Relive Your Childhood with These 10 Children’s Fiction Books

With intriguing narratives and lovable characters, reading children’s fiction books can be a fun way to relive your childhood or simply spend a lazy afternoon by yourself. The following ten books are some of the best loved fiction books for kids of all time.

10. Matilda, by Roald Dahl

First Published: 1988

What It’s About:

Matilda is an exceptionally gifted little girl. By the age of five-and-a-half, she can solve complicated mathematical equations and read books written by the masters of English literature such as Charles Dickens. Unfortunately, Matilda’s parents are both, self-centered and uninterested in anything she does. Matilda’s arch nemesis, however, is the school principal, Mrs. Trunchbull, a former athlete who excels at throwing children at walls! Matilda bonds with her favorite teacher, Miss Honey. This little girl with an astonishing level of intelligence will melt every reader’s heart.

Why You Should Read It:

The book is memorable because it is unpredictable and throughout Matilda’s encounters with those who seem to oppose her at every turn, you can’t help but root for her. Not only is she shown as a highly intelligent girl, but she is also a caring child who goes to great lengths for those she cares for.

Best Quote:

“So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.”

9. Peter Pan, by J.M.Barrie

First Published: 1911

What It’s About:

One evening, Peter Pan meets three siblings Wendy, John and Michael after flying into their room. He convinces the trio to come with him to Neverland. With a sprinkling of pixie dust and the newfound ability to fly, the three siblings accompany Peter and his fairy companion, Tinker Bell to Neverland. Here they live with a friendly group called the Lost Boys and must help them fight Captain Hook, who is after Peter Pan. Captain Hook, in turn, is being hounded by a crocodile, who has previously eaten one of his hands. The book is a fantastic adventure story with plenty of thrills and unforgettable characters.

Why You Should Read It:

Some readers may not know that this delightful adventure book actually had a somber background. The book was written as a tribute to the author’s elder brother, who died at age 14 and Barrie was only 6. Peter could represent Barrie’s brother who remains forever a young boy living in Neverland. While this is undoubtedly one of the best loved children’s classics from the 20th century, it will also appeal to adults because of the deeper meaning hidden in the story.

Best Quote:

“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”

8. The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh, by A.A.Milne

First Published: 1926

What It’s About:

This is the story about a teddy bear called Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends, a toy piglet called Piglet, a toy donkey called Eeyore, an owl, and a rabbit. Other characters include Kanga, a toy kangaroo and her son Roo. The book is divided into ten chapters with each chapter having a unique plot. The book follows Pooh as he goes about his life having several adventures which range from simply walking through the woods with his friends to getting stuck in hard-to-reach places.

Why You Should Read It:

As there is no single plot running throughout the book, it’s perfect for a child and each chapter is entertaining and memorable in itself, often with several moving quotes about life. The book is interesting in that the author addresses the reader directly and is also able to converse directly with the animals. This is only one of the many examples of Milne’s creative genius, which led to the creation of this masterpiece.

Best Quote:

“Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.”

7. The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame

First Published: 1908

What It’s About:

Set in Edwardian England, the four main characters are anthropomorphised creatures. Mole is a mild-mannered animal who loves his home. While he initially doesn’t like going outside and interacting with people in the world, he later adapts to his surroundings. Rat is a friendly and cultured creature with love for the river. He befriends and guides Mole and is occasionally the source of mischief. Mr. Toad is the wealthiest of the four and heir to Toad Hall. While overall kind-hearted, he is also impulsive and conceited, with an affinity to obsess over houseboats.

He lands himself in jail after one too many adventures that take him to the wrong side of the law. Finally, there is Mr. Badger, a solitary creature that despises society and would rather spend his time as a hermit. He lives in an underground property, which neighbors a buried Roman settlement. These and many other characters make up the adventures in this beloved children’s classic.

Why You Should Read It:

The book initially began as a series of letters that Grahame wrote to his son. The stories have a quality about them that will make you want to read and reread them, simply because each story holds behind it a depth of human emotion.

Best Quote:

“Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with it’s spirit of divine discontent and longing.”

6. The Railway Children, by Edith Nesbit

First Published: 1906

What It’s About:

Three children are living a perfectly normal life with their parents until one evening when two men arrive at their house and take their father away. The family consequently falls on hard times financially and the children, along with their mother, are forced to move into a simple country cottage near a railway station. Here, the three children become good friends with the porter and the station masters. While the trio get used to their new surroundings, their days are filled with plenty of adventures. At the back of their minds however, remains the mystery of their father’s disappearance.

Why You Should Read It:

Have you ever noticed how children are always optimistic? This story about three children who live near the railway line has attracted readers for generations and has even spawned movies and television adaptations. It is a feel-good book about the power of being a family.

