1978 – 1989
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 through 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.
by McKinley, Robin
Beauty may not be very pretty but she is a brave bookworm who honorably fulfils her father’s obligation to an enchanted beast in this complex retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
by Barrett, Judi
Chewandswallow is a lovely little town where the weather brings food three times a day, but disaster strikes when a storm buries the town in overwhelming amounts of edibles.
by Goble, Paul
Paul Goble relates Native American tales with sensitivity and beautiful illustrations, and this is his story of a girl who feels a deep bond with horses and chooses to run free with them.
by Howe, James
Harold the dog and Chester the cat think there’s something strange about their family’s new baby bunny, Bunnicula, especially when they find a white tomato sucked dry and colorless.
by Hall, Donald
Beautiful illustrations fill this book which describes the day-to-day life of a rural family in Nineteenth Century New England.
by Banks, Lynne Reid
Omri learns a lesson about friendship and responsibility when he discovers that his old medicine cupboard can magically bring to life a plastic toy Indian who becomes his friend.
by Wallace, Bill
Bill Wallace, an Oklahoma author, tells the story of Ricky, a boy who is afraid of dogs, but who must conquer his fears to save a stray puppy from starving to death.
by Paterson, Katherine
Growing up in the early 1940s, on a tiny island in Chesapeake Bay, Louise resents her twin sister who she believes is both the family-favorite and guilty of ruining Louise’s life.
by Hill, Eric
Spot, the cute little puppy who has become a favorite with pre-schoolers, makes his debut in this lift-the-flap book about his mother’s search him when he is hiding.
by Kellogg, Steven
Jimmy brings his pet boa constrictor with him on a class trip to a farm, with hilarious and disastrous results.
by Van Allsburg, Chris
Judy and Peter try to liven up a boring day by playing an ordinary-looking board game, Jumanji, which unexpectedly transports jungle creatures into their home as they play.
by Feelings, Muriel L.
This magnificent alphabet book gives a Swahili word, an English translation, and a beautifully illustrated scene from African village life for each letter of the alphabet.
by Cooney, Barbara
In this gentle story, Alice Rumphius spends her life fulfilling her childhood dreams of traveling the world, living by the sea and doing something to make the world more beautiful.
by Voigt, Cynthia
Dicey struggles to understand her mother’s mental illness and to keep her family of four siblings together when they are sent to live with their eccentric grandmother.
by Cleary, Beverly
Leigh writes to his favorite author, Mr. Henshaw, about his recently divorced parents, his stolen lunchbox treats, his lack of a canine companion, and his difficulties at a new school.
by King-Smith, Dick
Babe, a sensitive and polite British pig raised by a sheepdog, becomes a champion sheep herder — a self-proclaimed sheep-pig — and rescues Farmer Hogget’s herd.
by Wood, Audrey
In this cumulative bedtime story, people and animals pile into bed for a nap, one after another, until the wakeful flea on top causes a commotion with a single bite.
by McKinley, Robin
This award-winning fantasy tells the epic story of Aerin, a heroic young woman destined to wield the magical blue sword in a land where women rarely become heroes.
by Tafuri, Nancy
In a story just right for toddlers, mother duck searches high and low for her missing duckling, asking every animal in the pond for help.
by MacLachlan, Patricia
Sarah arrives at their prairie farm soon after Anna and Caleb’s father sends for a mail-order mother … but will they accept her, and will she like them despite her homesickness?
by Numeroff, Laura Joffe
If you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll ask for a glass of milk, and then you should be prepared to do a number of other things for him, one after another, until you’re absolutely exhausted.
by Van Allsburg, Chris
A young boy lies wakeful on Christmas Eve and then boards the mysterious and majestic Polar Express that takes him to the North Pole, where Santa lets him choose a single gift.
by Fleischman, Sid
Orphaned Jemmy receives the whippings when Prince Brat needs to be punished, but when they run away together, they find themselves in a comically suspenseful adventure.
by Jacques, Brian
Matthias and the animals of Redwall Abby live in peace until attacked by the rat-warlord, Cluny the Scourge, and his bloodthirsty army, and then they must battle for their lives
by Tripp, Valerie; Shaw, Janet Beeler; Adler, Susan
The first three series in the American Girls Collection introduce Molly, a girl growing up during World War II, Kirsten, a resourceful pioneer, and Samantha, a Victorian beauty.
by Paulsen, Gary
Thirteen-year-old Brian is the sole survivor of a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness and has only a hatchet given to him by his recently divorced mother to aid his survival.
by Bjork, Christina
Readers learn about Claude Monet, his life and paintings, and impressionism when they travel with Linnea to visit the artist at his home and garden in Giverny, France.
by Ackerman, Karen
Grandpa regains his youth as he dresses up in the old clothes from his vaudeville days and entertains his delighted grandchildren with his lively song and dance routine.
by McKissack, Pat
Mirandy sets off to capture Brother Wind, who she is sure will help her win her very first cake walk, in this book with beautiful illustrations of the rural African American South.
by Brett, Jan
All of the animals laugh at Hedgie the Hedgehog when he gets Lisa’s red and white woolen stockings stuck on his prickly head, but he soon convinces them that they need hats too.
by Scieszca, Jon
The quirky humor of Jon Scieszca and innovative illustrations of Lane Smith turn the story of the Three Little Pigs upside-down when they tell the wolf’s side of the story.
by Lowry, Lois
To escape the Nazis, Ellen pretends to be a member of Annemarie’s family in Denmark, but soon Annemarie must go on a dangerous mission to save her best friend’s life.