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67 Children's Books That Actually Changed Your Life

Let's go on a trip down memory lane. Keep the tissues nearby.

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We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about the beloved children's books that changed their lives. Here they are, ranked in no particular order.

Sarah Galo / BuzzFeed

1. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

"The word-play used in that book was a huge inspiration for me to, eventually, study linguistics."

—Matthew Jachowski, Facebook

"For someone still as bored and lonely most of the time as Milo was at the start of the book, reading his adventures gives me a little happiness even now."

—Meredith MacLean, Facebook

"It inspired my love of language (and rhyme and reason) — it brought language and all of its intricacies to life!"


2. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

"I still read it to this day as a reminder to appreciate what my parents and grandparents have done for me and to enjoy every moment of life instead of always seeking the next big thing or adventure."


"It was the first book that I have a vivid memory of my mother reading to me. It was in our first house, and at the end I remember just bawling for what seemed like forever. Not only did it teach me to respect the environment around me, but also the people and relationships I held. You can’t always expect people to give because eventually they’ll have nothing left."

3. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka

"This was my first introduction to satire. I remember being five or six and being amazed at how the fairy tales were parodied for comic effect. 'You can do that?' I thought as I read about the Ugly Duckling growing up TO JUST BE AN UGLY DUCK!"


4. Matilda by Roald Dahl

"My parents had divorced and I was having trouble adjusting. As if I weren't bullied enough for being a little weird and an above-average reader, adding mandatory visits to the school psychologist didn't help. Coming across little Matilda saved me. I wasn't nearly as smart as her, but I read about as much as she did. It opened up the doors to writing. Matilda inspired me to become a writer; I dedicated most of my marble notebooks to stories as opposed to class notes and I never looked back. Bless you, Roald Dahl."

—Maris Mingus, Facebook

"My sister read it with me when I was first learning how to read because she loved it, and she couldn’t wait for me to love it too. For a long time, I felt like she was the Ms. Honey to my Matilda. Unfortunately, my telepathic powers never surfaced."


"It was nice to know that I wasn’t alone. It gave me strength. It made me feel like I was worth something and that I was special. Matilda found a way to thrive in spite of her parents, so I could too."


5. Who Took The Farmer’s Hat? by Joan L. Nodset

"This was the first book I read. It went on to spur my love of literature and my own writing skills later on in life. It also taught me two of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned: shit happens and to look for the beauty in all things, even when I can’t see it."—Katdoyle15

"This was the first book I read. It went on to spur my love of literature and my own writing skills later on in life. It also taught me two of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned: shit happens and to look for the beauty in all things, even when I can’t see it."


6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

"I read it when I was young, and it gave me the courage to speak up about abuse that I had otherwise been silent about."


7. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

"It taught me the power of words and how when used poorly they can really hurt people. I read it in elementary school when friendships were really starting to form. There were some good lessons on how to treat friends and even if you observe certain truths about people, it's not always helpful to point them out because it can do more harm than good."

—Traci Goodman, Facebook

"It showed me how to pursue whatever I wanted regardless of what others thought and to not allow anyone to stop me from attaining my desires."


8. Harvey the Child Mime by Loryn Brantz

"It taught me that true happiness comes from within, even though I read it as an adult!"—jakeb31
Hometown 520 Press

"It taught me that true happiness comes from within, even though I read it as an adult!"


9. The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin

"The series is about friendship, business entrepreneur, being yourself and having a blended family. I’ve been a babysitter since high school, and now, a nanny."


10. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

"It was the first book I had ever read where the main character did not need a prince to save her. Ella saves herself in the end and even saves the life of the prince she ends up with. I thought it was the most awesome thing ever, and it introduced me to feminism in the best way possible."

— Sarah Dennison, Facebook

"It taught me that humor and stubbornness will get you far, and that princes don’t save damsels, because damsels save themselves. Ella will forever be my friend—you go, girl!"


"I read it at just the right time, while I was struggling with really difficult OCD. Neither of us could do what we wanted, we felt controlled. I'm never going to forget it."


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

"I read it when I was six and cried when Charlotte died. I’ve never killed a spider since."


"I wore my copy out when I was a child, and it taught me so much about compassion for others."

