Best Children’s Book In 1980’s

The 1980s was a decade filled with nostalgia, from the neon-colored fashion to the classic movies and TV shows. But let’s not forget about the wonderful world of children’s books that were written during this era.

The ’80s brought us some of the most beloved stories and characters in literature, capturing our imaginations and filling us with wonder. From Roald Dahl’s ‘The BFG’ to Beverly Cleary’s ‘Ramona Quimby, Age 8,’ there were so many fantastic reads for kids in this decade.

These books transported readers to magical worlds full of adventure and taught valuable life lessons along the way. In this article, we’ll take a trip down memory lane as we explore some of the best children’s books from the 1980s that have stood the test of time.

Roald Dahl’s Magical Stories

Roald Dahl’s magical stories have captivated children and adults alike for decades. His ability to create fantastical worlds filled with quirky characters has made him one of the most beloved authors in children’s literature.

Dahl’s books, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG, and James and the Giant Peach, have become staples on bookshelves around the world. Each story is full of adventure, humor, and heartwarming moments that leave a lasting impression on readers young and old. It is no surprise that his works continue to be popular choices for parents looking to introduce their children to reading or as nostalgic reads for those who grew up devouring his tales.

As we look back at the best children’s books from the 1980s, it would be remiss not to include Roald Dahl’s timeless classics.

However, there are other authors who also left an indelible mark on this era of literature. One such author is Beverly Cleary and her unforgettable characters.

Beverly Cleary’s Timeless Characters

Ramon is the lovable mischief-maker from ‘Henry Huggins’.

Henry is the main character of the series who has a pet dog named Ribsy.

Beezus and her little sister Ramona are the stars of the series ‘Beezus and Ramona’.

Otis, Socks, Ralph, Ellen, Fred, Emily, Margaret, Ellen Tebbits, Mitch, Mouse, and Mr. Quimby also populate the world of Beverly Cleary’s timeless characters.


Oh, the nostalgia that comes flooding back at the mere mention of Beverly Cleary’s timeless characters!

One character in particular stands out: Ramon Quimby.

As a mischievous third-grader with a heart of gold, Ramon captured the hearts and imaginations of children everywhere in the 1980s.

From his hilarious antics to his relatable struggles (who can forget his infamous battle with spelling?), readers couldn’t help but root for him every step of the way.

And even though it’s been decades since we first met Ramon, he remains just as beloved today.


Moving on to another beloved character from Beverly Cleary’s timeless stories, we can’t forget about Henry Huggins. With his trusty mutt Ribsy by his side, Henry navigated the ups and downs of growing up in a small town.

Whether he was trying to earn money for a new bike or dealing with pesky classmates, readers couldn’t help but relate to his struggles and cheer him on. And just like Ramon Quimby, Henry has stood the test of time as a classic literary figure that continues to capture the hearts of children everywhere.


Now, let’s talk about another lovable character from Beverly Cleary’s timeless stories: Beezus Quimby.

As the older sister to Ramona, Beezus often found herself struggling to navigate her relationship with her younger sibling while also dealing with the typical challenges of growing up.

From trying to impress her crush to worrying about fitting in at school, readers couldn’t help but empathize with Beezus’ relatable experiences.

Despite being first introduced over 60 years ago, Beezus remains a beloved and relevant figure in children’s literature today.

The Adventures Of The Boxcar Children

The 1980’s saw a rise in popularity for children’s mystery novels, and Gertrude Chandler Warner hit it out of the park with her beloved series The Boxcar Children.

The story follows four siblings who run away from their grandfather’s house to live in an abandoned boxcar in the woods.

They make do with what they have, creating a home for themselves and embarking on adventures that captivated young readers across the world.

To fully understand why The Boxcar Children was such a hit, here are four reasons:

1. The characters were relatable – each sibling had unique qualities that made them stand out as individuals.

2. It showcased independence – kids loved seeing other kids taking charge and making decisions for themselves.

3. Mystery! This book had plenty of twists and turns that kept readers guessing until the very end.

4. Simple yet powerful themes – love, family, and perseverance were at the forefront of every adventure.

As we move into discussing another classic childhood favorite, it’s important to note just how much impact The Boxcar Children had on generations of readers to come.

