Modern Classics

Aiken, Joan      The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, 1962.

     Bonnie Green and her cousin Sylvia come under the power of a wicked governess when Bonnie's parents

leave on a sea voyage.

Alexander, Lloyd      Book of Three, 1964.

     In this fantasy with origins in Welsh mythology, Taran has many adventures on a hazardous mission to

save the kingdom of Prydain from the forces of evil.

Armstrong, William      Sounder, 1969.

     Angry and humiliated when his sharecropper father is jailed for stealing food for his family, a young black boy

grows in courage and understanding by learning to read, and through the devotion of his dog Sounder.

Babbit, Natalie      Tuck Everlasting, 1975.

     The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old and a

malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from growing older.

Banks, Lynne Reid      The Indian in the Cupboard, 1980.

     A nine-year-old boy receives a plastic Indian, a cupboard, and a key for his birthday and finds himself

involved in an adventure when the Indian comes to life in the cupboard and befriends him.

Blume, Judy      Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, 1972.

     Peter finds his two-year-old brother an ever increasing problem.

Brown, Jeff      Flat Stanley, 1964.

     After a bulletin board falls on Stanley while he is sleeping, he finds that being flat has its advantages.

Burnford, Shelia      Incredible Journey, 1961.

     A Siamese cat, an old bull terrier, and a young Labrador retriever travel together 250 miles through the

Canadian wilderness to find their family.

Catling, Patrick Skene      The Chocolate Touch, 1952.

     A boy acquires a magical gift that turns everything his lips touch into chocolate.

Cleary, Beverly      Ramona the Pest, 1968.

     Five-year-old Ramona starts kindergarten with a series of misdeeds.

Collier, James Lincoln      My Brother Sam is Dead, 1974.

     Recounts the tragedy that strikes the Meeker family during the American Revolution when one son joins

the rebel forces while the rest of the family tries to stay neutral in a Tory town.

Dahl, Roald      James and the Giant Peach, 1961.

     A young boy escapes from two wicked aunts and embarks on a series of adventures with six giant insects

he meets inside a giant peach.

Fitzgerald, John D.      The Great Brain, 1967.

     The exploits of the Great Brain of Adenville, Utah, are described by his younger brother, frequently the

victim of the Great Brain's schemes for gaining prestige or money.

Fitzhugh, Louise      Harriet the Spy, 1964.

     Eleven-year-old Harriet keeps notes on her neighbors and classmates in a secret notebook, but when

some of the students read the notebook, they seek revenge.

Forbes, Esther      Johnny Tremain, 1971.

     After injuring his hand, a silversmith's apprentice in Boston becomes a messenger for the Sons of Liberty

in the days before the American Revolution.

George, Jean Craighead      Julie of the Wolves, 1972.

     While running away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl gets lost on

the North slope of Alaksa and is befriended by a wolf pack.

George, Jean Craighead        My Side of the Mountain, 1988.

     A young boy relates his adventures during the year he spends living alone in the Catskill Mountains

including his struggle for survival, his dependence on nature, his animal friends, and his ultimate

realization that he needs human companionship.

Greene, Bette      The Summer of My German Soldier, 1973.

     Sheltering an escaped German prisoner of war is the beginning of some shattering experiences for

a twelve-year-old Jewish girl in Arkansas.

Jones, Diana Wynne      Charmed Life, 1977.

     Gwendolen Chant and her brother Cat find the Chrestomancie Castle family's magic powers difficult to

counter with the inferior powers of the Coven Steet witches.

Juster, Norton      Phantom Tollbooth, 1961.

     Milo journeys through a tollbooth to a fantasy land where learning the importance of words and numbers

provides a cure for his boredom.

Konigsburg, E.L.      From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, 1967.

     Having run away from home with her younger brother to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, twelve-year-old Claudia

strives to keep things in order in their new home and to become a changed person, and a heroine to herself.

L'Engle, Madeleine      A Wrinkle in Time, 1962.

     Meg Murray and her friend become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who disappeared

while engaged in secret work for the government.

LeGuin, Ursula      Wizard of Earthsea, 1968.

     A boy grows to manhood while attempting to subdue the evil he unleashed on the world as an apprentice to the Master


Morey, Walt      Gentle Ben, 1965.

     Traces the friendship between a boy and a bear in the rugged Alaskan Territory.

O'Brien, Robert      Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, 1971.

     Having no one to help her with her problems, a widowed mouse visits the rats whose former imprisonment in a laboratory

made them wise and long lived.

O'Dell, Scott      Island of the Blue Dolphins, 1960.

     Left alone on a beautiful but isolated island off the coast of California, a young Indian girl spends eighteen years,

not only merely surviving through her enormous courage and self reliance, but also finding a measure of happiness

in her solitary life.

Paterson, Katherine      Bridge to Terabithia, 1977.

     The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently

meets her ultimate death trying to reach their hideaway, Terabithia, during a storm.

Paulsen, Gary      Hatchet, 1987.

     After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the Canadian Wilderness, learning to survive with only

the aid of a hatchet given to him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parent's divorce.

Peck, Robert Newton      Soup, 1974.

     The adventures and misadventures of two boys growing up in a small Vermont town.

Peterson, John      The Littles, 1967.

     The adventures of a family of tiny people who live within the walls of the Bigg's house.

Raskin, Ellen     The Westing Game, 1978.

     The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the

circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance.

Rawls, Wilson             Where the Red Fern Grows, 1961.

     A young boy living in the Ozarks achieves his heart's desire when he becomes the owner of two redbone hounds and

teaches them to be champion hunters.

Robinson, Barbara      The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, 1972.

     The six mean Herdman kids, lie, steal, smoke cigars, and then become involved in the community Christmas pageant.

Rockwell, Thomas      How to Eat Fried Worms, 1973.

     Two boys set out to prove that worms can make a delicious meal.

Rodgers, Mary      Freaky Friday, 1972.

     A thirteen-year-old girl gains a much more sympathetic understanding of her relationship with her mother when she

has to spend a day in her mother's shoes.

Selden, George      The Cricket in Times Square, 1960.

     The Adventures of a country cricket, who unintentionally arrives in New York, and is befriended by Tucker Mouse and

Harry Cat.

Taylor, Mildred D.      Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, 1976.

     A black family living in Mississippi during the Depression of the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination.

Talyor, Theodore      The Cay, 1969.

     When the freighter on which they are traveling is torpedoed by a German submarine during World War II, an adolescent

white boy, blinded by a blow in the head, and an old black man are stranded on a tiny Caribbean island where the boy

acquires a new kind of vision, courage, and love from his old companion.

Tolkien, J. R. R.      The Hobbit, 1977.

     Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well to do Hobbit, lives comfortably in his hobbit-hole until the day the wandering

wizard Gandalf chooses him to share in an adventure from which he may never return.

Voight, Cynthia      Dicey's Song, 1982.

     Now that the four abandoned Tillerman children are settled in with their grandmother, Dicey finds that their new

beginnings require love, trust, humor, and courage. (sequel to Homecoming)