8 Kids Books That Everyone Should Read

Out of many passions of mine, one of the strong love I have is for reading. I love classics, new best sellers, fiction and non fiction types of books to keep learning and be entertained at the same time. Over 2600 words to share my passion on reading, that too kid’s books but I am sure you will find something fun and educational in the process! Check out great classic books to read, and benefits of reading posts.

When I was younger (ahem, in college years),  I did not wanted to read certain books that I felt were kiddish or for teens only and I felt similar way for certain cartoon movies for me. Since then I have learned to enjoy and be educated by some of the “kiddish” books that many adults will like too. Here are some great example that kids(teens) and adults will love to read!


1. Tintin


Tintin was written by Georges R]émi a Belgian, who wrote under the pen name of Hergé. The series is one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century, with translations published in more than 80 languages and more than 350 million copies of the books sold to date. It is more well known in Europe and some Asian country compared to America.

The series is Set during a largely realistic 20th century, the hero of the series is Tintin, a young teenager Belgian reporter with faithful white terrier dog name Snowy, who helps him in his adventure. There are series of colorful characters such as cynical, often drunk and angry Captain Haddock, Classic forgetful and smart Professor Calculus, and two silly and goofy detectives Thomson and Thompson. (One is with P).

I loved reading Tintin comics when I was younger, but I recently picked up and read it again much to my amazement, I still enjoyed it and saw a few things that I had not noticed when I was teen such as;

  • Tintin comics books are all 62 pages, all 23 published ones. How amazing is to have story 62 pages long no matter which subject they chose? It somehow always looked natural.
  • Tintin was ahead of times, have moon landing in “Explorers on the Moon”, was written and published in 1954, much before real moon landing ever happened in 1969 first time. There are a few inaccuracy, but amazing thing is there many more accuracy in the comics (fictional and for kids) such as shape of rocket,rocket has two propulsion systems including neclear powered engine, imagination of how moon land and surface will look (no one had seen it in 1950s), water and knowledge of astronomy is very much close to what we know now. This is just one example, this was true for other comics subject as well.
  • Tintin travels around the world and many adventures in well known and some not so known places! Pretty cool thing in 1950s when people probably did not get much chance to travel and see the world.
  • Tintin might be young, but he is brave, smart and resourceful, almost like Indiana Jones but more realistic.
  • Dianasari (Dina) informs that Tintin is the first comic character that has been honored by Dalai Lama. The Tibetan spiritual leader honored Tintin and Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the same time (2006) according to this Source.
  • Tintin series have been made in to cartoon dvd, and maybe live action movie in US is soon to be released.

If you have never read Tintin comics, pick one up from your friend’s place, library, bookstore or amazon and read it. (Amzn.)


2. Asterix


Unlike Tintin comics, I had never heard of Asterix when I was younger. I first heard it when I was Senior in my college year but I was skeptical if I would like at ripe age of 20, so ignored it. Until I kept hearing from various different people around me, including someone who had bought whole series at crazy price! I thought he was nuts, until I read one Asterix comics myself.

So, what is Asterix is about? Asterix or The Adventures of Asterix  is a series of French comic books written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo and shows fun and adventure with pun! The comic series follows the life and adventure of Asterix and his larger then life sidekick and friend Obliex in ancient Gaul as they are pitted against Roman occupation and regime. There are magic, world travel, humor and much more packed in to this comics.

  • The series have 34 comics total, starting from 1959 first comic book being published.
  • Even number of Asterix books have story set in Gaul and odd number of comics had story set in various countries in the world.
  • The both hero and friend have name ending with “ix”.
  • The series can be classified in fantasy and science fiction both.
  • This series has been translated in to 100 different languages and 325 millions copies sold.
  • There has been 11 movies have been made, 8 cartoon and 3 with live action with people. There have been games based on the comics book as well.
  • Same as Tintin, this series is more popular in Europe and some Asian Countries, not many here in America know about this series (yet). (Amzn)


3. The Series of Unfortunate Events


The Series of Unfortunate Events is a series of children’s novels (13 in series) by Lemony Snicket (pen name of American author Daniel Handler) which follows the crazy lives of three orphaned kids named Violet, Klaus and Sunny. Their parents die in house fire under mysterious circumstances, and their cousin Count Olaf is shadowy figure who is after the kids inheritance and other relatives lives. Only thing the kids have is their intellect and each other to outsmart Count Olaf.

