Whether you’re participating in the Lifetime of Reading Challenge, or simply interested in reading books with child protagonists, we’ve curated a diverse list of recommendations!
You can read all about the Lifetime of Reading Challenge, find links to book recommendations for the other age ranges, and download your free printable book tracker here.
What Kinds of Books are On This List
We know that every childhood experience is unique, so we’ve curated a diverse list of books with child protagonists. Each of these books, with a child as the main character, features a kid under 12. The list has a wide range of adult fiction recommendations, including both contemporary and historical fiction, mystery, adventure, and even a few classic works of children’s literature. Along with that variety, there will also be a mix of enjoyable light reads and deeper topics.
What is Bildungsroman?
Bildungsroman is a compound German word, combining the words for education and novel into a single new word for books in which the main character is growing as a person and figuring out who they are morally and psychologically. We love coming-of-age books when the characters are discovering the world around them and their unique place in it. While the books on our list with the youngest characters don’t all fit into this category, you’ll find plenty that do!
You are welcome to choose any book that you’d like to read for the challenge. We hope that our list of novels with a child protagonist will help you get started. As always, we’ve selected a combination of new books and older books that are usually available without a wait from your local library.
Book Lists By Character Age
- Intergenerational Novels: Books that Connect Generations
- Books With Characters in Their 90s and 100s
- Books With Characters in Their 80s
- Books With Characters in Their 70s
- Books With Characters in Their 60s
- Books With Characters in Their 50s
- Books Spanning a Character’s Lifetime
- Books With Characters in Their 40s
- Books with Characters In Their 30s
- Books with Characters in Their 20s
- Books with Teenage Characters
- Books with a Child Protagonist