Children's literatureWhat would go into a good classic collection of children's books for say, 9 years and older? So far, I've got Black Beauty, The Secret Garden, The Wizard of Oz, Anne of Green...

Children's literature

What would go into a good classic collection of children's books for say, 9 years and older? So far, I've got Black Beauty, The Secret Garden, The Wizard of Oz, Anne of Green Gables, and maybe some other random books that my parents handed down to me. My daughter is a reader, but I really would like to get her past the Diary of a Wimpy Kid! Lol.

Thanks for any suggestions! The more, the better.

Expert Answers
Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Wow, I can't believe no one has mentioned Roald Dahl's wonderful collection of books!  My favorites are Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach.  And the greatest thing is, once she's finished reading them, there are great movies that go along with each of them!

If you're interested in further exploring the history of the Great Depression even more than through The Boxcar Children, how about obtaining a Little Orphan Annie compilation of comic strips?  You will be surprised just how much history can be found between the lines!  (And I'm sure I don't have to tell you about the wonderful versions of Annie you can watch together afterwards.)

Because this is a discussion, I hope you don't mind me mentioning a collection that isn't "classic," per se, but may be someday.  How about the Harry Potter series?  At least the first four (the least dark of the seven) could be for a nine-year-old.  My eight-year-old can't get enough, actually.  And, for goodness sake, (again not a classic but, ...) what about the American Girl series!?!  Try the set of Felicity books and then take her to Williamsburg in costume!  (That's what I did with Leia last year.)  SO much fun!!!

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Depends on what you call a classic...

How about the Marguerite Henry books about Misty of Chincoteague as well as her others -- Justin Morgan Had a Horse, etc?  Or perhaps the Walter Farley horse books, at least the early ones.  My daughter is about the same age as yours and has devoured these.

My daughter also liked the rest of Baum's Oz books -- not just the Wizard of Oz.  I don't know if you have the other ones.

Do Nancy Drew books count?

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would second the recommendation of the Nancy Drew mystery series.  There are a lot of great mystery series out there, but this is the classic, and these a bit more challenging and lengthy compared to something like The Magic Tree House from her younger days.

In terms of classics, my mind first went to The Little House on the Prairie books.  Authentic author and voice of a time period that kids know little about, but the focus on the lives of the children keeps the stories relevent to the readers.

susan3smith eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My children enjoyed Where the Red Fern Grows and Old Yeller.  These are quite sad at the end, but they each made a lasting impression.  I have two boys, and they loved the dog stories.  When I ask my students what book they enjoyed the most in middle school, they almost always single out The Giver.  This novel may be a bit mature for your list, but it is a very good read.  I second the Nancy Drew series; I think I read every one of them when I was small.  I also read the entire Trixie Beldon series and the Five Little Peppers series.  Does anyone read these any more?  You might add Grimm's Fairy Tales to your list as well. 

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My Side of the Mountain, Pollyanna, The Boxcar Children are all books that would be age appropriate for children that age. They all explore children in extraordinary life situations and how these children deal with the situations. In addition, the offer adventure and excitement for children of that age. While they are older stories, they are timeless in the message delivered and received.

q30r9m3 | Student

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

tseidel | Student

How could I forget the Boxcar Children? Geez. This is why I asked this question. I know I read so much as a kid, and obviously it did wondrous things as far as my reading hobby, but I never remember what books I read.

Although, thanks to all your people's help, my dear daughter is now reading 'Little House in the Big Woods' as well as a Nancy Drew, from her 9th birthday. She loves them, and I'm happy that for a moment, she's not crying that she has nothing to read!

tseidel | Student

I thought of another one last night. Little Women.

tseidel | Student
tseidel | Student

Oh yes.....the Chincoteague series! I had those too as a kid....Loved those books. Good one.


As far as the Oz books, I have only the first one. I seem to recall not really caring for the follow up books.

Nancy Drew might be a thought, even though I don't think I ever read any of those. I'm getting stray thoughts of the Sweet Valley High series! no! Lol.