Transition: With one animal hero down, let’s now talk about another beloved character from our childhoods—the tales of Babar the Elephant.

The Tales Of Babar The Elephant

As the ’80s came to a close, one children’s book series stood out above the rest – The Tales of Babar the Elephant. These charming stories, written by Jean de Brunhoff and continued after his death by his son Laurent, follow the adventures of a young elephant named Babar who leaves his jungle home to explore the world of humans.

Babar quickly becomes an icon in children’s literature, teaching important lessons about friendship, responsibility, and growing up. His whimsical escapades are accompanied by delightful illustrations that capture both the wonder and humor of childhood. It is no surprise that these books continue to be beloved classics today.

And while Babar may have been the most popular children’s book character of the 1980s, he was not alone in capturing readers’ hearts.

Judy Blume’s coming-of-age novels also gained immense popularity during this time period, resonating with young readers as they navigated their own journeys through adolescence.

Judy Blume’s Coming-Of-Age Novels

Judy Blume’s Coming-of-Age Novels were some of the most popular books among children in the 1980s. Her novels tackled difficult topics such as puberty, sex education, and family issues that resonated with many young readers during this time.

Blume’s relatable characters and honest writing style made her books a staple on every bookshelf. Many readers felt like they could see themselves in the shoes of protagonists like Margaret Simon from ‘Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret’ or Deenie Fenner from ‘Deenie’. Through these stories, Blume was able to offer guidance and support to those who might have been struggling with similar experiences.

These themes helped make Judy Blume one of the most beloved authors for young adults during this period.

However, she wasn’t alone in capturing the imaginations of children worldwide.

Another iconic series that captivated audiences was ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ by C.S. Lewis- a tale full of magic and adventure that has remained timeless throughout generations.

The Chronicles Of Narnia By C.S. Lewis

While Judy Blume’s coming-of-age novels resonated with children of the 1980s, there was another book series that captured the hearts and imaginations of young readers during that time. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis were a beloved classic for generations, but it was in the ’80s when they saw a resurgence in popularity.

Lewis’ storytelling skills took readers on a journey to a magical land where talking animals, mythical creatures, and epic battles between good and evil unfolded. Each book in the series offered a new adventure through Narnia, making it hard for readers not to get hooked on this enchanting world. With its timeless themes of courage, friendship, and sacrifice, The Chronicles of Narnia continues to captivate young audiences today just as it did decades ago.

As we reflect on some of the best children’s books from the 1980s, we cannot forget about Maurice Sendak’s unforgettable illustrations that accompanied many beloved stories from that era. His whimsical drawings brought characters like Max (from Where The Wild Things Are) and Rosie (from Nutshell Library) to life in ways that words alone could not convey.

These iconic illustrations have become synonymous with childhood memories for so many people, reminding us all of the magic found within our favorite stories.

The Classic Illustrations Of Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak’s illustrations have been a staple in children’s literature for decades. His most famous work, ‘Where the Wild Things Are,’ was published in 1963 but continued to captivate young readers throughout the 1980s and beyond.

The book tells the story of a mischievous boy named Max who escapes into an imaginary world inhabited by wild beasts. Sendak’s unique style combined childlike innocence with darker themes that appealed to both children and adults alike.

He believed that children were capable of handling complex emotions and created illustrations that reflected this belief. Sendak’s legacy continues to inspire illustrators today, and his impact on the world of children’s literature is immeasurable.

As we move from the classic illustrations of Maurice Sendak, we enter the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. Known for his colorful characters and playful language, Dr. Seuss captured the hearts of millions of children in the 1980s with books like ‘The Cat in the Hat’ and ‘Green Eggs and Ham.’

Despite being criticized at times for promoting nonsensical language, Dr. Seuss has become a beloved figure in American culture whose works continue to be read by new generations of children each year.

The Whimsical World Of Dr. Seuss

As we’ve seen in the previous section, Maurice Sendak’s illustrations captured the hearts of children all over the world. But he was not alone in creating timeless classics during that era. Another beloved author and illustrator who left an indelible mark on children’s literature was none other than Dr. Seuss.

With his whimsical characters and imaginative worlds, Dr. Seuss introduced readers to a whole new realm of storytelling. From ‘The Cat in the Hat’ to ‘Green Eggs and Ham,’ his books were filled with playful language, colorful artwork, and important life lessons woven throughout each tale.

And it wasn’t just kids who loved them – adults couldn’t get enough either! Dr. Seuss’ unique style and universal appeal made him one of the best-selling children’s authors of all time, cementing his place as a true icon in the literary world.

His influence continues even today, inspiring generations of young readers to use their imaginations and see the magic in everyday life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Were The Sales Figures For Each Of These Books During The 1980s?

As you dive deep into the world of children’s books, your curiosity piques towards sales figures. You can’t help but wonder about how many copies were sold during that era.

Your heart races with excitement as you imagine discovering the hidden gems and classics that made it to the top of the charts.

It’s time to explore further, uncovering numbers that could be a testament to success or failure in this industry.

What Was The Average Age Range Of Children Who Read These Books In The 1980s?

What was the average age range of children who read these books in the 1980s?

It’s an interesting question to consider when looking back at popular children’s books from that decade.

While some may assume that certain titles were geared towards particular age groups, it’s worth exploring whether or not this was actually the case.

By examining reader demographics and other factors, we can gain a better understanding of how these books impacted young readers during their initial release and throughout subsequent years.

What Impact Did These Books Have On Children’s Literacy Rates During The 1980s?

Did the children’s books from the 1980s have any impact on literacy rates? It’s a question worth exploring.

While there is no specific data available to indicate how these books affected reading levels, it’s reasonable to assume that they played some role in promoting literacy among young readers. After all, many of these books were written with engaging stories and relatable characters that could capture the attention of even reluctant readers.

Additionally, the popularity of certain book series like ‘The Babysitters Club’ and ‘Goosebumps’ may have helped foster a love for reading in kids who might not have otherwise picked up a book voluntarily.

Overall, while we can’t say for sure what kind of impact these books had on literacy rates during the 1980s specifically, it seems likely that they contributed positively to the overall effort of encouraging young people to read more often.

Were Any Of These Books Banned Or Censored During The 1980s?

Were any of these books banned or censored during the 1980s?

It’s a question that raises concerns about freedom of expression and access to information.

While some may argue for censorship in certain cases, others believe it is important to allow children to explore different perspectives and ideas.

The 1980s saw a number of controversial books for children, including those dealing with sensitive topics like sex education and homosexuality.

Some were challenged by parents and educators who felt they were inappropriate or offensive, leading to calls for them to be removed from libraries or classrooms.

Despite these challenges, many of these books continue to be celebrated for their contributions to literature and the education of young readers.

Did Any Of These Authors Win Any Literary Awards For Their Works During The 1980s?

Did any of the authors from the 1980s win literary awards for their works?

It’s a great question to ask, especially if you’re curious about the quality of books published during that time.

Many writers were recognized for their excellent contributions to children’s literature, including those who tackled sensitive topics and challenged societal norms.

Some notable award-winning authors from the 1980s include Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and Roald Dahl.

From Newbery Medals to National Book Awards, these writers have left an indelible mark on the world of children’s literature with their imaginative stories and unforgettable characters.


In conclusion, the 1980s was a decade filled with exceptional children’s books that captured the hearts and minds of young readers.

From ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ to ‘The Giving Tree,’ these stories played an integral role in shaping the childhood memories of many individuals.

Like a warm embrace from a beloved grandparent, these books provided comfort and entertainment for countless hours.

They also helped foster a love of reading and learning among children during this time period.

Although some faced controversy and censorship, their impact on literacy rates cannot be denied.

The authors of these timeless classics continue to inspire new generations of young readers today.

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