogs.slj.com

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 Giver by Lois Lowry

Many, many people had this on their list. On Instagram snakebird42 wrote: "It shows you how to see in color."
Via whatanerdgirlsays.com

Many, many people had this on their list. On Instagram snakebird42 wrote: "It shows you how to see in color."

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

"Little Women made me want to be a writer." -- @MsEltonJohn, via Twitter.
Via wordpress.com

"Little Women made me want to be a writer." -- @MsEltonJohn, via Twitter.

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.
Via img3.wikia.nocookie.net

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.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

"Where the Wild Things Are! Because in each of us lives a wild thing! RAWR!" -- Work for Art, via Facebook.
Via graphics8.nytimes.com

"Where the Wild Things Are! Because in each of us lives a wild thing! RAWR!" -- Work for Art, via Facebook.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Burton

This story of a man and his trusty sidekick steam engine has been getting kids jazzed on machinery since 1939.
Via books.com.tw

This story of a man and his trusty sidekick steam engine has been getting kids jazzed on machinery since 1939.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Suggested multiple times, this book explores racism in the South during the Depression in a way that makes it very real for younger readers.
Via blogs.slj.com

Suggested multiple times, this book explores racism in the South during the Depression in a way that makes it very real for younger readers.

The Ramona Books by Beverly Cleary

Multiple Ramona books were suggested, for example @emily_harris on Twitter wrote: "Beezus and Ramona! The first book I can really remember that I attribute to my love of reading."
Via blogger.com

Multiple Ramona books were suggested, for example @emily_harris on Twitter wrote: "Beezus and Ramona! The first book I can really remember that I attribute to my love of reading."

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.
Via media.npr.org

"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?
Via bestbooksforkids.com.au

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."
Via hp-lexicon.org

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."

Charlotte's Web by E B White

A pig, a spider, a girl, and a story that never gets old.
Via harpercollinschildrens.com

A pig, a spider, a girl, and a story that never gets old.

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

"The Lorax was very influential in my thinking as I grew up in a logging town..." -- Amy T., via Facebook.
Via econesting.com

"The Lorax was very influential in my thinking as I grew up in a logging town..." -- Amy T., via Facebook.

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda is the book that all bookish kids love to imagine themselves in. Get this for a kid in your life now and see how well it stands up. (Spoiler: they're going to love it.)
Via img1.wikia.nocookie.net

Matilda is the book that all bookish kids love to imagine themselves in. Get this for a kid in your life now and see how well it stands up. (Spoiler: they're going to love it.)

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch

"Robert Munsch's THE PAPERBAG PRINCESS taught me that girls can stick up for themselves and fight their own dragons." -- @debsbasement, via Twitter.
Via wordpress.com

"Robert Munsch's THE PAPERBAG PRINCESS taught me that girls can stick up for themselves and fight their own dragons." -- @debsbasement, via Twitter.

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

"I soooo wanted to live in a boxcar!" -- @AprilArnold1, via Twitter.
Via blogger.com

"I soooo wanted to live in a boxcar!" -- @AprilArnold1, via Twitter.

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!"

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.
Via wordpress.com

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.

The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren

"The Brothers Lionheart by A. Lindgren, first time I felt heartache from a book." -- @bottomshelfbks, via Twitter.
Via buriedinprint.com

"The Brothers Lionheart by A. Lindgren, first time I felt heartache from a book." -- @bottomshelfbks, via Twitter.

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

"Ferdinand- You don't have to fight. You don't have to compete. You can find happiness just sitting quietly, smelling flowers." -- @Lauramunson, via Twitter.
Via bachariasoloists.com

"Ferdinand- You don't have to fight. You don't have to compete. You can find happiness just sitting quietly, smelling flowers." -- @Lauramunson, via Twitter.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

"The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe! It strengthened my imagination and made me fall in love!" -- @BlotsandPlots, via Twitter.
Via wordpress.com

"The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe! It strengthened my imagination and made me fall in love!" -- @BlotsandPlots, via Twitter.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien

"Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. My teacher read it to us and I was hooked!!!!" -- Denise B., via Facebook.
Via kirimoth.com

"Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. My teacher read it to us and I was hooked!!!!" -- Denise B., via Facebook.

Are You There God? It's Me Margaret. by Judy Blume

A classic coming of age story that has resonated with young girls since 1970.
Via blogs.slj.com

A classic coming of age story that has resonated with young girls since 1970.

The Nancy Drew Books by Carolyn Keene

"I suppose Nancy Drew because they started me reading and 60+ years later I'm still at it." -- Priscilla N., via Facebook.
Via newworldzorro.com

"I suppose Nancy Drew because they started me reading and 60+ years later I'm still at it." -- Priscilla N., via Facebook.

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

"Harold and the Purple Crayon. It taught me that I can create my own destiny." --Mark G., via Facebook.
Via kardsunlimited.com

"Harold and the Purple Crayon. It taught me that I can create my own destiny." --Mark G., via Facebook.

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