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Are these books destined to become modern children’s classics?

7000 people in the UK sure thought so! For World Book Day, National Book Tokens asked readers  in the UK and Ireland to name the kids books they thought would be regarded as classics in the future. They also chose the Top 10 Heroes and Villains, and you can visit the National Book Tokens website for more information.

The list contains three separate Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling – interestingly the final in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was the highest at #3 with the fifth book Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  at #4 and the sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on the list at #7. Does this mean voters think Philosopher’s Stone is already old enough to be a classic? And what about our personal favourite, The Prisoner of Azkaban?!

There were two books with more votes than Harry, both of which will touch your heart – top of the list at #1 is The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne, a favourite of Sarah’s in the Better Reading office. Nine year old Bruno’s new friendship with Shmuel, set in the Second World War, will make you cry. #2 is Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a mystery with a narrator you will never forget. Currently an award-winning play on Broadway, this novel is one for the ages.

There is only one picture book on the list, and it is Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Gruffalo’s Child at #5. This all-star picture book partnership has produced several wonderful stories, and we’re not surprised that a little gruffalo’s snow covered adventure is so well loved.

The thrilling conclusion to Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ series made it to #6. The Amber Spyglass sees Will and Lyra desperately trying to find each-other as they prepare for the great war. A war story of a different kind is #8, Michael Morpugo’s Private Peaceful. Set in WWI, it follows a full day in life of a young solider, from an incredibly talented writer.

A dystopian young adult novel is #9, but it’s not one you’ve seen on the big screen. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman is an intense look at class divides, and the first in a sequence. This is a darkly gripping story, definitely for older readers.

We can’t believe it almost didn’t make the list, but #10 is Cressida Cowell’s beloved How To Train Your Dragon. We loved following all the adventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III and his dragon Toothless! A fantastic series that will be loved by young readers for generations to come.

That’s what the UK chose, but what about you Australia? We want to hear what YOU think is a modern kids’ classic! Vote for your favourite kids’ book here as Better Reading compiles Australia’s own Top 50 Kids’ Books. Vote for your chance to WIN all 50 of the final books!


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