100 Must Reads for Kids ages 9-14 and ML’s Mom


NPR books posted 100 Must Reads for Kids ages 9-14. While ML isn’t in that age range, she will be sooner than I want to think about.

The funny thing about this list is my coworker and I were talking about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith last week. I told her, “I didn’t read it during childhood, and don’t plan to read it until ML is interested in reading it.” Between the realities of working full-time and parenting a 6-year-old, I have limited time to read. So I pick books that I really want to read. Among my favorites this year are Afterwards by Rosamund Lipton, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple and Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

I am waiting on these “must reads” until ML is interested in reading them. I am going to be that annoying mom who reads everything her child is reading. I know the closer she gets to 12, the more embarrassed she will be about this. She may even hide some of them like I hid Forever by Judy Blume years ago.

I’ve read thirty eight of these books. Some as a child, some as an adult. Here’s the ones I remember from childhood. The Secret Garden was my favorite.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Ramona Series by Beverly Cleary
Ann of Green Gables Series by L.M. Montgomery
The Hobbit by J.R.R Tokein
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
The Little Prince by Antonie de Saint-Expury
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

AS a librarian, I was disappointed I had read less than half of them. Below is a link to the list. How many have you read?

The Ultimate Backseat Bookshelf: 100 Must-Reads for Kid’s 9-14

3 thoughts on “100 Must Reads for Kids ages 9-14 and ML’s Mom

  1. Great list! Thanks for sharing it. I like the mix of old and new, and it does include a lot of my favorites, many of which I’ve read with my 9 year-old (Holes, Little House on the Prairie, the Chronicles of Narnia, Bunnicula, Half Magic). Good memories!

    • I remember a wonderful teacher who read to our 4th grade class every day after lunch. i couldn’t wait, it was the highlight of my day!!! Secret Garden and Arm of the Starfish were my favorites. I credit her with my life-long love of reading. One adult showing the magic of books can truly change lives.

      • I too have wonderful memories of teacher’s reading to my class. Ms. Coffee in 2nd grade had a special reading chair she sat in while she read to us. One book I remember her reading was On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder. My favorite book, Miss Mullens, the fifth grade teacher read, Ida Early Comes Over the Mountain by Robert Burch can be found on my bookshelf. It’s a paperback that is rubber banded together. I am looking forward to sharing it with ML when she is a little older. While student teaching fourth grade, I read a chapter every day after lunch. They would beg for more each day.

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