Classic /ˈklasik/Judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind. Ex. “a classic novel”
If you were alive in 1917 when Central Library was built, this is what one of the bookcases in the children’s section might have looked like.
Listed below are 50 books for kids published before 1917 that were on the shelves back then. These books are classics, having stood the test of time. They have been favorites for more than 100 years! Click on any book jacket to read the book right now! You don’t even need to wait to check it out. These books are part of the public domain. Public domain means that since these books were published before 1923, they are not subject to copyright. That means you can read them for free! You can find even MORE classic books for kids to read for free at Read.gov: Classic Books and at The International Children’s Digital Library.
Beverly Cleary has been a presence in children’s literature since her first book, Henry Huggins, was published in 1950, more than 65 years ago! Although her last book, Ramona’s World, was published in 1999 long before any of her current readers like you were born, she has continued to inspire generations of us to fall in love with Ramona, Henry Huggins, and Ralph S. Mouse.
During her long career, she has been honored with a Newbery Medal (Dear Mr. Henshaw, 1984), 2 Newbery honors (Ramona and Her Father, 1978; Ramona Quimby, Age 8, 1982), the National Book Award (Ramona and Her Mother, 1981), among many accolades, and was recognized with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal (1975) for “a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.”
Mirror Mirror is a book of poems about classic fairy tales. You read each poem and then you read each poem again backwards, reading each line in reverse order. It’s amazing and hard to believe, but both poems work. This seems unbelievably difficult to me. To make it even more complicated, when you read the poem in one direction, it is from one character’s point of view and when you read the poem backwards it is from a different character’s point of view. I have no idea how the author managed to do this. It’s word brilliant! THEN, to make the poems even more amazing, the illustrator, Josée Masse, made the pictures the same way!
The author and illustrator also teamed up for a second book of mirror poetry called Echo, Echo. The theme in this one is Greek myths.
To test just how hard writing a poem like this might be I gave it a try using Grover and Tyson from the Percy Jackson books. It’s lame, four lines, but hey, I’m a beginner!
Together til the end Percy is my friend And now Brothers in arms
See, if you read it from top to bottom it’s about Grover. Percy is his friend at school before Percy knows he’s a demi-god, but then they become brothers in arms in the war against Kronos. If you read the lines in reverse it’s about Tyson. Tyson and Percy are Brothers in arms first fighting their way back into to camp half-blood. It’s only later that they become friends.
My poem kind of works. Trying it showed me that I was right – writing like this is incredibly difficult! You have to consider each line and how it will work for the two different points of view and mine doesn’t even rhyme or anything. Marilyn Singer’s poems have everything: the poems flow right, the rhyming is right and the poems make total sense read both ways. Really. How in the world did she do this? Amazing! These are two amazing books to celebrate April, National Poetry Month.
If you like reading Greg Heffley’s diary, you might like some of these books that are also about kids trying to make their way in Middle School. Some of these kids are also irreverent (that means disrespectful!) and lazy…just like Greg! Some of them write in a diary and some don’t, but ALL of them are funny. We highly recommend Big Nate, Timothy Failure, Origami Yoda, Amelia Rules & Dear Dumb Diary!
Galactic Hot Dogs Cosmo’s Wiener Getaway or eAudio by Max Braillier
When Michael G (yes, “G” is his whole last name, and that’s why everyone calls him G-Man) has to keep a journal in Mrs. Rosario’s class at school, naturally he writes about his ambition to have superpowers and join the superheroes of his city (like Captain Thunderman) in the fight for justice. After all, his friend Billy Demon just got an awesome winged flying suit and superpowers of his own, and now he’s the most popular kid in school! Mikey would just love to have superpowers too, but how will he get them? And if he does get them, what will he do with them?
The G-Man Super Journal: Awesome Origins or eBook by Chris Giarrusso
Meet Cosmoe, the Earth-Boy. He’s captain of the Neon Weiner, the finest flying food truck in the galaxy. Along with his bud, Big Humphree, he spends his days cruising the cosmos and staying crazy busy.
The 13-Story Treehouse or eBook by Terry Denton
Andy and Terry live in a treehouse. But it’s not just any old treehouse, it’s the most amazing treehouse in the world! This treehouse has thirteen stories, a bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool, a secret underground laboratory, and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and automatically shoots marshmallows into your mouth whenever you are hungry.
Doodlebug by Karen Young
Moving is tough. But the hardest thing of all about the move that Doreen “Dodo” Bussey’s family is making is that she suspects it might be because of her. Her mother gives Dodo a blank notebook, which she uses to chronicle the move and the first days in a new city.
2: Stuck in the Middle (of Middle School)
The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman
Four fifth-grade students–a geek, a class clown, a teacher’s pet, and a slacker–as well as their teacher and mothers, each relate events surrounding a computer programmed to complete homework assignments.
Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf by Jennifer Holm
Told entirely through notes, grocery receipts, report cards, bottle caps, and a vast array of other items, this hilarious story follows Ginny, who is having the worst school year ever, as she accidentally dyes her hair pink, throws live frogs in class, and loses the lead role in ballet to her ex-best friend.
Schooled by Gordon Korman
Homeschooled by his hippie grandmother, Capricorn (Cap) Anderson has never watched television, tasted a pizza, or even heard of a wedgie. But when his grandmother lands in the hospital, Cap is forced to move in with a guidance counselor and attend the local middle school. While Cap knows a lot about tie-dyeing and Zen Buddhism, no education could prepare him for the politics of public school.
Author and illustrator of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Jeff Kinney, will be at Central Library on Thursday, March 15, 2018. He will speak at 7 p.m. Afterwards he will sign a book for you! You can bring one from home or buy one while you are there.
There will be a limit of one signed book per person.
The event is free and open to the public with seating on a first-come, first served basis. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
Kids at Chapelwood Elementary School in Wayne Township asked the popular author some questions that he graciously answered over email. Read the email interview.
If you like reading Greg Heffley’s diary, you might like some of these books that are also about kids trying to make their way in Middle School. Some of these kids are also irreverent (that means disrespectful!) and lazy…just like Greg! Some of them write in a diary and some don’t, but ALL of them are funny. We highly recommend Big Nate, Timothy Failure, Origami Yoda, Amelia Rules & Dear Dumb Diary! IndyPL Kids’ Blog: Books to Read If You Like Diary of a Wimpy Kid