Sunday, April 29, 2012

The 50 best books for children?

Yesterday I had a conversation before church with a grandparent about a very young grandson who has become an enthusiastic reader. A love of reading was one of the best gifts my parents gave me and, I'm convinced, is one of the best gifts any parent can give any child and so I am somewhat of an enthusiast on the topic. Some doubt was expressed about the quality of the books the grandchild was reading and so the subject turned to where good books could be found. I've posted before linking to lists of books for various age levels but those links seem to no longer be good. This morning I discovered a couple of other sites with what seemed to me pretty good recommendations.

The first list was compiled in answer to a British grandparent: "My granddaughter is only a few months old, but I would appreciate both guidance in buying books for children and a possible hit list of 50 books to own before you’re five.” In response the Telegraph columnist, noting that the list would have been somewhat different for a boy, provides her recommendations for the "top 50 books for children":
.... The list is divided into three broad sweeps: illustrated stories to read to a toddler – though many of these are likely to continue to be favourites well into primary school; novels for, broadly, eight- to 12-year-olds – or to read to a slightly younger child; and reference books and collections. .... [more]
That list can be found here: "Ask Lorna: top 50 books for children."

The second site — "The Art of Manliness" —  offers the "50 Best Books for Boys and Young Men." The compiler had a somewhat older age group in mind than the Telegraph compilation. He is particularly concerned to persuade boys to read:
.... For several decades now, boys have scored lower on reading assessment tests than girls. Boys also take longer to learn to read than girls, are less likely to actually read and to value reading, and are more likely to label themselves as “non-readers” (up to 50% of high school age boys consider themselves as such). Non-reading boys do poorer academically and end up as non-reading men....

...[W]e had boys about the ages of 9-15 in mind when we made this list, I’ve always considered the distinction between adult and young adult literature to be an unfortunate and artificial one. Putting together this list I remembered just how good these books are, and I can’t wait to read them again as a man. Whether you’re 12 or 52, grab one of these books and a bag of cookies and head out to the treehouse.
The site provides five pages with descriptions of, and order links to Amazon for, the "50 Best Books for Boys and Young Men".

Ask Lorna: top 50 books for children - Telegraph, 50 Best Books for Boys and Young Men | The Art of Manliness