* Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge for book bloggers, hosted by Lainey and Sam. The goal is for bloggers to choose their top 5 picks for the week’s given challenge, and you can find out more over on Goodreads! *
This week’s challenge is to pick your top 5 children’s books! This can include middle grade, which is great for me, because I never turn my nose up at a good MG rec. It would be way too easy for me to just name Harry Potter books for all of these (or at least the first 4, since OotP is where I feel the series shifted to YA, but that’s a post for another day…), so I’m officially banning Harry Potter and Percy Jackson books from this list (yikes!).
1. The Shivers Series by M.D. Spenser
This is a series of children’s/MG horror books that came out in the mid- to late-90s, and when I was a kid, I picked up the first book, The Enchanted Attic, from my local library’s children’s section with no idea what I was in for. I remember being really young – probably 8-9 years old – and these legitimately kept me up at night because they were so eerie! Even as an adult, I pick these up every now and then. They’re obviously geared towards kids in writing style, but I have to admit that a few of the stories still give me the crawlies.
2. The Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stine
Anyone who knows me and/or has ever seen my personal bookshelves in my home can tell you that I am still a huge Stine fan. I grew up on the Goosebumps books and their spin-offs, like the Give Yourself Goosebumps ones, which were some of my favorites. I think I owe my entire love of horror writing as a child to these books. They don’t hold up well at all as an adult, but they’re still silly and fun, and I do still enjoy his YA horror books, like the Fear Street series.
3. The Animorphs Series by K.A. Applegate
Animorphs was probably my first real introduction to the sci-fi book world, and I’ll forever be grateful for that. My library, as a kid, had about 30 of the books, but they weren’t all consecutive, so I remember getting so excited when we could go to the bigger library the next town over and I could scour the shelves to fill in the gaps. I reread them over and over, and as a teen, I even collected about a dozen of them from various thrift shops because I swore I was going to finally read the entire series from start to finish (joke’s on me – it never happened). I’d class these more as MG than children’s because of how dark some of the content was at times, but little 8- and 9-year-old me inhaled these.
4. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
First, what is it with the running theme of initial names in kids’ books?
Anyways, I digress. I haven’t read these in years, but they were some of my favorites as a kid. I probably reread the entire series 2 or 3 times from start to finish! I actually still own a compilation paperback with all of them together, but to be totally honest, I’ve been afraid to reread them since they’re technically Christian fiction and leaving the church gave me a bit of hesitancy towards anything from that genre. If you’re a non-religious person who has read these in more recent years, I’d love your input! (NOTE: I mean no offense to any Christians reading this! ❤ It’s only that it’s a little uncomfortable for me to read about religious fiction these days.)
5. Eragon by Christopher Paolini
First, you might be thinking, “Why just Eragon? Why not the entire Inheritance Cycle?” Second, you might be thinking, “Goodreads has this book listed as YA – why is it on your children’s list?” Well, first of all, I never finished the series. I picked up Eragon when it first released back in 2002, and I was a wee little 9- or 10-year-old (second, which is probably why it still feels like a MG book to me).
Anyways, despite never having finished the series (because Eldest bored me to tears as a little kid, and I DNF’d it – I still have the first editions of the first three releases sitting on my shelf, though!), I loved Eragon. More than words can say, really. I read the first book so many times as a child that my hardback is literally falling to pieces. If you open it, the entire spine comes apart from the pages because the binding is so wrecked. It is single-handedly responsible for bringing me into the high fantasy world at a very young age (yes, even before Harry Potter – but just by a few months!) and I will never, ever fail to give Chris the credit he’s due for introducing me to dragons, and elves, and magic. ❤
I have so many more children’s and MG books I could rave about here, but I’m late getting this post typed up, anyways, and sleep is calling me, so I’ll stop at 5. What are some of your favorite children’s and MG books? I’d especially love to hear any underrated recommendations and any newer releases!
I totally agree with Eragon! I have seen it classed at YA, but I read it when I was around 10 or 11. I loved the first two books but I could not finish the series… I still actually have not finished the last book as I was so annoyed at how it ended. I have not read it in ages so I think I might reread it too!
Ahh, I’m so glad I’m not alone! ? Hopefully we both fare better now that we’re older.
I was just as must a fan of Eragon too! I agree it is more a middle grade book, at least the first one. I too couldn’t get past the first book but I loved it! So inventive! Great list!
I’m so glad I’m not the only one feeling that it’s more MG! I really want to reread it and see if I still feel the same way, but it just stunned me when I realized most people class it as YA! ? And thank you!!
I read Eragon and quite enjoyed it, so I see no reason why I still haven’t read the rest yet 😀 I didn’t enjoy Narnia when I read it, BUT I didn’t see the Christian themes until the last book, and that’s because I did some research before reading it. So I think it’s a pretty subtle theme and ~might~ not affect your enjoyment at all 🙂
Ooooh, that’s really good to hear! Thank you!
Loved R.L. Stine. Did you ever read Christopher Pike’s books? Similar vibe but for MG.
Awww, yes! I loved Pike, too. I didn’t read as many of his so I don’t remember them as well, but I DO remember going to the big library the next town over and immediately making a beeline for the shelf that had the P-S names so I could look for Pike and Stine before I even touched any other shelves. ?
I’ve never read Eragon! I did read the Chronicles of Narnia and loved it.
If you enjoy dragon stories, I’d highly recommend Eragon! The dragon in it is sentient and she speaks to him, and their friendship is precious.
It’s always caught my eye at the bookstore, Destiny. I’d point it out to my son and for some reason he’d shake his head no. I’d hang my head and he’d pick out a Percy Jackson lol. I like Percy Jackson too, though!
I remember watching Animorphs and Goosebumps on TV but I never read them. I spent a lot of my childhood wishing I could turn into an animal! We used to have the Goosebumps books in our school library but they honestly terrified me. I was a big Darren Shan fan though. I’ve always wanted to read Eragon- I don’t know why I haven’t!
Oh man, I always forget about the TV shows for both of those. I had such a childhood crush on the actor who played Jake in Animorphs. ? I almost added Darren Shan to this list, but I only ever read the first few books and never got to continue the series as a kid. I guess I kind of forgot about them as an adult, but there’s a super cute boxed set of the series that I’ve been strongly considering. ?
Me too! They had Animorphs on Netflix a few months ago and I rewatched the first episode! Ah I loved Darren Shan! I think I read all the Cirque De Freak books but I only got to book 5 in the Demonata series! Get them!! ?
I can’t believe I missed that! I totally would have rewatched it lmao.
Of the Narnia books, I really love Voyage of the Dawn Treader- because Reepicheep is awesome.
It’s been so long since I’ve read them that I barely remember some of the books! I’m pretty sure books #1, #2, and #7 were my favorites, though.
How did I forget Animorphs?! I can’t believe I forgot about those books! Goosebumps made my list, too, though. I lived for those back in the day. Also, yay for someone else who read the Shivers books! I still have a couple of those, and I never knew anyone else (when I was a kid) who’d read or even heard of them. Great list 😀
Ooooh, you’re the first person I’ve ever met who read and remembers Shivers! <3 high five!
While I haven’t read your first three picks, I loved The Chronicles of Narnia and The Inheritance Cycle! I’ve been wanting to reread them for a while so hopefully, I’ll be able to do so soon!
Ooh, good luck! I always love a good reread. 🙂