—Jennifer Torkkola, Facebook

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

"I could relate to Anne probably more than any other female heroine before or since -- from her huge imagination, to her social awkwardness, to her frequently misspelled name ("'Anne' is spelled with an 'e!'" or in my case, 'That's "'Brooks,'" with an "'s!'") It's always empowering to find a protagonist you can relate to."

—Brooks Cobb Fontaine, Facebook

"It changed my outlook on being a smart, weird, redhead. I too, have red hair, and I was raised by my dad who is an English teacher, poet, and hippy. Needless to say this made me a weird kid. When I was introduced to Anne, I felt like I was reading about myself. I related to her social awkwardness, and of course being teased for having red hair. It really helped me love who I am, and not be ashamed for being different."

—Stephanee Wahlsteen-Turschmann, Facebook

13. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

"It’s the first book I remember my mom reading to me and reminds me of how much she loves me also opened my eyes to the joy of reading."


"Along with Three Dirty Dog Brothers, these only books I remember my parents reading to me. Both books take me back to before they got divorced, when they were happy. I was happy too, felt safe, loved, and I didn’t have a care in the world."


14. The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

"Of course, it was SUPER questionable that the book was about kids that steal to make a living, but the intricate, beautiful, and surprisingly complex story ultimately taught me that in life we can choose our own family and that you are never alone, which really resonated with the younger, more scared me, who was yet to come out of the closet. Totally enthralling and comforting."

—Patrick Letrondo, Facebook

15. Holes by Louis Sachar

"The book makes you see the other side of who society deems as 'bad kids,' and how everyone can be redeemed. 12 years after reading for the first time, it still remains one of my favorite books! I'm on my way to becoming an elementary school teacher, and I would love to teach this book in class."

—Emily Cordon, Facebook

16. The American Girl series

"My family STILL references "Samantha Manners". Whenever we went out to a fancy restaurant, they warned us that we would have to have Samantha Manners, which meant we were to be on our best behavior, just like Samantha when she ate with her grandmother. It gave us a game to play at while learning proper etiquette which I follow stringently to this day."

—Emily Baker, Facebook

"Changes for Samantha was some of the most influential books I've read. It was partially about the women's rights movement. In third grade I wasn't allowed to play sports since I was a girl, but my brothers were. After reading that book I stood up to my dad and said the women's rights movement was already over and I deserved to have the same chance as the boys. I even got better grades than them. In fourth grade, I was allowed to play sports and hated them. I'm glad I spoke up though. My two little sisters are now able to play whatever sports they want and the youngest one plays every single sport I know of and loves it."

—Bianca Gonzalez, Facebook

17. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

"The series taught me to look at life as a puzzle instead of a problem. It's still one of my favorites to this day."

—Abigail Farris, Facebook

"These books taught me to value everything in life because nothing is forever. Like life, bad people are a part of the character's reality, but the series showed that if you stand up to them, change is possible."


18. Stephanie's Ponytail by Robert Munsch

"It is a very simple story, but it taught me from an early age to never follow the crowd, proudly be yourself even if you stand alone, and to never let anyone tell you that you are anything less than fabulous. It is by far my favorite to this day because even at 25, sometimes you need to be reminded of that!"


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

"It taught me to love my changing self, and that I was normal for feeling strange and uncomfortable with growing up."


"Blume has such a talent for putting into words every worry, thought, and fear of the pre-teen girl. I have read it over and over, and even wrote a screenplay based on the novel for an assignment in high school!"

Christina K

20. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"I read it in my high school French class, and I was just stunned by the simplicity and the beauty of its message. I love the idea that children are wise but adults gradually lose that wisdom as they forget the open-mindedness and wonder of childhood. I lived ten blocks from the WTC, and immediately following 9/11 I fell into a deep depression and felt like I needed something that would remind me of who I was, so I had The Little Prince tattooed on my lower back. I've never regretted it."

—Jane Nelson, Facebook

"It taught me that what I see depends on what I expect to see— it isn’t always a hat; sometimes, it’s a snake that swallowed an elephant. Only by asking the right questions, with an open mind, can I begin to find the truth."


"I’m adding another vote for Le Petit Prince. I’d never heard of it before my twelfth grade French class, so I wasn’t expecting much. It seems so simple, but it’s so profound and poignant. Eight years later, with an English degree under my belt and tons of books on my shelves, I’ve yet to find a book — adult, children’s, or otherwise — that moves me even a fraction as much as that little book has."


21. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

"When I was younger, I struggled to figure out why I was so different from the other

children. I never knew what was wrong with me and I'm still trying to figure it out to this day. But this book was the very first book that I read where a character delineated my feelings to the core. It taught me that though I may think differently, I could overcome those obstacles and continue through life. It was also the first time I read a book outside of a Christian perspective. It broadened my mind to the livelihood of science and the true significance it has in our daily lives. I will forever be grateful to this book and it's wonderful author."

—Jolottie Hunter, Facebook

22. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

"It showed me that life is not always perfect, and growing up won't make me perfect either. When things don't turn out the way you planned, life is still good."

Rachel Williams, Facebook

23. Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

"Having an emotionally and physically abusive father made me yearn for the bond Danny and his father created on their escapades with the peasants. I especially like Dahl's message at the end of the book: 'A message To the children who have read this book. When you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important. A stodgy parent is no fun at all! What a child wants -and DESERVES- is a parent who is SPARKY!'"

—Tony Sanchez, Facebook

24. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

"It was the first book that my dad and I fully read and understood in English, our second language. We were really learning together, and children's books helped us both along the transition - me at age 6 or 7, him in his late 20s. I also loved how beautifully graphic the book was."

—Elena Garcia Diaz-Pines, Facebook

"It made me feel so empowered and like I could take on the world."


25. The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye

"It was the first story (and still one of the few) I'd come across in which the protagonist was explicitly NOT drop-dead, impossibly gorgeous. She was someone we could relate to physically as well as emotionally. Princess Amy taught me that I could be a princess and still climb trees and be independent, that getting married and looking perfect did not have to be the only dream I had for myself, but also that falling in love with someone who understands you is one of the most beautiful things in the world."

—Alicia Marie Foster, Facebook

"It was a game-changer for me. It truly reinforces that it’s what’s inside that counts, and that brains beat beauty any day."


26. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

"I was ten years old and this was the first book I cried over. I was so attached to the dogs, Old Dan and Little Ann, and my ten year old self didn't live in a world where dogs died. I remember sobbing as I was reading the last parts of the book. I was devastated! My mom wound up telling the school librarian about how much it moved me, and our sweet librarian gave me one of the school's copies. I still have it today! It was the first book I read that affected me on an emotional level."

—Amy Holloway, Facebook

27. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

"I remember my mommy giving this book to me on the morning she got married. I was 7 years old. She died of breast cancer when I was 16 and I held her hand and read this book to her as she took her last breath. The book is featured on a shelf in the foyer of my home and I think of her every time I see it. I look forward to sharing this story with my own family."


"It was just me and my mom growing up and this was a story she read to me all the time and we would say we love each other to the moon and back just like in the book. We hope to get a tattoo with that saying one day. I plan on reading this book to my kids one day just like she read it to me."

—Zakiya Jamal, Facebook

28. Bloomability by Sharon Creech

"It gave me a desire to travel and experience new things that completely changed my outlook on life."


29. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

"I read it when I was six years old, and assumed that was the way life was going to be. I read it so many times the book fell apart and had to be replaced. I know now how moralistic it is and how flawed in certain ways, but that takes nothing away from my happy memories. Nor does it detract from the fact that my vocabulary grew by leaps and bounds!"

—Annette Widman Olson

"It got me through hard times growing up. Jo March was my spirit guide."

—Corey O, Twitter

30. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

"It’s about a princess who loses her castle, fiancé, and clothes to a dragon, so she goes dressed in only a paper bag to save him. She defeats the dragon, but her prince is ashamed of the way she is dressed, so she basically tells him where to stick it. This was the beginning of girl power for me."—katw46e15b743"As a tom boy, it was the first princess story I could relate to. The princess does the rescuing and her life does not revolve around a wedding or prince. She knows exactly who she is and she embraces it!"—axo513
axo513 /

"It’s about a princess who loses her castle, fiancé, and clothes to a dragon, so she goes dressed in only a paper bag to save him. She defeats the dragon, but her prince is ashamed of the way she is dressed, so she basically tells him where to stick it. This was the beginning of girl power for me."


