Entertainment/Literature - Childrens
Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense in Denmark. He is best known for his literary fairy tales.
Thumbelina (1835) – is a tiny girl who emerges from a flower and falls in love with a flower-fairy prince.
The Tinderbox (1835) – is a fairy tale about a soldier who acquires a magic tinderbox capable of summoning three powerful dogs to do his bidding.
The Princess and the Pea (1835) – is about a young woman whose royal ancestry is established by a test of her sensitivity to feel a pea through a large quantity of bedding.
The Little Mermaid (1837) – follows the journey of a young mermaid who is willing to give up her life in the sea as a mermaid to gain a human soul. There is a statue portraying the mermaid in Copenhagen.
The Emperor’s New Clothes (1837) – concerns a vain emperor who pays two swindlers to make him some clothes that are supposedly invisible to those who are stupid or incompetent.
The Steadfast Tin Soldier (1838) – is about a tin soldier's love for a paper ballerina.
The Ugly Duckling (1843) – tells the story of a duckling who thinks he is ugly, but he turns out to be a swan.
The Snow Queen (1844) – centres on the struggle between good and evil as experienced by Gerda and her friend, Kai.
The Red Shoes (1845) – tells the story of Karen, a poor girl who is forced to dance continually in her red shoes.
The Little Match Girl (1845) – is a story revolving around a small girl who is unable to sell matches and dies due to cold and hunger.
Charlotte Waring Atkinson - A Mother's Offering to her Children by a Lady, Long Resident in New South Wales (1841) is Australia's earliest known children's book.
Cecile Aubry - Belle et Sebastien (1966) – is about a six-year-old boy named Sebastien and his dog Belle, a Great Pyrenees, who live in a village in the French Alps.
Wilbert Awdry was better known as The Reverend W. Awdry.
The Railway Series – is a series of books about a railway system located on the fictional Island of Sodor. There are 42 books in the series, the first published in 1945. Twenty-six were written by Wilbert Awdry. Sixteen more were written by his son, Christopher Awdry. Sodor is depicted as being located in the Irish Sea. Characters and stories from the books formed the basis of the children's television series Thomas & Friends from 1984.
J(ames) M(atthew) Barrie was born in Scotland and is best known as the creator of Peter Pan. After moving to London, he met the Llewelyn Davies boys, who provided him with much of the inspiration for the character of Peter Pan. The character of Peter Pan was introduced in the novel The Little White Bird. Barrie gave the copyright of the Peter Pan works to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (1906) tells the story of the birth of Peter Pan, how he runs away from his mother, how he finds refuge in Kensington Gardens. Most of the text originally appeared in Barrie's 1902 novel The Little White Bird. Illustrated by Arthur Rackham.
Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up or Peter and Wendy, often known simply as Peter Pan, is a work in the form of a 1904 play and a 1911 novel. Peter meets the Darling children in London and brings them to Neverland, a magical island, where they have a series of adventures.
L(yman) Frank Baum wrote 14 novels in the Oz series.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) – tells the story of Dorothy in the magical Land of Oz after she and her pet dog Toto are swept away from their home in Kansas by a tornado. Upon her arrival in Oz, she learns she cannot return home until she has destroyed the Wicked Witch of the West.
The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904) – is the sequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The protagonist of the novel is an orphan boy called Tip, who is under the guardianship of a cruel Wicked Witch named Mombi.
The Emerald City of Oz (1910) – is the story of Dorothy Gale and her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em coming to live in Oz permanently.
Nina Bawden - Carrie's War (1973) is set during World War II and follows two evacuees, Carrie and her younger brother Nick, in a Welsh village. Adapted into a BBC television series in 1974.
Hilaire Belloc became a naturalised British subject in 1902 while retaining his French citizenship. He served as MP for Salford South from 1906 to 1910.
Cautionary Tales for Children (1907) – is a parody of the cautionary tales that were popular in the 19th century. The first of the eleven tales is "Jim, who ran away from his nurse, and was eaten by a lion".
Enid Blyton was born in London in 1897. Her books have sold more than 600 million copies and have been translated into 90 languages.
Noddy is a wooden toy who lives in Toyland. His best friend is Big Ears.
There were 24 original Noddy books.
Noddy Goes to Toyland (1949) – first Noddy book
Noddy and the Aeroplane (1963) – last Noddy book
The Famous Five stories follow the adventures of a group of young children – Julian, Dick, Anne, Georgina (George) and her dog Timmy.
There were 21 Famous Five books in the series.
Five on a Treasure Island (1942) – first Famous Five book
Five Are Together Again (1963) – last Famous Five book
The Five Find-Outers and Dog, also known as The Five Find-Outers, is set in the fictitious village of Peterswood. The children Fatty (Frederick Trotteville), who is the leader of the team, Larry (Laurence Daykin), Pip (Philip Hilton), Daisy (Margaret Daykin), Bets (Elizabeth Hilton) and Buster, Fatty's dog, encounter a mystery almost every school holiday, always solving the puzzle before Mr Goon, the unpleasant village policeman, much to his annoyance.
There were 15 Five Find-Outers books in the series.
The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage (1943) – first Five Find-Outer book
The Mystery of Banshee Towers (1961) – last Five Find-Outer book
The Secret Seven or Secret Seven Society is a fictional group of child detectives. The children are Peter (the society's head), Janet (Peter's sister), Pam, Barbara, Jack, Colin and George. The series takes place during the school term time.
The Secret Seven appeared in seven short stories and 15 full-length books published from 1949 to 1963.
Malory Towers is a series of six novels published from 1946 to 1951. Malory Towers is a castle-like clifftop boarding school in Cornwall. The main character is Darrell Rivers.
St. Clare's is a series of nine books published from 1941 to 1945 about a boarding school of that name. The series follows the heroines Pat and Isabel O'Sullivan.
Pamela Cox has published three more books in the St. Clare's series (2000-2008).
The Faraway Tree is a series of four novels. The titles in the series are The Enchanted Wood (1939), The Magic Faraway Tree (1943), The Folk of the Faraway Tree (1946) and Up the Faraway Tree (1951). An enchanted forest and the magical tree are discovered by three children named Jo, Bessie, and Fanny.
Paddington Bear series of books have sold more than 35 million copies. Paddington was a bear from "darkest Peru", whose Aunt Lucy sends him to England, carrying a jar of marmalade. He was found at Paddington Station by the Brown family, who adopt him.
A Bear Called Paddington (1958) – first book in the series.
Olga da Polga series of books were published between 1971 and 2002. Olga is a guinea pig, and a teller of tall tales in the style of Baron Munchausen.
Angela Brazil concentrated on writing books about schoolgirls, usually at boarding school, including The Nicest Girl in the School (1910), The Princess of the School (1920) and Five Jolly Schoolgirls (1941).
Elinor Brent-Dyer - Chalet School is a series of 64 school story novels. The Chalet School is founded in the Austrian Tyrol in 1925 by Madge Bettany.
Norman Bridwell – wrote a series of books about Clifford, a gigantic red dog owned by 8-year-old Emily Elizabeth. Clifford, the Big Red Dog (1963) was the first in the series.
Raymond Briggs is an author, cartoonist, graphic novelist, and illustrator.
Father Christmas (1973) – is a picture book. This Father Christmas is a down-to-earth working man living in a normal house.
Fungus the Bogeyman (1977) – is a picture book that follows one day in the life of the title character, a working-class Bogeyman with the mundane job of scaring human beings. His wife is Mildew, and they have a son named Mould. Humans are referred to as ‘Drycleaners’.
The Snowman (1978) – is a wordless book about a snowman who comes to life. Adapted into a 1982 animated television film.
Anthony Browne is a writer and illustrator. Children’s Laureate from 2009 to 2011. Gorillas are frequently featured in his books.
Dick Bruna was a Dutch author and illustrator best known for a series of books about Miffy, a small female rabbit. The first Miffy book was published in 1955.
Jean de Brunhoff was a French writer and illustrator remembered best for creating the Babar series of children's books, the first of which was published in 1931. Babar is a young elephant whose mother is killed by a hunter. He flees the jungle and finds his way to a big city. He returns to the Elephant Realm, is crowned King of the Elephants and marries his cousin, Celeste.
Jennings – is a series of 24 novels, published from 1950 to 1994. J.C.T. (John Christopher Timothy) Jennings is a schoolboy at Linbury Court preparatory school who frequently gets into trouble. Jennings’ best friend is C. E. J. (Charles Edwin Jeremy) Darbishire.
Rex Milligan – is a series of five novels. Rex is a pupil at Sheldrake Grammar School in North London.
Sheila Burnford - The Incredible Journey (1961) tells the story of three pets as they travel 480 km through the Canadian wilderness searching for their owners. The animals are Luath (a Labrador Retriever), Bodger (a Bull Terrier), and Tao (a Siamese cat). Adapted into a film by Disney Studios in 1963.
Frances Hodgson Burnett was born in England in 1849 and emigrated to the United States in 1865.
Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886) – concerns Cedric Errol, a boy living in New York who inherits his title and moves to England to be educated as an aristocrat.
