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Child’s Play

12 August 2009

A list of classic, must-read children’s books is posted on the NPR website, offered by children’s book author Lesley Blume. Not only had I not read any of them, I had only even heard of two. Which made me wonder…what books did I read as a kid? Or, which books did I love enough to consider classics? Aside from Garfield and Peanuts comics, I couldn’t think of many. I don’t remember reading much at all, but thankfully there are a few books so indelible in my reading memory that they would be on my short-list of classics, and perhaps be blamed for sparking my reading life. So I compliled a (very) short list (albeit a lame and rather obvious one) of my own:

Ate the bacon.

Was bitten.terabithiahatchet

What are your classics? What books did you read as a child or young adult that you would not want your child or young adult to avoid or miss? What classics should I read now, and be sure to pass on to my brood?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. 13 August 2009 10:48 am

    Set in today’s day and time, Me and My Best Friend is about a young boy, his faithful companion and their exciting adventures.

    Henry and Liam are the best of friends and they do everything together. They can run and play all day long. But when Henry the puppy gets tired and tries to take a nap, three-year-old Liam keeps waking him, wanting him to play some more. Will Henry get any rest?

    Get your children involved with this beautifully illustrated book. Your child will love to match up words and pictures, and find Liam, who keeps hiding in his bedroom. Perfect for the young reader!

    About the Author

    J.S. Huntlands is the author of Nick Twisted Minds and is currently working on more books in this series, as well as 23 more books in the Me and My Best Friend series. Huntlands is a full-time writer, as well as a mom to a wonderful four-year-old boy. This book is dedicated to her son in hopes that he never forgets his best friend.

    • 14 August 2009 2:19 pm

      This is the classic work of children’s literature that you would recommend that my kid not miss? It isn’t even a classic picture book.

      About the Author

      MJL is the author of 1000 Mile Pub and is currently working on more posts for this blog, as well as 23 more posts in the Pub series. MJL is not a full-time writer, nor a mom to a wonderful four-year-old boy. This reply is dedicated to JS Huntlands’s son in hopes that he never forgets what he reads 12 seconds after he reads it, even if it is one of his mother’s underachieving picture books.

  2. matthew ables permalink
    14 August 2009 2:45 pm

    oh man, i love your reply to that comment robot.

    Hatchet and Call of the Wild are two of my favorites as well. Beth loved My Side of the Mountain, and we both love Bridge to Terabithia. I loved Number the Stars and Summer of the Monkeys (by the author of Where the Red Fern Grows – also very good).
    Jacob Have I Loved, and Flowers for Algernon come to mind.
    My dad would read abridged versions of some of the classics to me – like 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Treasure Island, Huck Finn, Journey to the Center of the Earth, etc. So I liked those as a kid.
    I LOVED all the Narnia books (and the BBC produced movies), but especially A Horse and His Boy.
    Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Sign of the Beaver, Tuck Everlasting.
    Earlier than that, i was reading ALL the Boxcar Children books, Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little.
    Later on I got really into all of Tolkiens stuff, and a few other divergences into fantasy.

    I read so much junk. In the summers, my mom would have a list on the fridge and when we finished 5o books, we got a new Nintendo game or something like that.
    I was the only kid in elementary school who looked forward to the book fair, and when books were delivered, had a gigantic stack to take home.
    I wish that I could read that much now.

    • 14 August 2009 7:17 pm

      Is Flowers for Algernon the one where the brother and sister live in the attic and get jiggy with it? (By “jiggy” I mean incestuous and by “it” I mean their mom.)

  3. 20 August 2009 2:12 am

    That’s Flowers in the Attic, Matt. Not for children. Or anyone with any sort of taste in literature.

  4. Alex permalink
    22 August 2009 3:59 pm

    I read the Hatchet, and thought it was a good book. I also borrowed Across Five Aprils from the same friend that let me borrow Hatchet, and it was a long* book about a family during the Civil War. It was ok, but didn’t give a good overview of the situation for being such a long book.

    Not saying these are classic children’s literature pieces, but I read all of the Hardy Boys books, McGee and Me (a Christian series about a boy and his cartoon drawing – actually pretty good), Frank Peretti books (also a Christian author – escape from the island aquarius, tombs of anak, trapped at the bottom of the sea, the secret of the desert stone, door in the dragon’s throat, and for older kids – this present darkness, the oath), chronicles of narnia were pretty good, Brock and Bodie Thoene (guess what, also a Christian author: Saga of the Sierras – loved these, The Twilight of Courage, The Legend of Storey County, Zion Chronicles, Zion Covenant), Berenstein Bears (even though I’ve heard recently they have an atheistic agenda), Where the Red Fern Grows, The Velveteen Rabbit, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, To Kill A Mockingbird, books about baseball (autobiography of Ty Cobb, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, etc), etc. Basically, I read a ton of books, and Amanda just mentioned that my reading list was a list of top Christian home school children’s books to some extent. Haha. It’s true. Growing up I was mostly a geek who read a lot of books. I mean, I was a good athlete as well, but that didn’t kick in until 5th grade or so when I went from home school to a private Christian school in Albany, GA.

    For little Grady III, I’ll suggest most if not all of these books, and will include We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball and a few others. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I loved and still love reading.

  5. 15 September 2009 3:58 pm

    dam robots. what about ncyclopedia brown? nobody could unravel a case and still look cool like he did. or where the wild things are, great pictures in that one. i hear ya on the book fairs matt. except that we were too poor to bring home a stack of books so i would always have to make the choice between one book or a pocket full of erasers.

  6. Michael Boyce permalink
    25 November 2009 2:13 pm

    Sorry, I’m a little late responding to this one. If I get time, I’ll address the reason for that in today’s post. The book from childhood that made the biggest impression on me is “Where the Red Fern Grows.” I see that Matt Ables has already given this book a nod. One scene in particular has stuck with me through the years. The main character makes a trap for racoons by drilling a hole in a log, putting a shiny piece of tin at the bottom, and hammering nails down into the hole. You probably see where this is going. The coon is attracted to the piece of tin, grabs it, and then can’t pull his hand out without letting go. Then the hunter comes a long and blows his head off. That is the predicament and the lesson. Even at the young age I was when I read this, I could see that I had the tendency to be like that racoon to my own detriment. Many times I have found myself in situations where I recall the beady eyed racoon staring up at a shotgun barrel refusing to turn loose his prize.

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