10 Fiction Books With Child Narrators and Protagonists

Books written from a child’s perspective or with a child as the protagonist offer a limited but yet unbiased and honest view of the world around them. In this case when it comes to fiction, particularly adult fiction, adult readers typically have a better understanding of what is happening in the story, which is what makes the child’s viewpoint interesting, especially when touching on issues within books such as familial, mental health , world tragedy, and war.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Written in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel with the story taking place in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama and following Jean Louise (Scout) Finch, who is six years old when the novel begins and nine when it ends. Herself and her brother de ella are raised by their widowed father de ella, Atticus, who is a lawyer and the majority of the action takes place when he represents Tom Robinson, a man accused of rape.

Client by John Grisham

Mark Sway and his younger brother, Ricky, witness a suicide attempt by Romey Clifford, a lawyer for a mafia hitman. Romey confesses his secrets from him to Mark before he dies and Mark must do everything he can to avoid the cops, the mob who are now looking for him, and the FBI. He needs serious help and legal representation which introduces Reggie Love, a recovered alcoholic and a children’s rights expert. She goes above and beyond the call of duty to help and protect Mark. Together, they tackle court proceedings while avoiding attacks from hitman Barry ‘the blade’ Muldano. It’s a truly gripping suspense story with a child at the heart of it.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This historical fiction book is set in Germany with an unusual narrator—Death. The story follows a young girl named Liesel who must stay with her foster parents de ella, Hans and Rosa Hubermann, as tragedy has struck her family de ella and war is escalating with a constant worry of food shortages. Liesel befriends Max, a Jewish man who her foster parents de ella are sheltering whilst also discovering a love of books and the power of words.

Wonder by RJ Palacio

Ten-year-old August (Auggie) Pullman is the hero of this powerful story as he struggles with his facial anomaly while starting mainstream school. His family of him are his support system of him as he tries to make friends. The book has multiple points of view which tells the story from different perspectives to outline the importance of being kind and accepting. This book sat at number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list for 140 weeks.

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Written in 1988, this story is a children’s literature classic for all ages, young and old. Matilda Wormwood is a bookworm who is extremely intelligent, but lives with her nasty parents and her brother. At school, she meets her lovely teacher, Miss Honey, and her horrible headmistress. Matilda discovers she can move things with her mind from her which gets her out of trouble. Unfortunately, you can’t pick your family, however Matilda is a special girl. The happy ending of this novel is unexpected but wonderful.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Oskar Schell is a nine-year-old boy who is devastated after his dad died during the 9/11 attacks and suffers from extreme anxiety. After discovering a mysterious envelope with a key inside, Oskar travels around New York City to gather clues. Alongside this story, the story of Oskar’s grandparents runs parallel.

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

See also

The Little Shop of Happy Ever After Jenny Colgan

Christopher Boone investigates the murder of his neighbor’s poodle, Wellington, by questioning potential suspects and in turn goes on a journey of self-discovery. He is 15 years old and in some ways, he is wise beyond his years of him, along with his love for maths and lists. There are many unexpected twists in this novel that makes the reader empathize with Christopher as he comes to terms with his discoveries of him. The conversational tone and matter-of-fact dialogue makes it an enjoyable read.

Room by Emma Donoghue

Irish writer, Emma Donoghue, writes about the ultimate bond between parent and child whilst also including the harsh reality of the world in her story. It is told from the perspective of five-year-old Jack which means the dialogue is direct. Ma and Jack live in a room that belongs to Old Nick, it’s home to Jack since he was born, but it’s been a prison for Ma for the last seven years. This book is an emotional story of survival and escape.

White Oleander by Janet Fitch

This story is unforgettable as it explores the intricacies of the mother-daughter relationship. It is about Ingrid, a poet who is imprisoned for murder and her daughter de ella Astrid moves to various different LA foster homes. Astrid grows from being a girl to becoming a woman over the course of this novel. White Oleander is beautifully written with lyrical language that reads like poetry.

All The Lost Things by Michelle Sacks

Dolly Rust is seven years old and the narrator of this suspenseful story. She is overcome with excitement when she realizes herself and her dad de ella are going on an adventure, just the two of them. It’s all fun and games in the beginning until her father’s mood starts to change and paranoia sets in. Clemesta, Dolly’s toy horse, is the voice of reason as she only speaks to Dolly. She tries to get Dolly to understand what is happening. An interesting read from a child’s perspective.

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