Share Listen to the Kids! 12 Memorable Novels With Child Narrators

Listen to the Kids! 12 Memorable Novels With Child Narrators

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If we listen closely, children can remind us of what is truly important in life and refresh our jaded, grown-up viewpoints. These twelve inspiring, funny, and memorable novels, narrated by children, are exemplary of the notion that kids, while they can say the darndest things, are often wise beyond their years.


Ella Minnow Pea
by Mark Dunn

In this hilarious and moving tale of one girl’s fight for freedom of expression, Ella Minnow Pea must act to save her friends, family, and fellow citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of her town’s city council, which has banned the use of certain letters of the alphabet. As the letters are banned from the town, they also disappear from the novel, resulting in a linguistic achievement sure to delight word lovers everywhere.


Gardenias
by Faith Sullivan

A month after the United States enters World War II, the country is in upheaval—and so is the Erhardt family. Nine-year-old Lark and her mother and aunt make their way toward San Diego with its booming wartime economy and begin to forge new lives and new dreams for themselves. Told through Lark’s observant eyes, this richly detailed novel reflects on the era’s tumultuous events and everyday dramas.


Room
by Emma Donoghue
Room is the only world that five-year-old Jack has ever known. But to his mother, it is the tiny cell where she has been held captive for the past seven years. With Jack’s curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer. Narrated from Jack’s innocent perspective, this is a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances and the unbreakable bond between a mother and her child.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
by Jonathan Safran
Jonathan Safran Foer confronts the traumas of our recent history with humor, tenderness, and awe. Nine-year-old Oskar Schell embarks on a seemingly impossible and healing mission to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon

Now adapted into a Tony Award-winning play, this captivating novel is told through the eyes of a fifteen-year-old autistic boy who relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. This powerful story of his quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for a captivating read.


Jim the Boy
by Tony Earley

This coming-of-age novel details a year in the life of a ten-year-old boy living with his mother and three uncles in the small town of Aliceville, North Carolina, during the Great Depression. Delightful and wise, it brilliantly captures the pleasures and fears of youth at a time when America itself was young and struggling to come into its own.


The Everlasting Story of Nory
by Nicholson Baker

This enchantingly idiosyncratic tale of a young American girl going to school in England, where she is mocked for her accent and her friendship with an unpopular girl, evokes childhood in all its luminous weirdness.


My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
by Fredrik Backman
This charming, warmhearted love letter between a seven-year-old girl and her eccentric, hilarious grandmother explores big emotions with wisdom, charm, and fairy tales.

Whistling Past the Graveyard
by Susan Crandall

In the summer of 1963, nine-year-old Starla runs away from her strict grandmother’s home in Mississippi and embarks on a life-changing road trip.


In the Shadow of the Banyan
by Vaddey Ratner
Amid the Cambodian killing fields, seven-year-old Raami tries desperately to hold on to the remaining vestige of her childhood through the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father. This searing novel—based on the author’s personal history—is an extraordinary celebration of the human spirit in a time of suffering, cruelty, and loss.

Ellen Foster
by Kaye Gibbons

The brave and engaging tale of eleven-year-old Ellen Foster, who tells her unforgettable story with honesty, perceptivity, humor, and unselfconscious heroism.


The Age of Miracles
by Karen Thompson Walker
The unforgettable eleven-year-old girl at the heart of this debut is coming of age against the backdrop of an utterly altered world. With crystalline prose and the indelible magic of a born storyteller, Karen Thompson Walker has crafted a story about people going on with their lives in an era of profound uncertainty.

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