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One Hundred Books that Shaped the Century

The staff of School Library Journal created this list of 100 children's books that shaped the 20th century for their January 2000 issue.

Verna Aardema.  Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears:  A West

African Tale   Reveals the meaning of the mosquito's buzz.

Lloyd Alexander.  The High King

In this final part of the chronicle of Prydain the forces of good and evil meet in an ultimate confrontation, which determines the fate of Taran, the Assistant Pig-Keeper who wanted to be a hero.

Avi.  The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

As the lone "young lady" on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous and the crew rebellious.

Natalie Babbitt.  Tuck Everlasting

The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing any older.

Ludwig Bemelmans.  Madeline

Madeline, smallest and naughtiest of the twelve little charges of Miss Clavel, wakes up one night with an attack of appendicitis.

Claire Huchet Bishop.  The Five Chinese Brothers

Five brothers who look just alike outwit the executioner by using their extraordinary individual qualities.

Judy Blume.  Are You There, God?  It's Me, Margaret

Faced with the difficulties of growing up and choosing a religion, a twelve-year-old girl talks over her problems with her own private God.

Michael Bond.  A Bear Called Paddington

A very small bear found by Mr. and Mrs. Brown at Paddington station becomes one of the family.

Margaret Wise Brown.  Goodnight Moon

Goodnight to each of the objects in the great green room: goodnight chairs, goodnight comb, goodnight air.

Eve Bunting.  Smoky Night

When the Los Angeles riots break out in the streets of their neighborhood, a young boy and his mother learn the values of getting along with others no matter what their background or nationality.

Frances Hodgson Burnett.  The Secret Garden

Ten-year-old Mary comes to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors and discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden.

Sheila Burnford.  The Incredible Journey:  A Tale of Three Animals

A Siamese cat, an old bull terrier, and a young Labrador retriever travel together 250 miles through the Canadian wilderness to find their family.

Virginia Lee Burton.  Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

Mike Mulligan proves that, although dated, his steam shovel is still useful.

Betsy Byars.  Summer of the Swans

A teen-age girl gains new insight into herself and her family when her mentally retarded brother gets lost.

Eric Carle.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Follows the progress of a hungry little caterpillar as he eats his way through a varied and very large quantity of food until, full at last, he forms a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep.

Beverly Cleary.  Ramona the Pest

Ramona enters kindergarten and, in her own way, makes her presence known.

Brock Cole.  The Goats

Stripped and marooned on a small island by their fellow campers, a boy and a girl form an uneasy bond that grows into a deep friendship when they decide to run away and disappear without a trace.

Joanna Cole.  The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks

When Ms. Frizzle, the strangest teacher in school, takes her class on a field trip to the waterworks, everyone ends up experiencing the water purification system from the inside.

Susan Cooper.  The Dark Is Rising

On his eleventh birthday Will Stanton discovers that he is the last of the Old Ones, destined to seek the six magical Signs that will enable the Old Ones to triumph over the evil forces of the Dark.

Robert Cormier.  The Chocolate War

A high school freshman discovers the devastating consequences of refusing to join in the school's annual fund raising drive and arousing the wrath of the school bullies.

Helen Cresswell.  Ordinary Jack

Eleven-year-old Jack , the only "ordinary" member of the talented and eccentric Bagthorpe family, concocts a scheme to distinguish himself as a modern-day prophet.

Donald Crews.  Freight Train

Brief text and illustrations trace the journey of a colorful train as it goes through tunnels, by cities, and over trestles.

Roald Dahl.  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Each of five children lucky enough to discover an entry ticket into Mr. Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory takes advantage of the situation in his own way.

Tomie DePaola.  Strega Nona

When Strega Nona leaves him alone with her magic pasta pot, Big Anthony is determined to show the townspeople how it works.

Louise Fitzhugh.  Harriet the Spy

Eleven-year-old Harriet keeps notes on her classmates and neighbors in a secret notebook, but when some of the students read the notebook, they seek revenge.

Paul Fleischman.  Joyful Noise:  Poems for Two Voices

A collection of poems describing the characteristics and activities of a variety of insects.

Paula Fox.  The One-Eyed Cat

An eleven-year-old shoots a stray cat with his new air rifle, subsequently suffers from guilt, and eventually assumes responsibility for it.

Anne Frank.  Anne Frank:  The Diary of a Young Girl

The journal of a Jewish girl in her early teens describes both the joys and torments of daily life, as well as typical adolescent thoughts, throughout two years spent in hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of Holland.

Russell Freedman.  Lincoln:  A Photobiography

Photographs and text trace the life of the Civil War President.

Jean Fritz.  And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?

Describes some of the well-known as well as the lesser-known details of Paul Revere 's life and exciting ride.

Wanda Gag.  Millions of Cats

How can an old man and his wife select one cat from a choice of millions and trillions?

Nancy Garden.  Annie on My Mind

Liza puts aside her feelings for Annie after the disaster at school, but eventually she allows love to triumph over the ignorance of people.

