This year marks the anniversaries of some of the most beloved books for children and young adult readers. While many books' shelf-life may be short since there are so many new titles published annually, some live on to become classics with generation after generation enjoying the imagination they provide.
“Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson (published 130 years ago in 1883) and Jack London’s “Call of the Wild” (published 110 years ago in 1903) are examples of the timelessness of literature that is still accessible in book, audio and e-book form for readers.
The following titles have been in print for years and are ready to be celebrated and enjoyed again.
85 years in print
"The Hardy Boys: No. 1, The Tower Treasure," is by various writers who have contributed to the original and spin-off Hardy Boys series over the years. Occasionally, the series is updated to reflect current style, language and settings.
80 years in print
75 years in print
“The Hobbit,” by J.R.R. Tolkien, is one of his best-loved classics and is obtainable in many different book styles and in forms of media. It was published in September 1937 in England and was published in 1938 in the United States.
“Millions of Cats,” by Wanda Gag, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1929, is about a lonely, old man who seeks a cat for a companion. When he can’t decide on only one, he takes home a “herd” of cats.
70 years in print
“The Little Prince,” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, is a novella that expresses truths about life with lines like, "One sees clearly only with the heart ... what is essential is invisible to the eyes."
65 years in print
“Blueberries for Sal,” by Robert McCloskey, winner of the Caldecott Medal in 1949, tells the adventures of a little girl and a bear cub hunting for blueberries at the same time and place.
60 years in print
“Madeline's Rescue,” by Ludwig Bemelmans, winner of the Caldecott Medal in 1954, is a favorite in the popular Madeline series.
55 years in print
“Mad Libs,” by Leonard Stern and Roger Price, is a book of games where words are substituted for blanks in a story.
50 years in print
“Where the Wild Things Are,” by Maurice Sendak, was the winner of the Caldecott Award in 1964. With only a few words, this is one of the best-loved picture books of all time.
“Rascal,” by Sterling North, was named a Newbery Honor Book in 1964. This novel about a boy who takes a raccoon as a pet has been described as one of an “easier time.”
“Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective,” by Donald J. Sobol, shared Sobol’s unique formula for mystery writing and set a model for future mystery novels for young years. This is the first in a long list of Encyclopedia Brown mysteries.
45 years in print
“Corduroy,” by Don Freeman, shares the tale of a toy bear in a department store who finally finds a home.
“There's a Nightmare in My Closet,” by Mercer Mayer, is about a 5-year-old who imagines all kinds of creatures lurking in the bedroom.
40 years in print
“Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs,” by Tomie dePaola, tells about how a child learns about death of a loved grandmother.
35 years in print
In “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barratt, a grandfather tells a story about Chewandswallow, a town with strange food that rains from the sky. An animated film was produced in 2009 with “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs: 2” appearing in theaters in September.
“The Snowman,” by Raymond Briggs, is a wordless picture book where a boy builds a snowman who, at midnight, comes to life.
“The Westing Game,” by Ellen Raskin, received the Newbery Medal. The plot is about heirs who will inherit millions if a mysterious death is solved.
30 years in print
25 years in printComment on this story
“Matilda,” by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake, celebrates the power of imagination and a love of reading. The 25th anniversary coincides with the Broadway debut of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s “Matilda the Musical,” which opened in New York City’s Shubert Theatre in April of 2013.
“Mossflower: Redwall Series,” by Brian Jacques, is the third in the reading order of the 21-volume Redwall series.
“Devil's Arithmetic,” by Jane Yolen, is about a young Jewish girl who is transported to the past and learns of her heritage.