"As a tom boy, it was the first princess story I could relate to. The princess does the rescuing and her life does not revolve around a wedding or prince. She knows exactly who she is and she embraces it!"


31. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

"It helped mold my sense of humor when I was eight and I still find it hilarious to this day."

—Tom Linn, Facebook

32. The Moomins series by Tove Jansson

"I read them as an adult since they simply don't seem to exist in my country at all for some reason, but the Moomin books honestly changed my way of thinking about a lot of things. I don't at all regret being late to read them, I think they came to me at the best possible time. Now whenever I have one of my anxiety attacks I think of the Fillyjonk with her china kitten and how terrible it is that nobody understands how afraid you are, and how relieving it is when the worse actually happens and you have nothing to fear anymore."

—Rafaella Bueno, Facebook

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

"I found out that everyone didn't look like or live like me and that there was a great deal wrong in the world that one didn't see growing up in the rural Midwest. I think it's when I discovered that injustice hurt me, even when not directed at me."

—Michelle Duker, Facebook

34. Hear the Wind Blow by Mary Downing Hahn

"It was a book that made me think and grow up. It's about two children who are living in war torn Virginia during the final days of the Civil War. The book struck me as being powerful as it made me think about what I would do if I lost my parents and how I would handle the situation as I am the oldest of four children in my family. It was a very moving and it also sparked my interest in history as I am now a history major in college."—Jason Rohloff, Facebook
Clarion Books

"It was a book that made me think and grow up. It's about two children who are living in war torn Virginia during the final days of the Civil War. The book struck me as being powerful as it made me think about what I would do if I lost my parents and how I would handle the situation as I am the oldest of four children in my family. It was a very moving and it also sparked my interest in history as I am now a history major in college."

—Jason Rohloff, Facebook

35. The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series by Betty MacDonald

"One of the biggest things the books did for me as a kid was made me aware of habits and bad manners that could be troubling others. Not to mention my dad would threaten to call Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and give me a "cure" if I started to develop a nasty habit. It really made me think of what I was doing, and my parents still blame me being a pretty good child on those books."

—Sarah Santiago, Facebook

36. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

"I'm not sure if I had a weird imagination and so it appealed to me or whether it's the books that gave me the weird imagination. Either way, the books definitely affected the way my brain works and helped me find the bizarre in seemingly normal objects and situations. They made me love poetry too."

—Tarin Beckett, Facebook

37. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

"The series reminded me to never give up, have faith, trust that good will prevail, and never forget your imagination!"


"How C. S. Lewis was able to write a story about the creation of a world, and then its end, and make those books for children, is still something I marvel at. He never talked down to his readers, but assumed that children had the same kind of sense of humor and delight in detail that he did. And he was right."

—Rebekah Nolan, Facebook

38. Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

"This is the book that changed my life. As a child I had a very bad lisp. I had to attend a speech class to correct it. And every session, my speech teacher would have me read aloud from that book. Now, that lisp is only a memory."

—Carrie Walker, Facebook

39. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

"It taught me to never lose my imagination, even when I grow old and have kids. It's the most precious thing you can have, and sometimes even adults need a place to escape to to fight giants and be a queen somewhere."

—Carolina Borroto, Facebook

40. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

"Growing up I hated reading. It was so hard for me and no one knew why. My 5th grade teacher suggested my parents have me tested for any possible issues and it was through that I discovered that I am dysphonic and dyslexic. I knew what dyslexia was and that made sense. Dysphonia means I don't really understand the phonetics of the english language. So when everyone would say "sound it out", I couldn't. The summer between 5th grade and 6th grade, my mom gave me the first two Harry Potter books and while it was still hard, because of the story line, I spent an entire week reading the first book. My mom had never been so happy I barely left my room."

—Pam Haas Garner, Facebook

"Before I began the series, I hated reading. In class, the teachers would have us "popcorn read" and I dreaded being called because I stuttered and I was really slow. In 6th grade, they told us if we read a book and take a test on it, we would get points that would add up at the end of the year and we could bid for prizes. So I started listening to Harry Potter because it had a lot of points. I fell in love with the characters and the story. I became a reader. I grew comfortable reading out loud with a lot of practice and enjoy it now. I can’t wait to read to my children."


41. The Betsey-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace

"I became a writer because of this series."

