le plus loin le plus serré

le plus loin le plus serré
mourning art

in memoriam

"yet I tell you, from the sad knowledge of my older experience, that to every one of you a day will most likely come when sunshine, hope, presents and pleasure will be worth nothing to you in comparison with the unattainable gift of your mother's kiss." (Christina Rossetti, "Speaking Likenesses," 1873)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

a meme!

From facebook (of course), a meme: a list of 100 "best" children's books. Mark which ones you've read. The list is - for me, anyway - in no particular order. I do have some quarrels with it: I wouldn't include Mysterious Benedict Society as a best. I'd skip Frindle, Jeremy Thatcher, Charlotte Doyle (gods, I hate that book). I wouldn't include Edward Eager, either, but that's my personal quibble with Eager - HOWEVER, I do not think it is at all acceptable to include Eager but NOT E. Nesbit.  Eager wouldn't exist if not for Nesbit; the premise of all of his books, as far as I can tell, is to "re-imagine" Nesbit plots in some altered/contemporary manner. Aside from Eager's dependency on her, Nesbit is stellar in her own right, and a really important part of children's literature in English.

I'm surprised Tom's Midnight Garden isn't on here; everyone seems to love that one, though I couldn't make it through more than the first third of it. I also regret the lack of Diana Wynne Jones, since I absolutely ADORE her and think her books are amazing. 

With the possible exception of Peck's novel, and Stargirl, these are all pretty firmly children's books, not young adult books. The Harry Potter novels, especially the later titles, also walk the line, but really belong in the children's category. It would be very hard indeed to create a list of 100 best children's/YA books.

This list is nice because it really does a good job of historical scope - we get some good 19th century titles, some early 20th, a whole slew of mid-century titles (which sometimes get overlooked in our haste to skip from Narnia to Hogwarts, it seems).  One thing about this list which does make me feel a little queasy/uneasy: lots of historical fiction with REALLY problematic representations of Native Americans (Little House, Indian in the Cupboard, Caddie Woodlawn) AND there are very few titles here written by non-white writers. Christopher Paul Curtis may, in fact, be the only one who isn't white. NOT good.

I get a huge kick (and, okay, ego boost of smugness) from lists like these, because I usually do quite well in terms of what I've read. This one I've read 83 titles from, which isn't shabby at all. A few of the unread ones I actually own and intend to read in the next few months (ie, Green Knowe, Betsy-Tacy).

Someday, I think it would be deliriously dorky fun to create my own top 100 list. I wonder if I could do 100 children's novels and 100 YA novels? I certainly couldn't do 100 picture books, though I could probably eke out a top 50 (if I let myself include every single Kevin Henkes book, anyway).  Maybe creating my own Top 100 will be a goal for the first half of the summer.

