It would seem that just about everyone suggested The Hunger Games — clearly this was the most popular book on the list. This book is a smart choice to have a reading list because the kids will be excited to see it on the list and even happier to read it, especially with the sequel coming out in September. Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was equally popular. There were 87 books on the list, and 57% of the authors were women. This is the striking difference with the school lists I’ve gotten this year. I’m not sure what this means other than it makes me happy. So often these lists are the "classics" and that usually means male authors aside from Austen and the Brontes.
This list is exciting. It’s full of great modern characters that kids can relate to, and isn’t this what a reading list is supposed to do? Laurie Halse Anderson’s Chains was another book populating many lists. Every book by John Green was on the list more than once. Finally, someone is paying attention to young adult males who actually like realistic fistion. Historical fiction was nicely represented as well. Sometimes what’s lacking in school lists is balance. It’s either too skewed to to classics, with nothing published after 1970, or it’s a land of science fiction and fantasy.
Our small sampling made me wish I was a student at this school of reading. I would have been overwhelmed by great choices and read far more than the required number. Please feel free to comment on the list, if there’s something fabulous that you feel is missing. We can continue to grow the best summer reading list, ever.