500 Best Books Tentative List, Children Books (including YA)

I’m writing a book “500 best books originally written in
English for Japanese audience”
, and this is a tentative list of 135 children’s
139 at the moment). I have lists for fiction
books,and classics

This list is not completed and I would like your input. Some of the book’s
audience are beginning readers of English and some are native level, so I need
a mix of books that would appeal to these various levels that I believe
are enjoyable for the Japanese readers.  Some are entertaining, and some
are mind stimulating, and some of them are informative.  The most
important thing is that the book gives a Japanese reader a good reading
experience. If that experience encourages the reader to pick up another English
book, it will be a success.

The following are the criteria I used for the tentative list.  

1)   The reader feels “ I’m glad I have read this book”.

2)   The book has a reasonably wide range of audience.

3)   The book must be reasonably well written.

4)   The book must be still in print and available in Japan.

I’m including some books I personally do not like very much, because I believe
there are many Japanese readers who can learn to enjoy English books from
them.  Because of the limited number I can list for the book, I decided to
chose only one book by each author(for each category).

I separated into several genres, but please keep in mind that some of them are
mixture of different genres.



詩と絵本(poems & picture books for wide


Green Eggs and Ham (1960) and other books by Dr. Seuss

Where the Wild Things Are (1963) by Maurice Sendak

Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book (1963)and other books by
Richard Scarry

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1969) by Eric Carle

Corduroy(1976) by Don Freeman

Clifford the Big Red Dog (1978) by Norman Bridwell

A Bear Called Paddington (1958) by Michael Bond, Peggy

Eloise (1955)by Kay Thompson, Hilary Knight

Guess How Much I Love You
by Sam McBratney

Where the Sidewalk Ends
by Shel Silverstein

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Tales From Outer Suburbia
by Shaun Tan





Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) by Roald Dahl

Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
by William Steig

Toot & Puddle
 by Holly Hobbie

Henry and Mudge(early readers) by Cynthia Rylant

Nate the
by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne

The Adventures Of The Bailey School Kids by Debbie Dadey

How I Learned Geography
by Uri Shulevitz

Classic Goosebumps by R. L. Stine

Judy Moody(小学校1〜4年生向け)
by Megan McDonald, Peter H. Reynolds

The Absent Author (A to Z Mysteries) by Ron Roy

CAM Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds by David
A. Adler

The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy (Book 1) by Dori
Hillestad Butler

Nancy Drew: All New Girl Detective by Carolyn Keene

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

Frindle by Andrew Clements

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine
(Author), Patricia

Poppy(The Poppy Stories) by Avi

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien

The Capture (Guardians of Ga’hoole, Book 1) by Kathryn Lasky

Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror
by Chris Priestley

A Series of Unfortunate Events
by Lemony Snicket

Charlotte’s Web (1952) by E. B. White



SF, ファンタジー

The Hobbit(1937) by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Chronicles of Narnia (1948) by C. S. Lewis

A Wrinkle in Time (1962) by Madeleine L’Engle

The Last Unicorn(1968) by Peter S. Beagle

The Borrowers by Mary Norton

The Phantom Tollbooth (1961) by Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer

Watership Down (1972) by Richard Adams

A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle)  by Ursula K. Le Guin

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book
1) by Rick Riordan

The Ruins of Gorlan (The Ranger’s Apprentice, Book 1) by
John Flanagan

Princess Academy
(Books of Bayern) by Shannon Hale

Redwall by Brian Jacques

by Carl Hiaasen

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Princess Bride
by William Goldman

The Tale of Despereaux
by Kate DiCamillo

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Tuck Everlasting
by Natalie Babbitt

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud

Warriors #1: Into the Wild
(Warriors, Book 1) by Erin Hunter

Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan

Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz

His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suznne Collins

Divergent by Veronica Roth

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Shadowland (The Mediator #1) by Meg Cabot

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments) by Cassandra Clare

Vampire Accademy by Richelle Mead

Marked: A House of Night Novel by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy) by
Libba Bray

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

How We Live Now by Meg Rosoff

The Maze Runner (Book 1) by James Dashner

The Wee Free Men (Discworld series)  by Terry Pratchett




Swallows and Amazons (1930)

