What a Great List

Josie Leavitt -- June 16th, 2009

I am impressed. Last week when I asked for summer reading suggestions, 31 people offered some truly wonderful suggestions. Click here and you’ll be able to see the whole list.

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.

7 thoughts on “What a Great List

  1. I Have Books!

    I’m going into high school and those were some great books. Several, like Twilight, Hunger Games, and Harry Potter are some that adults and kids both like. Others were some I devoured with most of my school, like Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie. I suggest most of those for any age group. There are some great books out there! 🙂

  2. I Have Books!

    I’m going into high school and those were some great books. Several, like Twilight, Hunger Games, and Harry Potter are some that adults and kids both like. Others were some I devoured with most of my school, like Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie. I suggest most of those for any age group. There are some great books out there! 🙂

  3. Gillisbooks

    I am just about to start The Hunger Games, I guess I picked right. I just finished a Young Adult materials class and recognize almost all these books as being top notch, but I don’t see this year’s Printz winner “Jellicoe Road”, which was SOOO fabulous!

  4. George Edward Stanley

    Your comments about the TWILIGHT series were right on target. I told my wife about what you said and also reminded her that recently at a restaurant here in town (Lawton, Oklahoma) I saw two young girls (probably third grade) with some of the TWILIGHT “action figures.” I applaud your efforts to steer these young readers toward more age-appropriate reading. They will be missing so much, if they miss middle-grade titles written with them in mind. I’ve had over 100 books published (first chapter, middle-grade), and it is such a joy hearing from young people and learning how they connected with the storylines. I just can’t believe readers as young as the ones you describe can connect with the TWILIGHT series. (Well, I’d better stop here – or this is going to sound as though I’m jealous of the TWILIGHT series!!!!)

  5. I Have Books!

    I have some! Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson Hunger Games-Suzanne Collins-I agree with Stephenie Meyer’s comment 🙂 Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins-Still only an ARC, but really good! Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer Do Not Open by John Farndon Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan The 39 Clues Series by Scholastic (different authors) Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick Life as we Knew It by Susan Pfeffer Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling I think I’ll limit myself there…

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