Baby Boomers were young, and rock and roll music was big.  The United States entered the Korean War in the early part of the decade, and the Space Race began as an off-shoot of the Cold War technological race.

For more about 1950s culture:

Lists of 1950s children’s books:

Classic Children’s Books By The Decade: 1950s

Goodreads — Best Children’s Books of the 1950s

Wikipedia — 1950s Children’s Books

Fiction Books

General Fiction

Tornado Jones

About a boy living in Nebraska in the 1950s and his adventures.  By Trella Lamson Dick.


Basil of Baker Street

Basil, a mouse detective who lives in Sherlock Holmes’s house and studies his methods, searches for a pair of kidnapped mouse twins. By Eve Titus.


Not really a kid’s book but the inspiration for the Disney movie Candleshoe.  A group of children defend an ancestral home from thieves. By Michael Innes.

Detectives in Togas

A group of boys in Ancient Rome investigate a case of vandalism that is part of a plot of political intrigue. The sequel is Mystery of the Roman Ransom. Originally written in German.  By Henry Winterfeld.

The Mystery in Old Quebec

A pair of children visiting the city of Quebec try to help a boy who may be being held prisoner at the hotel where they are staying.  By Mary C. Jane.



The Blue-Nosed Witch

A young witch meets up with trick-or-treaters on Halloween and learns about Halloween fun with her new friends.  By Margaret Embry.

The Secret of Roan Inish

Fiona leaves the big city to return to the seaside to live with her grandparents, hoping that they might once more live on the island their family has called home for generations and hoping to find her lost little brother, who was apparently washed out to sea the day their family left, but who may actually be alive on the island in the care of the seals that live there. By Rosalie Fry.

I have the movie-tie in version, which was printed much later, but it contains the text of the original book, Secret of the Ron Mor Skerry (Child of the Western Isles), which was originally published in 1959.  Copies of the original book are very expensive collectors’ items.  However, there is good news: it’s coming back into print in October (and on Kindle!), so if you’re nostalgic or just curious, you will be able to get a copy easily then!

Historical Fiction

Twenty and Ten

A group of French school children hide Jewish children from the Nazis during World War II.  By Claire Bishop.

Picture Books


Fiction Series

Betsy and Eddie Books

The everyday adventures of a group of neighborhood children. By Carolyn Haywood. 1939-1986.

Ginnie and Geneva Series

When shy Ginnie moves to town, she makes friends with the more outgoing Geneva, and the two girls have adventures together.  By Catherine Woolley.  1948-1973.

Hardy Boys Mysteries

Two brothers, Frank and Joe Hardy, solve mysteries in their East Coast town of Bayport and around the world. By Franklin W. Dixon, A Stratemeyer Syndicate series. 1927-Present.

Nancy Drew Mysteries

Nancy Drew encounters and solves mysteries with her friends in her hometown of River Heights and around the world. By Carolyn Keene, A Stratemeyer Syndicate series. 1930-Present.

Trixie Belden

A classic mystery series featuring a girl and her group of friends who solve mysteries and support good causes.  Created by Julie Campbell and continued by other authors. 1948-1986.