I have compared many book lists.  I am a minimalist at heart, but find there to be value in owning the best books.  I have spent time comparing 5 well known booklists and there are some books that really shouldn’t be missed.  Happy  Reading!
(The first numbers I list will be a read aloud age; the next numbers are an independent reading age)

Children’s Picture Books
Read Aloud 3-6/ Read Alone 5-8

  1. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
  2. Curious George by Rey
  3. The Cat in the Hat
  4. Story About Ping by Flack
  5. Corduroy by Freeman
  6. Mike Mulliagan and More by Burton  (This includes four of her well known stories)
  7. Make Way for McCloskey by McCloskey  (This includes all of his well known stories)
  8. Miss Rumphius by Cooney
  9. Little Red Hen by Galdone
  10. Three Billy Goats Gruff by Galdone
  11. Frances Book by Hoban
  12. St. George and the Dragon by Hodges
  13. The Biggest Bear by Ward
  14. Beatrix Potter the Complete Tales
  15. The Tale of Three Trees by Hunt (Christmas)
  16. The Emperor’s New Clothes Illustrated by Burton

Early Readers  Ages 5-8

  1. Frog and Toad are Friends by Lobel (Reading Practice for 1st graders)
  2. Frog and Toad Together by Lobel
  3. Frog and Toad All Year by Lobel
  4. Danny the Dinosaur by Hoff
  5. Go Dog Go by Eastman
  6. Are You My Mother by Eastman
  7. Little Bear by Minarik
  8. Little Bear’s Visiti by Minarik
  9. Billy and Blaze Series (6) by Anderson

Chapter Books to Read Aloud for 6 -10 / Independent Reading for 8-12

  1. Mr. Popper’s Penguines
  2. Peter Pan by Barrie
  3. Caddie Woodlawn by Brink
  4. A Little Princes by Burnett
  5. The Secret Garden by Burnett
  6. Little Lord Fauntelroy by Burnett
  7. Alice in Wonderland By Caroll
  8. Through the Looking Glass by Caroll
  9. Pinocchio by Collodi
  10. Abraham Lincoln by D’ Aulaire
  11. George Washington by D’ Aulaire
  12. Columbus by D’ Aulaire
  13. Bears on Hemlock Mountain by Dalgliesh
  14. Courage of Sarah Noble by Dagliesh
  15. Door in the Wall by De Angeli
  16. Wheel on the School by Dejong
  17. Twenty One Balloons by Du Bois
  18. The Matchlock Gun by Edmonds
  19. The Saturdays By Enright
  20. The Moffats Series (3 books) by Estes
  21. The Hundred Dresses by Estes
  22. The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Lofting
  23. Sign of the Beaver by Speare
  24. Calico Captive by Speare
  25. Witch of Blackbird Pond by Speare
  26. Aesop’s Fables for Children

Chapter Books to Be Read Aloud from 8-13/ Independent Reading 11- 14

  1. Little Woman by Alcott
  2. Johnny Tremain by Forbes
  3. My Side of the Mountain by George
  4. Number the Stars by Lowry
  5. Robinson Crusoe by Dafoe
  6. Captain Corageous by Kipling
  7. Anne of Green Gables Series by Montgomery
  8. The Bronze Bow by Speare
  9. Treasure Island by Stevenson
  10. Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry by Taylor
  11. Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Twain
  12. The Prince and the Pauper by Twain
  13. Around the World in Eighty Days by Verne
  14. Jouney to the Center of the Earth by Verne
  15. 20,000 Leauges Under the Sea by Verne
  16. Story of Rolf and the Vikin Bow by French

Books to Be Read Aloud to 12 and Up/ Independently 14 and Up

  1. The Hinding Place by Ten Boom
  2. Confessions by Augestine
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Austen
  4. Persuassion by Austen
  5. Sense and Sensibility by Austen
  6. Jane Eyre by Bronte
  7. Wuthering HEights by Bronte
  8. My Antonia by Cather
  9. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Cather
  10. Don Quioxte by Cervantes
  11. Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
  12. Complete Father Brown Stories by Chesterton
  13. The Man Who was Thursday by Chesterton
  14. The Last of the Mohicans by Cooper
  15. Dante the Divine Comedy
  16. Great Expectations by Dickens
  17. Oliver Twist by Dickens
  18. David Copperfield by Dickens
  19. Hard Times by Dickens
  20. A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens
  21. Sherlock Holmes by Doyle
  22. The COunt of Monte Cristo by Dumas
  23. Mr. Mindshipman Hornblower by Forester
  24. With Lee in Virginia by Henty
  25. All Creatures Great and Small by Herriot
  26. Hunchback of Notre Dame by Hugo
  27. Les Miserables by Hugo
  28. To Kill a Mockingbird by Lee
  29. Till we Have Faces by Lewis
  30. Mere Christinity by Lewis
  31. Screwtape Letters by Lewis
  32. Space Trilogy by Lewis
  33. The Great Divorce by Lewis
  34. Gone with the Wind by Mitchell

Children’s Books/ Picture Books
   *Note: Not all children’s books are created equal.  Books are like food; if you consume junk, you’ll crave junk.  Be picky regarding the literary value and content of the books you allow for your children.  Also, some books I stop reading to my kids when they become a certain age. I believe they need to hear more challenging material, and then I would encourage them to try to read the easier books for themselves around 1st or 2nd grade.

1.  Beatrix Potter the Complete Tales
2. The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh (this also contains poetry)
3. Roxaboxen (bound to inspire a child’s imagination)
4. Make Way for McCloskey: A McCloskey Treasury
5. The Complete Adventures of Curious George
6. A Madeline Treasury
7. 20th Century Children’s Treasury
8. A Child’s Book of Poems
9. The Real Mother Goose
10. The Golden Children’s Bible (Not paraphrased, but stories omitted)
11. A good fairy Tale Book- Tales From GrimmTasha Tudor Book of Fairy TalesA Child’s Book of Stories, Best Known and Best Loves Tales From Around the World
12. Aesop’s Fables for Children

Mother’s Shelf
1. Female Piety (A puritan book written to young women, but any women could benefit)
2.Feminine Appeal: The Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother
3.Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe (especially good for the little years)

Worldview/ Theology
1. Desiring the Kingdom
2. Systematic Theology

Home Education Parent’s Resource Shelf

  1. Educating the Wholehearted Child
  2. A Charlotte Mason Companion
  3. Home Education: Training and Education Children Under 9
  4. For the Children’s Sake
  5. The Handbook of Nature Study

Devotional Readings
1.The Attributes of God
2. The Crucified Life
3. The Hidden Life of Prayer

Chapter Books to Be Read Aloud or Alone
    *Note:  I would love to see more familie enjoying their leisure listening to well written literature together instead of starting at a TV, phone, or computer.  Maybe commit to two nights a week you read aloud as a family.
1. The Chronicles of Narnia
2. The Hobit and The Lord of the Rings
3. The Little House Collection

Children’s History Books
1. D’ Aulaire Biography Pack  1
st-6th Biographies (Leif Erickson, Columbus, Pocahontas, George Washinton, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Buffalo Bill)
2. The Genevieve Foster Collection 
5th-8th History Surrounding the Time of…( Caesar Augustus, Columbus, John Smith, George Washinton, William Penn, Abraham Lincoln)

Please give feedback!  I would love to hear what books you think are essential to every home library!