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Truly scrumptious tale of a boy called Charlie Bucket who wins a golden ticket, entitling him to a day out at Willy Wonka's miraculous chocolate factory. The real question about this book is how long you'll be able to hold off before reading it to your kids. Dahl's wonderfully evil sense of humour makes what could simply be a modern version of the cautionary tale into something exceptional. The writing sizzles, foams, spits and bubbles over.

Read it to them from six; read it alone from eight. As a great storm rages around their house, Amy and Peter hear a terrible noise like a dying giant. Amy knows that the sound is an ancient oak tree half a mile away being ripped from the ground. Trapped among its roots is a secret that only she can uncover.

Beautifully wrought story about the way secrets bring you together and tear you apart, and about the competitive relationship between a brother and sister from a fine writer best known for his brilliant books for teenagers. Highly entertaining book about Eric, a perfectly ordinary boy, who feels his nose becoming cold and wet and his ears becoming floppy as he is transformed into a dog. In its own schoolboyish way Eric's transformation is just as interesting and surreal as that of poor Gregor Samsa into a beetle. The Roald Dahl must-read for this age-group; they'll find it impossible to resist even if they are hooked on the Danny Devito film version.

In fact, seeing the film leads naturally into wanting to read the story of the remarkable Matilda, ignored and derided by her parents and bullied by the odious teacher Miss Trunchbull, who not only has a brilliant mind but strange kinetic powers. A brilliant, empowering book that shows children that they don't have to be helpless even in the face of the most bullying of adults. Wonderful story about the disagreeable Mary Lennox who, after her parents die, is brought back from India to live in her uncle's great lonely house on the moors.

Hodgson Burnett captures the fury of being a helpless, lonely child that makes both Mary and the invalid Colin behave badly. Eight-year-olds are likely to get frustrated by the sentence construction. Either read it to them or wait a couple of years. Modern environmentally and health-conscious youngsters might eye the fox hunting and smoking with horror. But this story of Barney, a small boy who makes friends with a strange, Stone Age type boy he finds living in the local quarry, is enormously appealing.

A really rollicking straightforward read that celebrates a strange friendship and the way two are better than one when it comes to taking on the bullies. Stig's puzzlement at the modern way of life makes the reader look at the world from a slightly different perspective. The girls are enrolled in stage school so they will be able to earn a living. It all seems slightly quaint now, but Streatfield's characterisations are wonderfully vivid, the writing straightforward and honest and the narrative a page-turner.

Quite delightful and infinitely more real than all those titles currently being churned out for ballet-mad little girls. No spoonfuls of sugar are necessary to help this classic tale slip down. Jane and Michael's new nanny turns out to be the intimidating Mary Poppins, who brings a little magic into the lives of children in the Edwardian middle classes' equivalent of "care".

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Yes, the Harry Potter books are derivative and hierarchical, but Rowling's a genuinely witty writer with a terrific gift for naming things: What's more, they are real page-turners and appeal to boys and girls equally. The second in the series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, is the weakest; the third, The Prisoner of Azkaban the best, not least because the Dementors are so truly terrifying.

But these kinds of arguments are academic: I've yet to meet a child who is resistant and plenty of adults find them just as spellbinding.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury (Walker, £14.99)

Eight upward, but younger brothers and sisters are liable to get in on the act earlier, particularly if you read it to them. It runs to 8hours and 23minutes, which sure beats nine hours of I Spy. Written in , Cresswell's stories about life in a small Welsh village where Lizzie wanders the streets with her head in the clouds seem almost to come from another century. But while village life has changed out of all recognition, the emotions of Lizzie, who wants something exciting to happen in her life, who loves her soft dad and rather severe mum but keeps getting into scrapes and who meets a witch in the way other people run into the milkman, remain as fresh as a daisy.

A touch of romance and a shiver of fear are to be found in this Carnegie Medal-winning fantasy, set in the beautiful valley of Moonacre where the moon princess once ruled. Old-fashioned, but there is toughness beneath the whimsy. More for the girls than the boys. A classic that doesn't reduce the world - on the contrary, it opens it up - but which does view it from a child-sized perspective. It tells the story of a family of little people who live beneath the floorboards and borrow from "human beans" who don't even know they exist - until the young Arietty makes friends with "the boy upstairs".

