The Hundred Best Books for Children ~ Introduction

The Hundred Best Books for Children ~ Introduction
The Hundred Best Books for Children ~ Introduction

Back in 1884, The Book-Lover by James Baldwin was published. Baldwin was a teacher, author, and Editor-in-Chief for American Book Company (a large textbook publishing company in the late 1800s). The purpose of The Book-Lover was to offer a guide to reading — including “The Hundred Best Books for Children.”

The Courses of Reading and the Schemes for Practical Study, herein indicated, are the outgrowth of the Author’s long experience as a lover of books and director of reading. They have been tested and found to be all that is claimed for them….

…[T]his book is sent out with the hope that book-lovers will find in it a safe Guide to the Best Reading.

The Book-Lover by James Baldwin

By 1902 the book was in its thirteenth printing. Nevertheless, the titles included in Baldwin’s 100 best books for children are obviously older works. Each volume on the list counts as a book.

This list of books includes those from science, literature, geography, and active life.

I can but close this chapter of book-lists by complying with the wishes of many parents and educators who desire a more extended catalogue of works suitable for a young person’s library than I have yet given. The following list, although by no means including all that are really praiseworthy, embraces one hundred volumes that can be recommended without hesitation.

A few notes:

  • Because there are so many books, we will cover them over time.
  • You’ll find the list covers books suitable to a variety of ages (fairy tales to Ivanhoe). Where appropriate we have included a child’s version of the book.
  • Many of the books will make great read-alouds.
  • While we have not read every book on the list, we are familiar with most of them. Several, for one reason or another, did not fit our family. Like us, you’ll want to pick and choose — take the best and leave the rest!

There are many other lists in this classic book of books. We’ve included a link below so you can get started. Enjoy!


additional Resources

Free Books About Books
Download options and review for The Book-Lover by Baldwin.

Four more modern (and free) books for children not to be missed: