Survey Names Top 50 Books Children Should Read by Age 16

Charlie takes glass elevator to top spot

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Roald Dahl’s purely imaginative Charlie and the Chocolate Factory topped Sainsbury’s list of the 50 books every child should read by age 16. The tale of Willy Wonka’s land of Oompa-Loompas, lickable wallpaper and snozberries took the top spot after Sainsbury’s surveyed 2,000 readers. The survey was conducted by the U.K. grocery chain in honor of World Book Day.

With five titles on the list—Charlie, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, Matilda, The Twits—Dahl has the most work featured, but kudos to voters for not selecting The Witches, which creeped me out until I was 16.

The top five was rounded out by a few no-surprise titles. Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty. Only one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books made the cut—the relatively short The Hobbit. But we get a few contemporary favorites as well: J.K. Rowling placed twice with the first and final Harry Potter installments, Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games placed at No. 48 and Philip Pullman’s Golden Compass placed at No. 45.

Read Sainsbury’s full list below. Let us know if one of your own favorites missed the cut in the comments section.

1. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
2. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
4. Winnie The Pooh – A.A.Milne
5. Black Beauty – Anna Sewell
6. James and The Giant Peach – Roald Dahl
7. The BFG – Roald Dahl
8. A Bear Called Paddington – Michael Bond
9. Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
10. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
11. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s StoneJ.K. Rowling 
12. Matilda – Roald Dahl
13. The Railway Children – E. Nesbit
14. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
15. Five on a Treasure Island – Enid Blyton
16. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
17. The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
18. The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling
19. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
20. The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter
21. Watership Down – Richard Adams
22. The Hobbit – J.R.R.Tolkien
23. Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsJ.K. Rowling 
24. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
25. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾ Sue Townsend
26. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
27. The Cat in the Hat – Dr Seuss
28. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson-Burnett
29. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
30. The Twits – Roald Dahl
31. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum
32. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
33. Anne of Green Gables – L.M.Montgomery
34. The Tiger Who Came to Tea – Judith Kerr
35. Green Eggs and Ham – Dr. Seuss
36. The Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham
37. Bambi – Felix Selten
38. Tom’s Midnight Garden – Phillipa Pearce
39. Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder
40. Funny Bones – Janet and Allan Ahlberg
41. Where The Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
42. Carrie’s War – Nina Bawden
43. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
44. The Magician’s Nephew – C.S. Lewis
45. The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman
46. The Story of Doctor Dolittle – Hugh Lofting
47. The Story of Tracy Beaker – Jacqueline Wilson
48 The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
49. Curious George- H.A.Ray
50. Each Peach Pear Plum – Janet and Allan Ahlberg

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