10 Classic Children’s Novels We Loved Back Then

Literature class was one of our favorites back then in primary school.

It wasn’t like the complex literature we started in secondary school where you had to discuss themes from a dialogue or write lengthy notes based on a conversation or a story. It was basic and we loved it. While the list of literature books varied from schools to schools, there were some that kept making appearances.

Maybe because they were so good and all! We present a list of our ten favorites.

1. Sugar Girl by Kola Onadipe

Sugar Girl was the story of Ralia and her adventures when she went missing.

Sugar Girl

2. Chike and The River by Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe wrote about the boy who wanted to cross the River Niger. I remember Samuel Maduka Obi (S.M.O) and his S.M.O.G name which meant “Save Me Oh God”

Chike and the River

3. Without A Silver Spoon by Eddie Iroh

Without A Silver Spoon is the story of Ure Chokwe who comes from a poor family and the challenges he had to go through

Without A Silver Spoon

4. Eze Goes to School by Onuora Nzekwu and Michael Crowder

Eze is determined to go to school but he has to deal with the problems he has

Eze Goes to School

5. Koku Baboni by Kola Onadipe

Koku Baboni calls into question a village’s practice of leaving one of a set of twins to die. It introduces young readers to complex questions about human rights.

Koku Baboni

6. The Drummer Boy by Cyprian Ekwensi

The story of Akin, a blind drummer who inspires everyone with his talents, celebrates the uniqueness of the individual and how self-fulfillment can help us touch the lives of others.

The Drummer Boy

7. Bottled Leopard by Chukwuemeka Ike

The book tells of Amobi, a first-year secondary school student, who is troubled by dreams of a leopard.

Bottled Leopard

8. Tales Out of School by Nkem Nwankwo

Another great story about a young person’s first year at secondary school. The protagonist Bayo experiences a class rebellion and a challenge to the school football team during his first term at school.

Tales Out of School

9. The Village School by Anezi Okoro

Anezi Okoro is a children’s stories expert with a long resume; this classic tale of a village school in southeastern Nigeria – first published in 1966 – has stood the test of time.


10. The First Corn by Mabel Segun

Mabel Segun is one of Nigeria’s best-loved children’s novelists. This story of how a man first discovered corn fully engages younger readers.



Written by PH

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