Top 10 American Children’s Books

 

Writing for children is not an easy task. Keeping a child interested in a story is one of the most difficult things ever, but some writers have courageously attempted this task and emerged victorious. American writers such as Rudyard Kipling, Rita Williams, Munro Leaf and many more have been etched in history as their books are continued to be read at bedtimes in many households across the world, and their characters immortalized long after the demise of their creator.

 

Where the Wild Things Are

This story is about a young boy named Max, who wrecks havoc in his household dressed up as a wolf, and is sent to bed without supper. When he enters his bedroom, he discovers it transformed into a jungle. The book follows Max’s adventures as he navigates through this incident.

Read it For:
The book will put a smile on your face. The plot is simple, and there is enough humour to laugh, and not smirk. It teaches moral values.
Don't Read it For:
The story might be too intense and dark for young readers.
What makes this book stand out?:
The imagination of the writer in creating and illustrating the whole world of “wild things” is unique and makes the book a worthy read.

Charlotte’s Web

This children’s classic published in 1952 is about a young pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barnyard spider named Charlotte. The book follows Wilbur’s journey as he is saved from slaughter and is sold to a farmer, in whose farm he meets and makes new friends

Read it For:
This book is a beautiful story about love, loss, and sacrifice. The story of little Wilbur the pig will make even the strongest hearts melt. The climax is very exciting.
Don't Read it For:
The story becomes redundant after a certain point in time.
What makes this book stand out?:
The beloved children’s classic never fails to entertain with the plethora of unique characters and scenes. The undertone of tragedy isn’t something common in children’’ books, making this book one of the most beloved American children's literature books ever written.

Goodnight Moon

This lovely, simple poem that describes a young bunny’s night-time ritual of saying goodnight to all his things.

Read it For:
The rhyming and the simplicity of the prose make it’s a perfect read for children.
Don't Read it For:
The story gets repetitive and drab after a certain point.
What makes this book stand out?:
The simple verse puts a smile on your face.

The Snowy Day

Peter is a young boy living in a beautiful city. As winter approaches, the first snowfall of winter happens, and Peter runs out into his neighborhood to play in the snow, discovering the magic of the first snowfall.

Read it For:
The book is different from other children’s books as it broaches the subject of race. Author Ezra Keats made sure that the central characters in his book are coloured
Don't Read it For:
It might have been too simple a story.
What makes this book stand out?:
Apart from the simple story, the illustrations are timeless and make the book perfect for children
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The story of Ferdinand

The book tells the story of a non-violent calf named Ferdinand. While all the other calves’ butted heads and fought, Ferdinand just sat under a tree and smelled the flowers. As time passes and Ferdinand grows up, he is accidentally entered into a bull-fighting competition and the chains of events that follow make the crux of the story.

Read it For:
The descriptions of the different scenes are simple and beautiful.
Don't Read it For:
The ending seems incomplete.
What makes this book stand out?:
Improbable events and the unusual bull that is Ferdinand.

The Secret Garden

Mary Lennox is a spoilt nine-year-old British girl living in colonial India with her parents. The untimely death of her parents from cholera forces Mary to live with her uncle and move to England, where she discovers a secret garden in her uncle’s manor behind a wall. The book follows Mary, and her cousin Colin’s journey and how they transform into better humans and deal with their problems.

Read it For:
A wonderfully creative book in itself, it has a lot to offer to young readers and sends out a message that perseverance is everything.
Don't Read it For:
A lot of the readers might find the book hard to relate to.
What makes this book stand out?:
The writing and flow of the story make it worth a read, the character description and plotlines are simply beautiful.

The Jungle Book

Mowgli isn’t your normal young boy. For one, he was raised by wolves in a jungle filled with wild animals, his best friend is a bear (Balu), and of course, a man-hunting tiger has had it in for him for a long time.

Read it For:
The collection of stories is a classic, one of the best American children’s literature books
Don't Read it For:
In today’s age, talking animals seems like pushing it, even for children.
What makes this book stand out?:
A perfect whisk of amazingly funny and yet profoundly saddening. It is one of a kind.

The Wizard of Oz

The wizard of oz is a fantasy fiction novel by L.Frank.Baum. It follows the story of Dorothy and her dog, Toto who lives in Kansas with her aunt and uncle. An unexpected disaster sweeps Dorothy and Toto into the magical world of Oz. This sets Dorothy on an adventure as she tries to get back home to her aunt and uncle.

Read it For:
The perfect combination of humour and mystery will keep you entertained and enthralled till the very last page. Also, the variation of colourful characters will keep you interested until the end.
Don't Read it For:
Some parts may be difficult to understand for children.
What makes this book stand out?:
The characters are like never seen before. They’ll stay with you long after you’ve read the last page. This book is one of the American children's literature best sellers of all time.

Bridge to Terabithia

The novel tells the story of fifth grader Jess Aarons who becomes friends with his new neighbour Leslie Burke after he loses a foot race to her at school. After becoming friends with Leslie, his life changes. He becomes humble and learns to control his temper. Together, they create a fantasy kingdom and name it Terabithia. After an unexpected tragedy strikes, Jess has to learn to be courageous and move on.

Read it For:
This book tells the tale of friendship and loss, people of all ages can take back something from it.
Don't Read it For:
This book might be too dark and intense for young kids.
What makes this book stand out?:
This book is an emotional rollercoaster; it makes you laugh and breaks you down to tears, all at the same time.

One Crazy Summer

The book is a story about sisters Daphne, Vonetta and Fern and their stay with their mother Cecile, who abandoned them for a career in writing, and how these three sisters reclaim the love of their mother while discovering their identity as women of color.

Read it For:
The setting in which the interesting characters find themselves and thereafter how the story unfolds is not something usual.
Don't Read it For:
It might be a bit too complex for young readers.
What makes this book stand out?:
Emotionally moving and wonderfully written, this book immerses readers in a time and place and raises difficult questions of cultural and ethnic identity and personal responsibility.

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