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Top 10 Best Children's Books from the 1990s

The 1990s was an exciting decade in children's publishing, from the brilliantly funny The Story of Tracy Beaker, to the spellbinding sensation that was Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Below are just some of the very best children's books from the 1990s, ordered by publication date.'s-Books-from-1990s-header.jpg

1. The Story of Tracy Beaker

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Jacqueline Wilson | 1991 | 9+

This fantastically funny tale stars the loveable mischief-maker Tracy Beaker, a girl who lives in a children's home - or 'Dumping Ground', as she calls it - and must try to get on with all the other children, as well as her foster families! She reckons her mum's a glamorous movie star and will come back for her one day. Join Tracy in her vividly imaginative world on all her hilarious adventures.

2. The Minpins

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Roald Dahl | 1991 | 3+

This beautiful story was the wonderful Roald Dahl's final book, published a few months after his death in November 1990. Little Billy doesn't really believe there are monsters in the wood, but the tiny minpins are real indeed - and so is the red-hot, smoke-belching Gruncher that threatens their miniature world. Children will be captivated by this magical tale.

3. The Rainbow Fish

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Marcus Pfister | 1992 | 3+

This mesmerising, award-winning tale features a shining, shimmering fish and a profound message about friendship and sharing, guaranteed to delight little ones.

4. Sabriel

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Garth Nix | 1995 | 12+

This dark, gripping fantasy read stars Sabriel, who is sent beyond the Wall to the safety of a boarding school in Ancelstierre, away from magic - and away from the Dead. But at 18 years old, she receives a cryptic message from her father, and sets off back across the Wall into the Old Kingdom. There, she undertakes a dark adventure fraught with peril, magic, and sinister forces. She must find her father, discover her destiny, become the person she was fated to be, and - most crucially - protect the living from the malevolent Dead.

5. Northern Lights

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Philip Pullman | 1995 | 11+

Lyra and her animal 'daemon' - the animal embodiment of her inner self - live half-wild and carefree among scholars of Jordan College, Oxford. Her destiny will take her to frozen lands, magical witch-clans and savage ice-bears. Join her on her extraordinary quest, which will have unimaginable consequences far beyond her own world... This riveting adventure is sure to enchant kids, teens and young adults.

6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

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J. K. Rowling | 1997 | 9+

This somewhat well-known book (ahem) is the first in the utterly spellbinding Harry Potter series. Join our eponymous young hero, Harry Potter, as a half-giant wielding a magical umbrella tells him on an island in the middle of a storm that he is, in fact, a wizard, and then gives his cousin Dudley a curly-wurly pig tail - and that's not even the craziest part!

7. Skellig

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David Almond | 1998 | 9+

This stunning story won the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children's Award for its wonderful author, David Almond. It brilliantly combines magic and realism for a captivating story, making this book impossible to put down. Young Michael is lonely and struggling to cope as his baby sister battles for survival and his family moves into a dilapidated house. But an unbelievable discovery in the form of a strange, emaciated creature is set to change everything...

8. Holes

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Louis Sachar | 1998 | 9+

This brilliant book tells the story of Stanley Yelnats, whose family has an unfortunate history of bad luck. He's not even surprised when he ends up in a juvenile detention camp in Texas for a crime he didn't commit, but can't believe that all he and the other boys have to do all day is dig holes. How boring! But it's not long before Stanley realises that what he'll need to dig up is the sinister truth.

9. The Gruffalo

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Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler | 1999 | 3+

This wonderful rhyming book has captured the imaginations of millions of kids worldwide. Featuring the famous half-grizzly bear, half-buffalo, the tale follows a brave little mouse, who believes the Gruffalo is nothing but fantasy - until he comes face-to-face with him! Complete with distinctive illustrations by Axel Scheffler, this story is guaranteed to enchant children and be remembered forever.

10. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging

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Louise Rennison | 1999 | 13+

This brilliantly funny read features plenty of teenage angst and crazy confessions from the wacky but wonderful Georgia Nicolson. There are various things wrong with Georgia's life, including invincible spots, sadistic teachers, and the fact she went to a party dressed as an olive. She must muddle her way through her hectic life and endure some serious disasters, including shaving her eyebrows off, dealing with her small wildcat, Angus, and experiencing her very first kiss... but not with her drool-worthy dreamboat of a crush, of course.