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Best Children’s Books From The 90s

Relive the wonder of the 90s with this nostalgic list of children's books that shaped a generation. See which titles made the biggest impact, according to top book sources.

Recommendations from 28 articles, Elon Musk, Emma Watson, Richard Branson and 52 others.
82 books on the list
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The Rainbow Fish book cover
The Rainbow Fish
Marcus Pfister - 1992-01-01
Goodreads Rating
This modern classic is a heartwarming tale about a beautiful fish who learns the true value of friendship. Glittering foilstamping on every page adds instant child-appeal, but it's the universal message that makes this a lasting read. Join the rainbow fish on its journey of sharing and caring.
Guess How Much I Love You BOARD book cover
Guess How Much I Love You BOARD
Sam McBratney - 1996-03-06 (first published in 1988)
Goodreads Rating
A heartwarming story about the unconditional love shared between a little hare and his father figures. Shortlisted for prestigious awards, it beautifully shows that love cannot easily be measured. Perfect for children and adults alike.
The Giver book cover
The Giver
25th Anniversary Edition (Giver Quartet)
Lois Lowry - 2006-01-24 (first published in 1993)
Goodreads Rating
Exploring a seemingly perfect society, this novel follows twelve-year-old Jonas as he uncovers the disturbing truths that lie beneath the surface. Only with his new position as the Receiver is he able to grasp the complex and dark realities of his utopian world.
Where the Sidewalk Ends book cover
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Poems and Drawings
Shel Silverstein - 2002-11-01 (first published in 1974)
Goodreads Rating
Experience the imaginative world of Shel Silverstein's classic poetry collection, Where the Sidewalk Ends. Meet a boy who turns into a TV set, a whale-eating girl, and other fascinating characters. The poems are both outrageously funny and profound, making it a beloved book for generations. With its excellent sense of rhymes and alliteration, this masterful collection is a pleasure to read aloud, making it one of Parent & Child magazine's 100 Greatest Books for Kids. Join the delightful adventure of Where the Sidewalk Ends and discover why Silverstein's unique creativity has captivated readers for decades.
Recommended by
Amy Cuddy
Stellaluna book cover
Janell Cannon - 1993-04-28
Goodreads Rating
Embark on a heartwarming adventure with a young, lost bat who finds her way home to her family and friends in this award-winning tale. With over 500,000 copies sold and more than two years on the bestseller list, immerse yourself in the beloved pages of this captivating story by Janell Cannon.
Matilda book cover
Roald Dahl - 1998-06-01 (first published in 1988)
Goodreads Rating
A gifted and tender young girl is ignored and mistreated by her parents, but Matilda is not to be underestimated. Bullied by her headmistress, Matilda discovers her extraordinary power to take revenge in this timeless classic from a beloved author.
Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone book cover
Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone
J. K. Rowling - 2015-12-08 (first published in 1997)
Goodreads Rating
The story of a young boy named Harry, who has endured a miserable life with his cruel relatives. All he knows is poverty, bullying, and the feeling of not belonging. But a letter arrives, inviting him to a magical place filled with friends, sports, and endless wonder. With destiny calling, Harry must navigate a dangerous path if he hopes to survive.
Recommended by
Arvind Subramanian
The Kissing Hand book cover
The Kissing Hand
Audrey Penn - 2006-06-01 (first published in 1993)
Goodreads Rating
Experience a heartwarming tale about Chester Raccoon's fears of starting school in the forest. Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called "The Kissing Hand" to comfort him and give reassurance of her love. This children's classic has touched the lives of millions, especially during times of separation. Widely used by kindergarten teachers on the first day of school, the book also includes stickers to keep the Kissing Hand alive.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar book cover
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle - 1994-01-01 (first published in 1969)
Goodreads Rating
Follow the transformation of a hungry caterpillar as he munches his way through apples, plums, and more in this beloved classic children's book. From his tiny egg to his stunning transformation into a butterfly, experience the wonder of nature with stunning illustrations and a delightful story that has been passed down from generation to generation. Perfect for sharing with the little ones in your life, this audiobook will both delight and educate even the youngest listener.
Magic Tree House book cover
Magic Tree House
Dinosaurs Before Dark, The Knight at Dawn, Mummies in the Morning, and Pirates Past Noon
Mary Pope Osborne - 2001-05-29 (first published in 1996)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the world of time travel and adventure with the Magic Tree House series! Join siblings Jack and Annie as they discover a mysterious tree house filled with books, taking them on journeys to different times and places. From hatching baby dinosaurs to finding pirate treasure, these beloved stories are perfect for young readers. Don't miss the first four titles, Dinosaurs Before Dark, The Knight at Dawn, Mummies in the Morning, and Pirates Past Noon.
Recommended by
Melinda Wenner Moyer
The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley
Holes by Louis Sachar
The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
Meet Addy by Connie Porter
Goosebumps Classic- 10 Books Set Collection R.L. Stine by R. L. Stine
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Book by Laura Numeroff
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
Oh, the Places You'll Go!   by Dr. Seuss
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
The Boxcar Children Books 1-4 by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Claudia and the Bad Joke by Ann M. Martin, Arley Nopra
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
Charlotte's Web by E. B White
The BFG by Roald Dahl
I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
The Magic School Bus Lost In The Solar System by Joanna Cole
The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
Wayside School Boxed Set by Louis Sachar
A Picture of Freedom by Patricia C. McKissack
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Polar Express 30th anniversary edition by Chris van Allsburg
Miss Nelson Is Missing! by Harry G. Allard Jr.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Frindle by Andrew Clements
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Tuesday by David Wiesner
Goosebumps Retro Scream Collection by R. L. Stine
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Five Minutes' Peace by Jill Murphy
Franklin's Bad Day by Paulette Bourgeois, Brenda Clark
Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
The Invasion by K. A. Applegate
Kristy's Great Idea by Ann M. Martin
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Junie B. Jones's First Boxed Set Ever! by Barbara Park
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Forever . . . by Judy Blume
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel
Scary Stories Treasury by Alvin Schwartz, Stephen Gammell
The Message by K. A. Applegate, Michael Grant, Chris Grine
DK Eyewitness Books by David Lambert
Finding My Voice by Marie Myung-Ok Lee
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate Dicamillo
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
The Jolly Postman by Allan Ahlberg
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
Where's Spot? by Eric Hill
I Spy Treasure Hunt by Jean Marzollo
Meet Josefina by Valerie Tripp
Jamberry by Bruce Degen