There is nothing in the slightest bit twee about it. Norton writes brilliantly, viewing the world as if through the eyes of her little people with a sense of wonder and terror. Even children who are addicts of the excellent but bastardised film version and the superb BBC serial version will gobble this up on the printed page. Jessica loses her house in the blitz and is evacuated before the rest of her school to a huge Welsh castle with only the gardener and housekeeper for company.

But she is not alone; the castle grounds are full of other mysterious presences including a ghostly boy, a sinister green lady, a screeching peacock and chains of desperate "stonestruck" children, engaged in a deadly game of tag with Jessica as the quarry. Cresswell writes with a spare, dense poetry about the desolation of separation, the isolating effect of unhappiness and the need to take care about what you wish.

A really spellbinding piece of grown-up writing for children that makes the Goosebumps series pale into insignificance. It can be read alone at 10 upward, but both are very satisfying for adults to read to the 8-upward age range. In a different vein, but just as good, is Cresswell's Snatchers - the story of a girl whose guardian angel appears in the local park to protect her from the Land of the Starless Night. Liable to engender plenty of hilarious discussion about whether angels have belly buttons. Yes, yes, we know. Ridiculously middle-class and old-fashioned and full of Christian imagery, the triumph of good over evil and being a jolly good sort.

But really it is magic, provided you take care not to force it down your children's throats too early. Some of the sentence structure is quite difficult and you really need to be eight upward and a confident reader not to be put off. But it's like getting into the wardrobe in the first place: Of course this isn't actually the first in the series - The Magician's Nephew is - but this is where you should begin. Joan Aiken's classic adventure story is set during the imaginary reign of James III in the early part of the 19th century when the recently completed channel tunnel has allowed wolves to overrun large parts of Britain.

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A really rollicking story, with plenty of wild flights of the imagination, it has the essential ingredients of lost parents, an evil governess and two feisty cousins, Bonnie and Sylvia, determined to evade the clutches of the evil Miss Slighcarp. The good news for those with keen readers is that there are more than a dozen books in the Willoughby Chase sequence. The bad news is that although featuring the memorably stroppy heroine Dido Twite, some of the subsequent novels are off-puttingly obscure.

Funny and tender storytelling from the excellent Susan Cooper. This one is about a boggart that is accidentally transported from his remote Scottish island to the bright lights of Toronto, and doesn't like it one bit. Life seemed grim when father lost his job and the family had to move to their aunt's home. But with the arrival of Johnnie the pig, things begin to improve. Childhood is somehow golden in E Nesbit's stories about a family of children who discover a Psammead or sand fairy, a grumpy and very ancient creature that can give them wishes.

The difficulty is of thinking of really good wishes and not getting things that they really don't want at all, and even the simplest of wishes seem to get them into great difficulties. This book is such fun that children want to gobble it down in one sitting and are absolutely amazed when you tell them it was written almost a century ago. It seems so fresh because it gets to the very heart of being a child - the wonderful sense that anything can happen to you and probably will.

To the average nine-year-old girl, Jacqueline Wilson's books are as desirable as a trip to Claire's Accessories and a pair of the latest fringed jeans. This story of ten-year-old identical twins Ruby and Garnet, who lose their mother and have to come to terms not only with their dad's new love but also with growing up and growing apart, is a model of Wilson's exuberant and confessional storytelling style, in which Ruby and Garnet take it in turns to tell the story.

Wilson's books can be too obviously issue-driven to be really satisfying, but they are a stepping-stone into a real world where real kids face tough emotional problems. Plenty to choose from: Join Hazel and his brave band of rabbits as they set out in search of a new home. Richard Adams's modern classic is not fluffy or cute at all.

In fact, it's so good that you completely forget after a while that we're talking rabbits, not humans. It is two children against the rest of the world in Thomas's riveting tale about Julia and Nathan, who win popularity at school when they find a stash of money in a deserted house, but soon decide to flee when teachers and parents want to know where it came from. Thomas writes from a child's point of view about what it feels like not to have a special friend and never to be picked when teams are being sorted. The unlikely friendship between Julia and Nathan is drawn with a delicacy that never ignores its difficulties and the final triumphant realisation that love is worth having is exhilarating.

Macabre is the only word for Pullman's wonderfully creepy tale that, needless to say, runs like clockwork. In a way it is a parable about the power of storytelling itself. But it is also part fairytale, part ghost story and part science fiction; Pullman writes with a deceptive simplicity that makes the whole thing feel both ancient and very modern at the same time.