A Little Princess (1905) – is the story of Sara Crewe, who attends Miss Minchin's boarding school for girls in London but is thrust into the harsh reality of servitude upon the sudden death of her father, who lost his fortune before his death.
The Secret Garden (1911) – follows Mary Craven, an orphan who is sent to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven. at Misselthwaite Manor. She finds sickly young Colin Craven, and a secret garden.
Eric Carle - The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1969) is a picture book. The caterpillar eats large quantities of fruit, starting with an apple on Monday. After spinning a chrysalis, the caterpillar emerges as a butterfly.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) – is commonly known as Alice in Wonderland. Alice falls through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world. Alice was named after Alice Liddell, the daughter of Henry Liddell, the Dean of Christ Church, Oxford.
Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871) – is commonly known as Through the Looking-Glass. Alice again enters a fantastical world where everything is reversed, by climbing through a mirror into the world that she can see beyond it.
Lauren Child was Children’s Laureate from 2017 to 2019.
Charlie and Lola Sonner are the principal characters from a series of children's picture books. The stories are all narrated by seven-year-old Charlie, and focus on the antics of his feisty four year-old sister, Lola. The series was adapted as a television series.
I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato (2000) – first book in the Charlie and Lola series.
Carlo Collodi was the pen name of Italian author Carlo Lorenzini.
The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883) – follows the adventures of an animated marionette named Pinocchio and his father, a poor woodcarver named Geppetto. The Talking Cricket is Pinocchio’s adviser. Adapted into a 1940 Disney film, where the Talking Cricket is known as Jiminy Cricket and acts as Pinocchio's "conscience".
Susan Coolidge was the pen name of Sarah Chauncey Woolsey.
What Katy Did (1872) follows the adventures of a twelve-year-old American girl, Katy Carr, and her family who live in the fictional lakeside Ohio town of Burnet in the 1860s. Followed by two sequels – What Katy Did at School (1873) and What Katy Did Next (1886).
Cressida Cowell was awarded the position of Children’s Laureate in 2019.
How to Train Your Dragon – is a series of 12 novels based around the adventures of a young Viking named Hiccup Horrendous Haddock The Third. Toothless is Hiccup's hunting-dragon. The first book was published in 2003.
Helen Cresswell - Lizzie Dripping (1973) – is set in the country village of Little Hemlock, where a young girl, Penelope, with a vivid imagination encounters a local witch whom only she can see and hear. Adapted into a BBC television series.
Just William is a series of 38 books published between 1922 and 1970. William Brown is a middle-class schoolboy aged 11 who is the leader of his band of friends, who call themselves the Outlaws, with his best friend Ginger and his other friends Henry and Douglas. His dog is called Jumble. The Outlaws are sometimes joined on their adventures by the lisping Violet-Elizabeth Bott who frequently threatened to “thcream and thcream and thcream till I'm thick".
The Demon Headmaster – is a series of eight books. The title character is a strange being with the powers of hypnosis and a desire to take over the world, as he believes it will be better under his ordered rule.
Demon Headmaster (1982) – is the first book in the series. Dinah Glass starts a new school where things are very strange. The children act in a robotic and unnerving way.
Kevin Crossley-Holland - Arthur Trilogy comprises The Seeing Stone (2000), At the Crossing-Places (2001), and King of the Middle March (2003). Concerns the King Arthur legends, showing a medieval boy's development from a page to a squire and finally to a knight.
Lucy Cousins is best known for her books featuring Maisy Mouse.
Roald Dahl was born in Cardiff, to Norwegian parents. He served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, in which he became a flying ace and intelligence agent. He was shot down over Libya. Dahl also wrote the screenplays for You Only Live Twice and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Quentin Blake illustrated many of Dahl’s books.
The Gremlins (1943) – first book. The story concerns mischievous mythical creatures, the Gremlins of the title, often invoked by Royal Air Force pilots as an explanation of mechanical troubles and mishaps.
James and the Giant Peach (1961) – is the story of James Henry Trotter, a young boy who escapes from his two cruel aunts, Spiker and Sponge, in a magical peach.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) – Willy Wonka decides to open the doors of his chocolate factory to five lucky children. In order to choose who will enter the factory, he devises a plan to hide five golden tickets beneath the wrappers of his famous chocolate bars. The golden tickets are won by Charlie Bucket, Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde and Mike Teavee. The Oompa-Loompas help Wonka operate the factory.
The Magic Finger (1966) – is the story of an unnamed girl, who has a magic finger that activates inadvertently whenever she gets angry. The Gregg family next door hunt for pleasure, until the magic finger turns them into birds.
Fantastic Mr Fox (1970) – concerns an anthropomorphic fox who lives underground. To feed his wife and four children, he steals food from three cruel farmers named Boggis, Bunce and Bean.
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (1972) – sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Charlie and his family travel aboard the flying Great Glass Elevator after Willy Wonka has rewarded him with the ownership of his chocolate factory.
Danny, the Champion of the World (1975) – recounts the father-son relationship between Danny and his father as they seek to poach pheasants from the unkind Mr. Hazell.
The Enormous Crocodile (1978) – is set in Africa. Tells the story of the eponymous Enormous Crocodile, who is always hungry. To satiate that desire, the enormous crocodile likes to eat children.
The Twits (1980) – are a hideous couple who continuously play nasty practical jokes on each other out of hatred for one another. They have a family of pet monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps, who are friends of the Roly-Poly Bird.
George’s Marvellous Medicine (1981) – George Kranky decides to make a magic medicine to replace his horrid grandma's old medicine.
The BFG (1982) – BFG is short for ‘Big Friendly Giant’. He also appears in Danny, the Champion of the World, in which he is introduced as a folkloric character. Sophie, an orphan, sees The BFG giving good dreams to children in a building down the street from the orphanage. The BFG takes her to his home.
The Witches (1983) – tells the story of a brave young English boy and his Norwegian grandmother as they battle child-hating witches. The witches are ruled by the extremely vicious and powerful Grand High Witch, who arrives in England to organize her plan to turn all of the children in England into mice.
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me (1985) – follows a young boy named Billy who meets a giraffe, a pelican, and a monkey, who work as window cleaners.
Matilda (1988) – tells the story of Matilda Wormwood, who has telekinetic powers. She is friends with her teacher, Jennifer Honey, but hates the tyrannical headmistress, Miss Agatha Trunchbull.
Esio Trot (1990) – the title is the word ‘tortoise’, reversed. Mr. Hoppy is an elderly man who falls in love with Mrs. Silver, who lives is the flat below and has a small pet tortoise, Alfie.
The Vicar of Nibbleswicke (1991) – was published after Dahl’s death. The protagonist, the Reverend Robert Lee, suffers from Back-to-Front Dyslexia, a fictional type of dyslexia that causes the sufferer to say the most important word in a sentence backwards.
The Minpins (1991) – final book, published after Dahl’s death. Republished in 2017 under the title Billy and the Minpins. When Little Billy sneaks into the Forest of Sin he meets thousands of tiny surprises: the Minpins. His new friends live in miniature houses inside hollow trees.
Elizabetta Dami is an Italian children's book author best known for being the creator of the character Geronimo Stilton.
Lynley Dodd is best known for her Hairy Maclary and Friends series of books, which feature animals with rhyming names. Hairy Maclary is a dog.
Mary Mapes Dodge - Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates (1865) is notable for popularizing the story of the little Dutch boy who plugs a dike in Haarlem with his finger.
Julia Donaldson was Children’s Laureate from 2011 to 2013. A number of her books are illustrated by Axel Scheffler.
The Gruffalo (1999) – is the story of a mouse that walks through the wood and encounters predators: first a fox, then an owl, and finally a snake. The mouse then meets the Gruffalo.
Room on the Broom (2002) – tells the story of a kind witch and her cat who invite three other animals (a dog, a bird and a frog) to join them travelling on her broomstick.
The Snail and the Whale (2003) – in which a tiny snail goes on an amazing journey by hitching a ride on the tail of a huge humpback whale.
The Gruffalo’s Child (2004) – is a sequel to The Gruffalo. The story is about the Gruffalo's daughter, who sets off into the deep dark wood to find the "big bad mouse".
The Magic Paintbrush (2004) – follows a Chinese girl named Shen, who is given a magic paintbrush. She paints fish, pots and ladders and watches them come to life for the poor people in her village.
Stick Man (2008) – is the journey of Stick Man, an anthropomorphic wooden stick, trying to find his way back home after being taken off route from his daily jog.
Monica Edwards is best known for her Romney Marsh and Punchbowl Farm series of children’s novels.
Elena Favilla and Francesca Cavallo
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls (2017) – tells the stories of one hundred inspiring women.
Anne Fine was Children’s Laureate from 2001 to 2003.
Goggle-Eyes (1989) – is set in Scotland in the 1980s. Narrated by Kitty Killen, who tells her friend Helen that she hates her mother's boyfriend. Won the annual Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize.
Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car (1964) – is a “Paragon Panther” bought and renovated by Caractacus Potts, an eccentric inventor and former commander in the Royal Navy. Adapted into a 1968 film including the character Truly Scrumptious, who was not in Fleming’s novel.
