Oldies But Goodies

Youth Services Librarian Lauren shares some picks

There is so much new children's literature out there, and a lot of it is great. But somehow, if you're a voracious reader, it can still be difficult to find that one book in the sea of many that both a) sounds appealing, and b) you haven't already gobbled up.

So instead of waiting around for the next book that calls your name to be published, why not try something older? After all, everything old is new again. Here are five of my favorites from 18, 20, 35 years ago -- books that I truly believe still hold up today. Most of them will be of interest to the 8- to 13-year-old set.

Letters from Rifka Cover Letters from Rifka
by Karen Hesse

In letters to her cousin, a young Jewish girl chronicles her family's flight from Russia in 1919 and her own experiences when she must be left in Belgium for a while when the others emigrate to America.

Matilda book cover
Matilda
by Roald Dahl

Matilda applies her untapped mental powers to rid the school of the evil, child-hating headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, and restore her nice teacher, Miss Honey, to financial security.

A Pizza the Size of the Sun book cover
A Pizza the Size of the Sun 
Jack Prelutsky

A collection of humorous poetry on a variety of topics.

The Sweetest Fig book cover
The Sweetest Fig 
Chris Van Allsburg

After being given two magical figs that make his dreams come true, Monsieur Bibot sees his plans for future wealth upset by his long-suffering dog.

The Westing Game book cover
The Westing Game
Ellen Raskin


The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance.