Saturday, May 19, 2012

80-71 Children's Novels Poll

Day Three of SLJ's Children's Novels Poll has a few newer titles, but most are again older titles. Again I have linked to Betsy's posts at Fuse 8.

80. The Four Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright
The only Enright book I have ever read is Gone Away Lake. I haven't read the  quartet of books that this is the second one of. They are sibling stories though so I probably should.

79. The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
I remember liking this book as a child, but haven't read it since. I tried to entice Bit to read it this past year as she was studying Ancient Egypt but she found it uninteresting and didn't finish it. (Unlike Eloise Jarvis McGraw's Egypt novels, The Golden Goblet, which she read herself, and Mara Daughter of the Nile, which I read to her. Those she couldn't get enough of and wanted more.)

78. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
There is a lot I like about this book. It is a sibling story. It is British. There are three very different main characters. It has a very real sense of time and place. I have had several students (including my own daughter) tell me they think it is boring. (I really like the recent BBC movie version starring Emma Watson. They changed stuff but it may actually be a way to get kids to read the book.)

77. My Side of the Mountain  by Jean Craighead George
My sixth grade teacher made me read this. I hated it. One of my students wanted to do a book report on it so I had to read it again. I hated it. If you like nature and completely implausible stories about city kids who can survive it on their own and become one with the animals around them this book is for you. If, like me, you require clean comfy beds and clean bathrooms to enjoy yourself (preferably in a noisy city) reading this book will feel like torture.

76. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
I haven't read this. (Gasps of horror.) I know. It is current and popular so why not?  I only have so much time on my hands. I am not going to teach this book or put it on a book report list. This is the book my students are reading without needing my encouragement to do so. I do have it on the TBR and will read it if/when my own kids want to if I haven't gotten to it before that.

75. The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright
Two books from the same quartet in the same 10. Interesting. (See #80)

74. Are You There God? It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume
While this is a book that helped many a young girl through the confusing time of adolescence I wasn't one of them. I read it in the fourth grade when I was making my way through every Judy Blume book on the shelf at the library thanks to my teacher reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing aloud. Fortunately my wonderful and insightful mother was ahead of the game and had already discussed with me everything in the book that would have otherwise thrown me into a completely uncomfortable tailspin at the age of 9. (Thanks for never being afraid of these subjects Mom!) Said amazing Mom also made it impossible for me to identify with Margaret in any way. So I left the book in fourth grade and never looked back.

73. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
This is a special book and Betsy covers why in her write up of it: It has staying power. It is funny and touching without being trite or sappy. The reason so many people love this book is because it is so easy to identify people we know in the characters within its pages.

72. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
This book is a work of art. No kidding. If you haven't read it you need to go out and get a copy. Then flip through and look at the illustrations. See what I mean? Now read it. See what I mean? It is wonderful and beautiful is it not? I'm very much looking forward to when Starry River of the Sky comes out later this year.

71. Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles
I haven't read this one. I live in the south and so try to avoid reading novels that take place here whenever I can manage it.  Especially if anyone has described the characters in it as being "quirky". They usually make me cringe. (Seriously everyone who doesn't live here, we are not all that quirky.)

1 comment:

Betsy said...

I laughed at your comments on us "quirky" Southerners. We're only quirky in the same way that any region has its own unique culture. Don't you think? More American than Southern, but hey--there are some definite differences between Us and those Yankess or the West Coast folk or the mid-Westerners or... :-)