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.: February 2006 --> 10 books every child should read

10 books every child should read

» Aiming to put together "a children's canon on which people might like to draw", The Royal Society of Literature asked top children's authors for a list of 10 books every child should read before they leave school. Here are the 7 resulting lists, including ones from Philip Pullman and JK Rowling. These lists are erudite enough that they would make a good year's reading for any adult, and it would be fun to read them one list at a time to try to extract the message each author was trying to get to the children. Of course, everyone likes Ben Okri's list of "10 1/2 Inclinations" the best. ("1. There is a secret trail of books meant to inspire and enlighten you. Find that trail.")

I don't know. 10 books isn't very many. What have they left off? (via mc)

 [ 02.21.06 ]


It got harder and harder to post this list the more I thought about it! It doesn't help that I've student taught English. But I don't think that I saw any of these:

Life of Pi: Yann Martel
Night: Elie Weisel
Into the Wild: John Krakauer
The Little Prince: Antoine De Saint Exupéry
Walden: Henry David Thoreau
The Chronicles of Narnia: C.S. Lewis (for fun, not for dogma)
To Kill a Mockingbird: Harper Lee
Long Day's Journey Into Night: Eugene O'Neill (I read this play like a book the summer I was 17 - it just sucked me in.)

Missing? Mark Twain, for one. Herman Melville, for two.

Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs.

"Other writers have gone for the great works of western literature on their lists. I do think it's a little bit ambitious to expect schoolchildren to read Don Quixote and Ulysses." --Phillip Pullman

He needs to look into audio books—they make even "ambitious" books accessible to kids. Audio was the only way I could get my kids interested in The Golden Compass.

Naked Lunch, Heh!

Regarding the seven lists list of a suggested cannon for children and young people:

Thankfully some people still believe that great works of art will inspire children and young people and thus make them better adults.

The impoverishment of America’s social and political landscape is clearly due to the absence of students’ undiluted exposure to great works created by great minds.

There is a straight line between mediocrity of content in education and the erosion of democratic principles and ethical values in our nation.

Both you and your children should read every book on the six lists, and be guided by the inspired advice of the seventh.

Better yet, read together!



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