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World Book Day: What’s Your Top 10?

Today is World Book Day a calendar date designed to encourage children to explore books and celebrate stories all designed to get children passionate about reading.

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Designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration it is marked in over 100 countries around the globe and in 2018 sees it coming of age as it enters it’s 21st year. The site is worth a visit with downloads and free resources and details of events across the country –

So in celebration of World Book day I thought I’d take a look at the books that hit the top of the polls.

According to Book Trust the top 10 books as voted for by the general public are

Top 10 books

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling

  2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  3. The BFG by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake

  4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

  5. Winnie-the-Pooh by A A Milne, illustrated by E H Shepherd

  6. The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss

  7. The Fellowship of the Ring by J R R Tolkien

  8. Charlotte’s Web by E B White

  9. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

  10. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis

Book Trust

But I can’t believe that Alice in Wonderland or Where the Wild Things are doesn’t make it into the top 10.  The Book Trust also publish guides to great reads – Book Trust Great Books Guide

The BBC compiled their list by polling dozens of critics from around the world which resulted in a very different top 11 list…

  1. Charlotte’s Web, EB White

  2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis

  3. Where the Wild Things, Are Maurice Sendak

  4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

  5. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

  6. The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne

  8. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl

  9. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K Le Guin

  10. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle

  11. Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder

According to the Guardian data polls the bestselling children’s books are (I’ve extended beyond the top 10 as 7 are Harry Potter books)…

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows JK Rowling 4,475,152

  2. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone JK Rowling 4,200,654

  3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix JK Rowling 4,179, 479

  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire JK Rowling 3,583,215

  5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets JK Rowling 3,484,047

  6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban JK Rowling 3,377,906

  7. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince JK Rowling 2,950,264

  8. Twilight Stephanie Meyer 2,315,405

  9. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle 1,783,535

  10. The Gruffalo Julie Donaldson 1,781,269

  11. The Tales of Beedle the bard JK Rowling 1,090,847

  12. Room on the Broom Julie Donaldson 842,535

In 2001 the Publishers Weekly posted the top 10 best selling children’s paperbacks with again a few surprises in the poll although I suspect the numbers are skewed by the US market….

  1. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, illus. by Garth Williams (HarperCollins, 1974) 9,899,696

  2. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (Dell, 1968 and Puffin, 1997) 9,695,159

  3. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume (Dell, 1976) 7,131,648

  4. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, illus. by Sheila McGraw (Firefly, 1986) 6,970,000

  5. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (Dell, 1973) 6,754,308

  6. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (Dell, 1971) 6,636,267

  7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic/Levine, 1999) 6,631,807

  8. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume (Dell, 1972) 6,478,427

  9. Shane by Jack Schaeffer (Dell, 1972) 6,397,270

  10. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks (Avon, 1982 and HarperCollins, 1995) 6,394,587

And if you have a few minutes to spare you can browse Timeout’s guide to the best 100 books –

But importantly what would make it into your top 10?  Here’s mine….

  1. Alice In Wonderland, Lewis Carrol

  2. Harry Potter – and I’m going to cop out and go with the series as one

  3. Again a cop out but any of the novels written by Roald Dahl – if pushed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Mathilda would be my favourites

  4. The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman and beautifully illustrated by Dave McKean

  5. Another Roald Dahl but this time a collection of rhyme – Revolting Rhymes

  6. Winnie the Pooh (although I think I’d go with one of the poetry books – When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six!), AA Milne

  7. Coraline another book from the partnership of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean

  8. Peter Pan, JM Barrie

  9. The Gruffalo, Julie Donaldson

  10. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, maybe pipped to the post by  by C S Lewis

2 thoughts on “World Book Day: What’s Your Top 10?

  1. I wasn’t very good at reading as a child so I never read a lot of books. I did ready the Famous Five books though. And I’ve read bits and pieces of some of these like The lion, the witch and the wardrobe, Alice in Wonderland (I know the story more from the films) but I have read all of the Harry Potter books some more than once. My favourite is Prisoner of Azkaban by far better than the film except for Halfblood Prince I didn’t enjoy the book as much as the film in this case….

    I love Alice in Wonderland I think it’s the images more than anything. And I love the Tim Burton films superb costumes and scenery well everything… 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

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