For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles
Neil Gaiman - Coraline (2002) – is a dark fantasy novella. Tells the story of its titular character discovering an idealized parallel universe behind a secret door in her new home, unaware that it contains a dark and sinister secret.
For other works by this author see Young Adult Fiction (below) and: Science Fiction and Fantasy
Alan Garner is the author of children’s books based around Alderley Edge in Cheshire.
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen (1960) – tells the story of Colin and Susan, who are brother and sister. Susan wears a curious stone on a bracelet inherited from her mother, and the local corps of witches, wizards and evil beings recognize it as a magical artifact essential to a plan to protect the world evil forces.
The Moon of Gomrath (1963) and Boneland (2012) are sequels to The Weirdstone of Brisingamen.
Kenneth Grahame was born in Edinburgh. He was Secretary of the Bank of England.
The Reluctant Dragon (1898) – is a short story. A young boy becomes friends with a dragon.
Wind in the Willows (1908) – tells the adventures of Mole, Rat (a water vole), Mr. Toad, and Mr. Badger. Includes the quote from Rat: “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing– half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats”. Adapted into the play Toad of Toad Hall written by A. A. Milne.
Philippa Gregory – wrote a trilogy of books about the adventurous Princess Florizella - The Princess Rules (aka Princess Florizella) (1988), It’s a Prince Thing (Florizella and the Wolves) (1991) and The Mammoth Adventure (Florizella and the Giant) (1992).
For other works by this author see: Historical Fiction
Brothers Grimm were Jacob and Wilhelm. They popularized folk tales, such as Cinderella, The Frog Prince, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White. Their first collection of folk tales, Children's and Household Tales, began publication in 1812. Many of the stories had already been written by Charles Perrault in the late 1600s.
Kathleen Hale - Orlando (The Marmalade Cat) is the eponymous hero of a series of 19 illustrated children's books published between 1938 and 1972. Orlando has a wife named Grace.
Roger Hargreaves created the Mr. Men and Little Miss series of books. After Hargreaves's death in 1988, his son Adam Hargreaves began writing and illustrating new Mr. Men and Little Miss stories. The stories are set in a fictional universe called "Misterland".
Mr. Tickle (1971) – first Mr. Men book.
Little Miss Bossy (1981) – first Little Miss book.
Timbuctoo is a series of 25 children's books, published from 1978 to 1979. The books tell the stories of a group of animals, each of whom is named after the sound that their particular animal makes.
Eric Hill was best known for his puppy character named Spot.
Where’s Spot? (1980) – first book. Spot was hiding behind little flaps which could be lifted by small children, an innovation which he devised. Spot is a yellow puppy with a brown spot on each side of his body and a brown tip on his tail.
Katherine Holabird is best known as the author of the Angelina Ballerina series.
Angelina Ballerina (1983) – first book. Concerns a fictional mouse (full name Angelina Jeanette Mouseling) who is training to become a ballerina.
Shirley Hughes was an author and illustrator who won the 1977 and 2003 Kate Greenaway Medals.
Dogger (1977) – concerns a boy and his stuffed dog named Dogger, who is lost.
The Iron Man (1968) – narrates the unexpected arrival in England of a giant "metal man" of unknown origin who rains destruction on the countryside by eating industrial farm equipment, before befriending a small boy and defending the world from a dragon from outer space. Adapted into the 1999 film The Iron Giant.
The Iron Woman (1993) is a sequel to The Iron Man. The novel describes retribution based on environmental themes related to pollution.
For other works by this author see: Poetry
Norman Hunter is best known for a series of 13 books about the inventor Professor Branestawm.
Redwall is a series of fantasy novels, published from 1986 to 2011. The series chronicles the adventures of the anthropomorphic animals inhabiting Redwall Abbey and the surrounding countryside of Mossflower Wood.
Tove Jansson was a Finnish artist and writer-illustrator of children’s books (in Swedish). In her books she created the fantastic self-contained world of Moomintrolls.
The Moomins are a family of trolls who are white and roundish, with large snouts. They live in a house in Moominvalley. Their friends include The Snork Maiden and her brother The Snork.
The Moomins and the Great Flood (1945) – first Moomin book.
Richard Jeffries - Bevis, the story of a Boy (1882) includes memories of his early life in rural Wiltshire and is said to have inspired Arthur Ransome to write Swallows and Amazons.
W(illiam) E(arl) Johns was an English First World War pilot.
Biggles series of 96 adventure books. Some of the stories were first published in magazines. Biggles is the nickname of James Bigglesworth. He is a pilot in both World Wars. Biggles is accompanied by his cousin Algernon ('Algy') Lacey and his mechanic Flight Sergeant Smyth. Added to the team in 1935 is the teenager Ginger Hebblethwaite.
The Camels Are Coming (1932) – first collection of Biggles stories. Includes the story The White Fokker, where Biggles made his first appearance.
Erich Kastner was born in Dresden.
Emil and the Detectives (1929) – was the only one of his pre-1945 works to escape Nazi censorship. Emil Tischbein is a boy robbed on a train to Berlin by Herr Grundeis. Emil assembles a gang of local children who call themselves "the detectives" to help him get his money back.
Judith Kerr was born in the Weimar Republic and a Jew. She came to Britain with her family in 1935.
The Tiger Who Came to Tea (1968) – concerns a girl called Sophie, her mother, and a tiger who invites himself to their afternoon tea and consumes all their food and drink.
Mog series features a cat owned by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas.
Mog the Forgetful Cat (1970) – first book in series
Goodbye, Mog (2002) – last book in series. Mog dies.
Clive King - Stig of the Dump (1963) tells the story of eight-year-old Barney who stumbles across a solitary caveman called Stig in the dump at the bottom of his grandmother’s garden. Despite the barriers, both linguistic and cultural, that separate them, the two strike a friendship and embark on a series of adventures.
Charles Kingsley was a priest of the Church of England and was associated with Christian Socialism.
The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby (1863) – is thematically concerned with Christian redemption, though Kingsley also uses the book to argue that England treats its poor badly and to question child labour. The protagonist is Tom, a young chimney sweep, who falls into a river after encountering a girl named Ellie. There he appears to drown and is transformed into a "water-baby". The major spiritual leaders in his new world are the fairies Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby, Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid, and Mother Carey.
For other works by this author see: Historical Fiction
The Sheep-Pig (1983) – tells the story of a farm pig who wants to do the work of a sheepdog. Adapted as the 1995 film Babe.
The Queen’s Nose (1983) - 10-year-old Harmony Parker is given a magic coin by her uncle, Ginger, which grants her seven wishes.
The Jungle Book (1894) – is a collection of stories. The main character is the “man-cub” Mowgli. Includes the story Rikki-Tikki-Tavi about a grey mongoose.
The Second Jungle Book (1895) – is a sequel to The Jungle Book. Contains eight stories.
Just So Stories (1902) – is a collection of origin stories, that explain why something is the way it is. Includes the stories –
How the Leopard Got His Spots
The Elephant’s Child/How the Elephant Got His Trunk – in which the Limpopo is described as the "great grey-green greasy" river
Puck of Pook's Hill (1906) – is a fantasy book containing a series of short stories set in different periods of English history. The stories are all narrated by people magically plucked out of history by the elf Puck, or told by Puck himself.
Suzy Kline is the author of the Horrible Harry books used in American elementary schools for teaching reading.
Charles and Mary Lamb were brother and sister.
Tales from Shakespeare (1807) – brings 20 of Shakespeare’s best plays to the young reader. Mary Lamb was responsible for retelling the comedies and Charles the tragedies.
C(live) S(taples) Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantasy novels set in the fictional realm of Narnia. Illustrated by Pauline Baynes. The books contain Christian ideas intended to be easily accessible to young readers. The series tells the adventures of various children from the real world, magically transported to Narnia by the lion Aslan to protect it from evil and restore the throne to its rightful line. Novels (in publication order) –
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) – siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie are evacuated from London during World War II. Lucy discovers a wardrobe that leads to a magical world called Narnia, where animals can talk and all are ruled over by the wise and benevolent lion Aslan. All of the children go through the wardrobe and discover all is not well in Narnia. The land is being kept in a perpetual winter but with no Christmas by the evil White Witch, Jadis, who turns anyone who doesn't obey her into stone. The children join Aslan and the animals loyal to him to vanquish Jadis.
Prince Caspian (1951) – A year has passed by since the Pevensie children stepped through the wardrobe. In Narnia, centuries have passed since the defeat of the White Witch. Now the foursome are sent back to Narnia to find that everything was destroyed and the Narnia they once knew is gone forever. They come to aid the young Prince Caspian, who is leading a group of Old Narnians to wage war against his malicious uncle Miraz, who rules Narnia with an iron fist.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952) – Lucy and Edmund Pevensie return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace where they meet up with Prince Caspian for a trip across the sea aboard the royal ship The Dawn Treader. Along the way they encounter dragons, dwarves, merfolk, and a band of lost warriors before reaching the edge of the world.
The Silver Chair (1953) – Jill Pole, Eustace Scrubb, and Puddleglum the Marsh-wiggle set off on a journey to the land north of Narnia in order to rescue King Caspian's missing son, Rilian.
The Horse and His Boy (1954) – Two talking horses (Bree and Hwin), a slave boy, and a girl from the Calormene aristocracy flee through Calormen north to the Desert and beyond, in hopes of finding a place where there are no slaves, where talking horses may live without fear of discovery, and where a girl cannot be forced to marry against her will.
The Magician’s Nephew (1955) – The novel is a prequel to the series and features the creation of Narnia by Aslan. The frame story features two children, Digory and Polly, ensnared in experimental travel via "the wood between the worlds".
The Last Battle (1956) – Relates the events leading up to the final battle between invading Calormenes and Narnians loyal to King Tirian. It concludes with termination of the world by Aslan.
The Magician’s Nephew is the first book in the internal chronology.
Astrid Lindgren was born in Sweden.
Pippi Longstocking is the main character in an eponymous series of books published between 1945 and 1948. She is a nine-year-old girl who lives with a monkey named Mr Nilsson, and befriends the two children living next door, Tommy and Annika Settergren. Pippi is very strong and can lift her horse one-handed.
Hugh Lofting is best known as the creator of Doctor Dolittle, who first appeared in illustrated letters to his children written by Lofting from the trenches in World War I.
The Story of Doctor Dolittle (1920) – first book. Doctor John Dolittle is an English physician from Puddleby-on-the-Marsh who can speak to animals. His parrot is called Polynesia. He travels to Africa to cure a monkey epidemic, and the grateful monkeys persuade a pushmi-pullyu (a two-headed gazelle-unicorn cross) to accompany Dolittle to England.
Janette Sebring Lowrey is best known for the The Poky Little Puppy, which was published in 1942, and went on to become the bestselling picture book of all time.
Geraldine McCaughrean - Peter Pan in Scarlet (2006) – is the official sequel to Peter Pan commissioned by Great Ormond Street Hospital.
David McKee - Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is a series of picture books, first published in 1968.
Michelle Magorian - Goodnight Mister Tom (1981) tells the story of a small boy, William Beech, who is evacuated to the country village of Little Weirwold just before the outbreak of World War II. He is billeted with a withdrawn elderly widower Tom Oakley. Despite their differences, Tom comes to care for William, who, it emerges, has been beaten and abused by his mother.
Frederick Marryat - The Children of the New Forest (1847) follows the fortunes of the four Beverley children (Edward, Humphrey, Alice, and Edith) who are orphaned during the English Civil War and hide from the Roundheads in the shelter of the New Forest where they learn to live off the land.
The Midnight Folk (1927) – is a fantasy novel. Kay Harker’s great grandfather, a sea captain, steps out of his portrait to tell him about a stolen treasure that belongs to Kay’s family. Kay sets out to discover what became of the treasure, aided by the midnight folk: creatures like Nibbins the cat and Rollicum Bitem Lightfoot the fox.
The Box of Delights (1935) – is a sequel to The Midnight Folk. Kay Harker must protect a magical box from those who wish to use it for bad deeds.
For other works by this author see: Poetry
A(lan) A(lexander) Milne was best known for the Winnie-the-Pooh books. He named the character after a teddy bear owned by his son, Christopher Robin Milne, on whom the character Christopher Robin was based. The rest of Christopher Milne's toys – Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, and Tigger – were incorporated into Milne's stories.
Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) – is a collection of ten short stories. A 1958 Latin translation, Winnie ille Pu, was the first foreign-language book to be featured on the New York Times Best Seller List, and the only book in Latin ever to have been featured.
The House at Pooh Corner (1928) – is a collection of short stories. Introduces the character Tigger.
Milne also included poems about the bear in the children’s verse book When We Were Very Young (1924) and in Now We Are Six (1927). All four volumes were illustrated by E. H. Shepard.
The first authorized Pooh book after Milne's death was Return to the Hundred Acre Wood (2009), by David Benedictus.
Lucy Maud Montgomery was a Canadian author. Most of her novels are set on Prince Edward Island. She is best known for the Anne of Green Gables series of novels.
Anne of Green Gables (1908) – tells the story of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan girl, who is mistakenly sent to two middle-aged siblings, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, to help them on their farm at Green Gables in the fictional town of Avonlea.
Anne of Avonlea (1909) – is a sequel to Anne of Green Gables. Follows Anne from the age of 16 to 18, during the two years that she teaches at Avonlea school.
Walt Morey - Gentle Ben (1965) – concerns the friendship between the title character who is an Alaskan brown bear, and a young boy named Mark Anderson.
Michael Morpurgo was Children’s Laureate from 2003 to 2005.
War Horse (1982) – is set before and during World War I. It tells of the journey of Joey, a horse raised by teenager Albert, as he is bought by the British Army for service in France. Albert attempts to bring him safely home.
Harriet Muncaster – has written a series of books about "half fairy, half vampire, totally unique!" Isadora Moon beginning with Isadora Moon Goes to School (2016).
Jill Murphy is best known for The Worst Witch series of books, published between 1974 and 2018. The books focus on Mildred Hubble, a young witch who attends Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches.
E(dith) Nesbit was an author and also a political activist and co-founder of the Fabian Society.
The Story of the Treasure Seekers (1899) – tells the story of Dora, Oswald, Dicky, Alice, Noel, and Horace Octavius (H. O.) Bastable, and their attempts to assist their widowed father and recover the fortunes of their family.
Psammead Trilogy consists of the novels –
Five Children and It (1902) – is set in the Kent countryside. Five children uncover a Psammead or sand-fairy in a gravel pit. The Psammead grants the children one wish a day but, of course, they all go wrong.
The Phoenix and the Carpet (1904) – follows the same children. Their parents buy a magic carpet which contains an egg that hatches into a phoenix.
The Story of the Amulet (1906) – guided by the Psammead, the children purchase an ancient amulet that acts as a time machine.
The Railway Children (1906) – concerns the Waterbury family who move to "Three Chimneys", a house near the railway, after the father, who works at the Foreign Office, is imprisoned as a result of being falsely accused of being a spy. The three children, Roberta, Peter and Phyllis, find amusement in watching the trains on the nearby railway line. They become friendly with station porter Albert Perks and with the Old Gentleman who regularly takes the 9:15 train and helps to prove the innocence of the children’s father.
The Borrowers is a series of five novels published between 1952 and 1982. All the novels feature the Clock family; Pod, Homily and Arrietty, who live secretly in the walls and floors of an English house and "borrow" from the big people to survive.
The novels are – The Borrowers (1952), The Borrowers Afield (1955), The Borrowers Afloat (1959), The Borrowers Aloft (1961), and The Borrowers Avenged (1982).
The novels The Magic Bed Knob; or, How to Become a Witch in Ten Easy Lessons and Bonfires and Broomsticks were adapted into the 1971 Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
Barack Obama - Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters (2010) tells the stories of thirteen groundbreaking Americans. Written as a letter to Obama’s daughters, Malia and Sasha.
Peggy Parish - is best known for the children's book series Amelia Bedelia. The title character repeatedly misunderstands various commands by taking figures of speech and various terminology literally, causing her to perform incorrect actions with a comical effect.
Katherine Paterson is a Chinese-born American writer.
Bridge to Terabithia (1977) – concerns two children named Leslie and Jesse who create a magical forest kingdom in their imaginations.
Tom’s Midnight Garden (1958) – concerns Tom Long, who is staying with his aunt and uncle. Each night when the grandfather clock strikes 13 Tom goes into the garden and meets a girl named Hatty, at different points in the past.
Charles Perrault laid the foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale, with his works derived from earlier folk tales.
Stories or Tales from Past Times (1697) – is a collection of fairy tales. Includes the stories The Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Cinderella, and The Master Cat, or Puss in Boots.
Dav Pilkey - Captain Underpants (1997-2015) is a series of American children's books about two fourth graders, George Beard and Harold Hutchins, and the aptly named superhero they accidentally create.
Eleanor H(odgman) Porter
Pollyanna (1913) – concerns Pollyanna Whittier, an 11-year-old orphan whose philosophy of life centers on what she calls "The Glad Game". Her name has become a popular term for someone with the same very optimistic outlook.
Pollyanna Grows Up (1915) – is a sequel to Pollyanna.
Just David (1916) – tells the story of a young boy, David, who must learn to adapt to living with others after the death of his reclusive father.
Beatrix Potter wrote 23 children’s tales. Lived at Hill Top Farm in the Lake District. She left almost all of her property to the National Trust.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902) – concerns a mischievous rabbit who gets chased by Mr. McGregor in his garden. Peter’s siblings are Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail.
The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin (1903) – is about an impertinent red squirrel named Nutkin and his narrow escape from an owl called Old Brown.
The Tailor of Gloucester (1903) – is about a tailor whose work on a waistcoat is finished by the grateful mice he rescues from his cat Simpkin. This is the only book with a human in the title.
The Tale of Benjamin Bunny (1904) – is a sequel to The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Peter returns to Mr. McGregor’s garden with his cousin Benjamin.
The Tale of Two Bad Mice (1904) – concerns two mice who vandalize a doll's house.
The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle (1905) – follows a hedgehog washerwoman who lives in a tiny cottage.
