101 Out-Of-This-World Books For Kids Ages 8-13

Compiled by Arrowhead Library System


The Cay by Theodore Taylor. Blind American boy and an old West Indian native are stranded on a Caribbean island.1969.

Hatchet by Gary Paulson. Following a plane crash, a boy survives 54 days in the Canadian wilderness. 1988.

The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton. A family tries to unravel the secrets of their new home which was once a stop on the Underground Railroad. 1968.

The Illyrian Adventure by Lloyd Alexander. Vesper Holly and her guardian set sail for the tiny country of Illyria in search of treasure only to find themselves in the middle of a war. 1986.

Julie by Jean Craighead George. In this sequel to Julie of the Wolves, Julie returns to live with her father in their Inuit village. 1994.

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. Sam Gribley spends a winter alone in the Catskill Mountains. 1959.

The Scorpio Ghosts and the Black Hole Gang by Kathy Kennedy Tapp. Four children are bored with their parents' idea of renovating an old schoolhouse in Wisconsin, until they meet a floating ghost. 1987.

Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan. Children smuggle gold out of occupied Norway on their sleds. 1942.

Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner. Little Willy competes against the Indian Stone Face in the National Dogsled Races. 1980.

Trouble River by Betsy Byars. A thrilling historical adventure about young Dewey and his feisty grandmother fighting for their lives on a river raft.1969.


Black Stallion
by Walter Farley.
A wild Arabian stallion and the boy who trained him. 1941.

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. Beautiful story of a friendship between Wilbur, a gentle young pig, and the beautiful and intelligent spider who saved his life. 1952.

Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat. Gophers, garter snakes, pigeons, rats and owls make family life exciting on the Saskatchewan prairie. 1961.

Rascal: A Memoir of a Better Era by Sterling North. A lively raccoon made lots of trouble--and fun--for the author when he was 11 years old. 1984.

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. When Marty finds a mistreated puppy, he knows he should return it to the rightful owner, but struggles with this as he know the puppy will be abused again. 1991.

Sounder by William H. Armstrong. Wrongly accused, an innocent man and his son are saved from pursuers by their loyal dog, Sounder.1969.

Trouble With Tuck by Theordore Taylor. A girl trains her blind dog to follow & trust a guide dog of his own. 1981

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. After spending weeks training his dogs, Billy enters the annual coon-hunt contest and wins. 1974.


Agony of Alice
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Alice is growing up without a mother to advise her and has only her father and brother, who aren't much help. 1985.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. Story of a boy and a girl, two fifth-graders, who build an imaginary kingdom of art, literature and friendship -- until tragedy occurs. 1977.

Coco Grimes by Mary Stolz. Thomas, who has just turned 11, is dying to go to Miami to meet Coco Grimes, a man who once played baseball in the Negro Leagues. 1994.

Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary. An award-winning novel of a boy who pours out his problems in letters to a writer he greatly admires. 1983.

Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voight. Abandoned by their mother, Dicey and the younger children move in with their grandmother and start a new life. 1982.

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson. Eleven-year-old Gilly is placed in a new foster home with an unusual foster mother. 1978.

Hello, My Name is Scrambled Eggs by Jamie Gilson. Harvey looks forward to the arrival of a Vietnamese refugee family and their son, but runs into trouble with the prejudice of his American friend Quint. 1985.

More Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron. More episodes in the life of Julian, including a bet with his best friend, a science project, and what happens when his brother decides to be Superboy. 1989.

On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer. Twelve-year-old Joel must learn to live with fear and grief after his his friend Tony drowns in a treacherous river. 1986.

Pinballs by Betsy Byars. Two boys and a girl meet in the foster home where they've been sent to live. 1977.

Plain City by Virginia Hamilton.
A racially-mixed 12-year-old girl seeks her African-American identity. 1993.

The Skirt by Gary Soto. Can Miata find the beautiful folklorico skirt her mother has loaned her in time for her dance performance? 1992.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. Peter Hatcher's trials and tribulations, most of which are caused by his two-year-old pesky brother, Fudge. 1972.

Wanted: Mud Blossom by Betsy Byars. The Blossom family has an eventful weekend during which Pap's dog Mud is put on trial for the murder of the school hamster. 1991.

Where the Lilies Bloom by Vera Cleaver. An Appalachian girl is determined to fulfill her father's last request to keep the family together. 1969.


by Roald Dahl. Sophie is saved by the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) and finds herself in a strange environment. 1982.

The Boggart by Susan Cooper. When the Volnik family in Toronto inherits an ancient castle in Scotland, they also inherit the Boggart, a mischievous spirit that has lived there for centuries. 1993.

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. The fate of the peaceful kingdom of Prydain hangs in the balance as a young pig keeper and a great warrior battle the forces of evil. 1964.

The Borrowers by Mary Norton. Little people, no taller than a pencil, live in old houses and borrow what they need from humans.1953.

Cricket in Times Square by George Selden. A Connecticut cricket is transported in a picnic basket to New York's Times Square. l960.

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. Adventures in the supernatural as Will Stanton takes part in the eternal conflict between good and evil.1973.

The Dark Stairs: A Herculeah Jones Mystery by Betsy Byars. The daughter of a police detective and a private eye becomes a sleuth in this fast-paced mystery. 1994.

The Giver by Lois Lowry. A haunting story in which a boy who inhabits a seemingly ideal world experiences something incredible and undertakes something impossible. 1993.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. The first adventures of four children who go into the magical land of Narnia. 1950.

The Mennyms by Sylvia Waugh. A family of living, intelligent, life-sized rag dolls live undiscovered in a London flat. 1995.

Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Justin. When Milo receives a tollbooth as a gift, he finds that it admits him to a land where many adventures take place. l961.

The Sea Egg by L.M. Boston. A brief episode of magic perfectly captured in this adventure of two brothers whose egg-shaped rock hatches into a baby merman. 1967.

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. Mysterious story about the Tuck family, whose members drink from a magical spring and never grow old. 1975.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle. Meg and her friends are spirited to another world by three extraterrestrial beings. 1962.


Anthony Burns: The Defeat and Triumph of a Fugitive Slave
by Virginia Hamilton. The account of the escape, the recapture, and the sensational 1854 trial of a fugitive slave. 1988.

Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy
by S. Reit. In 1861, Emma Edmonds joined the Union Army disguised as a boy. She went on to serve her country as a master spy. 1988.

Bound for Oregon by Jean Van Leeuwen. A fictionalized account of the journey of nine-year-old Mary Ellen Todd and her family along the Oregon Trail in 1852. 1994.

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Brink. The delightful escapades of a red-haired tomboy and her brothers in early Wisconsin. 1973.

The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli. Set in the 14th century, the classic story of one boy's personal heroism when he loses the use of his legs. 1949.

A Family Apart (The Orphan Train series) by Joan Lowrey Nixon. The story of Frances Mary and the other Kelly children sent to St. Louis in the mid-19th century to live with frontier families. 1987.

Johnny Tremain: A Novel For Young and Old by Esther Forbes. Story of a young silversmith's apprentice, who plays an important part in the American Revolution. 1943.

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Outstanding story of a log-cabin family in Wisconsin in the late 1800s. 1953.

Mississippi Bridge by Mildred D. Taylor. In 1930s Mississippi, a small town torn by racial injustice and segregation is united by a tragic accident that changes the lives of the town's citizens forever.1990.

My Brother Sam is Dead by James L. Collier. Recounts tragedy that strikes the Meeker family during the American Revolution when one son joins the Rebel forces.1974.

My Sister's Keeper by Beverly Butler. In the north woods of Wisconsin following a forest fire that destroys their town in 1871, 17-year-old Mary James forms a new respect for her older sister. 1980.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowrey. Best friends Annemarie Johansen and Ellen Rosen must pretend to be sisters when Ellen's parents go into hiding to escape a Nazi roundup. 1989.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr. The moving biography of a young Japanese girl who dies of leukemia that developed as a result of radiation sickness from the bombing of Hiroshima. 1977.

Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan. Two children wait on the prairie for the arrival of a New England woman who has answered their father's ad for a wife.1985.

Sing Down the Moon by Scott O'Dell. The tragic forced march of the Indians to Fort Sumner in 1864, told by a young Navajo girl. 1970.

The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox. Fourteen-year-old Jessie is kidnapped and forced aboard an American slave ship bound for Africa. 1973.

Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth Speare. In 1687, Kit Tyler befriends an old woman considered a witch by the community and suddenly finds herself standing trial for witchcraft. 1958.


Aliens for Breakfast

by Jonathon Etra. Finding an intergalactic special agent in his cereal box, Richard joins in a fight to save Earth from the Dranes, one of whom is masquerading as a student in Richard's class. 1988.

Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowrey. Anastasia's tenth year has some good things like falling in love and getting to know her grandmother and some bad things like finding out her mother is going to have a baby. 1979.

Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery by Deborah Howe and James Howe. A dog named Harold tells the story of a rabbit many believe to be a vampire. 1979.

Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith. Henry Green develops the first recorded case of chocolate fever. 1989.

The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald. The shrewdest con artist west of the Mississippi during the early 1900s was 10-year-old Tom Fitzgerald, alias The Great Brain. 1967.

How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell. In this very funny story, Billy takes on a bet -- he will eat 15 worms a day. 1972.

