PW’s Best Books of 2008

Children’s Picture Books
In a Blue Room
The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum
The Day Leo Said I Hate You!
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever
What to Do About Alice?
Adèle & Simon in America
Silly Lilly and the Four Seasons
There Are Cats in This Book
Smash! Crash!
One Boy
How I Learned Geography
Jack and the Box
The House in the Night

Children’s Fiction
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume 2: The Kingdom on the Waves
The Penderwicks on Gardam Street
The Hunger Games
Little Brother
Bog Child
Dark Dude
Tender Morsels
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Sunrise over Fallujah

Children’s Nonfiction
The Year We Disappeared: A Father-Daughter Memoir
What the World Eats
Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out
The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball
Ain’t Nothing but a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry

Book List for Gentle Readers (children reading above grade level)

Compiled by childlit listserv


Starting Readers:

Ruth Styles Gannett’s My Father’s Dragon

Tony Abbot’s The Secrets of Droon series

Patrick Catling, The Chocolate Touch

Sid Fleischman, McBroom stories and others

Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House Series

Jon Scieszka’s Time Warp Trio series

Growing Readers:

L.M. Boston, The Children of Green Knowe

Frank L. Baum’s The Wizard of Oz series

Edward Eager, Half Magic (and others)

Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstockings series

Betty MacDonald, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series

Elizabeth Nesbit, Five children and It. series

Solid Readers:

Cornelia Funke, Dragon Rider

Lloyd Alexander’s Prydian Chronicles

Brian Jacques, Red Wall series

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

J.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings series

Patricia Wrede, Dealing with Dragons series

Realistic Fiction

Starting Readers:

Judy Blume, Freckle Juice

Ann Cameron, The Stories Julian Tells series

Johanna Hurwitz, Russell Sprouts series

Barbara Park’s Junie B. Jones series

Cynthia Rylant, Coble Street Cousins

Louis Sacher, Marvin Redpost series

Growing Readers:

Beverly Cleary’s Klickitat series

Judy Blume, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Double Fudge

Eleanor Estes, both Pye and Moffat Family series

Arthur Ransome, The Swallows and Amazons series

Margaret Sidney, The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew series

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House series (These books mature with the heroines)

Solid Readers:

Frances Burnett, The Secret Garden / A Little Princess

Jeanne Birdsall, The Penderwicks

Barbara Robinson, The Best School Year Ever

Johanna Spryi – Heidi

Mark Twain,Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Johann Wyss, Swiss Family Robinson

Adventure & Mystery
Starting Readers:

Patricia Reilly Giff’s Minnie and Max series

James Preller’s Jigsaw Jones series

Ron Roy, A to Z mysteries

Marjorie Sharmat, Nate the Great

Alexander McCall Smith’s Akimbo series


Gertrude Chandler Warner’s Box Car Children series

John Erickson’s Hank the Cowdog series

Bruce Hale, Chet Gecko series

James Howe’s Bunnicula series

Laura Lee Hope’s Bobbsey Twins series

Donald Sobol, The Encyclopedia Brown series

Solid Readers:

E.L. Konisburg, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Jean Craighead George, Missing ‘gator of Gumbo Limbo

Kate Klise, Regarding the Fountain series

Ellen Raskin, The Westing Game

Willo Davis Roberts, View from the Cherry Tree

Animal Tales

Starting Readers:

Roald Dahl, Fantastic Mr. Fox

Richard Atwater, Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Shel Silverstein, Lafcadio, The Lion Who Shot Back

Randall Jarrell, Animal Family

Growing Readers:

Michael Bond, A Bear Called Paddington

Avi, Poppy

Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux; The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Dick King-Smith, Babe and other books

George Selden’s Cricket in Times Square series

William Steig, Abel’s Island

Solid Readers:

Walter R. Books, Freddy the Pig series

Walter Farley, Black Stallion series

Carl Hiasen, Hoot, Flush
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh series

Dietlof. Reiche’s I, Freddy series

E,B. White, Charlotte’s Web (beware the sadness factor) and others


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