Top 10 Best Selling Children Books That Can Make Adults Cry

Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Best Selling Children Books That Can Make Adults Cry until 2017. The written word has been around for many centuries. It has shown the passage of time, the journey of man through the ages and the thoughts and emotions of everyone around us. Children’s books are known for their illustrations and beautiful stories, but they are not as simple as they may first seem. Children’s tales can deal with love and heartache and can teach us more about life than most adult books. Some of these books we have loved as a child, others we have read to our own children as we tuck them in at night. However, these books each have a lesson about love, life, and death that could make anyone cry. Here is a list of the Top 10 Best Selling Children’s Book That Can Make Adults Cry until 2017.

List of Top 10 Best Selling Children Books That Can Make Adults Cry until 2017

10. The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree Most Popular Selling Children Books That Can Make Adults Cry 2019

Shel Silverstein was a beloved American poet and author. His book, “The Giving Tree”, has become one of the best-selling children’s books with over 10 million copies sold. The book was one of three published by Silverstein in 1964. The publishers only printed 7,000 copies, thinking it was not going to be a big sell. They were wrong. When you read this book as a child, you see this beautiful relationship between a boy and a tree. When reading this as an adult, especially as a parent, you see the relationship between a child and his parent. The boy keeps asking for things and the tree keeps giving until it has nothing left to give. The parable shows that no matter what our children ask, we will continue to give even when we have nothing left to give.

9. Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web Top Best Selling Children Books That Can Make Adults Cry 2017

“Charlotte’s Web” begins with a runt, Wilbur, who is saved by the love of a little girl, Fern. She raises him until his becomes big enough and is sold to her uncle, Zuckerman’s farm. There Wilbur realizes he is to be fattened up and eaten; a clever spider, Charlotte, decides to help save Wilbur’s life by writing in her web. The tale ends with Wilbur living out the rest of his life on the farm, but unfortunately, Charlotte dies. This tale was an inspiration for the E.B. White award that was created in 2004. The award itself has Charlotte spinning a web that spells out terrific. It is given out to authors and their books that are great for reading aloud to children.

8. Where the Red Fern Grows


The book, “Where the Red Fern Grows” was not supposed to be a children’s book. Wilson Rawls had originally written the tale for the “Saturday Evening Post” in three parts. When the book itself was made, the publishers decided to push it towards children; it became a bestseller. The story is about a boy named Billy and his two redbone coonhounds; Old Dan and Little Anne. The three become the greatest hunters in the Ozarks, but danger always seems to follow them. The story itself is riddled with sadness, especially when Old Dan saves Billy from a mountain lion, but dies. Little Anne is so upset by Old Dan’s death, she starves herself and dies too while lying on Old Dan’s grave.

7. The Little Match Girl

The Little Match Girl Top 10 Best Selling Children Books That Can Make Adults Cry

Hans Christen Anderson wrote “The Little Match Girl” after looking through a calendar in 1843. His editor had told him to write a story about one of the illustrations. He chose the woodcut by Johan Thomas Lundbye of a child selling matchsticks. The short story tells of a poor girl who tries to sell matchsticks on New Year’s Eve. She cannot go home until she has earned some money or her father will beat her. As the night grows colder, the little girl lights matches to keep herself warm. In the flames she sees food, warmth, and love of a family. Suddenly, her grandmother appears to her through the flames and takes her away to heaven. The moral of this tale is still used in today’s stories of a child holding tightly onto hope in an uncaring world.

6. Old Yeller

Old Yeller Top Most Famous Selling Children Books That Can Make Adults Cry 2018

There is nothing like the love of a child and their pet. “Old Yeller” is a story about the love and life of a boy and his dog. A boy, Travis Coates, is taking care of the family farm while his father is away. One day a mangy dog appears and wins over the hearts of the family. He seems to be the families’ guardian angel. One night, a wolf attacks and Old Yeller fights him off, but gets bit during the fight. It turns out the wolf was rabid and Old Yeller needs to be put down. Travis is the one to shoot Old Yeller. The story shows Travis’s struggle; he loves his dog and wants him around, but does not want him to suffer.

5. The Velveteen Rabbit


The story about a boy and his beloved toy has been enjoyed by many generations. The book was written in 1922 by Margery Williams. While transitioning from adult to children and young adult, Williams still kept her dark themes throughout, for which she was most known for. In the book, Rabbit is told that if are truly loved by a child, you will become real and live forever. Rabbit soon becomes the child’s favorite toy. Unfortunately the boy becomes ill with scarlet fever and all his possessions must be burned. Later the when the young boy is healthy, he sees a rabbit that reminds him of his toy. A touching story showing that as long as you truly love something, it will always be alive. This is one of the Top 10 Best Selling Children Books That Can Make Adults Cry until 2017.

4. Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia Top 10 Best Selling Children Books That Can Make Adults Cry 2017

Author, Katharine Paterson wrote “Bridge to Terabithia” to help her son cope with the death of his friend; his friend had been struck by lightning while on the beach and died. Her son could not understand why this happened. The book is about a young boy named Jess who finds an unlikely friend in Leslie, a quirky girl. To escape the pangs of childhood, the two create a world they call Terabithia. One day, Leslies drowns and Jess can’t understand nor cope. Slowly, he decides to keep Leslie alive through sharing Terabithia with his younger sister. This book shows not just children about coping with death, but it shows adults as well. Death is senseless and can take us at any time, but we can live on through those that remember us.

3. The Little Prince


Though the tale is originally in French, “The Little Prince” has been loved in multiple languages. The book is by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, who was a French pilot during World War II. The story begins with a pilot who crashes his plane in the dessert. There, he meets a boy who has traveled from another planet to find friends, but misses his one true love, a rose, on his home planet. “The Little Prince” reflects Antoine’s own personal struggles when he crashed his plane in the desserts of Africa. He writes about his loneliness, his longing for his wife (the rose), hallucinations, and death itself. The irony of both Antoine’s real life and the tale is that both he and “The Little Prince” disappeared never to be heard from again.

2. Sad Book

Sad Book Top Famous Selling Children Books That Can Make Adults Cry 2019

British author, Michael Rosen was known for his hilarious stories. His most touching and funny were those that featured his son, Eddie. That was until Eddie died of meningitis when he was 18 years old in 1999. In 2004, Rosen published another book about Eddie called “Sad Book.” The book is a journey of Rosen’s grief about the loss of his son. It shows the different stages we go through while dealing with the loss of a loved one. The story tells us that sometimes we put on a happy face to hide our sadness from the world. We feel others won’t understand, but everyone goes through loss and grief and sadness. This touching book is not only for children, but adults alike.

1. Love You Forever

Love You Forever Top Most Popular Selling Children Books That Can Make Adults Cry 2018

Since 1986, “Love You Forever” has sold over 15 million copies becoming one of the bestselling children’s paperback books of all time. It all began when the author, Robert Munsch, had created a song for his two babies that were stillborn. To help his grief, he decided to share the song with others and the story began to form. The book is about the love between a mother and child. As a little boy grows from infancy to adulthood, his mother sneaks into his room and rocks and sings to him every night. The son returns his mother’s love by rocking her and singing the very same song as she dies in his arms. This book will have tears in your eyes from the first page all the way to the last page.

These are the Top 10 Best Selling Children Books That Can Make Adults Cry until 2017. These stories not only stay with us because we read them when we were little, they stay with us because they show us the sad truths about life. Most of the authors shared their own pain to help us deal with our own. So, the next time you open up a child’s book, try and see the true story behind the words and illustrations; you might find yourself crying your eyes out.