The Greatest "Children's books, Fiction" Books Since 2000

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 264 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

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Children's books

Children's books are a category of literature that is specifically written and designed for children. These books are typically aimed at readers between the ages of 0-12 and cover a wide range of topics, from picture books for toddlers to chapter books for older children. Children's books often feature colorful illustrations, simple language, and engaging stories that are meant to entertain, educate, and inspire young readers. They can cover a variety of genres, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and more, and are an essential part of a child's early education and development.

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  1. 1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K Rowling

    In the sixth installment of the series, the protagonist returns for his sixth year at a magical school, where he excels in potions class with the help of an old textbook once belonging to the mysterious "Half-Blood Prince". As he delves deeper into his enemy's past through private lessons with the headmaster, he learns more about the Dark wizard's history and his own destiny. Amidst this, the school is no longer the safe haven it once was, and danger lurks within the castle walls. The year ends with a devastating loss, setting the stage for the final showdown.

  2. 2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K Rowling

    In the fifth installment of this iconic series, the young wizard Harry Potter returns for his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, only to discover that much of the wizarding world, including the Ministry of Magic, is in denial about the teenager's recent encounter with the evil Lord Voldemort. Harry is also beset by disturbing dreams while the sinister prison guards of Azkaban have been stationed at Hogwarts to protect the school, and Harry's budding abilities as a wizard are put to the test. Meanwhile, a secret society, the Order of the Phoenix, is working to fight Voldemort and his followers, and Harry's role in the coming conflict is becoming ever more significant.

  3. 3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K Rowling

    In the final installment of this popular series, the protagonist and his friends decide to leave their school to complete the mission left to them by their late headmaster - to destroy the remaining pieces of the antagonist's soul, hidden in various objects. As they journey through the wizarding world, they uncover the truth about the antagonist's past and the legend of the Deathly Hallows. Amidst the escalating war, they are captured and narrowly escape, leading to the ultimate battle at their school where many lives are lost. The protagonist learns he must sacrifice himself to truly defeat the antagonist, but is given a second chance at life and finally triumphs, ending the war. The story concludes with a glimpse into the peaceful future they have all earned.

  4. 4. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

    "Noughts and Crosses" is a thought-provoking novel set in a dystopian society where racial segregation is reversed. It follows the lives of two main characters: a girl from the ruling class (Crosses) and a boy from the underclass (Noughts). Despite their different backgrounds, they form a deep bond that eventually turns into a romantic relationship, challenging the societal norms and prejudices. The novel explores themes of love, racism, and power, offering a poignant commentary on the repercussions of societal divisions.

  5. 5. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

    A 12-year-old genius and criminal mastermind, Artemis Fowl, kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short, for a large ransom of gold with the help of his bodyguard, Butler, to restore his family's fortune. In the process, he discovers an underground world of armed and dangerous fairies. The fairies fight back with magic, cunning, and technological weapons leading to a high-stakes battle of wits.

  6. 6. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

    "The Neverending Story" is a captivating fantasy novel that follows the adventures of a young boy named Bastian. When he stumbles upon a mysterious book, he becomes engrossed in the magical world of Fantastica, where he must embark on a perilous quest to save the realm from destruction. As Bastian's imagination intertwines with reality, he discovers the power of storytelling and the importance of believing in oneself. This enchanting tale explores themes of courage, friendship, and the boundless nature of imagination.

  7. 7. The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper

    In "The Dark Is Rising," a young boy named Will Stanton discovers on his eleventh birthday that he is the last of the Old Ones, a group of immortal beings who must protect the world from the forces of darkness. As he embarks on a dangerous quest to find six powerful signs, Will must navigate a treacherous battle between good and evil, facing ancient magic, time travel, and his own inner demons along the way. With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Will must embrace his destiny and harness his newfound powers to save humanity from the rising darkness.

