Tuesday, June 5, 2012

30-21 of SLJ's 100 Children's Novels

I'm getting behind!!! It is because VBS started at our church yesterday and for some reason 4 hours doing that exhausts me more than teaching all day. Anyway, here are the next 10. We are getting down to the end now and I'm interested to see what is in the top 20. In the meantime we have these. As always they are linked to the original Fuse 8 posts.

30. Matilda by Roald Dahl
I don't love this book. I don't have major issues with it like I do some of Dahl's books. I can take it or leave it.

29. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Oh yes. This is a wonderful book about family and friendship and childhood wrapped up in purely awesome storytelling. I have read it at least 5 times. One of those times was aloud to my daughter who also loved it. One of those times was while teaching it to a group of 4th-6th graders, most of whom also loved it. Yes, even the boys.

28. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman 
I haven't read this one yet. I keep meaning to really. I just haven't worked myself up to it. There are elements of it that just don't appeal to me as a reader.

27. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
I have warm nostalgic feelings about this book. It was the first novel I checked out from my elementary school library at age 7, the book that made me realize I could read ANYTHING. When I reread it as an adult I wasn't as taken with it, so I completely understood and was okay with it when my daughter read the first two books in the series and wasn't interested.

26. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
This was the very first chapter book read aloud I did with Bit. way back 5 years ago when she was 3.  I will be starting it with The Boy in a couple months. (He is 4 already but has not his sister's attention span.) I do think this works best as a first chapter book read aloud. The preschool mindset is perfect for the characters. Often by the time the modern child can read this book independently it seems babyish. Bit loved it at age 3, when she read it herself this year she was amused because she said the characters reminded her of her brother.

25. The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
This book is excellent historical fiction because it isn't about an event, it's about a family. The people in the story are what is important. Also it's hilarious.

24. Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
I didn't read the Ramona books much as a child. Only a couple. My little sister was so much like her I didn't feel the need to experience her in my reading as well. (My little sister was and is awesome, but one of her in my life was enough.)  I did thoroughly enjoy reading this one to Bit when she was in Kindergarten. Bit takes after her Auntie and identified with the story quite a bit.

23. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
This book was never in my classroom library for more than a couple of hours in any given year. It was always in the hands of one of the students. There is something about planes crashing and survival in the wilderness that attracts 10 year olds I guess. I must say that of all the survival in the woods book I have read this is probably my favorite.

22. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
So I just finally got around to reading this entire series this past weekend. (Review is coming!) This was right up there with The Grey King as my favorite. It is action packed and so perfectly described. I felt sucked into the book. I like Will too. I haven't seen the movie and have no intention of doing so. I rewatched the trailer after reading the book. I understand the fan rage at the time of release now.

21. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
I've never read it. Let me explain. Growing up this book was always described to me as science-fiction and nothing made me run further in the opposite direction than that. So I need to read it now that I am all grown up and beyond that. Really I am. 


  1. What do you mean one of me was enough? Don't pretend you didn't LOVE my plays starring Heidi, the family dog or the time I knocked over my entire shelf of porcelain crap or when I pretended to be a mouse who lived in your room.

    I consider it an honor to be compared to Ramona-I love her. Though, I never was quite as eccentric.

    And yes, because I know you're wondering, I DO have an awesome family Halloween costume idea planned for this year. :-) It perplexed mom. She said something along the lines of, "Why can't you dress Claire up like a ladybug or something?" ha ha (It's really not bad-it's adorable. Perhaps I didn't explain my creative vision well enough)

    1. No there is absolutely nothing eccentric about pretending to be a mouse and living in your older sister's room. Crazy girl. :)

  2. Yea for finally reading the Susan Cooper books!!!! Can't wait to discuss. (it's been a few years for me, though, ... like 10+)

  3. I don't know who those crazy people were who described the Phantom Tollbooth as sci-fi. While I happen to love both the book and the genre, they have absolutely nothing in common other than not being slice-of-life.

    1. Those crazy people would be my Elementary School librarians. I am putting it on hold at the library when we get back from vacation.

  4. I am looking forward to your Dark is Rising review! That's one of my favorite fantasy series of all time, right up there with the Prydain Chronicles.

    And what do you mean, you've never read The Phantom Tollbooth?!