The 50 Books Every Child Should Read By Age 16 

Hey everyone! 
Hope you’re well on this Sunday evening and that you’ve had a restful weekend. 

I’ve been having a mooch online and stumbled across this list being advertised on Facebook. Naturally, I was inquisitive. It’s an interesting list based on, as the title of this post suggests, the 50 books every child should read by age 16. I had to check this out. 

Now I’m a bit of a geek and have a spreadsheet based on what books I’ve read and in what year. #booklovenotashamed. I was curious to see how many I’d read and I wanted to pass this onto you guys to see which ones you’ve read by this age. The ones I’ve read are striked out. 

Here goes. The 50 books are as follows:

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory- Roald Dahl

Alice in Wonderland- Lewis Carroll

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe- C.S. Lewis – Read after age 16. Didn’t really take my fancy as a child or an adult. 

Winnie The Pooh- A.A.Milne

Black Beauty- Anna Sewell

James and The Giant Peach- Roald Dahl & then again at university. It formed part of my dissertation! 

The BFG-Roald Dahl

A Bear Called Paddington- Michael Bond

Treasure Island- Robert Louis Stevenson

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn- Mark Twain

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling

Matilda- Roald Dahl

The Railway Children- E. Nesbit – Watched the film, but haven’t read the book. 

Oliver Twist- Charles Dickens – Read but after the age of 16. This would have been a huge book to read at that age! 

Five on a Treasure Island- Enid Blyton

The Wind in the Willows- Kenneth Grahame

The Very Hungry Caterpillar- Eric Carle

The Jungle Book- Rudyard Kipling – Nope… Loved the Disney film too much. 

Charlotte’s Web- EB White

The Tale of Peter Rabbit- Beatrix Potter

Watership Down- Richard Adams – Saw the film. It left me traumatised. 

The Hobbit -J.R.Tolken

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- J.K. Rowling – Read a number of times BUT it was published after my 16th birthday. 

Lord of the Flies- William Golding

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾ Sue Townsend – Read a couple of years ago when she sadly passed away. 

Great Expectations- Charles Dickens – Read at university. LOVE it. 

The Cat in the Hat- Dr Seuss

The Secret Garden- Frances Hodgson-BurnettAnd saw a theatre adaptation. 

The Diary of a Young Girl- Anne Frank – Read after the age of 16. 

The Twits – Roald Dahl

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz- L. Frank Baum

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne – Another book I’ve read, but it too was released after my 16th birthday

Anne of Green Gables- L.M.Montgomery

The Tiger Who Came to Tea- Judith Kerr

Green Eggs and Ham-Dr Seuss

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

Bambi- Felix Selten

Tom’s Midnight Garden- Phillipa Pearce – I knew the story but didn’t read the book until I was studying a children’s literature module at university

Little House on the Prairie- Laura Ingalls Wilder

Funny Bones- Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Where The Wild Things Are- Maurice Sendak

Carrie’s War- Nina Bawden

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon – Read but again it was released after my 16th birthday. Would love to see the London theatre version as well. 

The Magician’s Nephew- C.S. Lewis

The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman

The Story of Doctor Dolittle- Hugh Lofting

The Story of Tracy Beaker – Jacqueline Wilson

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Curious George- H.A.Ray

Each Peach Pear Plum – Janet and Allan Ahlberg 
This is an awesome list. Ok, there is a minor flaw that some books were published after my 16ty birthday; it serves as a pretty good reading list. It’s definitely a list I will be sharing with my students at school. 

Books I’ve read: 32, 22 by the age of 16. Not bad going! 
What about you? I’d love to know! 

Have a great week everyone! 

Big love xx



Filed under Books, Children's Literature

38 responses to “The 50 Books Every Child Should Read By Age 16 

  1. I love this list, it’s great. Ill have to remember this page as many I’ve still not read.


  2. so many good books in this list! you have read so many of them 🙂


  3. What a great list! I also read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe after age 16 – to my kids, in fact. I loved that book. I’m getting ready to read Watership Down for my Summer Reading Challenge (a book with non-human characters). And you have to read Little House on the Prairie – I LOVED that book! My son and I read the entire series (lots of books and sequels), chapter by chapter before bed. It took us a couple years to get through them all. We started in 1st grade and it was such a special time for us!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thats a great list! I think it hugely depend on where you come from if you have read them. There are some I have never heard off, and many I only knew existed after my 16th bday. But here in Holland we have plenty of ‘classics’ to fill up those spaces :p


    • You’re probably right! I think age is a huge factor too. I’ve read some of these but they were published after my 16th birthday. What classics do you have in Holland? X

      Liked by 1 person

      • Age will affect it too indeed. Thea Beckman is quite big, some of her work got translated in English (like crusade in jeans). She mainly writes historical fiction. There was also Annie MG Schmidt, who wrote all kinds of fun stories, about kids who get themselves into trouble (floddertje, jip en janneke, pluk van de petteflet). One of my favourites was Paul van Loon, who writes ‘horror’. He had a series about a boy who was a werewolf.


      • Well I’ve never heard of any of those! Perhaps there’s a list like this for Dutch children?

        Liked by 1 person

      • There are lists for top… best kids books. Things like Harry Potter, Neverending story, Alice in Wonderland, Narnia, The Secrer Garden, little prince and Matilda are on there, but also a lot of books by dutch authors.


      • Oh it’s nice to see some similarities. I may Google the Dutch writers later. Thank you

        Liked by 1 person

  5. 33 (Arrrrr!) But I don’t know me age when reading them. Never been good with dates.
    x The Captain

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You did really well with this list- I managed 28, which was decent considering I usually suck at these things! And it was a good choice to read Oliver Twist after you were 16- I read that when I was 12 and I was much too young for it. Great post!


    • Oliver Twist at 12? My word… You must be some sort of reading legend. I would never have been able to read or understand it then.
      Well done you! It’s an interesting list I think. There’s always something I’ve never heard of.


  7. I feel like I’m failing because I haven’t read most of these!


  8. Love this list! Sad part is that i haven’t yet read all of these…and I am well into my twenties 😦


  9. I’ve read eighteen and I’m twenty, haha.


  10. dreamingthroughliterature

    I love lists like this! Thanks for sharing. Sadly, I’ve only read 11 books on this list, which is crazy, but alas, at least most of them are on my TBR.


  11. Great selection thanks for sharing I’ve been a bit inactive recently on my blog too as I’m editing…. . 🙂


  12. This is a wonderful little list. I’m going to forward it to my little neice Keiraleigh. She’s a little bookwork and I’m definitely sure she’ll read them all before she’s 16 🙂


  13. Pingback: The 50 Books Every Child Should Read By Age 16  — booksandbakes1 – patkolesar1942

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