  8. 8. Little House In The Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

    "Little House In The Big Woods" is a heartwarming story set in the late 1800s, following the life of a young girl named Laura and her family as they navigate the challenges and joys of living in the Wisconsin wilderness. Through vivid descriptions and engaging anecdotes, the book offers a glimpse into the daily routines, traditions, and adventures of pioneer life, highlighting the importance of family, resilience, and the simple pleasures found in nature.

  9. 9. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

    A young girl named Coraline Jones moves into a new home and discovers a secret door leading to an alternate version of her life, where her "Other Mother" and "Other Father" reside. Although this parallel world seems better at first, she soon realizes that her Other Parents want to keep her there permanently and that they are not as they appear. Coraline must use her bravery and wits to save herself and her real parents, who have been kidnapped by the Other Mother, and free the souls of other children trapped in this alternate world.

  10. 10. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

    In this humorous and cleverly illustrated children's book, a bear searches for his missing hat, asking various animals along the way if they have seen it. As the bear's frustration grows, readers are left to wonder if the bear will ever find his hat and what might happen when he does.

  11. 11. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

    The book revolves around a young girl named Meggie and her father Mo, who possesses a unique ability to bring characters from books to life by reading aloud. This gift, however, comes with a price, as they are entangled in a dangerous adventure when a villain from a fantasy book called "Inkheart" is accidentally summoned into the real world. As they struggle to fix the chaos caused by this crossover, they must navigate a treacherous world of magic and betrayal, while attempting to thwart the villain's sinister plans and protect the balance between reality and the fantastical realms of literature.

  12. 12. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

    The novel follows the unusual life of a boy named Nobody "Bod" Owens who, after his family is murdered, is raised by the supernatural inhabitants of a graveyard. Under the protection of ghosts and his guardian, who is neither living nor dead, Bod learns about the living world and the dangers it holds, including the man Jack who continues to hunt for him. As he grows up among tombstones and crypts, Bod explores the limits of his graveyard home, encounters creatures of the night, and ultimately confronts the sinister forces that took his family from him, all while trying to lead a normal life despite his extraordinary upbringing.

  13. 13. The Arrival by Shaun Tan

    "The Arrival" is a wordless graphic novel that tells the story of a man who leaves his troubled homeland to seek a better life in an unknown country. The man's journey is filled with strange, surreal experiences as he navigates a new culture, language, and way of life, all while missing his family. The book explores themes of immigration, displacement, and hope in a beautifully illustrated, silent narrative.

  14. 14. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

    "American Born Chinese" by Gene Luen Yang is a graphic novel that weaves together three distinct storylines to explore themes of identity, cultural assimilation, and self-acceptance. The book follows the lives of Jin Wang, a Chinese-American boy struggling to fit in at school, the Monkey King, a mythical character striving for acceptance among his peers, and Danny, a white American teenager dealing with his Chinese cousin's visit. Through these interconnected narratives, the book delves into the complexities of being an immigrant and the challenges of navigating multiple cultural identities in America.

  15. 15. Julián Is A Mermaid by Jessica Love

    In this heartwarming and beautifully illustrated picture book, a young boy named Julián is captivated by the enchanting world of mermaids. After spotting a group of glamorous women dressed as mermaids on the subway, Julián dreams of becoming one himself. With his abuela's loving support, he embraces his true identity and expresses his creativity by transforming into a stunning mermaid. This empowering story celebrates self-acceptance, love, and the power of imagination.

  16. 16. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

    The book is a young adult novel that explores the themes of nonconformity and self-expression through the story of an eccentric and free-spirited girl who calls herself Stargirl. She arrives at Mica High School in Arizona and immediately stands out for her unique behavior and homemade clothes. Her presence challenges the status quo and prompts varying reactions from the other students, ranging from admiration to hostility. As the protagonist captures the attention of the narrator, a boy named Leo, he finds himself drawn to her authenticity and spirit, but also struggles with his desire for social acceptance. The story delves into the impact of individuality on peer relationships and the courage it takes to be true to oneself in the face of conformity.

