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Exciting, Non-Scary Stories

Here are some books with stories that we think are exciting for children, but not scary.  These are just some of the ones that come to mind. There are many, many more.  You probably know some, and if you want to share them, please write to us at DrSpock.com.  Also, check out your local library. A children’s librarian will have tons of great books to recommend.

Whatever books are recommended, read them through first yourself before deciding to share them with your child.

Try these sites:

Click on links for the ALSC Recommended Books, Caldecott Award winners, and for the Newberry Award winners, which are almost always truly wonderful books.

  • The Database of Award-Winning Children’s Literature: DAWCL.com

You can search this listing by age, type of book, languages, and other features; all of the books listed have won awards, and are probably worth a look.

Now, our personal picks (in no particular order, for children 6-12 (or really, any age!):

  • My Father’s Dragon, The Dragons of Blueland, and Elmer and the Dragon (a trilogy) by Ruth Stile Gannett.  When I think of adventures and young children, I think of this book.

  • The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton.  African American stories, told beautifully; some a bit scary, some inspiring, all riveting.

  • Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl, author of the more famous Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG, and James and the Giant Peach, among many others.  This book tells a story of adventure and risk-taking, told by a boy whose father is just amazing.

  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. A classic adventure tale. Most 10 year olds will be able to read this, but a younger child with good listening skills might love to have it read aloud.

[this page was last updated by Robert Needlman, on 11-25-2018]