1. The Fairy Rebel by Lynne Reid Banks
    Basically the fairies are being ruled by an evil fairy queen but one is bold enough to stand up to her with some help from a special human friend. I was constantly trying to emulate this story in my own childhood writing.
  2. Ronia the Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren
    Pippi Longstocking is a badass, but so is Ronia and there's less weird colonialism. Just a magical forest, a forbidden love/friendship and some real girl power.
  3. Mandy by Julie Andrews
    While she obvi did a great job in The Sound of Music etc., Julie Andrews also dabbled in children's lit. I've met people who loved her book The Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles but apparently I was the sole audience for Mandy. It's about an orphan girl who finds an abandoned cottage near her orphanage and starts tricking it out like an awesome secret clubhouse. One day she falls ill there though and is rescued by a handsome rich boy whose family owns the property.
  4. Baby Island by Carol Ryrie Brinks
    I read this book so many times it basically disintegrated. The plot is that two tween girls are on an ocean liner and when there's a scare that the ship will sink they end up in a lifeboat with 5 toddlers and get marooned on a dessert island. Basically my ultimate fantasy.