The Children of Green Knowe(1954) by L.M. Boston

Old Yeller (1956) by Fred Gipson

Where the Red Fern Grows (1961) by Wilson Rawls

Sammy Keyes and the Skeleton Man by Wendelin Van Draanen

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

The Wanderer by Sharon Creech

Holes by Louis Sachar

Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer

Stormbreaker (Alex Rider)
by Anthony Horowitz

Island of the Blue Dolphins
by Scott O’Dell

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

London Eye by Siobhan Dowd

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark




The Baby-Sitters Club
by Ann M. Martin

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Bad Girls by Jacqueline Wilson

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness




Heart of Samurai by Margi Preus

Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson

Boston Jane by Jennifer L. Holm

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

Best Friends Forever by Beverly Patt

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

A Northern Light
by Jennifer Donnelly


I Capture the Castle (1948) by Dodie Smith

The Bell Jar (1963) by Sylvia Plath

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You
(Gallagher Girls) by Ally Carter

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

The Truth About Forever 
by Sarah Dessen

The Sky Is Everywhere
by Jandy Nelson

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

The Perks of Being a Wallflower  by Stephen Chbosky

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

The Sea of Tranquility by Ketja Millay

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

Wings of the Falcon 
by Barbara Michaels

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles



Grandfather’s Journey
by Allen Say

A Smart Girl’s Guide to Manners by Nancy Holyoke

Charles and Emma by Deborah Helligman

Titanic: Voices From the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson

The Omnivore’s Dilemma (for Children) by Michael Pollan

Bomb by Steve shelkin

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr

Amelia Lost by Candance Flemming

Mission Control,This is Apollo by Alan Bean and Michael Chaikin


コミック、グラフィックノベル Comic, graphic novel

Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz

Garfield by Jim Davis

The Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

The Sandman (for teens and adults only) by Neil Gaiman and
many illustrators

V for Vendetta
by Alan Moore


*****The following books are also considered.*****


The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

A Separate Peace (1951) by John Knowles(好き嫌いが非常に分かれる)

My Side of the Mountain (1959) by Jean Craighead George

Tom’s Midnight Garden (1958) by Philippa Pearce

The Eleventh Hour
by Graeme Base

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
by Judi Barrett

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
by Bill Martin, Jr.

The Little House
by Virginia Lee Burton

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
by Helen Oxenbury

I Spy
series by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
the Bus! by Mo Willems

by Sandra Boynton

The Hat
by Jan Brett

Extra Yarn
by Jon Klassen

The Jolly Postman
by Allen and Janet Ahlberg

Interrupting Chicken
by David Ezra Stein

How to Catch a Star
by Oliver Jeffers

Library Lion
by MIchelle Knudsen, Kevin Hawkes

Alanna: The First Adventure (The Song of the Lioness, Book
1) by Tamora Pierce(女子中学生に人気がある作品で、推薦されたものだが、あまり魅力的に感じなかった。また、Book2から適正年齢がぐっと上がるのも問題かもしれない)

The Ink Drinker by Eric Sanvoisin

The American Girls series by Valerie Tripp and other authors

Flotsam by David Wiesner

Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman

What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? By Steve Jenkins

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

Miss Spider’s Tea Party by David Kirk

Olivia by Ian Falconer

Clementine by Sara Pennypacker

Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

Ox Cart Man by Donald Hall

Is your Mama a Llama? – Deborah Guarino

Mama, Do You Love Me – Barbara M. Joosee

Picture books by Bill Peet

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Wayside School series (I chose Holes)

The Wind Boy


Andrew Lang Fairy Books

Red Sails to Capri


Max and Ruby series

Each Peach Pear Plum

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke(この本から洋書を読み続けるようになるほどの魅力はない)

Leon and the Spitting Image by Allen Kerzweil


Z for Zachariah – Robert C. O’Brien

My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett, Ruth Chrisman

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds

Forever . . . by Judy Blume(Blumeは、小学生用の本を選択したので)

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Anna and French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Feed by M. T. Anderson


Interrupting Chicken
by David Ezra Stein

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs(素晴らしいクラシックだが、絵のみで文章がないので、この本には不適切と判断)

Ella Enchanted
by Cail Carson Levine

The Maggie B by Irene Haas(絵本)
Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler, S.D. Schindler
Dav Pilkey(Captain Underpants シリーズ)

The Thief (The Queen’s Thief, Book 1) by Megan Whalen Turner

Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

Big Red by Jim Kjeilgaard

Emily Windsnap series by Liz Kessler