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 Page last modified 10/11/13
 
  Books & Reading  |  Booklists  |  They Were Books First

They Were Books First

Booklists
They Were Books First
The book is always better than the movie. Find out for yourself!
 
Little Women

This book chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young ladies in nineteenth-century New England.
Alcott, Louisa May
J Fic ALC

The Black Cauldron

Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper of Prydain, faces even more dangers as he seeks the magical Black Cauldron, the chief implement of the evil powers of Arawn, lord of the Land of Death.
Alexander, Lloyd
J Fic ALE

Tuck Everlasting

Tuck Everlasting book cover

The Tuck family has discovered the secret for eternal life.  10-year-old Winnie stumbles upon their secret and a mysterious stranger wants to sell the secret.
Babbitt, Natalie
J Fic BAB

The Indian in the Cupboard

A nine-year-old boy receives a plastic Indian, a cupboard, and a little key for his birthday and finds himself involved in adventure when the Indian comes to life in the cupboard and befriends him.
Banks, Lynne Reid
J Fic BAN

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Life is delicious in the town of Chewandswallow where it rains soup and juice, snows mashed potatoes, and blows storms of hamburgers-until the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Barrett, Judy
J Fic BAR

The Wizard of Oz

After being transported by a cyclone to the land of Oz, Dorothy and her dog are befriended by a scarecrow, a tin man, and a cowardly lion, who accompany her to the Emerald City to look for a wizard who can help Dorothy return home to Kansas.
Baum, L. Frank
J Fic BAU

Madeline

Madeline, the smallest and naughtiest of the 12 little charges of Miss Clavel, wakes up one night with an attack of appendicitis.
Bemelmans, Ludwig
J Fic BEM

Clifford, The Big Red Dog

Emily Elizabeth describes the activities she enjoys with her very big, very red dog and how they take care of each other.
Bridwell, Norman
E BRI

A Little Princess

Sara Crewe, a pupil at Miss Minchin's London school, is left in poverty when her father dies but is later rescued by a mysterious benefactor.
Burnett, Frances Hodgson
J Fic BUR

The Secret Garden

Ten-year-old Mary comes to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors and discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden.
Burnett, Frances Hodgson
J Fic BUR

The Incredible Journey

A Siamese cat, and old bull terrier, and a young Labrador retriever travel together 250 miles through the Canadian wilderness to find their family.
Burnford, Sheila
J Fic BUR

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
A little girl falls down a rabbit hole and discovers a world of nonsensical and amusing characters.

Carroll, Lewis
J Fic CAR

Pinocchio
This book presents the adventures of Pinocchio, a mischievous wooden puppet, who wants more than anything else to become a real boy.

Collodi, Carlo
J Fic COL

The Dark is Rising
On his eleventh birthday Will Stanton discovers that he is the last of the Old Ones, destined to seek the six magical Signs that will enable the Old Ones to triumph over the evil forces of the Dark.

Cooper, Susan
J Fic COO

How to Train Your Dragon
Chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon.

Cowell, Cressida
J Fic COW

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Each of five children lucky enough to discover an entry ticket into Mr. Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory takes advantage of the situation in his or her own way.

Dahl, Roald
J Fic DAH

Fantastic Mr. Fox
Three farmers, each one meaner than the other, try all-out warfare to get rid of the fox and his family.

Dahl, Roald
J Fic DAH

James and the Giant Peach
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.

Dahl, Roald
J Fic DAH

Matilda
Matilda Wormwood is brilliant and sensitive, but her parents treat her as a scab, not a daughter-a scab to be endured until the time comes to flick her away to the next county, or preferably farther.

Dahl, Roald
J Fic DAH

The Witches
A young boy and his Norwegian grandmother, who is an expert on witches, together foil a witches' plot to destroy the world's children by turning them into mice.

