A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is truly a children's classic that I fear is becoming forgotten. It is a melancholy story about a young girl, Francie Nolan, growing up in a gritty Brooklyn neighborhood in the twenties. Despite the poverty and and degradation of her life, Francie tries so hard to find beauty and joy whenever she can. The book ends when Francie is just becoming an adult, and while it may not be a very happy story, it is a realistic and enjoyable coming-of-age story.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
A Little Pricess by Frances Hodgson Burnett