Over the last several weeks, I have read many books that appeal to me. I read Caldecott winners. I read graphic novels. I read an historical account of an eighteenth century yellow fever outbreak in Philadelphia. I read books for young children and books for sixth graders. One thing they all have in common is that they cover a wide variety of subjects and authors.
I started thinking about where I want my reading to take me and I decided to read as many books as I can from The Top 100 Children’s Novels Poll (#1 – 100) posted on April 13, 2010 by Elizabeth Bird. These books are suitable for kids age 9 – 12 with some of them being ranked for third to fifth grade and others sixth to eighth grade. In other words, there is a nice mixture for each end of the spectrum.
I used to struggle with wanting to read and making time to read. Because of that, I wanted to be as realistic as possible about this list before I dug into it. I needed to make sure there was a variety of genres and, more importantly, at least a few science fiction titles. Becoming bored with a book leads to getting distracted which leads to putting the book down and never picking it up again.
As I browsed the list, I noticed some very familiar titles and some I have never heard of. With everything from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery to The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, this list is diverse enough that I shouldn’t have a problem finding something exciting to read.
Another initial reaction I had to this list was my surprise at the number of books that I only recognize because they were made into movies. As a result, I plan to read some of those novels and truly discover the treasure that lies inside. Ordinarily I would skip the book because of fear that it would be too predictable.
My first selection will be The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering. It sounds like an adventure so I am really looking forward to this one.