Jean Craighead George.  Julie of the Wolves

While running away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska and is befriended by a wolf pack.

Kenneth Grahame.  The Wind in the Willows

The escapades of four animal friends who live along a river in the English countryside--Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger.

Virginia Hamilton.  M. C. Higgins, the Great

As a slag heap, the result of strip mining, creeps closer to his house in the Ohio hills, fifteen-year-old M.C. is torn between trying to get his family away and fighting for the home they love.

Virginia Hamilton.  The People Could Fly:  American Black

Folktales     Retold Afro-American folktales of animals, fantasy, the supernatural, and desire for freedom, born of the sorrow of the slaves, but passed on in hope.

Kevin Henkes.  Chester's Way

Chester and Wilson share the same exact way of doing things, until Lilly moves into the neighborhood and shows them that new ways can be just as good.

Karen Hesse.  Out of the Dust

In a series of poems, fifteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family's wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of the Depression.

S. E. Hinton.  The Outsiders

The struggle of three brothers to stay together after their parent's death and their quest for identity among the conflicting values of their adolescent society.

Tana Hoban.  Shapes and Things

Photographs, created without a camera, of familiar household objects.

Holling C. Holling.  Paddle-to-the-Sea

A young Indian boy carves a little canoe with a figure inside and names him Paddle-to-the-Sea. Paddle's journey, in text and pictures, through the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean provides an excellent geographic and historical picture of the region.

Ezra Jack Keats.  The Snowy Day

A young black boy spends an adventurous day in the city when it snows.

M. E. Kerr.  Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack

Fifteen-year-old Tucker's life changes in many ways when he meets the unusual overweight girl who gives his cat a home.

Rudyard Kipling.  Just So Stories

One of the best-loved collections of children's stories of all time that answers such important childhood questions as how the camel got its hump, how the elephant got its trunk, and how the alphabet was made.

E. L. Konigsburg.  From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E.

Frankweiler   Having run away with her younger brother to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, twelve-year-old Claudia strives to keep things in order in their new home and to become a changed person and a heroine to herself.

Patricia Lauber.  Volcano:  The Eruption and Healing of Mt. St.

Helens   An account of how and why Mount St. Helens erupted in May 1980 and the destruction it caused, and a discussion of the return of life to that area.

Robert Lawson.  Rabbit Hill

New folks are coming to live in the Big House. The animals of Rabbit Hill wonder if they will plant a garden and thus be good providers.

Ursula LeGuin.  A Wizard of Earthsea

A boy grows to manhood while attempting to subdue the evil he unleashed on the world as an apprentice to the Master Wizard.

Madeleine L'Engle.  A Wrinkle in Time

Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.

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

Four English schoolchildren find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magic land of Narnia and assist Aslan, the golden lion, to triumph over the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter.

Astrid Lindgren.  Pippi Longstocking

Escapades of a lucky little girl who lives with a horse and a monkey--but without any parents--at the edge of a Swedish village.

Arnold Lobel.  Frog and Toad Are Friends

Five tales recounting the adventures of two best friends - Frog and Toad.

Lois Lowry.  Anastasia Krupnik

Anastasia 's 10th year has some good things like falling in love and really getting to know her grandmother and some bad things like finding out about an impending baby brother.

Lois Lowry.  The Giver

Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

David Macaulay.  Cathedral

Superb design, magnificent illustrations, and clearly presented information. Whether chronicling the monumental achievements of past civilizations or satirizing modern architecture, David Macaulay is concerned in how constructions are made and what their effects are on people and their lives.

David Macaulay.  The Way Things Work

Text and numerous detailed illustrations introduce and explain the scientific principles and workings of hundreds of machines.

Patricia MacLachlan.  Sarah, Plain and Tall

When their father invites a mail-order bride to come live with them in their prairie home, Caleb and Anna are captivated by their new mother and hope that she will stay.

James Marshall.  George and Martha

Relates several episodes in the friendship of two hippopotamuses.

Bill Martin Jr. and John Archimbault.  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

An alphabet rhyme/chant that relates what happens when the whole alphabet tries to climb a coconut tree.

Robert McCloskey.  Make Way for Ducklings

Mr. and Mrs. Mallard love their home in the Boston Public Garden, and once they get there, so do the Mallard's children.

David McCord.  Far and Few

Rhymes of the never was and always is.

Robin McKinley.  The Hero and the Crown

Aerin, with the guidance of the wizard Luthe and the help of the blue sword, wins the birthright due her as the daughter of the Damarian king and a witchwoman of the mysterious, demon-haunted North.

Patricia McKissack.  Mirandy and Brother Wind

To win first prize in the Junior Cakewalk, Mirandy tries to capture the wind for her partner.

Jean Merrill.  The Pushcart War

The outbreak of a war between truck drivers and pushcart peddlers brings the mounting problems of traffic to the attention of both the city of New York and the world.

