10 Timeless Children’s & Young Adult Books

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Take a look at some of the most popular children’s and young adult books ever.

Please note that rankings can be subjective, and individual preferences may vary. These justifications are based on general critical reception, popularity, and the enduring appeal of these books.

10. The World’s Worst Children by David Walliams

At number 10 on our list is our favourite series from the already celebrated David Walliams – who provides a humorous journey, as he introduces readers to a cast of eccentric and mischievous characters, showcasing their outrageous and entertaining antics.

While perhaps not yet achieving classic status, David Walliams’ works are celebrated for their humor, relatable characters, and engaging storytelling, making him a popular contemporary author for young readers and earning a well-deserved place on our list.

9. Skellig by David Almond

At number 9 on our list is the million-copy bestseller Skellig. Uncover the mysterious and magical world of Skellig as young Michael befriends a strange creature and discovers the transformative power of hope, love, and the unknown.

David Almond’s Skellig is a modern classic that combines elements of fantasy and reality, exploring themes of friendship, family, and the beauty found in the extraordinary and everyday moments of life.

8. Jock of the Bushveld by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick

Are you even South African if you haven’t heard of Jock of the Bushveld? Set in the South African bushveld, this classic tale follows the adventures of Jock, a loyal dog, as he navigates the challenges of the wilderness alongside his human companion.

A classic South African work, Jock of the Bushveld is celebrated for its depiction of the African landscape, cultural significance, and the enduring bond between humans and animals.

7. How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Always a favourite among young and old, How To Train Your Dragon finds its way at number 7 on our list. Follow the misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III and his dragon Toothless as they navigate the challenges of a Viking world where dragons are both friends and foes.

Cressida Cowell’s series blends humor, adventure, and a unique take on dragons, appealing to young readers with its imaginative world and themes of courage and friendship. The series gained further popularity through film adaptations.

6. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

For the 6th place on our list we enter the enchanting Hundred Acre Wood and join Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and friends in their heartwarming adventures filled with friendship, humor, and simple joys.

A.A. Milne’s classic stories, featuring beloved characters, gentle humor, and timeless lessons about friendship and kindness, have charmed readers of all ages for decades.

5. The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton

While they may seem slightly outdated, Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series has still stood the test of time, captivating young readers with its exciting stories, strong sense of camaraderie, and the timeless appeal of mystery-solving adventures.

Join the adventures of Julian, Dick, Anne, George, and their loyal dog Timmy as they solve mysteries, uncover secrets, and embark on thrilling escapades.

4. Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr Seuss

What is your favourite Dr. Seuss book? We had to pick Oh, The Places You’ll Go. Dr. Seuss takes readers on a whimsical journey through life, filled with challenges, triumphs, and the endless possibilities that lie ahead.

A celebratory and inspirational book, Oh, The Places You’ll Go is beloved for its playful language, imaginative illustrations, and its ability to impart valuable life lessons in an engaging and memorable way.

3. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

At number 3 on the list is another familiar favourite. Enter the jungles of India with Mowgli, a young boy raised by wolves, as he navigates the challenges of the wild alongside animal companions and confronts the mysteries of the jungle.

Rudyard Kipling’s collection of stories has endured for its captivating tales, exploration of the animal kingdom, and timeless lessons about identity, morality, and the interconnectedness of nature.

2. The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery

While it may surprise some to see The Little Prince this high up on the list, we couldn’t ignore the importance and power of this special book. Join the Little Prince on his interstellar travels, encountering various inhabitants on different planets and imparting profound insights about life, love, and human nature.

A timeless fable with philosophical depth, The Little Prince is cherished for its poignant messages and charming narrative. Its themes of innocence and the importance of seeing with the heart resonate across generations.

1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

No explanation needed here – what would this list be without the all-time classic? Follow the journey of a young wizard, Harry Potter, as he discovers his magical heritage, attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and faces the dark forces threatening the wizarding world.

A groundbreaking series with widespread global appeal, the Harry Potter books are celebrated for their rich world-building, relatable characters, and exploration of themes like friendship, bravery, and the battle between good and evil.

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