There are some wonderfully witty picture asides, but is the narrative that really winds you up: If families still did that kind of thing, this would be the perfect novel to be read out loud around the fire. While roasting chestnuts, of course. Cleverly structured and wittily told series of stories that combine to make one satisfying whole as they tell of Ailsa, who sees the truth behind the yarns spun by the mysterious man who helps out in her mum's antique shop. I still can't pass a grandfather clock without thinking of this book, so strong an impression did this haunting story make on me as a child.

Pearce's writing sends a shiver of both excitement and fear up the spine in this clever double time-framed story about Tom who, when the clock strikes 13, can see his aunt's house just as it was 50 years ago. North American classic about the irrepressible Katy who courts disaster and only starts to really grow up after she is paralysed in a fall from a swing. Based on a true story, Serraillier's book doesn't flinch in recounting the adventures of four children as they struggle to stay alive in Nazi-occupied Europe and their desperate, epic journey from Poland to Switzerland in search of their parents.

It is an extraordinarily profound book, no matter what the age of the reader," was the verdict of the Whitbread judges who gave this the Children's Book of the Year Award. An instant modern classic. Engrossing Guardian Award-winner from the early s and set in the near future, which is nearer now than it was then.

It is an atmospheric tale about Rob, on the run after the mysterious death of his dad, who crosses The Barrier and finds himself in a countryside that initially seems idyllic. So why is rebellion in the air? Friendship proves dangerous in Fine's uncomfortable and genuinely powerful novel that carries with it echoes of the Jamie Bulger case. Natalie is attracted to the difficult, disturbed Tulip, perhaps because she seems so dangerous. But soon she is out of her depth as Tulip's games get increasingly out of control. Plenty of control, though, in Fine's delicate exploration of friendship, betrayal and guilt.

At night Cassie dreams of wolves. They are coming to get her.

Classic children's library: 8-11

But how can she be kept safe? When Cassie is sent without warning from her nan's to live with her feckless, beautiful mother she becomes easy prey until she finds a way of protecting herself. How many books for children deal with dying? The spirit shows him that several of his possessions have been stolen and brought to fence named Old Joe. The spirit transports Scrooge to Bob's residence where he learns Tim had died.

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Scrooge is escorted to a cemetery, where the spirit points out his own grave, revealing Scrooge was the man who died. Ashamed at the revelation that no one would miss or respect him, he vows to change his ways and begs to be spared. Awakening in his bedroom on Christmas Day, Scrooge finds the ghosts had visited him all in one night.

Gleeful at having survived the spirits, Scrooge anonymously sends the Cratchits a large, prize-winning turkey for dinner. He then ventures out into the city to spread happiness among the citizens of London. Scrooge finds the charity workers he encountered before and much to their elation, Scrooge agrees to make a large donation.

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Scrooge also accepts Fred's Christmas invitation after reconciling with him. The following day, he gives Cratchit a raise and becomes like "a second father" to Tim, who escapes death. A changed man, Scrooge now treats everyone with kindness, generosity, and compassion; he now embodies the spirit of Christmas. This movie was filmed on location in Shrewsbury , Shropshire , in the English Midlands.

The film brought in a The movie has run in syndication on local American channels since it debuted in , earning a loyal fanbase, but was not released on VHS until in the UK [3] and to DVD in This was because Scott himself and later his estate through Baxter Healthcare , to whom the Scott family donated their copyright owned the rights to this film. On 25 November , it returned to national television on AMC for the first time since its debut, and the network continues to broadcast it each December under license from the Scott estate and 20th Century Fox the latter's distribution rights the result of their owning the video rights.

In , the Hallmark Channel also ran the movie soon after Thanksgiving. It remains among most beloved of the several adaptations of A Christmas Carol. Fox released it on Blu-ray in December Novelist and essayist Louis Bayard , writing for Salon. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A Christmas Carol in Shrewsbury". Retrieved 9 September Archived from the original on 29 December Retrieved 25 December Charles Dickens ' A Christmas Carol. Ebenezer Scrooge Bob Cratchit Mr. A Christmas Carol Scrooge A Christmas Carol Mrs.

Christmas Stories Cute Christmas Stories for Kids Children Christmas Books Volume 3 by Arnie Light

Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge A Christmas Carol Doctor Who: