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40-31 SLJ's Top Children's Novels

As always links take you to Betsy Bird's posts at Fuse8.

40.  Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
I don't get it. I just don't get it. Some books I find I don't like that lots of people do I can at least see why they like them. Not this one. Even reading Betsy's post and the others she quoted (all of whom I have heaps of respect for) I'm still left looking at this book with ???????????

39. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
I love how this book plays with format and is next to  impossible to pin a label on. It is a true homage to art in all forms.

38. Frindle by Andrew Clements
I think it is criminal this book wasn't given an award. The characters. The concept. The themes. The heart. And all brilliantly told in 105 pages (with illustrations from Brian Selznick) that a 2nd grader can read but that will have any age reader engrossed. I have reread it so many times and it never gets old.

37.  The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
Such a great book. What I love about Schmidt's writing is the hopefulness and the desire to be better, live better, he gives his characters. And how real they all seem even in their most over the top moments.  And this one has Shakespeare too. My library system, whose shelving choices I often find myself scratching my head at, places Schmidt's books in the Teen section where I think they are least likely to find an audience. (My review.)

36. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
It has been years since I have read this book. I remember liking it though. If you click through the title Betsy posted an awesome 90 second Newbery of the book.

35. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
I loved this book and all its companions as a 3rd-4th grader. They were quick reads and oh so funny. Bit keeps turning her nose up at them though which has made me curious: Is my daughter strange, or do these books not appeal to kids like they used to?

34. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
A boy and his dog, or dogs as the case may be. Yeah, we all know from page one where that is going.  I came into my student teaching in a class that was reading this book. They had just started so I had to read it too. The teacher, a man who was the right age to have fond childhood memories of it, oozed enthusiasm. The kids? Not so much. Me? Not so much. There is a review that Betsy posts a link to that is HILARIOUS and pretty much says everything I would say about the book if I knew how to be that funny and insightful. It is such a gem I'm linking to it as well. Go here, on the left you will find a list, click on titles s-z. Find Where The Red Fern Grows. Enjoy.

33. Mrs. Frsiby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien 
 I believe I mentioned that as we went further up the list I would be volleying between the emotions of love and hate with little in between. Guess which one this inspires? Creepy stuff with talking animals. No. No. No.

32. Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
Fabulous. As far as historical fiction goes it doesn't get better than this.

31. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
This is one I don't like. As I've stated before I'm not a fan of Victorian fantasy. This book reads like it was written by someone on something. Something of the controlled substance variety. Yes, it reads like a crazy dream. The dream of someone on something.


Betsy said…
Ditto on your comments for the books I've read, save for Alice... Oh, my friend, how can we differ so much on this one?! It's marvelous :-). But we differ on the absurd Wizard of Oz, too.

I read that HILARIOUS review of Where the Red Fern Grows.... so. funny.

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