Kids pick their top 100 books

The National Education Association did an online poll a while back and here’s what kids picked as their favs.

1. Harry Potter (series) by J. K. Rowling

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – AR 5.5
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – AR 6.7
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – AR 6.7
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – AR 6.8
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – AR 7.2
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – AR generic 7
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – AR 6.9

2. Goosebumps (series) by R. L. Stine

Beware, The Snowman by RL Stine
The Haunted School by RL Stine

3. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Accelerated Reading level – 1.5

4. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Accelerated Reading level – 2.1

5. Arthur (series) by Marc Brown

6. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
Accelerated Reading level – 4.4
(read aloud edition)

7. Shiloh (trilogy) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
(boxed set)
Accelerated Reading level – 4.4, 4.8, 4.9

8. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Accelerated Reading level – 5.7

9. Holes by Louis Sachar
Accelerated Reading level – 4.6

10. The Giver by Lois Lowry
Accelerated Reading level – 5.7
by Lois Lowry

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How much would you pay for an unpublished Dr. Seuss?

LA TIMES  October 18, 2010 | 10:16 am

Seuss_sports

Dr. Seuss’ book that wasn’t, ‘All Sorts of Sports,’ up for auction

Los Angeles auction house Nate D. Sanders has acquired a lost Dr. Seuss manuscript from a former assistant of Theodore Geisel; the hand-drawn and hand-lettered pages are now up for auction.

The book, “All Sorts of Sports,” was abandoned in the 1960s. It has rhymes and rhythms like many of Geisel’s books: “What am I going to do today. Well, that’s a simple matter. Oh, that’s easy. We could play. There are so many sports games to play. We could swim. I could play baseball … golf … or catch. Or I could play a tennis match.”

But around Page 6, his sports ideas peter out, with the text turning into nonsense. “I could blumf. Or blumf blumf blumf blumf blumf. Or blumf. Or blumf blumf blumf blumf blumf.” After that, the remaining dozen pages are lettered by an assistant and include notes from Geisel.

The auction runs through Thursday; the bidding, currently at about $1,600, has not yet reached the reserve price.

The lot includes a 1983 letter from Geisel on “Cat in the Hat” stationery, in which he remembers the “All Sorts of Sports” manuscript but finds the story lacking. “When you picture these negative scenes in illustrations, you will find that negatives are always more memorable than positives. And I think the reader’s reaction will be, ‘What’s the matter with this dope?’ ”

Perhaps that understanding of what stuck with readers is what set Dr. Seuss apart. After all, who can forget “Green Eggs and Ham”?

— Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Manuscript pages up for auction. Credit: Nate D. Sanders

The 2011 Newberry and Caldecott Medal Winners.

The American Library Association announced on Monday the 2011 John Newbery Medal and the Randolph Caldecott Medal. The Newbery Medal honors the most outstanding contribution in children’s literature and the Caldecott Medal honors for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

The ALA also announced more than 20 awards total for top books, video and audiobook for children and young adults at its Midwinter Meeting in San Diego.

It’s a looooooooooong list with lots of different awards so check out the whole thing when you have some time.

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature

“Moon over Manifest,” written by Clare Vanderpool, is the 2011 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

I haven’t read it, but this is how the publisher describes the book.  “Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.

Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone.”

Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters—and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.”

Four Newbery Honor Books also were named:

“Turtle in Paradise,” by Jennifer L. Holm and published by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.;

“Heart of a Samurai,” written by Margi Preus and published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS;

“Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night,” written by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen and published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; and

“One Crazy Summer,” by Rita Williams-Garcia and published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:


“A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” illustrated by Erin E. Stead, is the 2011 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was written by Philip C. Stead, and is a Neal Porter Book, published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing.

Two Caldecott Honor Books also were named:

“Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave,” illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick Hill and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.; and

“Interrupting Chicken,” written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein and published by Candlewick Press.

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NY Times Best of 2010

Notable Children’s Books of 2010

 

Illustration by Jakob Hinrichs

BUSING BREWSTER
By Richard Michelson.
Illustrated by R. G. Roth.

Unpaged. Knopf. $16.99. (Ages 6 to 10)

Brewster is a black child living in a segregated neighborhood in the early 1970s. He’s not dreaming of a way out, only of starting first grade with Miss Evelyn — until his mother announces that he and his brother will be bused to the “white school” an hour away. The understated honesty of Michelson’s writing and Roth’s art capture the period perfectly in this tale, one of this year’s New York Times best illustrated children’s books.