  17. 17. A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond

    In this heartwarming tale, a young bear named Paddington travels from Peru to London, where he is discovered by the Brown family at Paddington Station. Despite his initial clumsiness and lack of knowledge about the human world, Paddington's kind-hearted nature and love for marmalade sandwiches endear him to the Browns and the community. As Paddington navigates his new life, he embarks on various adventures while teaching the importance of acceptance, family, and friendship.

  18. 18. The Miraculous Journey Of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

    In this heartwarming tale, a china rabbit named Edward Tulane embarks on a miraculous journey of self-discovery. From being lost at sea to finding himself in the hands of various owners, Edward learns the true meaning of love, loss, and the importance of opening one's heart to others. Through his encounters with different people, Edward's once cold and self-centered nature gradually transforms, as he learns to value the connections he forms and the impact he can have on the lives of those around him.

  19. 19. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

    The book is a humorous portrayal of the protagonist's daily life as he navigates the trials and tribulations of middle school. Through his diary entries, the reader gets a glimpse into his struggles with family, friends, and school. With a unique blend of text and cartoons, the book provides an engaging and relatable depiction of the protagonist's attempts to gain popularity and survive the school year, despite his many embarrassing incidents and frequent misadventures.

  20. 20. The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

    This wordless picture book tells the classic Aesop's fable of a tiny mouse and a mighty lion. When the mouse accidentally disturbs the lion, the lion spares the mouse's life. Later, when the lion is caught in a hunter's trap, the grateful mouse gnaws through the ropes to free him. The story is a beautiful depiction of kindness and reciprocity, showing how even the smallest creature can help someone much bigger and stronger.

  21. 21. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, Janet Song

    "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon" is a children's fantasy novel about a young girl named Minli who lives in a poor village at the base of a mountain. She sets out on a journey to find the Old Man of the Moon, hoping he can answer her family's prayers for a better life. Along the way, she meets a talking goldfish, a dragon who cannot fly, and other magical creatures. Through her adventures, Minli learns valuable lessons about gratitude, kindness, and the power of storytelling.

  22. 22. Emil I Lönneberga by Astrid Lindgren

    The book is a charming tale of a mischievous young boy living on a farm in the Swedish countryside at the turn of the 20th century. Despite his good intentions, Emil's curiosity and adventurous spirit often lead to trouble, resulting in his frequent confinement to the woodshed, where he whittles wooden figures as a pastime. Through a series of humorous and heartwarming escapades, Emil endears himself to his family and the local community, showcasing the innocence of childhood and the love and forgiveness that bind a family together.

  23. 23. Jerusalem Plays Hide And Seek by Ariella Deem

    "Jerusalem Plays Hide and Seek" is a children's book that takes readers on a whimsical journey through the ancient city of Jerusalem. The story follows a group of friends as they engage in a playful game of hide and seek, exploring the city's historic alleyways, vibrant markets, and sacred sites. Along the way, the children discover the rich cultural and religious tapestry that makes Jerusalem unique, learning about coexistence and the importance of friendship amidst the city's diverse communities. The book combines elements of adventure and education, offering young readers an engaging introduction to one of the world's most storied cities.

  24. 24. Duck, Death And The Tulip by Wolf Erlbruch

    "Duck, Death And The Tulip" is a poignant and thought-provoking illustrated book that explores the themes of life, death, and friendship. The story follows a duck who unexpectedly befriends Death, and together they embark on a journey of contemplation and acceptance. Through their conversations and experiences, the book delicately tackles the existential questions surrounding mortality, while offering a tender and comforting perspective on the inevitability of death.

  25. 25. Rules Of Summer by Shaun Tan

    "Rules of Summer" is a visually stunning and thought-provoking picture book that explores the complex relationship between two young boys during their summer vacation. Through a series of surreal and imaginative illustrations, the book delves into themes of friendship, power dynamics, and the unspoken rules that govern their interactions. With its rich imagery and open-ended narrative, "Rules of Summer" invites readers to reflect on the nuances of human relationships and the lessons learned during the season of growth and change.

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!

Download

If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.

Download