The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan (1905) – tells of a cat called Ribby and a tea party she holds for a dog called Duchess.
The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher (1906) – concerns a frog that lives in a damp little house at the edge of a pond.
The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit (1906) – tells of a bad little rabbit who is fired upon by a hunter and loses his tail and whiskers.
The Story of Miss Moppet (1906) – is the story of a kitten teased by a mouse.
The Tale of Tom Kitten (1907) – in which Tom Kitten and his sisters Moppet and Mittens disrupt a tea party held by their mother, Tabitha Twitchit.
The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck (1908) – tells the story of a duck who is rescued from a fox by a farm dog.
The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or, The Roly-Poly Pudding (1908) – concerns the rat Samuel Whiskers and his wife, who try to catch Tom Kitten and make him into a pudding.
The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies (1909) – follows six young rabbits who are captured by Mr. McGregor.
The Tale of Ginger and Pickles (1909) – concerns a cat and a dog who run a village shop that fails after they extend unlimited credit to all their customers.
The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse (1910) – concerns a wood mouse who struggles to keep her house clean due to insect pests.
The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes (1911) – tells the tale of a squirrel who is believed to be a nut-thief. He is imprisoned in a tree and tended by a chipmunk.
The Tale of Mr. Tod (1912) – is about a badger called Tommy Brock and his arch enemy Mr. Tod, a fox.
The Tale of Pigling Bland (1913) – describes the adventures of the pig of the title and how his life changes upon meeting a soulmate, Pig-wig.
Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes (1917) – is a collection of nursery rhymes.
The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse (1918) – tells of Johnny Town-Mouse and Timmy Willie, a country mouse, who visit each other’s homes.
Cecily Parsley's Nursery Rhymes (1922) – is a collection of traditional nursery rhymes.
The Tale of Little Pig Robinson (1930) – is an explanation of how the pig from The Owl and the Pussycat comes to travel to the "land where the Bong-Tree grows".
The Nome Trilogy, also known as The Bromeliad Trilogy, consists of the books Truckers (1989), Diggers (1990) and Wings (1990). The trilogy tells the story of the Nomes, a race of tiny people from another world who now live hidden among humans.
Johnny Maxwell is a character in a trilogy, consisting of the books Only You Can Save Mankind (1992), Johnny and the Dead (1993) and Johnny and the Bomb (1996).
Arthur Ransome was an English author who had an affair with Trotsky’s secretary, admired Lenin, and worked both for MI6 and the Bolsheviks.
Swallows and Amazons is a series of twelve children's books that involve adventures by groups of children almost all during the school holidays between the two World Wars. The stories revolve around outdoor activities, especially sailing.
Swallows and Amazons (1930) – is the first book in the series. Set in the Lake District. Tells the story of the Walker children, John, Susan, Titty and Roger, who sail a dinghy named Swallow, and the Blackett sisters, Nancy and Peggy, who sail a dinghy named Amazon.
Swallowdale (1931) – features the Walker siblings and Blackett sisters camping in the hills and moorland country around a lake; with Maria Turner, the Blackett’s' Great Aunt, acting as an antagonist.
Peter Duck (1931) – The Swallows and Amazons sail to Crab Island with Captain Flint and Peter Duck, an old sailor, to recover buried treasure.
Margret and H(ans) A(ugusto) Rey were a married couple, born in Germany.
Curious George is a series of seven books published between 1941 and 1966 that tell the story of an orphaned chimpanzee (referred to as a monkey in the books) named George and his adventures with the Man with the Yellow Hat.
Where the Red Fern Grows (1961) – is an autobiographical account of a boy named Billy Colman, his two hounds, and raccoon-hunting in the Ozark Mountains.
Summer of the Monkeys (1976) – concerns a boy named Jay Berry Lee, who attempts to catch a group of monkeys that have escaped from a travelling circus.
Frank Richards was the pen name of Charles Hamilton.
Billy Bunter features in stories set at Greyfriars School, originally published in the boys' weekly story paper The Magnet from 1908 to 1940. Bunter is in the Lower Fourth form of Greyfriars School, known as the Remove.
Chris Riddell was born in South Africa and is the only person to win the Kate Greenaway Medal three times. He was served as Children’s Laureate from 2015 to 2017.
Michael Rosen served as Children's Laureate from 2007 to 2009.
We're Going on a Bear Hunt (1989) – is a picture book. Four children plus a baby sister and their dog, are going out to hunt a bear.
Michael Rosen’s Sad Book (2004) – deals with the topic of grief.
J. K. Rowling
The Ickabog (2020) – concerns a monster that turns out to be real. Set in the mythical land of Cornucopia, which is ruled by King Fred. Released for free online in mid-2020, during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The Christmas Pig (2021) – is a fairy tale. On Christmas Eve, Jack's favourite toy Dur Pig (DP for short) is missing. Jack is devastated at the loss of his childhood best friend and isn't comforted by his annoying replacement – The Christmas Pig.
Haroun and the Sea of Stories (1990) – is a work of magical realism. The novel opens in a city in the country of Alifbay, where Haroun Khalifa lives with his father, a famous storyteller, and his mother.
Luka and the Fire of Life (2010) – is the sequel to Haroun and the Sea of Stories. Follows Haroun’s younger brother Luka on his own big adventure in the World of Magic as he saves his father’s life.
For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles
Antoine de Saint-Exupery was a French writer, poet, aristocrat, journalist and pioneering aviator. He disappeared and is believed to have died while on a reconnaissance mission over the Mediterranean in 1944.
The Little Prince (1943) – is narrated by a pilot, who crashes in the Sahara Desert. As he attempts to fix his engine, he hears a small voice asking him to draw a sheep. The narrator turns around to meet the little prince. The pilot begins to learn more about the little prince, discovering that he comes from the asteroid known as B-612. Eventually, he begins to learn other details of the little prince's planet as well, including the fact that baobab trees are a major menace and that the object of the little prince's affection is a rose. All-time bestseller with French as the original language.
Felix Salten was born in Pest, Austria-Hungary.
Bambi, a Life in the Woods (1923) – traces the life of Bambi, a male roe deer. Adapted into a 1942 animated Disney film.
Bambi’s Children (1939) – is a sequel to Bambi, a Life in the Woods. Follows the lives of the twins of Bambi and his mate Faline as they grow from fawns to young adults.
Maurice Sendak - Where the Wild Things Are (1963) follows a boy named Max who dresses in a wolf costume and is sent to bed without any supper for causing trouble. His room grows into a forest and a boat on the ocean carries Max to an island inhabited by monsters, simply called the Wild Things.
Dr. Seuss was the pen name of American author Theodor Seuss Geisel.
If I Ran the Zoo (1950) – Gerald McGrew dreams of transforming his local zoo into a madcap menagerie of weird and wonderful beasts.
Horton Hears a Who! (1955) – Horton the Elephant discovers that a speck of dust is a tiny planet, home to a community called Whoville, where microscopic creatures called Who's live.
The Cat in the Hat (1957) – centres on a tall cat who wears a red and white-striped top hat and a red bow tie. The cat tries to show two bored children how to have fun on a rainy wet day but wrecks the house. Opening lines: “The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play”.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1957) – is written in rhymed verse with illustrations by the author. It follows the Grinch, a grouchy, solitary creature who attempts to put an end to Christmas by stealing Christmas-themed items from the homes of the nearby town Whoville on Christmas Eve.
Green Eggs and Ham (1960) – Sam-I-am tries to get an unknown character to eat a plate of green eggs and ham in various locations.
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (1960) – is a simple rhyming book for learner readers. The story loosely focuses on two young children, Jay and Kay, and the worlds they are being introduced to.
The Lorax (1971) – is a fable concerning the danger of human destruction of the natural environment. The Lorax is an orange creature with a yellow moustache. Concerns the Once-ler, who cuts down some Truffula Trees, and is warned by the Lorax that there will be terrible consequences for his actions.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (1990) – was the last book published in Seuss’s lifetime. Tells the story of a young person only referred to in the second person, as “you”. The tone is upbeat and optimistic throughout the poem, even when the speaker is discussing the inevitable failures one will face.
Anna Sewell - Black Beauty (1877) – only published work. The story is narrated in the first person as an autobiographical memoir told by the titular horse. He begins his career as a carriage horse for wealthy people, then passes through the hands of a series of owners.
Francesca Simon - Horrid Henry is a series of 25 books featuring 8-year-old Henry White, who is badly behaved. His 6-year-old brother, Perfect Peter, is the exact opposite. The first book was published in 1994.
The Hundred and One Dalmatians (1956) – follows a litter of Dalmatian puppies who are kidnapped by the villainous Cruella de Vil who wants to make their fur into coats. Their parents, Pongo and Perdita, set out to save their puppies from Cruella. Adapted into a 1961 Disney animated film.
The Starlight Barking (1967) – is a sequel to The Hundred and One Dalmatians. Everything on earth is fast asleep except the dogs, who discover they have new 'metaphysical' powers, such as the ability to hear each other's thoughts and 'swoosh' above the ground.
Lemony Snicket is the pen name of American author Daniel Handler.
