Family & Baby Storytimes,Reviews of Illustrated Folk and Fairytales and Book Suggestions
"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke
"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
1001 Childrens Books to Read
Of course I had to check out 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up, edited by Julia Eccleshare, to see how my childhood reading stacked up to their suggestions. I have always been a pretty voracious reader, and my parents and grandma also read to me at lunch and bedtime throughout grade school. Even so, I only read 110 of these books before I finished high school and 121 more since then. I am only counting books that I have read cover to cover, not just skimmed or am familiar with because I've repeatedly seen them at Borders, Barnes and Noble and the library. I would feel worse about this, but this book has an international scope and has 30 featured author/reviewers and 70+ additional contributors. Many of the titles are completely new to me, and that is actually good.
The one section that I was somewhat disappointed in was the chapter of selections for 12 + readers. However, this is not a flaw of the book. As a teen librarian, I assumed that I would have read the most titles in the 12+ chapter. That didn't actually turn out to be true. I also guessed that I would see more of my favorites. I think two things affected selections: the historical scope and the international focus. I believe that young adult literature as we now know it blossomed in the 1970s. But, this book begins its 12+ coverage in 1620 and rightfully gives attention to plenty of classics before the '70s. When notable titles from many countries are included, this further narrows space available for current titles known to an average American reader. Keeping all this in mind, I'm free to quibble with some of the title choices in private. :) I am pleased though to see some that I do love: Hey, Dollface! by Deborah Hautzig, The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, Holes by Louis Sachar, and especially I Am the Messenger -By Markus Zusak (here identified by the presumably original title The Messenger).