12 Children’s Books That Will Make An Adult Cry

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Children’s books aren’t just for little kids. There are themes in children’s novels that any adult can relate to. But sometimes they can hit a little too close to home. Beyond occasionally being incredibly poignant, they can make even the most indifferent adults weep like a baby. Here are a few children’s novels that will have you grabbing for a tissue.

1.  Antoine de Saint-Exupery – The Little Prince


A little prince exploring various planets in order to cure his own loneliness? Yes, the story gets very sad. However, this story also shows the beauty of the world, and how you can find friendship in the most unlikely of people. It’s a total tear-jerker.

Where to Buy: amazon.com

2. Shel Silverstein – The Giving Tree


This story shows a relationship based on selfless, unconditional love. Even though this story was written for children, it holds many universal truths for adults as well.

Where to Buy: amazon.com

3. J. M. Barrie – Peter Pan

Adults, like children, don’t want to grow. Imagine escaping to a far-away island where all you had to worry about were pirates and devious mermaids. While this may sound like a fun story, it definitely has it’s dark side. Peter Pan loves an unattainable girl, the lost boys have to grow up, and no one can stay a kid forever. It’s a heartbreaking read.

Where to Buy: amazon.com

4. Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden


From unloving parents to isolation and loneliness, this book covers it all. Based on a stubborn girl who learns about love and friendship, The Secret Garden is a novel that will have you wondering how it was ever deemed as “children’s literature.”

Where to Buy: amazon.com

5. Katherine Paterson – The Bridge To Terebithia

This beautifully written book will take you back to a time of childhood friendship, and days spent outdoors. This story focuses on two unlikely friends that help each other overcome daily obstacles, and tremendous tragedies. Keep a box of tissues nearby for this book.

Where to Buy: amazon.com

6. Robert Munsch – Love You Forever

This book should come with a warning label. It’s that sad. This story follows a mother and son throughout their lifetimes, and will have you calling your own mother has soon as you finish reading.

Where to Buy: amazon.com

7. Wilson Rawls – Where The Red Fern Grows

If you have ever had a childhood pet, this book will have you in tears by the end of it. Nothing like a few coon hound puppies to get the emotions flowing.

Where to Buy: amazon.com

8. Fred Gipson – Old Yeller

See the above description. Books about dogs get me every time.

Where to Buy: amazon.com

9. Dr. Seuss – Oh, The Places You’ll Go

A story that believes in you as a person? It’s just as lovely as it sounds.

Where to Buy: amazon.com

10. E.B. White – Charlotte’s Webb


This inspiring story about a small town farm, and it’s animals will have you weeping tears of joy. It’s absolutely beautiful.

Where to Buy: amazon.com

11. Frances Hodgson Burnett – A Little Princess 


A little girl forced into boarding school, and awaiting her long lost father? It’ll bring anyone to tears.

Where to Buy: amazon.com

12. Natalie Babbitt – Tuck Everlasting


When faced with the choice of living a long life or never growing old, which would you choose? This book focuses on a family that can live forever, but who may not want it to always be that way.

Where to Buy: amazon.com

Photo by John-Morgan