A Series of Unfortunate Events is a series of 13 novels which follows the turbulent lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire after their parents' death in a fire. The children are placed in the custody of their relative Count Olaf, who attempts to steal their inheritance. After the Baudelaire’s are removed from his care by their parents' estate executor, Arthur Poe, Olaf begins to hunt the children down. The series is narrated by Lemony Snicket, who dedicates each of his works to his deceased love interest, Beatrice.
The Bad Beginning (1999) – first book in the series.
The End (2006) – last book in the series.
Johanna Spyri was a Swiss author best known for the book Heidi (1881), about the events in the life of a 5-year-old girl in her paternal grandfather's care in the Swiss Alps.
R(obert) L(awrence) Stine is the American author of hundreds of horror fiction novels.
Goosebumps – is a series of horror fiction novels. The stories follow child characters, who find themselves in scary situations, usually involving monsters and other supernatural elements. From 1992 to 1997, sixty-two books were published.
Welcome to Dead House (1992) – is the first book in the original Goosebumps series.
The Secret of Nightingale Wood (2016) – is about a young girl called Henrietta who is, along with her mother, father and little baby sister, grieving for the loss of her brother, Robert. The family have moved to a quiet village on the edge of Nightingale Wood.
Noel Streatfeild - Ballet Shoes (1936) concerns three adopted sisters, Pauline, Petrova and Posy Fossil, who are discovered as babies by Matthew Brown (Great-Uncle-Matthew, known as "Gum"), an elderly, absentminded paleontologist, and sent home to his great-niece, Sylvia. Posy has a real talent for dancing.
Random House published some of Streatfeild's subsequent children's books using the word "Shoes" in their titles, to capitalize on the popularity of Ballet Shoes; thus Circus Shoes (originally called The Circus Is Coming), Party Shoes (originally called Party Frock), and Skating Shoes (originally called White Boots).
Simon (1953) – set during the English Civil War
The Eagle of the Ninth (1954) is the first book in the series of the same name. The series loosely traces a family of the Roman Empire and then of Britain who inherit an emerald seal ring bearing the insignia of a dolphin.
The Arthurian Trilogy (1979-1981) - The Sword and the Circle, The Light Beyond the Forest and The Road to Camlann.
Barbara Euphan Todd
Worzel Gummidge is a scarecrow who originally appeared in a series of ten books. He lives on Scatterbrook farm and is friends with John and Susan. Adapted into a television series starring Jon Pertwee as Worzel and Una Stubbs as Aunt Sally.
Worzel Gummidge (1936) – first book in the series. The first paperback version of the book, released in 1941, has the distinction of being the first story book published by the children's imprint Puffin.
Jill Tomlinson – writes animal story books including The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark (1968) where Plop, a young barn owl is frightened of the dark.
P(amela) L(yndon) Travers was born in Australia and emigrated to Britain aged 25. Pen name of Helen Lyndon Goff.
Mary Poppins is a series of eight books, published between 1934 and 1988. Mary Poppins is a magical nanny who sweeps into the Banks home on Cherry Tree Lane in London and takes charge of the Banks children, Jane and Michael. Adapted into a 1964 Disney film starring Julie Andrews.
The Prince and the Pauper (1881) – tells the story of two boys born on the same day who are physically identical, acting as a social commentary as the prince and pauper switch places. The boys are Tom Canty, a pauper who lives with his abusive, alcoholic father in Offal Court off Pudding Lane in London and Edward VI of England, son of Henry VIII.
Alison Uttley was an English writer best known for her children's series about Little Grey Rabbit (1929-1975) and Sam Pig (1939-1965).
David Walliams began writing children's novels in 2008 after securing a contract with the publisher HarperCollins.
The Boy in the Dress (2008) – tells the story of a 14-year-old boy called John and a 12-year-old boy called Dennis who enjoys cross-dressing, and the reactions of his family and friends.
Mr Stink (2009) – concerns Chloe, a 12-year-old girl who wants to help a local tramp named Mr Stink.
Billionaire Boy (2010) – is about a 12-year-old or so billionaire, Joe Spud, who lives with his billionaire dad. Joe has everything he could want, except a friend.
Gangsta Granny (2011) – tells the story of Ben, who has to stay with his Granny every Friday, not knowing that she is a jewel thief.
Ratburger (2012) – is the story of a little girl named Zoe, and her pet rat named Armitage.
Grandpa’s Great Escape (2015) – follows a boy called Jack, who is trying to rescue his confused Grandpa from a retirement home, Twilight Towers, run by an evil matron, Miss Swine.
E(lwyn) B(rooks) White
Charlotte’s Web (1952) – tells the story of a barn spider named Charlotte and her friendship with a pig named Wilbur, who is owned by a girl called Fern. Charlotte has the idea of writing words in her web extolling Wilbur's excellence, reasoning that if she can make Wilbur sufficiently famous he will not be killed.
Stuart Little (1945) – is the story of a tiny boy who looks just like a mouse. At first, his family is concerned with how Stuart will survive in a human-sized world and the family’s cat, Snowbell tries to eat him.
The Trumpet of the Swan (1970) – tells the story of Louis, a trumpeter swan born without a voice, who overcomes this difficulty by learning to play a trumpet in order to impress a beautiful swan named Serena.
The Happy Prince and Other Tales (1888) is a collection of five stories: The Happy Prince, The Nightingale and the Rose, The Selfish Giant, The Devoted Friend, and The Remarkable Rocket.
The Canterville Ghost (1887) – short story in which an American family move to a castle haunted by the ghost of a dead English nobleman.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
The "Little House" Books is a series of autobiographical novels based on Wilder’s childhood and adolescence in the American Midwest in the late 19th century.
Little House in the Big Woods (1932) – is the first book in the series. The novel describes the homesteading skills Laura observed and began to practice during her fifth year.
Little House on the Prairie (1935) – tells about the months the Ingalls family spent on the prairie of Kansas, around the town of Independence.
Geoffrey Willans - was the creator of Nigel Molesworth, the supposed author of a series of books, with cartoons by Ronald Searle. Molesworth is a schoolboy at St Custards prep school. The first book, Down with Skool!, was published in 1953.
Margery Williams - The Velveteen Rabbit (1922) chronicles the story of a stuffed rabbit's desire to become real through the love of his owner.
Jacqueline Wilson served as Children's Laureate from 2005 to 2007.
The Story of Tracy Beaker (1991) – tells the story of 10-year-old Tracy, who lives in a care home that she calls “The Dumping Ground”. She was placed there as a result of neglect and domestic violence.
The Dare Game (2000) – is a sequel to The Story of Tracy Beaker.
Hetty Feather (2009) – is about a young girl who is abandoned by her mother at the Foundling Hospital as a baby, and follows her story as she lives in a foster home before returning to the Foundling Hospital as a curious five-year-old.
Henry Winkler rose to fame as “The Fonz” on the sitcom Happy Days. In 2010 he was appointed an honorary OBE "for services to children with special educational needs and dyslexia in the UK".
Hank Zipzer – is a series of children's books (2003-2010) by Henry Winkler and writer Lin Oliver that tell the story of a dyslexic child, Hank Zipzer. They are based on Winkler's difficulties with school as a child.
Young Adult Fiction
Louisa May Alcott
Little Women (1868) – concerns the lives and loves of four sisters growing up during the American Civil War. The four March sisters are Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. Opening line: “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents”. Sometimes published as Little Women and Good Wives.
Little Men (1871) and Jo’s Boys (1886) are sequels to Little Women.
Horatio Alger was known for his “rags-to-riches” novels.
Ragged Dick (1868) – follows a poor bootblack's rise to middle-class respectability in 19th century New York City.
City of the Beasts (2002) – tells the story of 15-year-old Alexander Cold who travels to the Amazon rainforest with his grandmother.
For other works by this author see: Novels - World
R(obert) M(ichael) Ballantyne
The Coral Island (1857) – is written as a first-person narrative from the perspective of 15-year-old Ralph Rover, one of three boys shipwrecked on the coral reef of a large but uninhabited Polynesian island.
Malorie Blackman was Children’s Laureate from 2013 to 2015.
Noughts and Crosses is a series of six novels and three novellas (2001-2021). Describes an alternative history in which native African people had colonised the European people, rather than the other way around, with Africans having made Europeans their slaves. Sephy who is a Cross (a dark-skinned person) and Callum who is a Nought (a lighter-skinned person) have been great friends from childhood and attempt to overcome all difficulties.
Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret (1970) – follows Margaret Simon, an 11-year-old girl who has grown up without a religious affiliation. The novel explores her quest in search of a single religion, while confronting typical issues faced by early adolescent girls going through puberty.
Forever… (1975) – concerns Katherine, a senior in high school who falls in love with Michael. The book was banned from many schools due to its detailed depictions of sexual intercourse, and because Katherine uses birth control.
The Princess Diaries – is a series of novels, and is also the title of the first volume, published in 2000. The series revolves around Amelia 'Mia' Thermopolis, a teenager in New York who discovers that she is the princess of a small European principality called Genovia. Adapted into a 2001 Disney film starring Anne Hathaway as Mia.