Kevin Corbett Eats Flies by P. Hermes. Kevin and his friend conspire to prevent Kevin's father from moving himself and Kevin yet again. 1986.


The Best School Year Ever
by Barbara Robinson. The incorrigible Herdmans from The Best Christmas Pageant Ever are back in this book of laugh-out-loud adventures.1994.

The Burning Questions of Bingo Brown by Betsy Byars. During Bingo's sixth-grade year, he falls in love three times for starters. 1988.

Class President by Johanna Hurwitz. Fifth grade holds a lot of changes for Julio Sanchez, especially after being elected class president. 1990.

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. Precocious, overprivileged Harriet darts around her Manhattan neighborhood ferreting out and writing down the worst and best on her scene, sparing no one. 1964.

Maniac McGee by Jerry Spinelli. After his parents die, Jeffrey Lionel Magee's life becomes legendary, as he accomplishes athletic and other feats which awe his friends.1990.

Thirteen Ways to Sing a Sub by Jamie Gilson. The girls in Room 4A challenge the boys to see who can first make their substitute teacher cry.1982.

Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger by Louis Sachar. More zany episodes with the children who inhabit the world's wackiest elementary school. 1994.


Me, Mop and the Moondance Kid
by Walter Dean Myers. Mop wants to star in Little League baseball, hoping she will get adopted by the couple coaching her team.1988.

No Arm in Left Field by Matt Christopher. The new kid in town tries out for the baseball team, but his weak throwing arm causes friction between him and the shortstop.

Outside Shooter by Thomas Dygard. Story of a first-year coach and his challenge to shape up an uncontrollable yet talented player. 1990.

Skinnybones by Barbara Parks. Tale of a Little League misfit. 1982.

S.O.R. Losers by Avi. Everyone at South Orange River Middle School is expected to participate in one sport each year, and this is the story of a soccer team that would rather be doing something else. 1984.

The Trading Game by Alfred Slote. The baseball card Andy longs to add to his almost complete collection is the one for his own grandfather in this fast-paced and funny story. 1990.


Something Upstairs: A Tale of Ghosts
by Avi. To set the spirit of a young African American slave to rest, a contemporary boy must travel back in time to 1800. 1988.

McMummy by Betsy Byars. In this combination of the funny and bizarre, a boy faces off against a sinister, humming pea pod that's growing in the greenhouse of an eccentric professor.

The Dark Way by Virginia Hamilton. The retelling of 24 myths and folktales from around the world filled with monsters, devils and phantoms "eager to leap into the corners of our imaginations." 1990.

The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright. Strange things happen in the old doll house Amy finds in the attic. 1983.

The Secret of Lizard Island by Ernest Herndon. When a mix-up sends 12-year-old Eric to the South Pacific on a mission, the boy finds himself on a remote island where scientists seem to be growing 30-foot lizards. 1994.

Seven Spiders Spinning by Gregory Maguire. Ice Age spiders thaw out in modern-day Vermont in a neat combination of clever wit and delicious thrills. 1994.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz. With genuinely creepy illustrations, this collection of American folklore should be read with the lights on. 1981.

The Thing at the Foot of the Bed and Other Scary Tales by Maria Leach. Thirty-five stories about ghosts, some scary and some funny. 1959.

The Ghost Came Calling by Betsy Ren Wright. Chad likes the rundown cabin at the lake until he discovers it's haunted by a ghost who doesn't want company. 1994.

The following books have all been made into movies. Read the book, then watch the movie. Or, vice versa. Some of the other books in this list are also available on video. Ask your librarian.

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson. A powerful story of a 14-year-old boy and the ugly stray dog he comes to love. 1956.

Babe: The Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith. A piglet destined for butchering arrives at the farmyard, is adopted by an old sheepdog, and discovers a special secret to success. 1985.

The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford. The adventures of a Labrador retriever, a terrier, and a Siamese cat, who journey 250 miles through the Canadian wilderness to return home. 1961. (Movie version also known as: Homeward Bound.)

The Indian In the Cupboard by Lynn Reid Banks. A boy receives a
plastic toy Indian which comes to life. 1980.

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. A little girl, brought from India to England, is treated like a princess until her father dies. 1984.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien. A group of rats are given human intelligence by a series of laboratory experiments. 1971.

The Rescuers by Margery Sharp. The Prisoners' Aid Society of mice want to free a Norwegian poet from the dungeon of the Black Castle.1974.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Three children find a secret garden and make it bloom again; the garden, in turn, changes the children.1962.

This booklet was compiled by Arrowhead Library System, in cooperation with Beloit Public Library and Janesville Public Library, and funded in part by a gift from local chapters of
Wisconsin Alpha Delta Kappa.

Arrowhead Library System
Janesville, Wisconsin 53545