I'm particularly interested in the idea of the young child who does not wish for books powered by gore, violence, and sex but who wants books that are adventurous and well-written. Help build the list!
Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped. I still love Stevenson and reread Kidnapped not long ago. The flight in the heather is wonderful. Treasure Island.
Folk and fairy: Alan Garner has folk tale collections from his native Cheshire. I was a re-reader of the Grimms' tales in childhood. In addition, I'd recommend the Lore Segal and Randall Jarrell translations in a two-volume set wonderfully illustrated by Maurice Sendak. The Golden Book of Fairy Tales (with illustrations by Adrienne Segur and some translations by Marie Ponsot) Also: The Fairy Tale Book (with illustrations by Adrienne Segur.) I pored over my copy of TFTB many, many times. Has a version of E. T. A. Hoffmann's Nutcracker story, "The Snow Queen," lots more. I know so many women writers who were entranced by one or both books when they were girls, but there's plenty to like for boys as well. Andrew Lang's Blue Fairy Book, etc. Oh, and Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale collections, of course.