Skip to main content

The Top Ten SLJ's 100 Children's Novels Poll

 Betsy Bird revealed the top 10 books slowly, drawing out the anticipation. They are finally all revealed. And I two days after #1 was revealed have finally gotten around to  posting this. There is not a lot I have to say about these books that hasn't been said by thousands of readers already, but I can't leave this unfinished. Also, I used almost every single one in my classroom when I had one.  So here they are, links as always to Fuse 8's original posts.
School Library Journal is generously creating PDF forms of both 100 lists, chapter book and picture book. For information on how you can register for these go here

10. The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
I have mixed feelings on this one. I loved this book as a child. I loved it when I reread it in my children's literature course in college. Teaching it changed that somewhat as I watched four years worth of fifth graders have lukewarm reactions to it at best. It is a wonderfully crafted novel (and short!), and while I have yet to personally encounter a modern young person who enjoys it I keep holding out hope they are out there somewhere.

 9. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Now this book my fifth graders loved. I did this as a read aloud every year, letting the students play along with the characters trying to unravel the mystery. Many of them took notes to keep up with the clues. None of them ever figured it out. Which is, of course, the point. And the brilliance of the narrative. This book has a unique narrative, a vast range of characters, a murder mystery, and a contest to inherit millions of dollars. What's not to love?

 8. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgromery
Oh Anne. My love for this book is vast. I read it so many times between the ages of 9 and 12. I haven't read it since though. I think I'm half afraid I won't like it as much now as I do in my memory so my memory is where I'm happy to leave it.

 7. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
This is quite possibly the perfect book to read with a group of 5th graders. The characterization is perfect. The sibling relationship is portrayed realistically. The plot is pretty much every child's dream runaway scenario.

 6. Holes by Louis Sachar
This was the first novel my class read together every year. I introduced it on the second day of school. There is no better book for ensnaring a room full of 9-11 year olds into the joys of reading. I'm teaching it again this year for the first time since I left teaching in a traditional classroom. I couldn't be more excited.

 5. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The book that has had countless numbers of children hanging out in their closets desperately hoping the back would drop off at some point. It is magical in every sense of the word and opens up the imagination in extraordinary ways.

 4. The Giver by Lois Lowry
Dystopian children's literature before it was a thing. In fact, one could argue (and many have) that all the currently popular dystopians owe much to this book. It is the best of the genre you will find. All the others, in my opinion, don't even come close. It is marvelous. It was a challenged book in the school I taught. Decisions to remove materials from our library came before a committee containing one teacher per grade level plus the librarian. I was the fifth grade representative, which was fortunate because I was the only person in the room that day who had read it and the parent challenging it had made it sound evil enough that the librarian had pretty much decided to pull it and was only showing it to us as a formality. I made that meeting a little longer than she expected it to be.

 3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
I confess I didn't start reading HP until after my daughter was born and I was no  longer teaching. We were not allowed to use the HP books in our classrooms for literature circles or read alouds. They could be in our classroom library, but even that was sort of frowned upon. There were so many books out there to read that I could use in the classroom I was busy with those. I was sort of thankful for that as I started reading the series after The Half Blood Prince was already out and so saved the years of anguish and waiting.

 2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
This is the book that shaped my late elementary and middle school years more than any other. I wore out more than copy and read all the other books in the series as well. I can understand why it is #2 given what #1 is, but I really wanted it to take over that top spot. I'm a little sad it didn't.  I also taught this book to my AG students and it was wonderful to witness how it sparked their imaginations. I had some really great discussions with those kids.

1.  Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Of course. Even if I was sort of hoping it would be unseated and drop a space, I fully understand why it still reigns supreme. It is a beautifully written story of friendship and life that appeals to people of all ages and generations and still speaks to children today.

Comments

April said…
I too was hoping A Wrinkle In Time would unseat Charlotte's Web, but not surprised it's still number 1.
Betsy said…
Ditto to all! (Except that I didn't teach many of these... not having taught the same age group)

Popular posts from this blog

TTT: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by  The Broke and the Bookish  and now hosted at  That Artsy Reader Girl . This Week's Topic: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List From Most Recent to Least: What books have recently caught your eye?

Favorite Kissing Scenes

When thinking of a favorite things post I could do for February I decided it would have to be kissing. I've already done couples and I was feeling in the mood to do something fluffy and Valentine's related. So kisses it is. I read more MG than YA, and the YA I read tends to not focus on romance so this was actually harder than I expected it to be though a few jumped into my head right away. (And one of my choices does actually come from a MG book. One is adult. Gasp!) The actual scene from the book is quoted followed by my thoughts. The king lifted a hand to her cheek and kissed her. It was not a kiss between strangers, not even a kiss between a bride and a groom. It was a kiss between a man and his wife, and when it was over, the king closed his eyes and rested his forehead against the hollow of the queen's shoulder, like a man seeking respite, like a man reaching home at the end of the day . - The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner Turner doesn't write the

Shadowshaper

Shadowshaper  by Daniel Jos√© Older is everywhere. Best of lists. Award buzz. Blogs everywhere. It's one of those books everyone is reading and talking about. I had it on my TBR but decided I definitely needed to read it before the year was out just so I could weigh in on one of the most talked about books of 2015 if asked. It is deserving of every good thing said about it. Every. One. Sierra was looking forward to a relaxing summer break. Her plans involved hanging out with her friends and painting. They did not involve being chased by zombie like creatures and threatened by a magical power connected to her family's heritage she has never heard of. When murals begin fading all over her Brooklyn neighborhood, Sierra is perplexed. When her grandfather, who had a stroke, begins to apologize and starts repeating strange phases and insisting Sierra get the help of a boy she barely knows to help her finish her mural, Sierra is concerned but mostly about her grandfather. Then at a

Serafina and the Black Cloak

Serafina and the Black Cloak  by Robert Beatty is a thrilling tale of mystery and adventure set at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC in 1899. Having lived in Asheville and visited the house several times, there was no way I was going to pass up a chance to read this. (Also it's MG fantasy, always a bonus for me.) Serafina lives in secret in the basement of the Vanderbilt's spacious vacation home. She has lived there most of her life. Her father worked on the house as it was being built and is the mechanic who runs the massive generator and keeps the electricity going. Serafina is the chief rat catcher, slipping through the halls of her massive home secretly and quietly. She is light on her feet, sees well in the dark, and is quick enough to catch the vermin and keep them out. Serafina knows she if different and strange. Her father insists she stay hidden. But all that changes when one night Serafina witnesses a horrible crime. A little girl, a guest in the house, is fleein

YA Book GIVEAWAY!!!

On Tuesday I posted my Top Ten Books Read so Far in 2013 and promised to highlight more of this year's favorites and offer them in giveaways. This is the YA giveaway. This is open to anyone who lives where Book Depository ships for free . Book Choices: TO ENTER: Leave a comment below saying which book looks most interesting to you and leave a way I can reach you if you are the winner. (email address or twitter handle-If you are using Twitter it would be helpful if you followed me, @brandymuses , in case I need to DM you.) Entries after Monday, July 1 8:00 PM EST are invalid. The winner will be drawn as close to 8 as possible.  Yes, I still do my giveaways the old fashioned way.