—Sherry Novinger Harris, Facebook

"These were the ultimate children's books for me. Although they were set in the early 1900s, the depiction of childhood and growing up was so relatable to me many years later. My love of these books introduced me to many friends who also love the series and encouraged me to open an online children's bookstore."

—Birdhouse Books, Facebook

42. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman

"This series meant so much to me as a child and still does today; I am holding on to my hardback copies to give to my children. It opened my eyes to a whole new set of beliefs, and led me to question a lot of what the church had tried to teach us growing up."

—Caitriona Foley, Facebook

"Forget the religious connotations; these book made me question my entire existence. And still do."


43. The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson

"This was one of the first books I ever read, and occasionally I'll pick it up and read it now. It's touching, the characters are lovable, and it taught me that I don't need to be someone that anyone else tells me to be. I like to think I'm the stubborn, reluctant, anti-social grump I am today because of Jill Tomlinson and Plop."

—Huw Downs, Facebook

44. The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

"I love this book. It was the first school book I read ahead of the assigned schedule and several times on my own accord. During the time I was reading it, we were learning about Martin Luther King Jr and the great civil rights leader of his era and the book really put it all into perspective from a child's outlook."

—Shannon Montague, Facebook

45. Dogs Don't Wear Sneakers by Laura Numeroff

"This book taught me that no one can tell you what is right or wrong for you. Only you know. Follow your dreams no matter how silly, if it feels right for you, do it."—Jillian Carlson, Facebook

"This book taught me that no one can tell you what is right or wrong for you. Only you know. Follow your dreams no matter how silly, if it feels right for you, do it."

—Jillian Carlson, Facebook

46. The Ramona series by Beverly Cleary

"I related so strongly to that character - to her imagination, her frustration, her curiosity, her trying to make sense of and navigate her place in her family, neighborhood, and school. Her home felt like mine when I was a first grader and to this day, I can recall every image with clarity."

—Olivia Eve Helmig, Facebook

47. A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon

"It really helped spark my creativity. The book was so abstract to my seven-year-old brain, and the wide array of colors was astounding. I still have a copy of the book today."

—Allegra Hayward, Facebook

48. Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch

"On my first Christmas, my dad gave me this book with a note to remind me how much he loves me. It’s one of the stories that tugs on everyone’s heart strings and reminds you that you are loved and reminds you to send extra love to you own parents."


"It taught me that, no matter what, your parents will always love you and be there for you. And growing older, I realized how much my mom has been there for me and how I will be there for my kids just like she was for me and for her when she is older."


"My mom used to read this to me when I was little. Every time we read it, I could feel the truth behind the words my mom was reading. I didn't have a great father and knowing I had a mother that loved me without a doubt was my saving grace. As I got older and I started reading it to my mom, I tried to put as much feeling behind the song at the end so that she would know that I felt the same about her."


49. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

"It greatly inspired my love of dogs and all things odd. It also encouraged me to this day to try to get to know people I would normally avoid."


50. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

"The first toy I ever got in my life was a plush rabbit and during one holiday I lost him. It was very hard for me when he was gone. Reading The Velveteen Rabbit helped me cope by imagining that my stuffed rabbit was somewhere magical, watching over me. I still find time to reread it because makes me happy and nostalgic about my childhood friendship with my stuffed rabbit."

—Eri Urbančič Omahna, Facebook

51. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

"It began my curiosity and interest in science and math. It helped me see how interesting and complex math could be, something I struggle to remember in my calculus class every day."


"It taught me that real life and imagination aren’t all that different."


"It made me curious about science. It also helped me believe women can be strong."


52. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

"I had to read it for sixth grade English. At that time I wasn’t much into reading because it wasn’t entertaining. I remember reading the first part in class and I finished it that night because I was to excited to put it down. It opened my eyes to reading and taught me how to treat others."


"It showed how stereotypes and boundaries were meant to broken- after reading the book I overcame the embarrassment of expressing myself and who I am, without thinking about what others think."


53. Oh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss

"It still makes me tear up with hope for the future. It also says everything I want my daughter to know."


"It taught me that I could do anything and everything."