Dahl, Roald
J Fic DAH

Because of Winn-Dixie
Because of Opal's big, ugly, goofy dog, called Winn-Dixie, Opal makes new friends in Naomi, Florida.  Meet a librarian who fights off a bear, an ex-con pet-store clerk who plays music to the animals, and the neighborhood witch.

Because of Winn-Dixie book cover

Dicamillo, Kate
J Fic DIC

Tale of Despereaux
The adventures of Despereaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess that he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.

Dicamillo, Kate
J Fic DIC

The Brave Little Toaster

Feeling abandoned by their beloved master, a vacuum cleaner, tensor lamp, electric blanket, clock radio, and toaster undertake a long and arduous journey to find him in a faraway city.
Disch, Thomas
J Fic DIS

The City of Ember

In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.
Duprau, Jeanne
J Fic DUP

The Black Stallion

Young Alec Ramsay is shipwrecked on a desert island with a horse destined to play an important part in his life. Following their rescue their adventure continues in America.
Farley, Walter
J Fic FAR

Alias Madame Doubtfire

Miranda's three children thoroughly enjoy their huge, overdressed baby sitter/cleaning woman who is actually their father in disguise, and they dread the day when their mother discovers Madame Doubtfire is really her ex-husband.
Fine, Anne
J Fic FIN

Harriet the Spy

Eleven-year-old Harriet keeps notes on her classmates and neighbors in a secret notebook, but when some of the students read the notebook, they seek revenge.
Fitzhugh, Louise
J Fic FIT

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car

Two children persuade their inventor father to purchase and restore an old car which turns out to have magical powers.
Fleming, Ian
J Fic FLE

Johnny Tremain

A young apprentice silversmith growing up in revolutionary Boston becomes involved with such patriots as Hancock, Otis, and Samuel Adams.
Forbes, Esther
J Fic FOR

Inkheart

Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can "read" fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.
Funke, Cornelia
J Fic FUN

Coraline

Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others.
Gaiman, Neil
J  Fic  GAI

The Wind in the Willows

Follows the adventures of the irrepressible Toad as he goes off in a horse-drawn caravan unwillingly accompanied by Rat and Mole.
Grahame, Kenneth
J  Fic  GRA

Hoot

Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.
Hiaasen, Carl
J  Fic  HIA

A Day with Wilbur Robinson

While spending the day in the Robinson household, Wilbur's best friend joins in the search for Grandfather Robinson's missing false teeth and meets one wacky relative after another.
Joyce, William
J  Fic  JOY

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship.
Kinney, Jeff
J  Fic  KIN

The Jungle Book

The adventures of Mowgli, a young boy raised by animals in the Indian jungle.
Kipling, Rudyard
J  Fic  KIP

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Having run away 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.
Konigsburg, E.L.
J  Fic  KON

Punk Farm

At the end of the day, while Farmer Joe gets ready for bed, his animals tune their instruments to perform in a big concert as a rock band called Punk Farm.
Krosoczka, Jarrett
E  KRO

A Wrinkle in Time

Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.
L'Engle, Madeleine
J  Fic  LEN

Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted book cover

In this novel based on the story of Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her.
Levine, Gail Carson
J  Fic  LEV

The Lion, the Witch
and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe book cover

Four English school children find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magic land of Narnia and assist Aslan, the golden lion, to triumph over the White Witch who has cursed the land with eternal winter.
Lewis, C. S.
J Fic LEW

Prince Caspian

Four children help Prince Caspian and his army of Talking Beasts to free Narnia from evil.
Lewis, C. S.
J Fic LEW

Pippi Longstocking

Escapades of a lucky little girl who lives with a horse and a monkey-but without any parents-at the edge of a Swedish village.
Lindgren, Astrid
J Fic LIN

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle

Presents the story of the good doctor who learned the language of animals and made adventurous voyages.
Lofting, Hugh
J Fic LOF

Anne of Avonlea

In this sequel to Anne of Green Gables, teenage Anne Shirley becomes a schoolteacher in a small village on Prince Edward Island.
Montgomery, Lucy
J Fic MON