Best Quote:

“It’s an odd thing- the softer and more easily hurt a woman is the better she can screw herself up to do what has to be done.”

5. Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White

First Published: 1952

What It’s About:

From the author of another beloved children’s book, Stuart Little, comes this classic tale of an unusual friendship between a spider named Charlotte and a pig named Wilbur. After Wilbur arrives at the farm of Homer Zuckerman, he is shunned by the other barn animals and finds an unlikely friend in a barn spider, Charlotte, whose web overlooks Wilbur’s enclosure. Upon learning that Wilbur might be slaughtered for meat, Charlotte promises him that she will save him by hatching a genius plan. She spins a web in which she weaves praises for the pig for the farmer to see. Seen as divine intervention, the events that follow tell a bittersweet tale of friendship and sacrifice.

Why You Should Read It:

This is a timeless classic that deals with love, life, friendship and even death. The story will continue to enthrall generations of children to come and if you want to relive your childhood, then this classic is a must-read.

Best Quote:

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.”

4. The Little Prince, by Antoine de-Saint Exupery

First Published: 1943

What It’s About:

The story begins in the middle of the Sahara desert, where a man has crashed his airplane. When trying to repair the plane, he encounters a little boy who appears and tells him that he comes from asteroid B-612. Before his arrival on Earth, the little boy says he met a collection of some very odd people which included a king, a conceited man, a drunkard and a geographer. The boy talks about each of the different people and also tells the man about having spoken to a fox since his arrival on Earth.

Why You Should Read It:

This is the most translated book in the French language and is a timeless classic which must be read. The author said that the book is for children, but written for adults. Each of the planets can be seen as an allegory of human nature. A fascinating and beautifully-written children’s classic that you must turn to in order to recall your childhood.

Best Quote:

“Now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

3. The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett

First Published: 1911

What It’s About:

After losing both her parents, Mary Lennox moves into her uncle’s sprawling estate situated on the Moors of Yorkshire. With almost a hundred rooms, the mansion is a lonely place and it doesn’t help that Mary’s uncle keeps himself locked in his room at most times. One night, Mary hears someone crying, a sound coming from the end of one of the long corridors. The only way Mary can have fun around the expansive property is by spending time in the gardens which surround the property. Here Mary comes across a mysterious garden that has been kept secret. It is surrounded by walls and is locked, with no key to be found. When she finally discovers how to

gain entry into the garden, her life is turned upside-down.

Why You Should Read It:

A true children’s classic, this book is equal parts mystery and magic. A must-read if you want to relive your childhood.

Best Quote:

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

2. Velveteen Rabbit, by Margerie Williams

First Published: 1922

What It’s About:

This is a much loved children’s story about a stuffed rabbit who wants to become real through his owner’s love. A small boy receives a toy rabbit made of Velveteen as Christmas present, but neglects the toy and chooses the more modern toys instead. The oldest toy in the little boy’s nursery is the Skin Horse, who tells the rabbit that toys become real if they have children who play with them and love them. The rabbit wishes to become real. One day the boy’s grandmother gives him the rabbit instead of his usual bedtime toy. Soon the rabbit becomes the boy’s favorite toy.

Over time, certain events take place, which impact the future of the Velveteen rabbit and affect his time left with the little boy.

Why You Should Read It:

Considered to be one of the most loved children’s books of all times, the innocence of both the rabbit and the little boy will melt your heart.

Best Quote:

“Once you are real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”

1. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

First Published: 1937

What It’s About:

Cited as the prequel to Tolkien’s masterpiece The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit was originally written as a children’s book. It follows the simple hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, who lives in the fictional land of Middle Earth in Bag End. One day, Bilbo is approached by Gandalf, a wizard who offers him the chance to take part in a life-changing adventure. Bilbo reluctantly agrees and so begins his journey to defeat the gold-hoarding dragon Smaug. Along the way, he meets dwarves, elves and other characters from all around Middle Earth. Bilbo also comes across the infamous ring of power as well as the tortured creature, Gollum. This is a timeless classic and its appeal transcends generations.

Why You Should Read It:

The Hobbit is one of the world’s all time best-selling books, surpassed only by the Bible and a few other books. Reading Tolkien’s masterpiece will leave you happily surprised and bewildered. The magical adventures that Bilbo Baggins partakes in and the characters he meets make for a story that is much loved by children and adults alike.

Best Quote:

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

Conclusion

Read these ten engaging children’s fiction books to relive your childhood again. Even if you read them for the first time, they will certainly give you a pleasant change from more serious literature.

While on the surface they may seem children’s stories, a closer look will reveal that they often hold a much deeper meaning and can be enjoyed by grown-ups too.

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