Kids Century – Part II

Kids Century

1931 – 1943

 

 

This annotated list of classics and favorites was compiled by Sally Epp, children’s librarian at the Belle Isle Library (part of the Metropolitan Library System).

Every book listed is still in print and available for check out throughΒ Interlibrary Loan.

When available and in public domain, book titles are linked to free electronic text.

Please choose books for your children thoughtfully, as books for a wide range of ages, interests, and developmental levels have been included.

Keyβ€”Β  E=Easy Reader Β | Β T=Tween Β | Β JF=Juvenile Fiction Β | Β YA=Young Adult Β | Β TNF=Tween Nonfiction Β | Β JNF=Juvenile Nonfiction

 

1931
JF
Calico Bush
by Field, Rachel

Marguerite, a young French girl, is orphaned shortly after her family arrives in America, and she must exchange six years of work for food, clothing and shelter from another family.

1932
JF
Little House in the Big Woods
by Wilder, Laura Ingalls

The autobiographical “Little House” stories begin in the big woods of Wisconsin where Laura recounts the adventures, hardships and joys of pioneer life in the 1870’s.

1933
E
ABC Bunny
byΒ Gag, Wanda

Each stanza of this rhythmic story progresses through the alphabet, from A to Z, and tells the next step of a little bunny’s journey home.

1933
E
The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant
by Brunhoff, Jean de

In this well-known French children’s story, Babar the elephant loses his mother, makes his way to the city, and is crowned King of the Elephants.

1933
E
The Story About Ping
by Flack, Marjorie

The little duck Ping finds adventure on the Yangtze river when the houseboat where he lives with his huge family sails off, accidentally leaving him behind.

1934
JF
Mary Poppins
by Travers, P. L.

When Mary Poppins arrives, the Banks children are swept up in some fantastic and magical adventures with the marvelous nanny who’s not as prim and proper as she seems.

1935
JF
Caddie Woodlawn
by Brink, Carol Ryrie

Caddie, an irrepressible tomboy running wild in the woods of Wisconsin in the 1860’s, brings joy to her father and worry to her mother with her pranks and wild adventures.

1935
JF
Little House on the Prairie
by Wilder, Laura Ingalls

Laura and the Ingalls family move to the frontier prairie of Kansas in Laura’s second volume of autobiographical stories about her pioneer family.

1936
E
Billy and Blaze
by Anderson, C. W.

Billy’s birthday present is the best thing he could imagine, a pony named Blaze who becomes Billy’s best friend, and together they share many adventures.

1936
JF
Roller Skates
by Sawyer, Ruth

When Lucinda’s parents spend 1890 abroad, the unexpected arrival of a pair of roller skates give her the freedom to explore New York City for one glorious unsupervised year.

1936
E
The Story of Ferdinand
by Leaf, Munro

Ferdinand, a peaceful Spanish bull who prefers sitting under a cork tree and smelling the flowers to fighting, becomes a hero when a bee sting takes him to the bullfights in Madrid.

1937
JF
White Stag
by Seredy, Kate

A white stag leads young Atilla the Hun across the Carpathian mountains in this epic story of the migration of the Huns and Magyars from Asia to Europe.

1937
YA
The Hobbit
by Tolkein, J. R. R.

Bilbo Baggins just wants to live quietly in his hobbit hole, but is swept up in a fantastic journey with 13 fortune-seeking dwarfs and the powerful wizard, Gandalf the Grey.

1937
E
And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street
by Seuss, Dr.

Dr. Seuss’ first children’s book describes all of the wild and unbelievable things Marco sees on Mulberry Street on his way home from school.

1938
JF
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
by Atwater, Richard

Mr. Popper paints houses by day and dreams of the arctic by night, so imagine his surprise when an unexpected delivery contains a live penguin who turns his life upside-down.

1938
JF
The Yearling
by Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this book describes a boy’s love for his tame deer, Flag, and their encounters with the dangerous wildlife of rural Florida during Flag’s first year of life.

1938
JF
The Sword in the Stone
by White, T. H.

Merlin changes Wart, the boy who will one day become King Arthur, into various wild animals so that he will learn to recognize human nature, a necessary skill for a good king.

1939
E
Madeline
by Bemelemans, Ludwig

Madeline, the smallest and most mischievous of “twelve little girls in two straight lines”, gives Miss Clavel quite a fright when she goes to the hospital with a case of appendicitis.

1939
E
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
by Burton, Virginia Lee

Mike Mulligan and his faithful steam shovel Mary Anne find themselves in a race against time and technological progress as they try to dig the cellar of the Popperville town hall.

1939
JF
Ben and Me: A New and Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin As Written by His Good Mouse Amos
by Lawson, Robert

Benjamin Franklin was responsible for many amazing discoveries and inventions, but in this story readers learn who was really responsible for many of them β€” Amos the mouse.

1940
JF
Lassie Come Home
by Knight, Eric Mowbray

When Lassie is sold because Joe’s family has no money to feed her, the loyal collie travels over 1000 miles, from Scotland to Yorkshire, over punishing terrain, to come home to Joe.

1940
E
Caps for Sale
by Slobodkina, Esphyr

“Caps, caps for sale,” calls the peddler, but he’s in for a big surprise when he runs into a tree full of monkeys who steal his caps and then mimic his every action.

1940
JF
Betsy-Tacy
by Lovelace, Maud Hart

In Deep Valley, Minnesota, at the turn-of-the-century, Betsy and Tacy are two five-year-old girls who are so close that they are often thought of as one little girl β€” Betsy-Tacy.

1941
JF
The Black Stallion
by Farley, Walter

Alec and the wild Black Stallion are the only survivors of a shipwreck that leaves the two stranded on a desert island, and Alec is determined both to survive and to tame the stallion.

1941
E
Curious George
by Rey, H. A.

After the man in the yellow hat brings a very curious monkey named George home from the jungle, George manages to get into trouble when his curiosity leads him astray.

1941
E
Make Way for Ducklings
by McCloskey, Robert

Mother and Father Mallard set out across town with their ducklings in tow as they search for a better place in Boston to raise their family.

1941
JF
The Matchlock Gun
by Edmonds, Walter Dumaux

When Edward’s father is called away, Edward is left with an antique matchlock gun to protect Mama, little Trudy and their home in this colonial story set in New York in 1756.

1942
JF
The Boxcar Children
by Warner, Gertrude Chandler

Four orphaned but resourceful children make a home for themselves in an abandoned red boxcar in the first of more than 70 Boxcar Children mysteries.

1942
E
Marshmallow
by Newberry, Clare Turlay

In this gentle story with softly luminous illustrations, the baby bunny Marshmallow is so convinced that Oliver the cat is his mother that the two become loving companions.

1942
E
The Runaway Bunny
by Brown, Margaret Wise

In this classic bedtime story, a little bunny decides to run away and is followed by his loving mother in an imaginary game of chase.

1942
E
The Little House
by Burton, Virginia Lee

A beautiful little house on a hill is slowly surrounded by the encroaching city, all the while growing older and more neglected until a loving family rescues her.

1943
JF
Homer Price
by McCloskey, Robert

Each chapter in this book tells a different episode in the life of Homer Price, the most famous of which involves an out of control donut machine.

1943
JF
Bedknob and Broomstick
by Norton, Mary

Three children discover that Miss Price is a witch, so to ensure their secrecy she gives them a magic bedknob that can take them to anywhere they want to go.

 

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