Anne of Green Gables

Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.
Montgomery, Lucy
J Fic MON

Bed-Knob and Broomstick

With powers they acquire from a spinster who is studying to be a witch, three children go on a number of exciting and gruesome trips (a combined edition of The Magic Bed-Knob and Bonfires and Broomsticks).
Norton, Mary
J Fic NOR

The Borrowers

Miniature people who live in an old country house by borrowing things from the humans are forced to emigrate from their home under the clock. Includes a letter and a sketch of Homily and Arrietty by the author.
Norton, Mary
J Fic NOR

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

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.
O'Brien, Robert C.
J Fic OBR

Island of the Blue Dolphins

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.
O'Dell, Scott
J Fic ODE

My Friend Flicka

Through his intense devotion to the colt Flicka, a young boy, living on a Wyoming ranch, begins to learn about responsibility and gain a better understanding of his brusque father.
O'Hara, Mary
J Fic OHA

Nim's Island

Nim loves her island home and the animals she shares it with even while her scientist father is away doing research, but trouble is on the way and a new e-mail friend could be the only one who can help.
Orr, Wendy
J Fic ORR

Eragon

In Alagaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage called Eragon finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destinty, magic, and power, peopled with dragons, elves, and monsters.
Paolini, Christopher
J Fic PAO

Bridge to Terabithia
The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway, Terabithia, during a storm.
Patterson, Katherine
J Fic PAT

Hatchet

After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive initially with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.
Paulsen, Gary
J Fic PAU

The Littles

The Littles are a family of tiny people who live in the Bigg family's house.  Mr. Little is only six inches tall, and he is big for a Little.  They develop a plan to get rid of the mice in the Bigg's house.
Peterson, John
J Fic PET

The Golden Compass

Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.
Pullman, Philip
J Fic PUL

The Yearling
A young boy living in the Florida backwoods is forced to decide the fate of a fawn he has lovingly raised as a pet.

Rawlings, Marjorie
J Fic RAW

Where the Red Fern Grows
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.

Rawls, Wilson
J Fic RAW

Curious George
The curiosity of a newly-captured monkey gets him into continual trouble.

Rey, H.A.
J Fic REY

The Lightning Thief
Annabel thinks her mom has the best life.  If she were a grown-up, she could do whatever she wanted! Then one morning she wakes up to find she's turned into her mother...and she soon discovers it's not as easy as it looks!

Riordan, Rick
J Fic RIO

Freaky Friday
Annabel thinks her mom has the best life.  If she were a grown-up, she could do whatever she wanted! Then one morning she wakes up to find she's turned into her mother...and she soon discovers it's not as easy as it looks!

Rodgers, Mary
J Fic ROD

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
When the Chamber of Secrets is opened again at the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, second-year student Harry Potter finds himself in danger from a dark power that has once more been released on the school.

Rowling, J.K.
J Fic ROW

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter, a fourth-year student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, longs to escape his hateful relatives, the Dursleys, and live as a normal fourteen-year-old wizard, but what Harry does not yet realize is that he is not a normal wizard, and in his case, different can be deadly.

Rowling, J.K.
J Fic ROW

Harry Potter and the
Half-Blood Prince
Though the war against Voldemort is not going well, life at Hogwarts goes on, with the sixth-year students continuing their wizardly studies and trying to survive teen romantic dramas, while Harry himself probes ever more deeply into Voldemort's complex history.

Rowling, J.K.
J Fic ROW

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter, now a fifth-year student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, struggles with a threatening teacher, problematic house elf, the dread of upcoming final exams, and haunting dreams that hint toward his mysterious past.

Rowling, J.K.
J Fic ROW

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
During his third year at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter must confront the devious and dangerous wizard responsible for his parents' deaths.

Rowling, J.K.
J Fic ROW

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Wizards and Witches.

Rowling, J.K.
J Fic ROW

Holes
Stanley Yelnats is under a curse.  He is always in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Now he is stuck in a boys detention camp digging holes in the hot sun.  Will Stanley be able to dig up the truth behind all of these holes?