CENTER FIELD
By Robert Lipsyte.
280 pp. HarperTeen/HarperCollins. $16.99. (Ages 12 and up)

Lipsyte’s pitch-perfect young adult novel follows a jaded but likable suburban kid who wants only to play center field, where it’s “open and clean, no foul lines or crazy angles.” But it takes time to get there. The suburb he lives in, with its neglected teenagers, overworked adults and scheming, self-serving authority figures, seems like a stand-in for early-21st-century America.

DUST DEVIL
By Anne Isaacs.
Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky.

Unpaged. Schwartz & Wade. $17.99. (Ages 5 to 9)

In this gorgeous sequel to the Caldecott Honor-winning “Swamp Angel,” the brave and resourceful Angelica Long rider, all of 16 years old, once again proves herself worthy to wear the boots of Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill or John Henry. Zelinsky’s precise and witty illustrations, in American primitive style, match Isaacs’ text, which captures the outsize tone of the frontier, where the soil is “rich enough to open its own bank.”

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Best Kids Book Ages 12 and up from The Guardian

From the much-loved classic Tom Sawyer to the modern classic His Dark Materials, Lucy Mangan and Imogen Russell-Williams pick their top reads for children aged 12 and over.

I Capture the Castle: Dodie Smith

The first entry in Cassandra Mortmain’s diary ends with her feeling happier than she ever has in her life, despite her depressed father and impoverished state. “Perhaps it is because I have satisfied my creative urge; or it may be due to the thought of eggs for tea.” The story of the restoration of a degree of the family fortunes unfolds in the same briskly beguiling voice and appeals to the romantic streak in every teenage heart. Trust no one who does not love this or, of course, 101 Dalmatians.

His Dark Materials: Philip Pullman

Bleak, brutal, warm, lush and exhilarating by turns, fiercely intelligent, compassionate and compelling always, it will undo all the harm or all the good you feel was done by letting your offspring loose on Narnia. That’s what reading is for.

 

 

The Chaos Walking trilogy: Patrick Ness

An unbelievably thrilling read that nevertheless poses profound questions – about the effects of war, the constraints of love and hate, the competing claims of vengeance and forgiveness – as the epic tale of Todd’s efforts to escape various warmongering forces unfolds. Profoundly humane and utterly magnificent. More

Who Would Ban “Winnie-the-Pooh?”

Banned Children’s Books: The Usual Suspects and Few Surprises.

Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education.”  Alfred Whitney from Essays on Education


Not so many years ago when my own child was just an itty-bitty little thing, I found a copy of “Bonjour Babar!” at a garage sale for just a buck. Because I remember reading Babar with my grandmother, I was psyched to acquire my very own copy to continue the tradition.

But once we got snuggled up in bed and actually started reading, I grew concerned.  Wait… I don’t remember these stories being so… uh… politically incorrect.

Over the years, the Babar stories have been repeatedly banned because they are charged with being “racist” and “extolling the virtues of a European middle-class lifestyle and disparaging the animals and people who have remained in the jungle.”  Babar has been labeled “Eurocentric” by its detractors.

Yep, that pretty much sums up my feelings from that night a few years back (except with fancier words) but is it reason enough to ban the jolly elephant in a green suit?  Or to even burn the book? More

The Ten Best Kids Books Ages 8 -12 from the The Guardian

Some familiar titles, some not so recognizable, but The Guardian’s list is an excellent resource.  Once again, you could have trouble finding a couple of these titles on Amazon, so you may have to actually check your local library.

From the small genius of The Borrowers to the giants of children’s books, the Narnia stories, Lucy Mangan and Imogen Russell-Williams pick their must-reads for 8-12 year-olds by Lucy Mangan and Imogen Russell Williams

Stig of the Dump: Clive King

This was the first original Puffin published in 1963. The story of eight-year-old loner Barney who befriends Stig, a remnant of the Stone Age hidden in the local chalk pit, has not been out of print since. The two boys grow to appreciate each other’s eras and skills as they contrive ingenious solutions to Stig’s various problems living out of the junk that is thrown into the pit. A modern classic.

Charlotte’s Web: EB White

“‘Where’s Papa going with that ax?’ said Fern to her mother” is probably the most famous opening line of any children’s book. He is going to dispatch Wilbur, the runt of the litter, until Fern pleads for clemency. With the help of Wilbur’s wise and devoted friend, Charlotte, the spider is able to live out the rest of his days in safety. You may feel like warning your child that Charlotte dies “as spiders do” at the end of the summer. You should resist. It’s a book that teaches you that characters can be made to live for ever simply by turning back to the first page and starting again.

The Family from One End Street: Eve Garnett

This episodic collection of the adventures (in the late 1930s) of the multitudinous Ruggles family (seven children, two parents) was one of the first books for this age group to take working-class life as its central theme and to depict it with charm and without condescension. They remain as fresh as the day they were penned. More

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