Esperanza Rising book
#1
Esperanza Rising
Written and illustrated by Pam Munoz Ryan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.

The Wheel on the School book
#2
The Wheel on the School
Written by Meindert DeJong and illustrated by Maurice Sendak
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Why do the storks no longer come to the little Dutch fishing village of Shora to nest? It was Lina, one of the six schoolchildren who first asked the question, and she set the others to wondering. And sometimes when you begin to wonder, you begin to make things happen. So the children set out to bring the storks back to Shora. The force of their vision put the whole village to work until at last the dream began to come true.

Winner, 1955 Newbery Medal Notable Children’s Books of 1940–1970 (ALA) 1963 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award

Ivy book
#3
Ivy
Written and illustrated by Katherine Coville
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Ivy’s grandmother is a healer—to mostly four-legged patients of the forest. Although the woodland creatures love her, the residents of Broomsweep grumble about Grandmother’s unkempt garden. When a kingdom-wide contest is announced to proclaim the tidiest town in the land, the people of Broomsweep are determined to win. That is, if they can get Ivy’s grandmother to clean up her ways. Ivy is determined to lend a hand, but the task proves more challenging when a series of unexpected refugees descends on Grandmother’s cottage. Before the week is over, an injured griffin, a dragon with a cold, and a tiny flock of temperamental pixies will cause a most untidy uproar in Broomsweep . . . and brighten Ivy’s days in ways she never could have dreamed.

The Templeton Twins Have An Idea book
#4
The Templeton Twins Have An Idea
Written by Ellis Weiner and illustrated by Jeremy Holmes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Suppose there were 12-year-old twins, a boy and girl named John and Abigail Templeton. Let’s say John was pragmatic and played the drums, and Abigail was theoretical and solved cryptic crosswords. Now suppose their father was a brilliant, if sometime confused, inventor. And suppose that another set of twins—adults—named Dean D. Dean and Dan D. Dean, kidnapped the Templeton twins and their ridiculous dog in order to get their father to turn over one of his genius (sort of) inventions. Yes, kidnapped. Wouldn’t it be fun to read about that? Oh please. It would so. Now in paperback, this is just the first in a series perfect for boys and girls who are smart, clever, and funny (just like the twins), and enjoy reading adventurous stories (who doesn’t?!). And now, there’s more!

The Doll People book
#5
The Doll People
Written by Laura Godwin and Ann M. Martin and illustrated by Brian Selznick
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Annabelle Doll is eight years old-she has been for more than a hundred years. Not a lot has happened to her, cooped up in the dollhouse, with the same doll family, day after day, year after year. . . until one day the Funcrafts move in.

  1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice. Open the door and enter a new world! The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second book in C. S. Lewis’s classic fantasy series, which has been captivating readers of all ages with a magical land and unforgettable characters for over sixty years.

  2. The Giving Tree - ‘Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy.’ So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein. Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk…and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave. This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return. Ages 10+

  3. The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

  4. The Tale of Despereaux - A brave mouse, a covetous rat, a wishful serving girl, and a princess named Pea come together in Kate DiCamillo’s Newbery Medal–winning tale. Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other’s lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out. With black-and-white illustrations and a refreshed cover by Timothy Basil Ering.

The Phantom Tollbooth book
#10
The Phantom Tollbooth
Written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

For Milo, everything’s a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only because he’s got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things seem different. Milo visits the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock, and even embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason. Somewhere along the way, Milo realizes something astonishing. Life is far from dull. In fact, it’s exciting beyond his wildest dreams!

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