An Award-Winning Book Club for Kids
Shop Now

The Best Literary Fiction Kids Books

Looking for the best literary fiction books?
Add to list
Little Women
Written by Louisa May Alcott
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-14
Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. Alcott wrote the books rapidly over several months at the request of her publisher. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood, and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters. Little Women was an immediate commercial and critical success, and readers demanded to know more about the characters. Alcott quickly completed a second volume (entitled Good Wives in the United Kingdom, although this name derived from the publisher and not from Alcott). It was also successful. The two volumes were issued in 1880 in a single work entitled Little Women. Alcott also wrote two sequels to her popular work, both of which also featured the March sisters: Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886). Although Little Women was a novel for girls, it differed notably from the current writings for children, especially girls. The novel addressed three major themes: "domesticity, work, and true love, all of them interdependent and each necessary to the achievement of its heroine's individual identity."
Add to list
Thursday's Children
Written & illustrated by Rumer Godden
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-18
As he tags along to his spoiled sister's ballet classes, Doone discovers and develops his own rare and special talents.
Add to list
Life of Pi
Written by Yann Martel
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-99
The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional--but is it more true?
Add to list
To Kill a Mockingbird
Written by Harper Lee
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14
One of the most cherished stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.
Add to list
Mansfield Park
Written by Jane Austen & illustrated by Ann Kronheimer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-11
At the tender age of 10, Fanny Price moves from her poor family home to live with her wealthy cousins at Mansfield Park. Settling into this proud family is only the first of many challenges she will have to face. Can Fanny, uneducated and inexperienced, win any respect or love, or will the spiteful Mrs. Norris turn everybody against her? When plays, balls and marriage proposals challenge Fanny's judgement, will she be strong enough to do what is right? When jealousy, duty and flattery challenge Fanny's heart, will it be strong enough to guide her towards true love? Just how strong is Fanny Price?
Jane Eyre book
Add to list
Robinson Crusoe book
Add to list
The gnu and the guru go behind the beyond book
Add to list
The Cremation of Sam McGee book
Add to list
  • Jane Eyre - Jane’s aunt and cousin detest her. Life at Lowood School is cruel and dangerous. What inner strength can the young Jane find? Seeking adventure and independence, Jane sets out alone. Is her new master, Mr. Rochester, all that he seems? What secret does he keep locked in the third storey, where strange laughter haunts the nights? In her search for affection, Jane faces horror, cruelty, poverty and temptation. Is she strong enough to do what is right? Will she ever mean anything more to anybody than poor, plain Jane Eyre?

  • Robinson Crusoe - Defying his parents, Robinson Crusoe goes to sea. He is captured by pirates but escapes to Brazil. He makes a fortune using slave labor to grow tobacco and sugar. He sails to Africa to bring back more slaves but is shipwrecked on an uninhabited island. Everyone else is drowned. For over 20 years he lives alone. He learns to hunt and fish and make shelter. Then the cannibals arrive. Will this be the end of his adventure, or the chance to escape?

  • The gnu and the guru go behind the beyond - A graceful gnu and an ungraceful guru follow a mouse to the disgustingly neat Behind-the-Beyond where order is everything.

  • The Cremation of Sam McGee - In 1986 Kids Can Press published an edition of Robert Service’s “The Cremation of Sam McGee” illustrated by painter Ted Harrison, who used his signature broad brushstrokes and unconventional choice of color to bring this gritty narrative poem to life. Evoking both the spare beauty and the mournful solitude of the Yukon landscape, Harrison’s paintings proved the perfect match for Service’s masterpiece about a doomed prospector adrift in a harsh land. Harrison’s Illustrator’s Notes on each page enhanced both poem and illustrations by adding valuable historical background. Upon its original publication, many recognized the book as an innovative approach to illustrating poetry for children. For years The Cremation of Sam McGee has stood out as a publishing landmark, losing none of its appeal both as a read-aloud and as a work of art. Kids Can Press proudly publishes this deluxe hardcover twentieth anniversary edition — complete with a spot-varnished cover, new cover art and heavy coated stock — of a book that remains as entrancing as a night sky alive with the vibrant glow of the Northern Lights.

Add to list
Mr. Miller, the Dog
Written by Helme Heine
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
As the years go by, Mr. Miller and his dog not only begin to look more and more alike, but wonder if they could change places.
Add to list
There once was a woman who married a man
Written by Norma Farber & illustrated by Lydia Dabcovich
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
No matter how hard she tries, a silent man's wife can't get him to speak.
Add to list
The magic tears
Written by Jack Sendak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Determined to prove his courage, a young boy follows a strange dog and finds an enchanted forest.
Add to list
Perelandra
Written by C. S. Lewis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 14-18
The second book in **C. S. Lewis's** acclaimed Space Trilogy, which also includes _Out of the Silent Planet_ and _That Hideous Strength_, _Perelandra_ continues the adventures of the extraordinary Dr. Ransom. Pitted against the most destructive of human weaknesses, temptation, the great man must battle evil on a new planet -- Perelandra -- when it is invaded by a dark force. Will Perelandra succumb to this malevolent being, who strives to create a new world order and who must destroy an old and beautiful civilization to do so? Or will it throw off the yoke of corruption and achieve a spiritual perfection as yet unknown to man? The outcome of Dr. Ransom's mighty struggle alone will determine the fate of this peace-loving planet.
Add to list
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-16
**All human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone, in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil.** The disturbing Mr. Hyde is making his repugnant presence known in late 19th Century London. But punishment for his vile acts are always parried by the good, and well-respected, Dr. Jekyll. Soon, the secret relationship between the two men will be revealed. A classic that continues to be referenced today, _The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde_ will forever be locked in literary history.

    Suggested Links