Most Popular Kids' Books in England

The Big Read

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) compiled a list of the most popular novels in England. The kids’ titles ranged from classics to Harry Potter, from Dickens to Dahl. Check out what your peers across the Atlantic recommend.

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
    Alice falls down a rabbit hole and finds herself in Wonderland. Her odd encounters with such characters as the White Rabbit and the Queen of Hearts have enchanted readers since 1865.
  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
    The Cuthberts of Prince Edward Island planned to adopt a boy orphan, but Anne Shirley arrived instead. Redheaded, imaginative and mischievous, Anne provides the family with a dose of daily adventure. The first installment of a series of eight books.
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl
    Although most children are terrified of giants and their wicked ways, Sophie has nothing to worry about when she’s abducted by the BFG. The Big Friendly Giant blows happy dreams through children’s windows.
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
    This classic, told from the perspective of the horse, follows Black Beauty as it matures from a young colt into an overworked cab horse. The story also teaches lessons about humane animal treatment.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
    After five children find a golden ticket in their chocolate bars, they’re treated to a private tour of Willy Wonka’s famous candy factory. Charlie Bucket, the most decent of the lot, will never be the same after the adventure.
  • Double Act by Jacqueline Wilson
    Identical twins cope with the death of their mother, their father’s new girlfriend, a new town and a new school. In addition, the twins begin to form their identities as individuals.
  • Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
    With World War II looming, Willie Beech, an abused child from London, is sent to the countryside, where he experiences a very different life with “Mr. Tom.”
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Like most good hobbits, Bilbo Baggins dislikes adventure. But when Gandalf the Grey Wizard arrives at his door, he finds himself one of 13 dwarves who seek to reclaim a lost treasure from a dangerous dragon. The Hobbit is considered the prequel to Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  • Holes by Louis Sachar Stanley
    Yelnats, accused of a crime he didn’t commit, is sentenced to Camp Green Lake, a detention center where boys dig holes to build character. Stanley soon realizes that they are digging for more than just character.
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
    Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy discover a magical land, called Narnia, through the back of a wardrobe. In Narnia, the siblings help the golden lion Aslan fight against the evil White Witch.
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
    The March sisters come of age while their father is away during the Civil War. Told in two parts, beautiful Meg, adventurous Jo, sensitive Beth and romantic Amy bond as young sisters and then pursue their individual dreams as they mature into adults.
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    A group of English schoolboys stranded on a deserted island must fend for themselves. At first the boys work together to make shelters, light fires and hunt for food. But everything falls apart when some decide they would rather play than work.
  • The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
    Mia Thermopolis is like any normal ninth grader in New York until her father tells her that he’s the Prince of Genovia, and she’s the crown princess. (Other books in the series include Princess in the Spotlight, Princess in Love and Princess in Waiting.)
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
    Orphaned Mary Lennox arrives at her uncle’s Misselthwaite Manor convinced that she’ll hate living there. But she’s pleasantly surprised when she and her cousin discover a magical garden.
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
    After a pirate shows up at his mother’s inn, young Jim finds a treasure map and sets out in search of buried treasure on a faraway island.

2004 Notable Books for ChildrenAll About Books Children's Book Awards

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