Violet is smart and great inventor, Klaus is great reader of books and baby sunny develops biting and cooking ability as story progresses starting with “Bad Beginning”. Yes that is the title of first book and it has 13 total, each book start with dreadful “do not read” type of sentences yet fun to read. As the books continue, the three children uncover more and more of the mystery surrounding their parents’ deaths and soon find that their parents were in a secret organization, V.F.D., along with several of their guardians.

There has been one movie made with Jim Carrey which covered first 3 book stories. Movie itself was not bad but other in series never materialized. Read these 13 “dreadful” books for fun adventure, smart invention, murder and mystery secret organization’s involvement in it.

  • The entire series is actively narrated by Snicket, who makes numerous references to his mysterious, deceased love interest, Beatrice.
  • Books have been translated in to 41 languages and 60 millions copies have been sold.
  • The siblings are followed by misfortune wherever they go, but occasionally something good happens and they survive by their intelligence.
  • It is hard to tell which timeline the book is set in, it seems it alternate earth in 1930s era but seems timeless and modern.
  • There are 13 books in series, and each book have 13 chapters. Only exception is the last book in the series, which has 14 chapters.
  • Count Olaf is master of disguise, smart and wicked.
  • While the books are marketed primarily to children, they are written with adult readers also in mind; the series features references more likely to make sense to adults. Many of the characters’ names allude to other fictional works or real people with macabre connections. (Amzn.)


4. Harry Potter Series:


Now, Harry Potter is much more well known series that everyone knows and movies have been made and which had made Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint in to stars! I would say movies are not bad but books are much more superior to read and understand from it. There are 7 books in the series and some books are big with over 800 pages but I am sure many people will love the story of boy wizard who was lonely, orphaned into great hero and friend against battle of good versus evil. Each year Harry learns and goes through various problems such as social, emotional and self doubting issues to overcome his greatest task that lies ahead, some we learn though flashbacks of his parents and his birth.

  • Harry Potter Book has been translated in to 67 languages so far, 8 movies have been made about it (last book with 2 part movies)
  • Harry potter books are also loved by adults that publisher have published books with 2 covers, one of younger readers and one of adult readers (with same content inside)
  • Many blogs, support books, and supplemental books on understanding game of quidditch have been written.
  • These book can belong to Fantasy, Magic, Coming of age, Death, Mystery, Thriller, adventure genre.
  • Harry potter introduced new word in to British dictionary such as Muggle and Quidditch. (Amzn.)


5. Amar Chitra Katha Series


Every Indian will know this comic series which tells storie of many Gods, Goddess, Famous Real People lives in form of comics. I always loved reading Amar Chitra Katha but I recently found that many non Indians seems to enjoy these comics series. If you had not read it or know about it, here is some tidbit about it;

  • Amar Chitra Katha, loosely translates in to Immortal Picture Stories and in a way they are!
  • It is translated in to 20 Indian languages, including English and have sold over 90 million copies.
  • It was created by Anant Pai for India Book House Publishing in 1967.
  • Very first Amar Chitra Katha was published in “Kannada” Language in 1965.
  • Amar Chitra Katha have been written by many notable and creative Indian Author team!
  • There have been over 400 different titles in Amar Chitra Katha Series, for every age, every taste (mythical, historical to real heros of India) Cartoon network also showing now Amar Chitra Katha cartoon.
  • Most famous of mythology of Gods, Fables (moral stories), Panchatantra (Moral stories with animal characters), Humor and wit (Birbal etc), Epics, Biographies of Indian and other famous people.
  • Stories are told in comics without degrading the morals and values of it and generally loved by kids and adult alike. The interesting thing I was told by local Indian bookstore owner, that many non Indian buyers are buying these series and seems to enjoy it. (Amzn.)


6.  Lord Of the Ring


I admit it, I had not read Lord of the Ring Trilogy Until the First Movie Came out in US. I had read hobbit which was prequel to Lord of the ring but I had not thought of reading further in the series. Hobbit is fun story where Bilbo gets the Ring which he does not know is evil. It is more fun and light-hearted story compared to Lord of the ring, which has some dark shades and appeal more to teen or adult.

