SDMB - Straight Dope discussion

100 books every child should read

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Julie (new)

Julie In this article, the Guardian lists books that children should read. The list is interesting, but I'm really taken with the essay that begins the article. The idea that treating reading as a tool for academic success perhaps isn't the way to teach the joy of the written word.

What do you think? And how many of the books have you read? I haven't counted yet.


message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 25, 2008 10:48AM) (new)

I've read a reasonable number of them, though many not as a child. The list seems unrepresentative to me, at least from a US perspective.

For example, "The Tale of Samuel Whiskers" seems prescriptive and eclectic rather than reflective of children's actual reading habits--it has hardly been the Potter book that comes to mind.

message 3: by Schnuckiputzi (new)

Schnuckiputzi | 4 comments I've read perhaps half of the second two lists, but most of the first list and lots of the rest have a decidedly British slant. I was a librarian for three years when my first two were little, and a voracious reader forever, but I've never heard of some of these. What about Trinka Hakes Noble and her "Jimmy Boa" books? I would recommend them highly for the early years.

message 4: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Collins (jamie_goodreads) | 77 comments I've read surprisingly few on their list, less than half, and many of those I read as an adult.

My son's school has a pretty good incentive plan for reading. They earn points according to the length and difficulty of a book and they get rewards for meeting their goal. The only problem is that my son is reluctant to read books that aren't on the school's list because they aren't worth any points. In my opinion, science fiction and fantasy are sadly underrepresented. :) But it does give the kids a wide enough choice that they can pick something they enjoy.

message 5: by Julie (new)

Julie I've had a chance to look through the list now and find it remarkably bland. Unsurprising, since as Shoshana points out there's a lot of Dahl and Dahl is not one of my favorites.

I think I have only read one or two books from the first two sections, then the majority of the third.

I do enjoy looking at such lists for some masochistic reason. :D

message 6: by Ealaindraoi (new)

Ealaindraoi | 10 comments Early - 8
Middle - 20
Teen - 21

I think the list is not only English-centric, but also dated. Dickens/Kipling/Stevenson and all of the Victorian authors are really difficult for kids today to read because language has changed. If you have to stop once a page to explain an arcane word or phase that doesn't promote joy of reading.

Yes, I'm one of those Let-them-read-Harry-Potter-at-least-they're-reading crowd. :)

With some thought I could add where's this book forever, but really, no Tuck Everlasting or Bridge to Terabithia or any Ray Bradbury? No classic horror at least on the teen list - Dracula, Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

message 7: by Dani (new)

Dani (kakwik) | 48 comments Part 1: 7
Part 2: 14
Part 3: 14

Personally I love this list. It shows a nice sampling of British-esque lit & a lot of the books have a darker flavour.

I'll be adding a few more to my wish list!

message 8: by Tracy (new)

Tracy | 3 comments i'm 25 and i can't bring myself to read dickens (although i'm not terribly into his plotlines either, but the language is certainly a huge deterrant). but there's plenty of other classics that would be great for kids. hell, i was reading abridged versions of moby dick and dr. jekyll and mr. hyde when i was in grade school. i was pretty happy to see watership down on the list though; it was one of my favorite books for most of my childhood. i think it's really good for children to sometimes fall in love with characters that aren't human but also aren't all antropomorphized (ala wind in the willows; although this was also a favorite for a long time), it kind of makes you wake up and empathise a bit.

and not that there's anything wrong with harry potter. it's well written and follows all the same story arcs and rules as the classics. although they should probably read the entire series, and not just prisoner of azkaban (even if that was the best one). being anti-potter though just seems to carry a bit of the same arrogance that makes hipsters who will stop listening to an obscure band the moment they start to become successful. just because the masses love it doesn't always mean it's slop.

message 9: by Tracy (new)

Tracy | 3 comments actually, i just read the article preceeding the lists, and i really have to agree. school did all it could to make me hate reading, by assigning me books i didn't enjoy and couldn't care about (dickens, for instance), by grinding in all the grammar and spelling and rules and setting up all these guidelines for what my "reading level" was and what would or would not be acceptable to discuss and write essays about in order to move ahead.

in spite of all their best efforts though, i still love reading. i'm fairly certain i learned more about the english language and how it works from reading than i did from class; i have no idea how to conjugate a sentence anymore; i'm not even sure i remember what conjugate even means. but it's not important. at least i can type the correct version of they're their and there when i'm having an argument online! that's a lot more than most, apparently. i think it had a lot to do with my parents though, who gave me time to read and had an extensive library themselves. they didn't try and limit me because of my age, and only once or twice warned that something might be too mature for me to understand (although i usually read it anyway).

back to top