10 Books Children Should Read Before They Turn 14!

Must read books for children

Most parents are keen that their child read. After all, the many benefits that reading offers cannot be overstated. From improving vocabulary to offering a diverse perspective to sparking imagination and creativity, books can indeed become a child’s best friend. Reading books can also help the child develop empathy, understand different perspectives, and build emotional intelligence.

Children can gain a plethora of viewpoints on human interaction through reading. Books can provide children with a broad basis of information that will be useful when they encounter new situations. Numerous other educational advantages of reading include improved vocabulary, critical thinking, vocal communication, and many more. Whichever route your child chooses, these abilities will be beneficial. Thus, there are numerous benefits to reading to children. The top ten books that every child should read before they turn 14 are listed below.

1. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

This moving first-hand account written by a Jewish teenager who chronicled two years that her family spent in hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II is a classic when it comes to war literature. Written as a journal entry, it was published two years after Anne died in a concentration camp.

It is an emotional coming-of-age memoir. Even though it chronicles times of great horror, it is still a very inspiring book. Even amid adversity, Anne’s positivity and belief that “people are good at heart” leave you marveling at human resilience. Written with humor and insight, it must be on your child’s TBR and is one of the best classic children’s books.

2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

This is yet another timeless classic. It follows the life of young Pip, an orphan. Set in Victorian England, the book shows Pip navigating the many challenges that come his way, including the complexities of social class and personal identity. It is as much a story of societal expectations as moral growth. It is worth appreciating its vivid characters, intricate plot, and social commentary.

3. “Malgudi Days” by R.K. Narayan

This delightful collection of 32 stories is set in the fictional town of Malgudi where each story is meant to portray a different facet of life. In “The Missing Mail,” we are brought face to face with Thannappa, a kind postman with a pleasant relationship with everyone in town, especially Ramanujam, a senior clerk in the Revenue Department Office. Ramanujam’s daughter is finally set to be married after many ups and downs. Thannappa decides not to deliver a letter to Ramanujam, which tells him about his uncle’s death so that it doesn’t affect the much-anticipated marriage ceremony.

A quote by Francis King best summarizes the book when it says, “The hardest of all things for a novelist to communicate is the extraordinary ordinariness of most human happiness…Jane Austen, Soseki, Chekhow: a few bring it off. Narayan is one of them”.

This delightful book offers evocative storytelling, humor, warmth, a tapestry of human emotions….all this and much more.

4. The History of India for Children by Archana Garodia Gupta & Shruti Garodia

There is no better way to get the child acquainted with the enchanting history of India than through this book. Its compelling narrative and vibrant illustrations take you through India’s ancient civilizations and rich cultural heritage. Not only does it give children an understanding of India’s fascinating history, but importantly, it fosters a sense of appreciation for our rich legacy.

5. Letters from a father to his daughter by Jawaharlal Nehru

A Collection of letters written by Jawaharlal Nehru to his daughter Indira when she was 10 makes for a delightful read. The letters tell her how and when the earth was created, how human and animal life began, how civilizations and societies evolved worldwide, and more. Even today, these letters remain fresh and capture Nehru’s love for people and nature. The book also stands as testimony to the delightful bond between a father and his daughter, which is universal.

6. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

“Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy.”

So begins a delightful story. This poignant book captures the enchanting tale of a selfless tree and a boy. The heartfelt narrative offers invaluable lessons to children about empathy, the power of giving, sacrifice, and more.

A tender story, it has moments of sadness and consolation. It is a moving parable around the gift of giving that the child will draw from.

7. The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

This short and humorous novella, set in the picturesque hills of Garhwal, perfectly captures life in a village. In this setting, familiar people rise to heroic status while others are given chances to atone for their transgressions. The novel takes you through many emotions as you encounter simple characters. This is a story of heroism as much as it is of redemption and is rated as one of the best Ruskin Bond Books for 12-year-olds.

8. Wise and Otherwise by Sudha Murthy

Wise and Otherwise Salute to Life is a collection of stories or anecdotes from Sudha Murthy. Like in many delightful books by the author, this book unveils the profound wisdom within ordinary human experiences. The book takes the readers on a mesmerizing journey into the lives of people who have encountered extraordinary circumstances. Murty offers profound insights into human nature through her keen observations and empathetic storytelling. It is easily rated as one of the best Sudha Murthy books.

9. Goodnight, Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

This is a timeless favorite about the power of friendship. It tells the tale of Willie Beech and grumpy old Tom Oakley. The novel is set when the Second World War has been declared and reveals this unlikely pair’s connection.

10. Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah

This autobiography makes for a heart-wrenching yet inspiring read. It tells the story of Adeline, whose life is filled with several adversities but who does not let them get in her way as despite a problematic home life, she excels in school and wins herself a chance to study abroad.

To Sum Up

Chosen across genres, these books tell riveting tales besides offering some great life lessons. Tell us what you think of these books and whether your child enjoyed reading them. Feel free to share your recommendations too.

At Pragyanam, we take great pleasure in seeing our students turn into voracious readers. Whether they are beginning their journey and seeking school admission or are ready to step out of the school portals, we believe that if they have developed a love for learning, they have a robust fallback!

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May 2024