"It has played a huge role throughout my life. As a kid, it taught me to not be afraid of adventure. As I got older, it helped me realize that I’m never alone on whatever said adventures I may find myself happening upon, and that while things may get tough along the way, I can do it. As a high school graduation present, someone gave me a bracelet with the book’s quote 'Kid, you’ll move mountains!' and it’s one of my most treasured items."


54. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

"I was forced to read the book in 5th grade. I wasn’t really into reading at the time, but I wanted to pass my class . I was at a new school because my parents had split up. I started to read this only two months after having to switch schools with zero contact with my father. I felt like I was coping with Brian as he did in the book, and I felt less alone and angry when I read it . I really felt like it made me a better person."


55. When Sophie Get Really Angry—Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang

"I loved this book as a child! I look back on it now as an adult and it shows children, especially young girls, that sometimes it’s okay to be mad at the world and to want to get away, regardless of what we are told by society as what’s right."


56. The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White

"I was legally blind as a child and the story of a voiceless swan who learned to play the trumpet to win the heart of the one he loved resonated with me. If Louis could succeed and overcome his disability, so could I. When I was 26, I had a life changing vision correcting surgery, and this was one of the first books I read with my new eyesight. I just had to check in and see how Louis was doing."


57. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

"I had the entire book memorized when I was 4 and I would “read” it to my friends every day. That’s probably the book that sparked my love for reading. Knowing that there were entire other worlds contained in books made me want to be able to read them myself."


"She taught me the importance of being strong, brave, and endearing, while showing me that having red hair was not embarrassing, but a unique characteristic."


"Madeline taught me that even little girls could accomplish extraordinary things. Little me made a promise to Madeline when I was four that I would learn French. I did. I grew a passion for languages and cultures. I lived in France teaching English and hope to go back again to work there. I’m in an International Education Master’s program, and it's literally all because of Madeline!"


58. Ruby Holler Sharon Creech

"It taught me that family can bring you the best adventures, if only you choose to take them."


59. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

"Even though the subject matter was pretty heavy, it made me want to be more aware of what had happened in the world and set me on a path to seek out as much as I could about history…which became my major and career path."


60. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

"Best explanation I’ve ever seen as to 'why are we here?' Clearly, it is to make the world a more beautiful place."


61. The series by Barbara Park

"I saw so much of myself in Junie as a 1st grader. I cried so hard when Barbara Park passed."


"The series was like a security blanket for me from second grade until I was too old to be reading them. I hated reading until I found those books!"


62. The Giver by Lois Lowry

"It was the first real chapter book I ever read, and it was memorable because it taught me to think outside the box. After reading that book I read Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. I remember thinking that I was never going to be confined or just go with the grain. I never did. This book also gave me questions for my teacher, and from that I gained a very great mentor."


63. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

"It sounds cheesy, but this book essentially made who I am today. It taught me not to judge others, always look beyond a person’s flaws, no matter how deep they are, and to put others before yourself. It also sparked my love of reading and learning, and now I can’t go a day without reading something."


64. Dragonflight by Anne MacCaffrey

"I loved fantasy, but was disappointed that so many women in those books were little more than damsels in distress. When I read this book in the sixth grade, I was elated. The hero is a heroine! And she literally saved her world! Plus talking dragons! And the author was a woman from the same Irish county as my grandfather! It cemented my desire to write fantasy myself."


65. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

"I was seven, I had broken my arm and there was a blood clot that was causing me sharp shooting pains to travel up my arm. My dad gave me this book and it took me to another world where my pain didn’t exist. I got hooked and have now read pretty much the entire Discworld series. Tiffany Aching was a role model and I will be forever grateful."

66. The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

"I realized how every day life could be inspiration for something to write about."


"In this age of sitting in front of screens all day, it taught me how much fun the outdoors can be, how to make your own fun with very little and to appreciate what you have because sometimes you or others may have none at all (imagine living through those winters with barely any food!). I still credit it with starting my love of the outdoors and you can bet it's going to be one of the first books I hand to my future kids."

—Emily Baker, Facebook

67. You Are Special by Max Lucado

"This book taught me that what others think of us does not define us. What matters is who we are, not the things we can or can’t do. It’s absolutely heartwarming."—laurenruthanne
Crossway Books

"This book taught me that what others think of us does not define us. What matters is who we are, not the things we can or can’t do. It’s absolutely heartwarming."


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