100. The Egypt Game - Snyder (1967)**
99. The Indian in the Cupboard - Banks (1980)
98. Children of Green Knowe - Boston (1954)
97. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - DiCamillo (2006)**
96. The Witches - Dahl (1983)**
95. Pippi Longstocking - Lindgren (1950)**
94. Swallows and Amazons - Ransome (1930)**
93. Caddie Woodlawn - Brink (1935)**
92. Ella Enchanted - Levine (1997)**
91. Sideways Stories from Wayside School - Sachar (1978)**
90. Sarah, Plain and Tall - MacLachlan (1985)**
89. Ramona and Her Father - Cleary (1977)**
88. The High King - Alexander (1968)**
87. The View from Saturday - Konigsburg (1996)**
86. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Rowling (1999)**
85. On the Banks of Plum Creek - Wilder (1937)**
84. The Little White Horse - Goudge (1946)
83. The Thief - Turner (1997)
82. The Book of Three - Alexander (1964)**
81. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon - Lin (2009)
80. The Graveyard Book - Gaiman (2008)**
79. All-of-a-Kind-Family - Taylor (1951)
78. Johnny Tremain - Forbes (1943)
77. The City of Ember - DuPrau (2003)**
76. Out of the Dust - Hesse (1997)**
75. Love That Dog - Creech (2001)
74. The Borrowers - Norton (1953)**
73. My Side of the Mountain - George (1959)
72. My Father's Dragon - Gannett (1948)**
71. The Bad Beginning - Snicket (1999)**
70. Betsy-Tacy - Lovelace (1940)
69. The Mysterious Benedict Society - Stewart ( 2007)**
68. Walk Two Moons - Creech (1994)
67. Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher - Coville (1991)**
66. Henry Huggins - Cleary (1950)**
65. Ballet Shoes - Streatfeild (1936)**
64. A Long Way from Chicago - Peck (1998)**
63. Gone-Away Lake - Enright (1957)
62. The Secret of the Old Clock - Keene (1959)**
61. Stargirl - Spinelli (2000)**
60. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle - Avi (1990)**
59. Inkheart - Funke (2003)
58. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase - Aiken (1962)
57. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - Cleary (1981)**
56. Number the Stars - Lowry (1989)**
55. The Great Gilly Hopkins - Paterson (1978)**
54. The BFG - Dahl (1982)**
53. Wind in the Willows - Grahame (1908)**
52. The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007)**
51. The Saturdays - Enright (1941)
50. Island of the Blue Dolphins - O'Dell (1960)**
49. Frindle - Clements (1996)**
48. The Penderwicks - Birdsall (2005)**
47. Bud, Not Buddy - Curtis (1999)**
46. Where the Red Fern Grows - Rawls (1961)**
45. The Golden Compass - Pullman (1995)**
44. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing - Blume (1972)**
43. Ramona the Pest - Cleary (1968)**
42. Little House on the Prairie - Wilder (1935)**
41. The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Speare (1958)
40. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Baum (1900)**
39. When You Reach Me - Stead (2009)**
38. HP and the Order of the Phoenix - Rowling (2003)**
37. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Taylor (1976)**
36. Are You there, God? It's Me, Margaret - Blume (1970)**
35. HP and the Goblet of Fire - Rowling (2000)**
34. The Watsons Go to Birmingham - Curtis (1995)**
33. James and the Giant Peach - Dahl (1961)**
32. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH - O'Brian (1971)**
31. Half Magic - Eager (1954)**
30. Winnie-the-Pooh - Milne (1926)**
29. The Dark Is Rising - Cooper (1973)
28. A Little Princess - Burnett (1905)**
27. Alice I and II - Carroll (1865/72)**
26. Hatchet - Paulsen (1989)
25. Little Women - Alcott (1868/9)**
24. HP and the Deathly Hallows - Rowling (2007)**
23. Little House in the Big Woods - Wilder (1932)**
22. The Tale of Despereaux - DiCamillo (2003)**
21. The Lightning Thief - Riordan (2005)**
20. Tuck Everlasting - Babbitt (1975)**
19. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Dahl (1964)**
18. Matilda - Dahl (1988)**
17. Maniac Magee - Spinelli (1990)**
16. Harriet the Spy - Fitzhugh (1964)**
15. Because of Winn-Dixie - DiCamillo (2000)
14. HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Rowling (1999)**
13. Bridge to Terabithia - Paterson (1977)**
12. The Hobbit - Tolkien (1938)
11. The Westing Game - Raskin (1978)**
10. The Phantom Tollbooth - Juster (1961)**
9. Anne of Green Gables - Montgomery (1908)**
8. The Secret Garden - Burnett (1911)**
7. The Giver -Lowry (1993)**
6. Holes - Sachar (1998)**
5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - Konigsburg (1967)**
4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - Lewis (1950)**
3. Harry Potter #1 - Rowling (1997)**
2. A Wrinkle in Time - L'Engle (1962)**
1. Charlotte's Web - White (1952)**

I've read 83!

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Oh, great meme! I totally want to copy this on my blog... when I finish my darn revision (which I ought to be doing right now instead of surfing the blogs).