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Books TitleRECOMMENDED NOVELS WRITTEN FOR CHILDREN

C) ANIMAL FANTASY

ADAMS, RICHARD
“Watership Down” (1972)
This long novel tells of a group of rabbits searching for a new home when theirs is destroyed by men. The rabbits have a rich mythology and complex history and personalities. Wise Hazel and weak but prescient Fiver lead their band through many trials, including persecution by the evil rabbit General Woodwort.

BROOKS, WALTER R.
“Freddy the Detective” (1932)
And the more than 20 other books starring Freddy the Pig and the animals of the Bean farm. Humorous, exciting adventures of talking animals who often act like people, with complex characters and wry social satire.

BUTTERWORTH, OLIVER
“The Enormous Egg” (1956)
Engaging tall tale about a hen in rural New Hampshire who lays a really enormous egg, from which hatches a live dinosaur! The boy Nate names him “Uncle Beasley” and together they face publicity and glory.

GALLICO, PAUL
“The Abandoned” (1950)
“Thomasina” (1957)
This popular novelist wrote a few animal stories, and these two cat stories stand out. The first is about a boy who becomes a stray cat and learns about alley life, the second about a cat and her owners in Scotland. Both books are wise insights into human and animal nature.

HOBAN, RUSSELL
“The Mouse and His Child” (1967)
Though the title characters are wind-up toys, they move in the world at animal-level, and the other main character, Manny Rat, is a masterful animal villain in this poetic and thoughtful tale.

JANSSON, TOVE
“Comet in Moominland” (1945)
And six other Moomin books that take place in a fantasy world resembling the Finnish author’s rural and seaside childhood haunts. Wildly inventive tales with animal-like characters full of strong personality who have improbable adventures.

JARRELL, RANDALL
“The Animal Family” (1965)
A poetic fantasy about a hunter, a mermaid, and the animals they adopt.

JENNINGS, PATRICK
"The Beastly Arms" (2003)
A different sort of animal fantasy, where real animals lurk in the nooks and crannies of an old apartment building that the boy protagonist must track down, discovering secrets along the way. The fantasy elements are more in the final reveal than anywhere else, or perhaps it's not a fantasy at all, you be the judge.

LAGERLOF, SELMA
“The Wonderful Adventures of Nils” (1907, 1911, 1947)
Last date is the American combined translation of two earlier Swedish books. Nils is a boy who is shrunk small by a fairy he mistreats, and who hitches a ride on a wild goose that takes him far and wide following the seasonal migration. Good nature writing as well as fantasy.

LAMPMAN, EVELYN SIBLEY
“The Shy Stegosaurus of Cricket Creek” (1955)
This and a sequel tell a light-hearted story of a boy living in desert country who finds and befriends a lone surviving talking dinosaur.

OBRIEN, ROBERT (Robert Conley)
“Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” (1971)
Clever story of some highly intelligent rats, escaped from a science lab, who help a mouse (Mrs. Frisby) and her children whose home is about to be destroyed. 

SELDEN, GEORGE
“The Cricket In Times Square” (1960)
Chester Cricket comes from the country to the city, where he finds friends in the subway station of the title, both animal and human, who he repays with his talented musical chirping. A fine urban fable.

SLEIGH, BARBARA
“Carbonel” (1955)
and two other books about this magical cat and his relatives. Rosemary accidentally buys a witch’s broom, which gives her the power to understand animal speech. She also brings home Carbonel, a royal cat, who leads her into magic adventures.

SMITH, DODIE
“The Hundred and One Dalmations” (1956)
and it’s sequel, “The Starlight Barking” are rather different from the Disney version, quirky and inventive tales of intelligent animals who band together in the face of human evil. Also worth reading is her “The Midnight Kittens”.

OTHER TOPICS

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RECOMMENDED NOVELS WRITTEN FOR CHILDREN TOPICS

A) Classic Fantasy

B) Epic Fantasy

C) Animal Fantasy

D) Historical and Time Travel Fantasy

E) Other Fantasy

F) Science Fiction

G) Mystery

H) Historical

I) Classic Adventure

J) Vacation/Holiday Adventure

K) Wilderness Adventure

L) Other Adventure

M) Classic Family and Friends

N) Family and Friends

O) Real Life

P) Humor

Q) Classic Animals

R) Dogs and Cats

S) Horses

T) Other Animals and Nature

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