Children's books for adults

Children's books that are definitely worth a re-read now you're all grown-up.

In celebration of Frances Hardinge's The Lie Tree being only the second children’s novel to be named Costa Book of the Year in the prize's history, we’ve put together a list of kid’s books that you’ll enjoy even more now you’re all grown-up. 

The Lie Tree

by Frances Hardinge

When Faith’s father is found dead under mysterious circumstances, she is determined to untangle the truth from the lies.

As she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. The tree only grows healthy and bears fruit if you whisper a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, will deliver a hidden truth to the person who consumes it. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered.

The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father's murder, so she begins to spread untruths far and wide.

Start reading The Lie Tree

His Dark Materials Trilogy

by Philip Pullman

Book cover for His Dark Materials Trilogy

The first children's novel to be named Costa Book of the Year was the final novel in Philip Pullman's bestselling fantasy trilogy The Amber Spyglass in 2002.

Lyra is an orphan living in a parallel universe in which science, theology, and magic are entwined. Her search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children and turns into a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust.

Pullman creates a richly detailed and marvellously imagined world, complex and thought-provoking enough to captivate adults as well as younger readers.

The Jungle Book

by Rudyard Kipling

A collection of Rudyard Kipling's animal stories, wonderfully told and interweaving moral lessons with classic tales. They include the stories of Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves in the Indian jungle, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, a brave mongoose, and Toomai of the Elephants, the story of a young elephant handler. No film version has ever matched the wonder of Kipling’s exotic and exciting writing for children.


by Judy Blume

Judy Blume is the godmother of teen fiction and Forever is still the bravest, freshest, fruitiest and most honest account of first love, first sex and first heartbreak ever written. First published over 40 years ago, it is a book that remains ahead of its time

The Little Prince

by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

A pilot who has crash landed in the desert awakes to see an extraordinary little boy. 'Please,' asks the stranger, 'will you draw me a little lamb!' Baffled by the little prince's incessant questioning, the pilot pulls out his pencil, and starts to draw. As the little prince's curiosity takes them further on their journey together, the pilot is able to piece together an understanding of the tiny planet from which the prince has come and of his incredible travels across the universe. First published in 1943, The Little Prince is heart-breaking, funny and thought-provoking classic book for children and adults alike.


by Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell shares Judy Blume’s deep understanding of how teenagers think and this funny and sweet coming-of-age story reads like Forever for the Internet age. Cath and Wren are identical twins who, until recently, did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes. Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. Now Cath must decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

by Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll's Alice has been enchanting children for 150 years. Curious Alice, the bossy White Rabbit, the formidable Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter are among the best-loved, most iconic literary creations of all time.

Lewis Carroll's wit and imagination can be appreciated all the more as an adult reader and Wonderland is the best possible place to escape from everyday life.


by Johanna Spyri

Heidi was written as a book ‘for children and those who love children’. It’s one of the bestselling books ever written and is among the best-known works of Swiss literature.

At the age of five, little orphan Heidi is sent to live with her grandfather in the Alps. Everyone in the village is afraid of him, but Heidi is fascinated by his long beard and bushy grey eyebrows. She loves her life in the mountains, playing in the sunshine and growing up amongst the goats and birds. But one terrible day, Heidi is collected by her aunt and is made to live with a new family in town. Heidi can't bear to be away from her grandfather; can she find a way back up the mountain, where she belongs?

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

by Dr. Seuss

Book cover for Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Possibly the most optimistic book ever written, we’re never too old to be reminded of what a bright future lies before us.