Nostalgia The Best Children's Books for Adults to Revisit  

Duke Harten
393 votes 92 voters 1.7k views 19 items

List Rules Vote up the children's books that hold up so well all adults should give them another read.

Tired of those heavy, lengthy, postmodern literary novels? Give yourself a break and test out one of these kid's books adults should revisit. This list contains some of the best children's books for adults - whether it's a recent blockbuster like Harry Potter or a forgotten novel like Stuart Little, all of these books are worth an afternoon or two.

Sometimes it's the nostalgia that makes adults reread books they loved as children, but there are actually some great kid's books that appeal to older audiences as well. Fantasy novels work especially well because alternate realities are still super cool when you're an adult. And religious allegories that might have flown right over your head as a kid, like in the His Dark Materials series, will seem poignant and exciting as an adult. Read through this selection of kid's books adults should reread and vote up the ones you most want to revisit.

Harry Potter and the Philosoph... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Children's Books for Adults to Revisit
Photo: Freebase

You've read and reread. You've watched and rewatched. But the magic never ceases to dazzle in J.K. Rowling's beloved Harry Potter series. For a healthy dose of nostalgia, pick up The Sorcerer's Stone (or Philosopher's Stone, depending on which side of the pond you live on) and relive Harry's introduction to the wizarding world. And since you've long since learned who Snape truly is, you might appreciate watching his struggle to teach the offspring of his greatest love and bitterest enemy. Plus, you'll identify a bit more with the professors this time around—what kind of kid goes up against a three-headed dog, after all? They're going to get themselves killed!

Author: J. K. Rowling

First Published: 1997-06-26

Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Fiction, Fantasy

Also Ranked

#95 on The Best Novels Ever Written

#3 on 35+ Books Everybody Lies About Reading

#89 on Books You'll Never Finish Reading

#10 on Famous Novels With The Catchiest First Lines

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Charlie and the Chocolate Fact... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Children's Books for Adults to Revisit
Photo: Alfred A. K.nopf, Inc.

A classic in every sense. Adults will be delighted to revisit Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, what with its Oompa Loompas and dangerous machinery that threaten to swallow visitors whole. The book is a fun, readable, straightforward story that celebrates humility, selflessness, and a sense of whimsy. Dahl at his finest.

Author: Roald Dahl

First Published: 1964

Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Fiction, Fantasy

Also Ranked

#8 on Books Similar To Harry Potter

#10 on The Best Overall Books for Kids

#93 on The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time

#1 on The Best Books for Third Graders

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Artemis Fowl is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Children's Books for Adults to Revisit
Photo: Viking Press
3 31 VOTES

Artemis Fowl


The Artemis Fowl series is an eight-book adventure chronicling the exploits of an Irish child mastermind and his supernatural enemies-turned-friends. The first book introduces readers to Artemis, a billionaire genius, and his loyal butler (aptly named Butler). The next couple hundred pages see the young ne'er-do-well capture an elf and hold her for ransom, fending off the rescue attempts of underground magical police and one extremely flatulent dwarf. While children are riveted by its page-turning action, adults will appreciate the protagonist's journey from evil to good and his expanding capacity for trust, compassion, and loyalty. (There might also be an innuendo or two you missed as a kid.)

Author: Eoin Colfer

First Published: 2001-04

Genres (Book): Children's literature, Young adult literature, Fantasy

Also Ranked

#42 on The Best Fantasy Book Series

#13 on Books Similar To Harry Potter

#35 on The Best Items You Could Buy At The Scholastic Book Fair

#9 on Young Adult Novels That Should Be Adapted to Film

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The Westing Game is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Children's Books for Adults to Revisit
Photo: E. P. Dutton
4 33 VOTES

The Westing Game


Why they marketed this as a children's book is anyone's guess. The Westing Game, a story of intrigue and cunning surrounding the unclaimed fortune of Samuel Westing, is an incredibly complex murder mystery. Sixteen neighbors and family members are paired off in a series of games and challenges to determine who will win the inheritance, all while figuring out who killed the old man. Picking the book back up as an adult won't disappoint.

Author: Ellen Raskin

First Published: 1978

Genres (Book): Children's literature, Mystery, Fiction, Young adult literature

Also Ranked

#39 on The Best Mystery Novels

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