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9 Kids Books That Stick It to The Man

best books, stories for kids

Ferdinand goes his own way

Ursula Nordstrom wanted to accomplish one thing in her job as children’s book editor: publish good books for bad children. And she did. Lots of them.

But she’s not the editor behind the Wimpy Kid books or Captain Underpants. Nordstrom aimed for subversive kids lit decades ago. From 1940 to 1973, she brought to print much of what we consider the canon for children, works like Where the Wild Things Are, Charlotte’s Web and Harriet the Spy. See? Not just funny or gross-0ut stuff. But books with characters that encourage kids to think for themselves.

MSNBC has come up with a list of nine subversive children’s books — some of which Nordstrom had a hand in, other simply influenced by her.

Where the Wild Things Are

The Red Balloon

The Little Engine that Could

The Story of Ferdinand

The Lorax

Yertle the Turtle

Madeline

Curious George

Click Clack Moo

A dozen other contemporary kids books are listed but I’m curious about the books that surprised you when you read them.

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