Holes book cover

Sachar, Louis
J Fic SAC

Bambi: A Life in the Woods
The adventures of a young deer in the forest as he grows into a beautiful stag.

Salten, Felix
J Fic SAL

Where the Wild Things Are
A naughty little boy, sent to bed without his supper, sails to the land of the wild things where he becomes their king.

Sendak, Maurice
E SEN

Black Beauty
A horse in nineteenth-century England recounts his experiences with both good and bad masters.

Sewell, Anna
J Fic SEW

The Cat in the Hat
Cat in the Hat book cover
Meet the cat who turns a dull rainy afternoon into a magical messy afternoon.
Dr. Seuss
E SEU

Horton Hears a Who!
Horton, the lovable elephant, tries to protect tiny creatures on a speck of dust.  An easy reader with delightful verse and pictures.
Dr. Seuss
E SEU

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
The Grinch tries to stop Christmas from arriving by stealing all the presents and food from the village, but much to his surprise it comes anyway.  Includes commentary and notes about the authro and the story.
Dr. Seuss
E SEU

The Vampire's Assistant
After traveling with Mr. Crepsley, the vampire who made him into a half-vampire, Darren returns to the freak show known as the Cirque du Freak and continues to fight his need to drink human blood.
Shan, Darren
J Fic SHA

The Rescuers
A group of mice befriends prisoners and helps them to escape, but they encounter an especially challenging case when they try to rescue a Norwegian poet being held in a castle.
Sharp, Margery
J Fic SHA

The Hundred and One Dalmatians
Pongo the Dalmatian and his wife Missis undertake a daring expedition to rescue their fifteen puppies from the clutches of vicious Cruella de Vil.
Smith, Dodie
J Fic SMI

Series of Unfortunate Events
This book is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.
Series of Unfortunate Events book cover
Snicket, Lemony
J Fic SNI

Heidi
A Swiss orphan is heartbroken when she must leave her beloved grandfather and their happy home in the mountains to go to school and to care for an invalid girl in the city.

Spyri, Johanna
J Fic SPY

Shrek!
Horribly hideous Shrek leaves home and terrifies everyone he encounters in his search for his equally ugly bride.

.

Steig, William
E STE

Treasure Island
While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads to a pirate fortune as well as great danger.

Stevenson, Robert Louis
J Fic STE

Lord of the Rings
Lord of the Rings book cover Lord of the Rings book cover Lord of the Rings book cover
The three books tells of the great and dangerous quest undertaken by Frodo Baggins and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the dwarf; Legolas the elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.
Tolkein, J.R.R.
J Fic TOL

Mary Poppins
From the moment Mary Poppins arrives at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, everyday life at the Banks house is forever changed.
Travers, P.L.
E  TRA

Jumanji
Left on their own for an afternoon, two bored and restless children find more excitement than they bargained for in a mysterious and mystical jungle adventure board game.
Van Allsburg, Chris
E  VAN

Polar Express
Polar Express book cover
A magical train ride on Christmas Eve takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus.
Van Allsburg, Chris
E  VAN

Zathura: A Space Adventure
Left on their own for an evening, two boisterous brothers find more excitement than they bargained for in a mysterious and mystical space adventure game.
Van Allsburg, Chris
E  VAN

Charlotte's Web

Wilbur, the pig, is distraught when he discovers that he is destined to be the farmer's Christmas dinner until his spider friend, Charlotte, decides to help him.
White, E. B.
J Fic WHI

Stuart Little

The adventures of the debonair mouse Stuart Little as he sets out in the world to seek out his dearest friend, a little bird that stayed for a few days in his family's garden.
White, E. B.
J Fic WHI

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

Talkative, ten-year-old Rebecca goes to live with her spinster aunts, one harsh and demanding, the other soft and sentimental, with whom she spends seven difficult but rewarding years growing up.
Wiggin, Kate
J Fic WIG