Top Ten Tuesday: Classic Books All Children Need to Read

Kids Books PicMonkey Collage

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is a back-to-school special! As the daughter of a retired third-grade teacher, I have many fond memories of helping her set up her classroom every August, but my favorite is curling up at her desk and re-reading all my favorite children’s books.

Not all of the books I’m about to mention are at a third-grade level, but I do consider them classics that all kids should read. Most have won Newbery Medals or Caldecott awards, but all have stood the test of time and positively impacted my love for reading:

  1. Best Dystopia: The Giver by Lois Lowry
  2. Best Juvenile Delinquents: Holes by Louis Sachar
  3. Best Local Claim to Fame: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (you can thank Lone Star Elementary in my hometown for the movie adaptation!)
  4. Best Survivor Story: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
  5. Best #SquadGoals: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  6. Best Life Lesson: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  7. Best Sob Fest: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
  8. Best Fantasy: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  9. Best Country Tale: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
  10. Best Security Blanket: Owen by Kevin Henkes

Many of my peers are now having children of their own, so I can only hope the next generation loves these books as much as I do!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Childhood Characters I Would Love to Revisit as Adults

toptentuesday

Image via The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a meme hosted by the The Broke and the Bookish, is all about checking in with our favorite literary characters from our childhood. It’s great when you’re a kid reading about other kids–often from magical places–but what would those characters’ lives be like when they’re all grown up?

I can only imagine all of the shout-outs to Harry Potter from other book bloggers, but I’ve purposefully left that series off my list. As much as I love Harry and friends, let’s make room for other awesome novels!

Kids Books

  1. Jonas from The Giver by Lois Lowry
  2. The Tuck family from Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
  3. The children from The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
  4. Artemis from the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
  5. Bartimaeus from the Bartimaeus series by Jonathan Stroud
  6. Lyra and Will from the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
  7. Addie and Meryl from The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
  8. Sophie and Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones
  9. The Baudelaires from A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  10. Harold from Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Top Ten Books from Childhood I’d Like to Revisit

Meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Before my mother retired from 30 years of teaching last year, I used to look forward to helping her set up her third grade classroom every August, because there was always some extra time to go through my old books that I read as a kid. I let my mom use them with her students, because I loved the idea of other children enjoying with the same stories I cherished at their age.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, discusses which children’s books we would most want to revisit. Whether they starred princesses, wolves, wizards, dolphins, or djinni, these ten books fueled my imagination and encouraged me to believe anything is possible.

Here are the top ten books from my childhood I’d like to revisit:

Girl Against the World

 

1. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
2. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

Boy Against the Supernatural World

 

 

3. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
4. The Giver by Lois Lowry
5. The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
6. The Bartimaeus Series by Jonathan Stroud

Romantic Fairytales

 

 

7. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
8. Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
9. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
10. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Literary News of the Week: Tolkien, Divergent, and The Giver

Hey everyone!

While I’m on the last half of Reached by Ally Condie, I’d thought I would share some interesting tidbits of literary news that I heard this week. Feel free to share your opinions or post news of your own!

JRR Tolkien at Oxford in 1955. Photograph: Haywood Magee/Getty Images (Image via The Guardian)

The Guardian announced that J.R.R. Tolkien’s translation of the epic poem Beowulf has finally been published, 90 years after its completion. This is one work of literature that I have never read, and I believe that I had subconsciously been waiting for this moment! Who better of a translator to read than the master of fantasy himself? If you’ve read Beowulf, please let me know whether you liked it, and why!

Image via The Frisky

In movie adaptation news, everyone is making a fuss over “Divergent,” which is out in theaters now, and although I haven’t read it (it looks like a convoluted knockoff of The Hunger Games to me), I’m curious to what makes this series so popular. The Frisky believes that there’s more to the story than meets the eye, and paints it as “a bible-thumping disaster.” I wasn’t aware of Veronica Roth’s spiritual leanings, and was surprised to hear this interpretation of Christian symbolism. For fans of Divergent, does this theory hold any weight?

And lastly, the official movie trailer of “The Giver” was released! I absolutely adore Lois Lowry’s novel; in 1993, it was a dystopian tale way ahead of the current trend. Winner of the 1994 Newbery Medal, it is now a staple in most middle school curricula. However, this story is so well-written and powerful that people of all ages should read it!

That being said, although I love Meryl Streep, I don’t believe even she could save this movie, which will be in theaters August 15. All her critical acclaim means nothing when someone like Taylor Swift is also on the cast list (yes, really). Unfortunately, I think this adaptation will get lost in the shuffle of sub-par dystopians like “Divergent,” and viewers won’t understand the profundity of its message. Not to mention, would it have killed them to have shot it in black and white?!

Well, that’s all my news for the week. I’m looking forward to celebrating a friend’s birthday tonight, and I wish you all fun weekends as well!