A. A. Milne.  Winnie-the-Pooh

The adventures of Christopher Robin and his friends, in which Pooh Bear uses a balloon to get honey, Piglet meets a Heffalump, and Eeyore has a birthday.

Else Minarik.  Little Bear

Little Bear's four adventures include taking a trip to the moon and having a birthday party.

L. M. Montgomery.  Anne of Green Gables

Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.

Walter Dean Myers.  Fallen Angels

Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.

Scott O'Dell.  Island of the Blue Dolphins

Left alone on a beautiful but isolated island off the coast of California, a young Indian girl spends eighteen years, not only merely surviving through her enormous courage and self-reliance, but also finding a measure of happiness in her solitary life.

Katherine Paterson.  Bridge to Terabithia

The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway, Terabithia, during a storm.

Gary Paulsen.  Hatchet

After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive initially with only the aid of a hatchet given to him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.

Philippa Pearce.  Tom's Midnight Garden

Watty Piper.  The Little Engine That Could

Although he is not very big, the Little Blue Engine agrees to try to pull a stranded train full of toys over the mountain.

Beatrix Potter.  The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Peter disobeys his mother by going into Mr. McGregor's garden and almost gets caught.

Chris Raschka.  Yo!  Yes?

Two lonely characters, one black and one white, meet on the street and become friends.

Ellen Raskin.  The Westing Game

The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance.

H. A. Rey.  Curious George

The curiosity of a newly-captured monkey gets him into continual trouble.

J. K. Rowling.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Wizards and Witches.

Jon Scieszka.  The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid

Tales   Madcap revisions of familiar fairy tales.

Maurice Sendak.  Where the Wild Things Are

A naughty little boy, sent to bed without his supper, sails to the land of the wild things where he becomes their king.

Dr. Seuss.  The Cat in the Hat

Two children at home on a rainy day are visited by the Cat in the Hat who shows them some tricks and games.

Shel Silverstein.  Where the Sidewalk Ends:  Poems and

Drawings   A boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale are only two of the characters in a collection of humorous poetry illustrated with the author's own drawings.

Isaac Bashevis Singer.  Zlateh the Goat

Fool's paradise -- Grandmother's tale -- The snow in Chelm -- The mixed-up feet and the silly bridegroom -- The first shlemiel -- The devil's trick -- Zlateh the goat.

Jan Slepian.  The Alfred Summer

Four preteen outcasts, two of them handicapped, learn lessons in courage and perseverance when they join forces to build a boat.

Esphyr Slobodkina.  Caps for Sale:  A Tale of a Peddler, Some

Monkeys and Their Monkey Business   A band of mischievous monkeys steals every one of a peddler's caps while he takes a nap under a tree.

William Steig.  Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

In a moment of fright, Sylvester the donkey asks his magic pebble to turn into a rock but then can not hold the pebble to wish himself back to normal again.

John Steptoe.  Stevie

Robert wishes Stevie, a house guest, would go away but when he does Robert realizes how much fun they had together.

Rosemary Sutcliff.  The Lantern Bearers

Instead of leaving with the last of the Roman legions, Aquila, a young officer, decides that his loyalties lie with Britain, and he eventually joins the forces of the Roman-British leader Ambrosius to fight against the Saxon hordes.

Mildred Taylor.  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

A black family living in Mississippi during the Depression of the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination which its children do not understand.

J. R. R. Tolkien.  The Hobbit

The adventures of the well-to-do hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, who lived happily in his comfortable home until a wandering wizard granted his wish.

P. L. Travers.  Mary Poppins

An extraordinary English nanny blows in on the East Wind with her parrot-headed umbrella and magic carpetbag and introduces her charges, Jane and Michael, to some delightful people and experiences.

Chris Van Allsburg.  The Polar Express

A magical train ride on Christmas Eve takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus.

Cynthia Voigt.  Homecoming

Abandoned by their mother, four children begin a search for a home and an identity.

Rosemary Wells.  Max's First Word

E. B. White.  Charlotte's Web

Wilbur, the pig, is desolate when he discovers that he is destined to be the farmer's Christmas dinner until his spider friend, Charlotte, decides to help him.

Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Little House in the Big Woods

A year in the life of two young girls growing up on the Wisconsin frontier, as they help their mother with the daily chores, enjoy their father's stories and singing, and share special occasions when they get together with relatives or neighbors.

Ed Young.  Seven Blind Mice

Retells in verse the Indian fable of the blind men discovering different parts of an elephant and arguing about its appearance. The illustrations depict the blind arguers as mice.

Paul O. Zelinsky.  Rumpelstiltskin

A strange little man helps the miller's daughter spin straw into gold for the king on the condition that she will give him her first-born child.

Paul Zindel.  The Pigman

A teenage boy and girl, high school sophomores from unhappy homes, tell of their bizarre relationship with an old man.

Charlotte Zolotow.  William's Doll

William's father gives him a basketball and a train but these do not make him want a doll less.