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Children's Titles in the Big Read

Among the hundred titles selected for the BBC's Big Read are a large number of children's books. We are listing them here as they provide a useful resource in choosing fiction books for children.

Some are classics which will have won votes from adults who remember them from their own childhood. Some are modern books which must have been chosen almost entirely by modern children and a sizeable number defy the traditional adult/child split to appeal across the age groups. All three groups are important. They show that good children's books leave a lasting impression and that the young people of today are still reading and enjoying the printed word.

Noughts and Crosses
by Malorie Blackman
(Corgi)
Callum and Sephy have been friends from childhood. But Callum is a nought - a second-class citizen in a world run by the ruling Crosses - and Sephy is a Cross, daughter of one of the most powerful men in the country. This story of their attempt to be together looks at the issues of racism and prejudice in an unusual way.
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The Magic Faraway Tree
by Enid Blyton
(Egmont)
This tale of a magical tree whose branches lead to other lands turns up over and over again when we ask authors which book was their favourite when they were young. Some of them may be disappointed to find the new reprints have changed the children's names from Joe, Bessie, Fanny and Dick, to Joe, Beth, Frannie and Rick but those who have never read the original won't mind.
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The Secret Garden
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Orphaned Mary Lennox comes from India to live in a moorland mansion, she is rude, selfish and very lonely. But gradually she blossoms as she discovers the secret garden hidden behind the wall and the secret child hidden from her in the house.
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The Princess Diaries
by Meg Cabot
(Macmillan)
Teenage angst from a Manhattan teenager who really doesn't want to be a princess.
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Alice in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll
The classic surreal tale of a young girl's trip down a rabbit hole by one of the few authors to get away with a "then we woke up" ending. It still reads well despite its age although I must admit to missing out the poetry when I was a child.
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Artemis Fowl
by Eoin Colfer
(Puffin)
Twelve-year-old criminal mastermind
, Artemis Fowl, takes on more than he bargained for when he decides to hold a leprechaun to ransom. Fairies with attitude for older children.
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The BFG
by Roald Dahl
BFG stands for big, friendly giant - a delightful character who spirits a child out of bed one dark night.
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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
by Roald Dahl
Charlie can't believe his luck when he wins won of the golden tickets to visit Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. There are many rumours about the place but none of them are as strange as the reality he finds inside.
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Matilda
by Roald Dahl
Five year old Matilda has unpleasant parents who she punishes using her magic powers.
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The Twits
by Roald Dahl
The Twits are an unpleasant couple who try to outdo each other in nastiness until the animals decide to teach them a lesson.
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The Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame
When Mole abandons his spring cleaning in favour of boating with mole, he opens up a whole new world. This light hearted classic is another book that many authors remember with delight from their childhood.
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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
by CS Lewis
When Lucy, Edmund, Peter and Susan go through the back of the wardrobe in the spare room, they find the land of Narnia where a magic spell makes it always winter but never Christmas. Only the great lion, Aslan, can break the White Witch's power but many pitfalls lie ahead before he succeeds.
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Goodnight Mister Tom
by Michelle Magorian
Tom is a grumpy widower living alone. Then evacuee, Tom Beech, arrives and both their lives are changed forever. A powerful story dealing with abuse, death, grief and recovery.
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Winnie-the-Pooh
by A A Milne
The gentle stories of the Hundred Acre Wood with Pooh, Owl, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo and Piglet. I loved these as a child, especially the tale of Piglet's rescue from the great flood. This is the original before Disney became involved with the bear with little brain.
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Anne of Green Gables
by L M Montgomery
The tale of the ups and downs of orphan Anne Shirley's live after she comes to live with the Cuthberts at Green Gables.
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His Dark Materials trilogy
by Philip Pullman
The three books of the trilogy are Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass and they all feature Lyra, a girl from an alternative world where your soul is an animal separate from yourself but connected by an invisible thread. The books are exciting and demanding and, especially in the case of the last one, they explore the deeper meaning of spiritual belief and understanding. The Amber Spyglass was the first children's book to become the Whitbread Book of the Year.
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Swallows and Amazons
by Arthur Ransome
These adventures of a group of children sailing in the Lake District
has charmed generation of children and led many to discover the pleasure of boats for themselves.
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Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
If you haven't heard of Harry Potter, you must have been living on another planet for the last few years.This is book one and, if you haven't read them yet, this is where to start. It came out without any of the hype associated with this series now. Its success grew by word of mouth and is well deserved.
by J K Rowling
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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Book 2
by J K Rowling
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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Book 3
by J K Rowling
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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Book 4
by J K Rowling
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Holes
by Louis Sachar
At Camp Green Lake Juvenile Detention Centre, each boy must dig a large hole each day. It's supposed to be punishment. But when Stanley Yelnat is sent there after being falsely convicted, he decides there must be some other reason and sets out to discover what it is.
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Black Beauty
by Anna Sewell
Anna Sewell's classic story of a horse takes Black Beauty from the comfort of a country home through the miseries of life with bad owners and the trials of pulling a cab in the capital. Ginger's death is sure to cause tears but there is a happy ending for the main character.
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I Capture the Castle
by Dodie Smith
Cassandra Mortmain has an extraordinary name and an extraordinary family who live in a cold, crumbling castle. Written in the first person as she tries to come to terms with her life and her own feelings, this book has delighted generations of teenage girls.
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Treasure Island
by Robert Louis Stephenson
A classic adventure story about pirates and the hunt for lost treasure.
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The Hobbit
by J R R Tolkien
This is the book that preceded The Lord of the Rings. It tells the story of Bilbo Baggins great adventure and explains how he came to have the ring in the first place. As it was written for children, it is a much easier read than the trilogy that followed it.
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Double Act
by Jaqueline Wilson
The double act of the title are ten-year-old identical twins, Ruby and Garnet. They do everything together and have been even closer since their mother died three years ago. are. But then life begins to change.
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Girls in Love
by Jaqueline Wilson
The first of the books about Ellie, Nadien and Magda looks at the trials and tribulations of growing up and first love.
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The Story of Tracey Beaker
by Jaqueline Wilson
Ten year old Tracey lives in a children's home and longs to be part of a real family. But when she gets the chance, she finds being fostered is harder than she expected.
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Vicky Angel
by Jaqueline Wilson
A best selling book about one girl's grief after the death of her best friend, Vicky.
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There are also other titles on the list which overlap the children's and adults markets. These include Terry Pratchett's Mort, J D Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, Louisa M Alcott's Little Women and William Golding's The Lord of the Flies. You can see a complete list of the Big Read titles on the BBC website.

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