  • According to wikipedia source, Lord of the ring is 2nd best selling novel ever in the world.
  • It was written around 1937-1949, time of second world war, and published around 1954, 1955 in 3 volume series, called the fellowship of the ring, Two tower, and Return of the King.
  • Story has dark wizard Sauron, good wizard Gandlaf, small and happy Hobbits, Elves, Human, Dwarfs, Giant, Talking and walking trees, Ring Slave creature Gollum, and many mythical animals and creatures. Story is supposed to set in fictional middle earth.
  • Tolkien not only wrote the large three volume story, but also created details maps of the fictional middle earth and other elves language that goes with the story, which is quite impressive.
  • When book first released, critics were divided and had mixed feelings about it unlike it now, as it is considered to be classic and loved by many and is influence for many new writers and film makers.
  • The book has been on radio, theater and movies. Generally movie made from book is inferior to the original book for many cases, however, the recent trilogy movie made by Peter Jackson, is decent presentation of the book and I think it does fairly well job of conveying book’s message. (Amzn.)


7. Mrs. Frisby and Rats of NIMH


I read this book after someone recommending me to check it out, otherwise, I might not have found this gem of book. Mrs. Frisby and Rats and Of NIMH is a 1971 children’s book by Robert C. O’Brien. Robert O’ Brian was inspired by real research by John Colhoun’s Research on Rats at National Institute of Mental Health AKA (NIMH). (Personal Note:  Modern Technology have shown online simulations and other non evasive method can achieve medical advancement without hurting lives), this story shows the fear, real emotion and horror of Rats and Mice and how they triumph over it little and lose a little, just like us humans. Maybe, just maybe it show us that small animals such as mice and rats also get hurt, happy and have feelings just like us. The novel relates the plight of a widowed field mouse, Mrs. Frisby, who seeks the aid of a group of former laboratory rats in rescuing her home from destruction by a farmer’s plow, and of the history of the rats’ escape from the laboratory and development of a literate and technological society.

  • This book was followed up with Roscoe and Rats and NIMH novel.
  • This book won Newbery medal in 1972.
  • Cartoon movie Secret of NIMH was released in 1982, which made a few changes to original story. The movie is entertaining for those who might have read the book. However, book is much more superior in telling the story with feelings in details.
  • It is based on real research on RATS.
  • NIMH stands for National Institute of Mental Health
  • Movie has few changes: such as added mystical element, Jenner is made in to villain unlike in the book, Mrs, Frisby’s name was changed to Mrs. Brisby to avoid trademark issue with Frisbee. (Amzn.)


8. Encyclopedia Brown


Everyone knows about Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books, so I am not writing much about those here.  You may or may not have heard of Encyclopedia Brown is the same Genre as Hardy Boys and Nancy drew and great read about solving mystery, crime by kid Sleuth called Encyclopedia Brown. I certainly did not know about this lesser known series when I was child.

There have been 28 Encyclopedia Brown Series books and other additional related works. One great thing about this book series is that you do not have to read books in series or have read previous series to enjoy and understand the story. Each book stands on its own as basic things are told in the beginning of the each book. (Amzn.)

  • Each Book actually divided in 10 or more short stories and intended to be solved by reader. I will be honest and idiot enough to admit it, that even though I think of myself fairly intelligent, I did not always found the right clue as an adult while kid Encyclopedia Brown outsmarted me and few other adults. That makes it fun and challenging read for teen or even adult.
  • I have learned to think with my eyes closed like Encyclopedia brown does before solving case, thinking deeply.
  • Encyclopedia Brown has its own kids detective agency which charges 25 cents plus expenses for neighbor hood children.
  • Encyclopedia Brown’s father is Police chief in town of Idaville (fictional). He helps his father some times.
  • There is mean and bully gang, led by Bug Meany in most stories, who will look for revenge and foiled by E. Brown.
  • E. Brown has friend name Sally, who he might have crush on, although book never elaborates on it.
  • This book series and author received Edgar Award in 1976 by Mystery Writers of America Society.
  • There was a TV series based on the books on HBO around 1989, which aired 30 minutes episodes. I have not seen any episodes so can not tell how it was. Has anyone seen it?


When reading a book, do not go by labels such as kids book, or children Novella, read based on interest and not based on age or race. You may find great gem of books that way, if we start looking out of box thinking. Have you read these books? What are your thoughts on it?

Do you have other books to share, add to the list? Keep reading, Keep Learning and Have fun.

Image source: Wikipedia, Amazon,Self