Books every child should read by the age of 14

The list, complied by Booktrust, has four age categories: 0 to 5, 6 to 8, 9 to 12 and 12 to 14


Books for 0-to-5-year-olds

  • The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  • The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • The Elephant and the Bad Baby by Elfrida Vipont
  • Meg and Mog by Helen Nicholl
  • Dogger by Shirley Hughes
  • Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg
  • Would You Rather? by John Burningham
  • The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
  • Not Now, Bernard by David McKee
  • Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill
  • Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
  • Gorilla by Anthony Browne
  • Hairy Maclary From Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd
  • The Jolly Postman by Allan Ahlberg
  • Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole
  • I Want My Potty by Tony Ross
  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
  • I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child
  • Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
  • Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
  • Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears by Emily Gravett
  • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox
  • I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

Books for 6-to-8-year-olds

  • Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
  • Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
  • The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff
  • Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton
  • Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton
  • Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson
  • My Naughty Little Sister by Dorothy Edwards
  • Charlotte’s Web by EB White
  • A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
  • Asterix the Gaul by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
  • Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
  • The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy
  • Mister Magnolia by Quentin Blake
  • The Queen’s Nose by Dick King-Smith
  • The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
  • Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
  • The Adventures of Milly Molly Mandy by Joyce Lankester Brisley
  • Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon
  • The Sheep-Pig by Dick King Smith
  • Clarice Bean, That’s Me by Lauren Child
  • That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown by Cressida Cowell
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl
  • The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Books for 9-to-12-year-olds

  • The Adventures of Tin Tin by Herge
  • Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
  • Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield
  • The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
  • The Borrowers by Mary Norton
  • The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aitken
  • Stig of the Dump by Clive King
  • Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden
  • Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian
  • The Witches by Roald Dahl
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • Truckers: The First Book of the Nomes by Terry Pratchett
  • The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson
  • Flour Babies by Anne Fine
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  • Skellig by David Almond
  • Holes by Louis Sachar
  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
  • Journey to River Sea by Eva Ibbotson
  • Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
  • Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  • Once by Morris Gleitzman
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Books for 12-to-14-year-olds

  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J R R Tolkien
  • The Owl Service by Alan Garner
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams
  • Forever by Judy Blume
  • The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman
  • Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
  • Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
  • Witch Child by Celia Rees
  • Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin
  • Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean
  • Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy
  • Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
  • Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
  • Revolver by Marcus Segdwick
  • Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet
  • Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
  • Junk by Melvin Burgess
  • How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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