John Christopher was the pen name of Sam Youd.
The Tripods – is a series of novels beginning in 1967. Humanity has been enslaved by "Tripods" – gigantic three-legged walking machines piloted by unseen alien entities. The first two books were the basis of a 1980s science fiction BBC series.
The Mortal Instruments is a series of fantasy novels, and is chronologically the third series of a proposed five in The Shadowhunter Chronicles media franchise.
City of Bones (2007) – is the first book in The Mortal Instruments series. Clary Fray is fifteen years old when she witnesses a murder at a nightclub. The murderer’s name is Jace Wayland. He is a Shadowhunter, or a demon-killer, and the kid he killed was a demon.
Steve Cole has continued the Young Bond series first penned by Charlie Higson. His first novel in the series was Shoot to Kill (2014).
Artemis Fowl – is a series of eight novels, and is also the title of the first volume, published in 2001. The series follows elf Lower Elements Police (LEP) reconnaissance officer Holly Short as she faces the forces of criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl II.
The Hunger Games is a trilogy of dystopian novels set in Panem, a country consisting of the wealthy Capitol and 13 districts in varying states of poverty. Every year, children from the first 12 districts are selected via lottery to participate in a compulsory televised battle royale death match called The Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games (2008) – is the first book in the trilogy. Katniss Everdeen, a girl from District 12, volunteers for the 74th Hunger Games in place of her younger sister Primrose Everdeen. Also selected from District 12 is Peeta Mellark.
Catching Fire (2009) – the citizens of Panem begin to stage uprisings against the Capitol. President Snow announces a special 75th edition of the Hunger Games, known as the Quarter Quell, in which Katniss and Peeta are forced to compete with other past victors.
Mockingjay (2010) – continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, who agrees to unify the districts of Panem in a rebellion against the Capitol. The ‘Mockingjay’ is a symbol of the rebellion.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020) – is a prequel to the trilogy. It tells the story of the 'Dark Days' which led to the failed rebellion in Panem.
The Maze Runner is a series of dystopian science fiction novels that consists of The Maze Runner (2009), The Scorch Trials (2010) and The Death Cure (2011), as well as two prequel novels, The Kill Order (2012) and The Fever Code (2016).
Anita Desai - The Village by the Sea (1982) is set in a small village in India called Thul and focuses on a family trying to make ends meet. The main protagonists are Lila, the eldest child who is 13 years old, and her 12-year-old brother Hari.
For other works by this author see: Novels - World
Madeleine L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time (1962) is a science fantasy novel. Meg Murry, Charles Wallace Murry and Calvin O'Keefe embark on a journey through space and time, from galaxy to galaxy, as they endeavour to save the Murrys' father and the world. First book in the Time Quintet series of novels.
The Last Dragonslayer (2010) – is a fantasy novel. 15-year-old Jennifer Strange runs a magicians' employment agency called Kazam in a time when magic has become weakened, and people are turning more to technology to solve their problems. There are prophecies that the last dragon will soon die.
The Song of the Quarkbeast (2011) – is the second book in the Dragonslayer series.
Madame Doubtfire (1987) – follows Daniel Hillard, a recently divorced actor who dresses up as a female housekeeper to be able to interact with his children. Adapted into the 1993 film Mrs Doubtfire.
Neil Gaiman - The Graveyard Book (2008) traces the story of the boy Nobody "Bod" Owens who is adopted and reared by the supernatural occupants of a graveyard after his family is brutally murdered.
For other works by this author see Children's Fiction (above) and: Science Fiction and Fantasy
The Enemy (2009) – is a post-apocalyptic novel set in London. A worldwide sickness has infected adults, turning them into voracious, cannibalistic zombies.
Young Bond series – five novels concentrating on James Bond's schooldays at Eton starting with SilverFin (2005).
Alex Rider is a series of spy novels revolving around a teenage spy named Alex Rider.
Stormbreaker (2000) – is the first novel in the Alex Rider series. Alex is recruited by MI6 and is sent to investigate a multimillionaire named Herod Sayle and his creation: the revolutionary computer called Stormbreaker.
Diana Wynne Jones principally wrote fantasy and speculative fiction novels for children and young adults.
Howl's Moving Castle (1986) – tells the story of Sophie who is turned into an old woman by a witch who enters her shop and curses her. She encounters a wizard named Howl, hoping that he might be able to lift the curse placed on her by the Witch. Adapted into a 2004 animated film directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
Jeff Kinney - Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a series of books that follows Greg Heffley, who illustrates his daily life in a diary. First book published in 2007.
Joan Lingard - Kevin and Sadie is a set of 1970s novels set in Northern Ireland against the backdrop of The Troubles. The novels follow a young couple; Sadie Jackson, who is from the Ulster Protestant community, and Kevin McCoy, who is from the Irish Catholic community.
Ann M(atthews) Martin - The Baby-Sitters Club is a series of novels published between 1986 and 2000. Concerns a group of friends who live in the fictional town of Stoneybrook, Connecticut, and run a local babysitting service called "The Baby-Sitters Club".
Twilight novels – Charts a period in the life of Isabella ‘Bella’ Swan, a teenage girl who moves to Forks, Washington, and falls in love with a 104-year-old vampire named Edward Cullen.
Twilight (2005) – 17-year-old Bella moves to Forks with her father, Charlie Swan. She meets Edward at school and discovers that he is a vampire.
New Moon (2006) – Edward leaves Bella after his brother attacks her and she becomes friends with Jacob Black, who can shapeshift into a werewolf.
Eclipse (2007) – As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. She is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob.
Breaking Dawn (2008) – is divided into three books. Bella and Edward get married, leaving behind a heartbroken Jacob. Bella willingly risks her human life and possible vampire immortality.
Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (2015) – is a gender-swapped retelling of the first book in the Twilight series, and introduces Beau Swan and Edythe Cullen in place of Bella and Edward.
Midnight Sun (2020) – is a companion novel that retells the events of Twilight from the perspective of Edward Cullen.
Christopher Paolini is best known for The Inheritance Cycle, which consists of the books Eragon (2003), Eldest (2005), Brisingr (2008), and Inheritance (2011). The novels focus on the adventures of a teenage boy named Eragon and his dragon Saphira as they struggle to overthrow the evil king Galbatorix.
Maximum Ride – is a series of science fantasy novels that follow the adventures of Maximum "Max" Ride and her family, called the Flock, who are human-avian hybrids born with wings after being experimented on at a lab called The School.
Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment (2005) is the first book in the Maximum Ride series.
Witch & Wizard – is a series of dystopian fantasy novels written by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet. The first novel in the series, Witch & Wizard, was published in 2009.
K. M. Peyton
Flambards – is a series of four novels, and is also the title of the first volume, published in 1967. Features a teenage orphan and heiress Christina Parsons, who comes to live at Flambards, the impoverished Essex estate owned by her crippled and tyrannical uncle, William Russell, and his two sons, Mark and Will. The novels are set just before, during, and after World War I. The other books in the original trilogy are The Edge of the Cloud (1969) and Flambards in Summer (1969). The fourth book, Flambards Divided (1981) controversially reversed the ending of the original trilogy. The trilogy was adapted into a television series, Flambards, in 1979, starring Christine McKenna as Christina Parsons.
Sally Lockhart is a series of four mystery novels – The Ruby in the Smoke (1985), The Shadow in the North (1986), The Tiger in the Well (1990), and The Tin Princess (1994). Veronica Beatrice ‘Sally’ Lockhart is a teenage orphan who possesses various skills and a curious mind. The first two books in the series were adapted for television with Billie Piper playing Sally.
His Dark Materials is a trilogy of fantasy novels following the coming of age of the two main characters, Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry, as they wander through a series of parallel universes. The title of the series comes from John Milton’s Paradise Lost.
Northern Lights (1995) – 12-year-old Lyra Belacqua runs wild with her dæmon Pantalaimon around Jordan College, Oxford, under the guardianship of the college's Master. One day, she witnesses the Master poison wine intended for Lord Asriel, Lyra's rebellious and adventuring uncle. She warns Asriel not to drink the wine, then spies on his lecture about ‘Dust’, mysterious elementary particles attracted to adults more than to children. Asriel shows the college scholars images of a parallel universe seen through the Northern Lights amidst a concentration of Dust. Published as The Golden Compass in North America.
The Subtle Knife (1997) – investigates the mysterious phenomenon of Dust. Will Parry is introduced as a companion to Lyra, and together they explore new worlds in the search for Will's father.
The Amber Spyglass (2000) – Lyra and Will struggle to overthrow an authoritarian, fanatically religious government called the Magisterium as it tries to seize control over all of the parallel universes and their human and non-human inhabitants.
La Belle Sauvage (2017) – is the first book in a planned trilogy titled The Book of Dust. It is set twelve years before His Dark Materials and presents events prior to the arrival of the six-month-old Lyra Belacqua at Jordan College. The second book in the trilogy The Secret Commonwealth was published in 2019. Set about twenty years after the events of La Belle Sauvage and ten years after the conclusion of the His Dark Materials trilogy, Lyra is now an adult.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings - The Yearling (1939) is about a boy who adopts an orphaned fawn. Won the 1939 Pulitzer Prize for the Novel.
