James and the Giant Peach by Roald Daol - James' life sucks. He lives with his aunts who are mean to him. One day, a wizard gives him some magic trinkets that will give him a life of joy and happiness. He trips on the way home and spills the magical contents near a peach tree, a peach tree that's grown nothing for quite some time. The next morning there appears a giant peach (hence, James and the Giant Peach). James takes his peach and has the adventure of a lifetime.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Daol - Willie Wonka is a freak. He owns a chocolate factory that has been closed off for years. He gives five children a chance to have a tour of the factory. One of those five children is--you guessed it--Charlie. As the five tour the factory, Charlie remains grateful, but the others are complete brats who are painfully and humiliatingly expelled.
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White - Pigs are born. One's a runt. The farmer wants to kill the runt. The farmer's eight-year-old daughter likes the pig and convinces her father not to kill it. Wilbur, the aforementioned runt pig, is lonely. He makes a friend, Charlotte, a spider. After discovering he's to be slaughtered for Christmas dinner, Charlotte concocts a plan to save Wilbur. Will it work?
The Blossom Family Series by Betsy Byars - There are five books about the Blossom family. The first, The Not-Just-Anybody Family and the fifth, Wanted...Mud Blossom are my kids' favorites. The Blossoms crazy hijinks begin with Pap getting arrested while Mom Blossom is off at the rodeo. Junior tries to fly off the roof of his house and Vern and Maggie break into jail to stay with Pap. Other adventures include Junior's run in with the Vulture Lady, Junior's attempt to build a UFO, Vern's attempt to raft down the river after a flood and Pap's subsequent heart attack, and the alleged murder of Junior's class hamster by the Blossom dog.
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell - After my son and daughter read this with their mom, we went camping. Throughout the entire camping trip the two of them acted out scenes from the story using sticks, giant trees, and the family dog. What more of an endorsement do you need than that?