I’ve been deliberately choosing books from this list since 2008 — as many of them were published after I was of age to read them naturally — and I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every single one of them. Even the ones that I was pretty sure I wouldn’t like (like Maniac Magee and Alan and Naomi, which begins with a stickball scene). I hope they issue an updated version, although I do kinda hope they change the title slightly, rather than suggest these books for girls particularly: these are just great books to grow on…for anyone!

Status: 63/100 (January 2021)

Alan and Naomi – Myron Levoy

Alanna, the First Adventure – Tamora Pierce

Another Way to Dance – Martha Southgate

Are you There God? It’s Me Margaret – Judy Blume

Ballet Shoes – Noel Streatfield

A Bone from a Dry Sea – Peter Dickinson

The Borrowers – Mary Norton

Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson

Caddie Woodlawn – Carol Ryrie Brink

Catherine, Called Birdy – Karen Cushman

Charlie Pippin – Candy Dawson Boyd

Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

Chasing Redbird – Sharon Creech

Child of the Owl – Laurence Yep

The Children of Green Knowe – L.M. Boston

Cousins – Virginia Hamilton

The Cuckoo’s Child – Suzanne Freeman

The Dark Side of Nowhere – Neal Shusterman

The Dark Stairs: A Herculeah Jones Mystery – Betsy Byars

A Day No Pigs Would Die – Robert Newton Peck

Dogsong – Gary Paulsen

Dragon of the Lost Sea – Laurence Yep

The Egypt Game – Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Ella Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine

The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm – Nancy Farmer

The Friends – Rosa Guy

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – E.L. Konigsburg

A Girl fromYamhill: A Memoir – Beverly Cleary

A Girl Named Disaster – Nancy Farmer

The Giver – Lois Lowry

The Glory Field – Walter Dean Myers

The Gold Cadillac – Mildred D. Taylor

The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman

✔Good Night, Mr. Tom – Michelle Magorian

The Great Gilly Hopkins – Katherine Paterson

Habibi – Naomi Shihab Nye

Half Magic – Edward Eager

Harriet the Spy – Louise Fitzhugh

✔A Hero Ain’t Nothing but a Sandwich – Alice Childress

Homecoming – Cynthia Voigt

Homesick: My Own Story – Jean Fritz

The House of Dies Drear – Virginia Hamilton

The Hundred Dresses – Eleanor Estes

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

✔In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson – Bette Bao Lord

Island of the Blue Dolphins – Scott O’Dell

Jacob Have I Loved – Katherine Paterson

✔Julie of the Wolves – Jean Craighead George

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles – Julie Edwards

Lily’s Crossing – Patricia Reilly Giff

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis

Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder

Lucy Forever and Miss Rosetree – Shrinks Susan Shreve

The Magical Adventures of Pretty Pearl – Virginia Hamilton

Maizon at Blue Hill – Jacqueline Woodson

Make Lemonade – Virginia Euwer Wolff

Maniac Magee – Jerry Spinelli

The Moon over Crete  – Jyotsna Sreenivasan

The Moorchild – Eloise McGraw

Number the Stars – Lois Lowry

The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton

The Poison Place: A Novel – Mary E. Lyons

Ramona the Pest – Beverly Cleary

Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution – Ji-Li Jiang

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry – Mildred D. Taylor

Running out of Time – Margaret Peterson Haddix

The School Mouse – Dick King-Smith

The Secret of Gumbo Grove – Eleanora E. Tate

Shabanu, Daughter of the Wind – Suzanne Fisher Staples

The Shimmershine Queens – Camille Yarbrough

The Slave Dancer – Paula Fox

Something Terrible Happened – Barbara Ann Porte

Somewhere in the Darkness – Walter Dean Myers

Squashed – Joan Bauer

The Star Fisher – Laurence Yep

Summer of My German Soldier – Bette Greene

Sun & Spoon – Kevin Henkes

Taste of Salt: A Story of Modern Haiti – Frances Temple

There’s an Owl in my Shower– Jean Craighead George

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Tom’s Midnight Garden – Philippa Pearce

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle – Avi

Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt

The View from Saturday – E.L. Konigsburg

Waiting for Anya – Michael Morpugo

Walk Two Moons – Sharon Creech

The Watsons Go to Birmingham – Christopher Paul Curtis

The Westing Game – Ellen Raskin

Where the Lilies Bloom – Vera and Bill Cleaver

Where the Red Fern Grows – Wilson Rawls

White Lilacs – Carolyn Meyer

✔Wise Child – Monica Furlong

The Witch of Blackbird Pond – Elizabeth George Speare

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase – Joan Aiken

The Woman in the Wall – Patrice Kindl

Wringer – Jerry Spinelli

A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle

✔The Yearling – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Yolanda’s Genius – Carol Fenner