Ransom Riggs - Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2011) is a fantasy novel. The story is told through a combination of narrative and photographs. Jacob Portman believes he is ordinary and is fascinated with his extraordinary grandfather, Abraham Portman, during his childhood years. Grandpa Portman introduces Jacob to interesting stories about monsters and unusual pictures of peculiar children. As a child, Abraham escaped Nazi Germany to Wales, where he lived in a house with other children under the guidance of Headmistress Miss Alma LeFay Peregrine.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians – is a series of five fantasy adventure novels following the story of Percy Jackson, a boy who discovers he is a demigod son of Poseidon.
The Lightning Thief (2005) – Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is on the most dangerous quest of his life. With the help of a satyr and a daughter of Athena, Percy must journey across the United States to catch a thief who has stolen the original weapon of mass destruction – Zeus’ master bolt.
The Sea of Monsters (2006) – When Thalia’s tree is mysteriously poisoned, the magical borders of Camp Half-Blood begin to fail. Now Percy and his friends have just days to find the only magic item powerful to save the camp before it is overrun by monsters. The catch: they must sail into the Sea of Monsters to find it.
The Titan’s Curse (2007) – The demigods rush to the rescue to find that Grover has made an important discovery: two powerful half-bloods whose parentage is unknown. The titan lord Kronos has devised his most treacherous plot yet, and the young heroes have just fallen prey.
The Battle of the Labyrinth (2008) – Camp Half-Blood isn’t safe, as Kronos’ army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop them, Percy and his friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth.
The Last Olympian (2009) – While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.
Divergent is a series of adventure novels set in a post-apocalyptic dystopian Chicago. Society defines its citizens by their social and personality affiliations, with five different factions. The trilogy consists of Divergent (2011), Insurgent (2012) and Allegiant (2013).
J. K. Rowling is the pen name of Joanne Rowling, not, as is often assumed, Joanne Kathleen Rowling. The publishers, Bloomsbury, requested that Rowling use two initials, rather than reveal her first name.
Harry Potter – is a series of seven fantasy novels. The novels chronicle the lives of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry's struggle against Lord Voldemort, a dark wizard who intends to become immortal, overthrow the wizard governing body known as the Ministry of Magic and subjugate all wizards and Muggles (non-magical people).
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997) – Harry travels to Hogwarts and becomes close friends of Ron and Hermione. He discovers that Lord Voldemort killed his parents. First line: “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much”. Bloomsbury published the book with an initial print run of 500 copies. Published as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in America.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998) – follows Harry's second year at Hogwarts, during which a series of messages on the walls of the school's corridors warn that the "Chamber of Secrets" has been opened and that the "heir of Slytherin" would kill all pupils who do not come from all-magical families. Harry kills a Basilisk and thwarts another attempt by Lord Voldemort to return to full strength.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999) – Harry investigates Sirius Black, an escaped prisoner from Azkaban, the wizard prison, believed to be one of Lord Voldemort's old allies. Harry learns that Sirius Black is his godfather.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000) – Harry visits the Weasleys and together they go to see the Quidditch World Cup. Harry is chosen by the Goblet of Fire to compete in the Triwizard Tournament.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003) – The Ministry of Magic is in denial of Lord Voldemort's return. Harry and Dumbledore are targeted by the Wizard authorities as an authoritarian bureaucrat, Dolores Umbridge, slowly seizes power at Hogwarts.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005) – Lord Voldemort has returned to power, and his wrath has been felt in both the Muggle and Wizarding worlds. Harry prepares for the final battle against Voldemort alongside his headmaster and mentor Albus Dumbledore.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007) – As Harry, Ron, and Hermione race against time and evil to destroy Voldemort's four remaining Horcruxes, they uncover the existence of the three most powerful objects in the wizarding world: the Deathly Hallows. Last line: “The scar had not pained Harry for 19 years. All was well.”
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2001) – is a guide book written by the fictitious author Newt Scamander about the magical creatures in the Harry Potter universe. The Tales of Beedle the Bard (2008) – first appeared as a fictional book in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, where the book is bequeathed to Hermione Granger by Albus Dumbledore. The book was originally produced in a limited edition of only seven copies, each handwritten and illustrated by J. K. Rowling. One of them was offered for auction through Sotheby's in 2007 and was bought for £1.95 million by Amazon. The money earned at the auction of the book was donated to The Children's Voice charity campaign.
Louis Sachar - Holes (1998) concerns Stanley Yelnats, who is sent to Camp Green Lake, a correctional boot camp in a desert in Texas, after being falsely accused of theft.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Treasure Island (1883) – was originally titled The Sea Cook: A Story for Boys. Most of the novel is narrated by Jim Hawkins, the son of the innkeeper of the Admiral Benbow near Bristol. Jim comes across a map to an island, where Captain Flint, a pirate, has kept his treasures buried. He sails to the island on the Hispaniola, owned by Squire Trelawney. The one-legged cook on the ship is Long John Silver.
Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
The Edge Chronicles is a fantasy novel series consisting of 18 books. The stories take place in the fictional world of The Edge, a vast cliff with no apparent bottom.
Beyond the Deepwoods (1998) – is the first volume of The Edge Chronicles and of the Twig Saga trilogy.
R(obert) L(awrence) Stine
Fear Street – is a horror fiction series. The Fear Street series takes place in a town called Shadyside, and is similar to the Goosebumps series, although the murders are far more gruesome. In 1995, a series of books inspired by the Fear Street series, called Ghosts of Fear Street, was created for younger readers.
The New Girl (1989) – is the first book in the Fear Street series.
Edward Stratemeyer was a writer of children's fiction, and founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate publishing company.
The Hardy Boys – Frank and Joe Hardy are fictional characters who appear in various mystery series, first published in 1927. They are amateur sleuths, solving cases that stumped their adult counterparts. Each volume is penned by a ghostwriter under the pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon. Many of the early books were written by Leslie McFarlane.
Nancy Drew – is the female counterpart to the Hardy Boys series. The character first appeared in 1930. The books are ghostwritten by a number of authors and published under the collective pseudonym Carolyn Keene.
Rover Boys – is a series of books written by Arthur M. Winfield, a pen name for Edward Stratemeyer.
Bobbsey Twins – are the principal characters of a series of 72 novels published between 1904 and 1979, under the pseudonym Laura Lee Hope.
Tom Swift – is the main character of six series of science fiction and adventure novels. First published in 1910, the series totals more than 100 volumes. Most of the books are credited to the collective pseudonym Victor Appleton.
Brother in the Land (1984) – is a post-apocalyptic novel. It follows the adventures of Danny Lodge, a teenage boy as he fights for survival in a Yorkshire town following a nuclear war.
Stone Cold (1993) – is told in chapters that alternate between the perspective of Link, a newly-homeless young man in London, and Shelter, an ex-Army officer who abducts and murders homeless people.
Angie Thomas - The Hate U Give (2017) was written in reaction to the death of Oscar Grant, an African-American man who was killed in the early morning hours of New Year's Day 2009 by a Police Officer in Oakland. The shooting, and the protests against it, were an important precursor to the Black Lives Matter movement. The book is narrated by Starr Carter, a 16-year-old black girl from a poor neighbourhood. Starr becomes entangled in a national news story after she witnesses a white police officer shoot and kill her childhood friend, Khalil.
Adrian Mole series – is a collection of books written in a diary style by a teenager. The character first appeared (as Nigel) as part of a comic diary featured in an arts magazine in 1980 and shortly afterward in a BBC Radio 4 play in 1982. The first books concentrate on Adrian's desires and ambitions in life, against the background of the social and political situation in Britain in the 1980s.
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ (1982) – Adrian sees himself as an intellectual. He lives in Leicestershire and has a girlfriend named Pandora.
The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (1984) – Adrian attempts to run away from home and his sister is born. He is a fierce critic of Margaret Thatcher.
The True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole (1989) – covers the same themes as the first two books but the continuous regular diary entries are absent.
Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years (1993) – is set in 1991 and Adrian is 23¾ years of age. He is now living and working in Oxford to be close to his childhood sweetheart, Pandora.
Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years (1999) – Adrian is the Head Chef in a top London restaurant and is estranged from his wife Jo Jo. Pandora is elected as Labour MP for Ashby-de-la-Zouch.
Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction (2004) – Adrian is 33¾ years of age. The title of the book refers to the weapons that were used as justification for the Iraq War which began at this time. This is a recurring theme throughout the book.
The Lost Diaries of Adrian Mole, 1999–2001 (2008) – Adrian is a single parent bringing up two boys in an uncaring world.
Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years (2009) – Aged 39 ¼, Adrian is married to Daisy and thinks he may have prostate trouble.
Johan David Wyss - Swiss Family Robinson (1812) chronicles the adventures of a family of Swiss immigrants who are shipwrecked in the East Indies and become castaways on a desert island. The four children are Fritz, Ernest, Jack, and Franz. The dogs are named Turk and Juno, and they adopt a monkey named Nip. Adapted as a film by Disney in 1960 starring John Mills.