Tuesday, May 22, 2012

70-61 Children's Novels Poll

Here are the next 10 books in the SLJ Top 100 Children's Novels Poll. There are a couple of surprises in today's list. (At least it was surprising to me.) Again titles are linked to Betsy's posts at Fuse 8.

70. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
This is one that almost made my top 10 but ended up not. It was so close though. I love this book for its beautiful narrative, Sal's voice, and the themes. And all the other characters too. They become real people as you read. This book will make you cry, or at the very least tear up, but the end is full of such joy it makes it worth it.

69. The Ruins of Gorlan by John Gorlan
SURPRISE #1! And really the bigger one. I have had the Ranger's Apprentice series on the TBR for quite some time but felt no big rush to read them. That is changing now. The premise is perfect for me so I have a feeling I will enjoy it.

68. The High King by Lloyd Alexander
Another favorite. I love the Chronicles of Prydain. I love Taran and Eilonwy. I love the world and the story. I pretty much love everything about it.

67. A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck
A lot of my favorites are making the list today. And there are only so many ways one can say I love this book. I have a feeling that will continue to be a challenge in the days to come. This one is wonderful for its three main characters, particularly Grandma Dowdel, or as my students like to call her, Crazy Grandma. This book is really a collection of short stories that follow the same three characters through several summers. Even though there is not a singular plot arc what each story reveals about the characters (particularly Grandma) makes this a wonderful book for studying characterization. Or for just reading some really entertaining stories about great characters.

66. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jaqueline Kelly
I am embarrassed to say I haven't read this one. It won the Newbery Honor in 2009 when I was going through one of my frequent no-no-I'm-not-reading-another-long-middle-grade-historical-fiction-about-a-plucky-girl phases. By the time I had exited the phase (they sometimes last a long time), I had forgotten its existence. Ooops. I should probably read it now, but after reading so many of said books already this year it's about time for another season away from them.

65. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
SURPRISE #2! A book just published this year made it all the way to #65. And yes it has to be said: That is the wonder of Wonder. (I go back and forth between finding that phrase annoying and liking its cadence and convenience.) If I still had a classroom this would be the first read aloud of the year. Seriously if this book doesn't win the 2013 Newbery there may just be a riot. Here is my review.

64. The Twenty One Balloons by William Penn du Bois
I'm not a fan of this one. Never have been. I don't have strong feelings toward it one way or the other. I read it as a kid and didn't hate it but never wanted to read it again either.

63.  The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
This is actually my favorite of Paterson's novels and the one she wrote that my students continued to read and enjoy. (I can't say that about all the others.)

62. Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
I haven't read the Clementine books but my daughter has read every single one of them. She loves them. I feel like I have read it because I have heard so many stories from them told me at meal times.

61. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
And here it is. The other of the two Dahl books I actually like. (The other is The BFG.)


  1. Three cheers for this list!! I'm now sorely tempted to read all 100. The ones I've already read (usually) are ones I'd love to reread--which makes me think the ones I haven't yet read are going to be real winners.

    And yes--you should read a Clementine book sometime. Delightful.

    Did I tell you Eilonwy is one of the main characters of my MA thesis? Love her.

    1. There are some of these books I'm not reading no matter what. (Ozma of Oz) But yes many are certainly getting bumped up the TBR because of this.

      You have told me that and I think it's awesome.