The adventures of Enid Blyton's Famous Five were the favourite childhood read of today's adults, according to a survey.
The fast-moving yarns finished ahead of other classics such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis.
The research from global children's charity Plan UK also found that people are loyal to their books.
More than a quarter (26%) said their oldest children's book has passed down through two generations of their family while four out of five (80%) said they read, or will read, their favourite title to their own youngsters.
The top five were as follows: Famous Five, Enid Blyton; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl; The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis; Black Beauty, Anna Sewell; Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne.
Nearly nine out of 10 (85%) of adults felt their reading experiences as a child helped shape the person they are today while about two in three (64%) agreed their favourite book helped them to read and write.
Plan UK chief executive Marie Staunton said: "Books and reading clearly have a fundamental impact on our lives and play a crucial role in education.
"Unfortunately, many children, especially girls, simply don't get the choice to go to school to learn to read and write.
"There are 75 million girls worldwide not in education - many are taken out of class to work or to be married off when they are far too young."
The charity commissioned the research to mark the launch of its new Education for Girls Facebook App, designed to help some of the world's poorest girls complete their education.