"Oldies but Goodies!"

There are so many fun kids’ books out there from recent years that sometimes we forget about the great older books that are still fantastic reads today! If you or your children are looking for something new to read, why not try something “old?”

Newbery Medal winner The Westing Game, first published in 1978, is a wonderfully mind-twisting tale of a group of people—all potential heirs to the inheritance of an eccentric millionaire—who must race one another to solve the mystery of his death before one of them can claim the money. The fun quirks of the different characters keep the book interesting and funny, and make this a great story for older elementary readers.

A Long Way From Chicago, published in 1998, and its companion, A Year Down Yonder (2000), both by Richard Peck, are fantastic read-aloud stories and audio books. The Newbery Medal-winning A Long Way From Chicago is really a series of short stories, told from the perspective of a young boy who visits his wild grandmother with his sister during the Great Depression. Their visits produce all sorts of experiences and memories and make for a wonderful, heart-warming story that has stuck with me since I first had the book read to me in, well, 1998.

The Phantom Tollbooth (1961) opens with a terribly bored boy who can never find anything to do that amuses him. Arriving home from school one day to find a mysterious gift in his bedroom, he is ultimately transported to a magical land where he has grand adventures and even goes on a quest to save two princesses trapped in a castle in the air! Reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, this is an endlessly entertaining story with lots of great puns and wordplay.

Other lovely “older” reads are: All-of-a-Kind Family (1951), From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1967), Our Only May Amelia (1999), Harriet the Spy (1964), The Borrowers (1953), and Bud Not Buddy (1999).

Comments

Great suggestions for wonderful books from the past. Thank you!


Yes, there's a reason these books have endured!


For fans (or soon to be fans) of A Long Way From Chicago, be sure to also check out Richard Peck's other historical fiction...he is endlessly delightful. My other oldy but goody favorites include Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes (1951) and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (1962).


The Westing Game is a great book! Maybe I'll try out some of these other ones...


These are all wonderful suggestions! Pippi Longstocking also holds up beautifully.


All-of-A-Kind Family and the others in that series are family favorites!


Every book you mentioned here has been at the top of my list of favorites at one time or another. I'm surprised by just how old some of them are! They seem just as current today as they did when I first read them, and as I imagine they did when they were published.


I choked when I read that Peck's books are considered oldies along with Harriet the Spy and other mid-century reads. Sheesh. Clearly I'm a dinosaur.