When I learned how to read, each book was door to another world.
My little brothers would beg me to read their favorite books to them over and over again. I would argue that the 90’s produced some of the best books for children ever written.
From first-time readers to thick chapter books, flip through the pages of memory lane with our list of top kids’ books from the 90’s. How many of these did you read?
R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps
These were the creepiest stories a kid could read! I remember putting all of my dolls in the closet after reading Night Of The Living Dummy – just in case!
The Berenstain Bears by Stan & Jan Berenstain
These books were some of my family’s favorites! These bears were always getting into trouble and it seemed like the only sane one was Mama Bear, but we loved their antics and the wholesome resolutions at the end of each story.
Little Critter By Mercer Mayer
This guy was the greatest, especially when they introduced his sister to the story line. Critter wasn’t too enthusiastic about having a baby sister, but when he figured out how to have fun with her, their adventures were pretty epic.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
This story was read to every child in the ’90s, I’m pretty sure the school librarian had that book memorized by the end of the year.
Animorphs by K.A. Applegate
These were a super popular YA science fiction series that EVERYONE was reading. Some of the animals that the kids morphed into were a little strange, but we had good imaginations, so we went along with it.
Every Book Ever Written By Robert Munsch
These beautifully illustrated books by American-Canadian author, Robert Munsch were full of the crazy adventures a child might take with their imagination. In one story a little girl finds a baby in a sandbox, another a little boy follows his sleepwalking father into the snow, and our favorite, Thomas’ Snowsuit. If you grew with a very snowy winter, you’ll remember being bundled into a bazillion layers before you could go outside to play.
The Baby Sitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin
This series inspired me to become a babysitter, fast cash, playing games all day? Sign me up! These stories were pretty entertaining, the book was easy to read and we all wanted to have a crowd of friends as cool as these girls. Depending on the story, I either saw myself in Kristi or Claudia, but I totally wished I was Dawn.
Captain Underpants Series by Dav Pilkey
This series came out later in the ’90’s but definitely was ranked high among fourth graders – selling more than 70 million books worldwide and over 50 million books in the United States.
Magic Shop Books and My Teacher is an Alien series by Bruce Coville
There are even more books 90s kids loved over on the next page!
Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal
Kids from the ’80s will recognize this series for sure! Originally the Sweet Valley Twins, Jessica and Elizabeth are totally opposite but completely identical now, in the ’90s they’re in High School, weathering the storms of teenage love and rivalry.
Bonus for lovers of the books, a TV series ran from September of 1994 to October 1997.
Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
These were three books of super creepy stories for kids that had some equally spooky drawings. I wouldn’t be lying if I said I had a nightmare or two from reading these books! Just look at the picture of The Thing – yikes!
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The book was a pretty great dystopian novel about a future where no one has any memories, except for The Giver. The main character, a 12 boy named Jonas is picked to be the next Giver, but when he finds out what’s actually going on, he realizes that not everything is what it seems.
His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
Honestly, if I wasn’t so addicted to The Babysitters Club series, I probably would have read these novels sooner. It wasn’t until the mid 2000’s that I got my hands on these novels. The first one, The Golden Compass was published in 1996 and is definitely one of my favorites. It was made into a movie 11 years later, starring big names like Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig and Sam Elliott.
The Vampire Diaries series by L. J. Smith
The early series was published between 1991 and 1992 – fans didn’t have to wait long between volumes 1-4, but Smith kept them all on their toes for more than 10 years before the next trilogy was released in 2009! You might recognize that these books were also the inspiration for the WB/CW television network series of the same name!
Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Hard to believe that it’s been almost 10 years since the first book in the Harry Potter series was published – harder still to believe that we’ve all been fans for just 10 years, it feels like he’s been a part of our lives forever!
The Dark Visions and The Forbidden Game series by L.J. Smith
In this series, Kaitlyn Fairchild must realize her own psychic abilities and defeat the Zetes Institute before other powerful psychics take control of her friends.
This creepy series is about a game that no one can escape until someone conquered their fears, if you quit the game, you lose your life. Evil Julian is the Prince of Shadows who will test every player and is determined to have Jenny as his prize forever.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss
This was probably one of the most gifted books for graduations in the 1990’s and maybe even the 2000’s. Published in 1990, this story is about an adventurer who goes off to new lands, to try new things. Every kid who graduated either grade school or High School was pretty much guaranteed that this book would show up among their gifts.