Anita Silvey
My Works
100 Best Books for Children:
a parent's guide to making the right choices
for your young reader, toddler to preteen

From classics to new favorites, 100 Best Books for Children “points parents in the right direction [to] 100 titles no child should miss” (Booklist). With thirty-five years of experience at the heart of children’s publishing, Anita Silvey is better equipped than anyone to help parents make the right reading choices, given the enormous range of children’s books available today. From board books to titles for older readers, Silvey narrows the field to 100 “best books,” organizing them by age and providing essays on plot summary, along with fascinating insights into the story behind the story that only an insider would know.

The perfect gift for a baby shower, a baptism, or the first day of school, parents, grandparents, and teachers will all cherish this book.

Essential and inspiring, 100 Best Books for Children is a perfect handbook for parents who want to help their child develop a passion for reading that will last a lifetime.


What makes a book a classic? Silvey, a longtime children's book specialist and literature lover, addresses that question in order to identify books that represent a "basic literary heritage." The result is a highly select list of 100 titles published from 1902 to 2002. These are titles that have been or likely will be enjoyed by children for generations: "The canon of children's books remains the best gift we could ever give our children." And the short essays that introduce this canon are likely to engage adults in surprising ways. There is, of course, a brief synopsis of each book's content plus information about the creation or creator of the book. Written in a conversational tone, these stories "behind the story" provide insight, humor, and passion for the books presented. Additional titles are presented in "Beyond the 100 Best," organized by age (birth through age 12) and also by genre. An extensive bibliography of adult references provides not only documentation but also allows for follow-up by those interested. Silvey notes that a reader's response to a book is part of its story, hence the inclusion of a section entitled "Reading Journal." Altogether, this is a highly useful book for anyone who is interested in the best of children's literature and the fascinating tales behind these books.

Divided into age groups, Silvey lists classics old and new, from Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd's Goodnight Moon to Virginia Hamilton's The People Could Fly to Louis Sachar's novel Holes.

100 Best Books for Children
Houghton Mifflin, 2004
ISBN 978-0-6186-1877-4
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