Yesterday I kicked off this week’s "Build a Bookstore" week by asking you to list up to five young adult novels that you think no self-respecting bookstore should be without, knowing that (of course) no one store can afford to carry everything.
Today your charge is to list up to five middle grade novels and middle grade non-fiction books (meaning non-fiction aimed at upper elementary and/or middle school) you think no self-respecting bookstore should be without. Yes, your list of titles can contain some of the same titles that others’ do. NO, you can’t list more than five titles, even if you find it torturous to limit yourself this way!
Once again I will put myself through the wringer here and list five choices of my own.
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Such torture! ARGH! And, crud. I just realized I didn’t include a single non-fiction book. But… I stand by these five. No self-respecting bookstore should be without them. Nor should they be without the other titles I know you’re all gearing up to type in right now, so… GO!
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Patterson Holes by Louis Sacher The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White
Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban, The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman, Naked Bunyip Dancing by Steven Herrick, Donuthead by Sue Stauffacher, and So B. It by Sarah Weeks
Don’t forget about Adam Rex’s brilliant and funny The True Meaning of Smekday. Right up there with Charlotte’s Web and Holes and just about anything by Jerry Spinelli, but most especially Maniac Magee. And Cynthia Rylant’s Van Gogh Café.
My top picks would be: The Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper; Murder in the Cathedral by Beth Hilgartner, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsberg, Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White, and the Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Cleary.
The wonderful thing about bookstores and libraries is that we NEVER had to limit ourselves to five books.
I’d have trouble confining it to five just from Roald Dahl alone!
Ohhh, this is IMPOSSIBLE! Luckily there are so many! The Westing Game, From the Mixed Up Files…, the Judy Blumes and Beverly Clearys (can they just be a category of their own?), Witches of Worm or The Egypt game or really anything by Zilpha Keatley Snyder… There are just too many to choose from!
Good Master, Because of Winn-Dixie, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Maniac Magee, Holes, and…………..
CHARLOTTE’S WEB, THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS, HARRIET THE SPY, HOMESICK by Jean Fritz, SPARKS by Graham McNamee (and all the Cleary RAMONA books…which belong in a class to themselves!)
Wonderful blog about children’s books, and yet, and yet, how about a small voice for non-fiction (aka true books)? When I get out to speak at schools, the kids I talk to LOVE reading animal books and space books and volcano books, and and and… How about some TRUE books in children’s book stores? Of course I do have a bit of a vested interest in this,,,but only slightly 🙂
The best current mid grade books I’d recommend are: The Mysterious Benedict Society, Chains, Fire Girl, and Diary of A Wimpy Kid. The one classic I’d say that you must have is Anne of Green Gables.
This is too difficult! So I’m not mentioning the ones others have already mentioned, pretending that we’re stocking the bookstore together, okay? 🙂 Wind in the Willows Little Women Gone-Away Lake Half Magic The Wizard of Oz
The lists are heavily favouring girls’ books. Any recent books for boys that you think no self-respecting bookstore should be without?
Because of Winn-Dixie- DiCamillo / Bridge to Terabithia- Paterson / Hatchet- Paulsen / Holes- Sachar / Where the Sidewalk Ends – Silverstein
Someone wondered where all the boy books were. And I wonder where are all the classics. How about these: Treasure Island, Tom Sawyer, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Hobbit, Lord of the Flies, A Wrinkle in Time…Oh crap…That’s six. And giving the girlie girls a plug(and holding my nose) The Secret Garden (yuck).
“The Secret Garden”, “A Little Princess”, “Anne of Green Gables” for Girls and the “Artemis Fowl” series and “Holes” for Boys. And, cheating a bit, I know this is supposed to be five books, but “The Warriors Saga” because it is a book series that both boys and girls love.
“The Lion’s Paw” and “Deathwatch” both by Robb White, “The Hobbit” by J.R. Tolkin, “The Catcher In The Rye” by J.D. Solinger, & “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton. Did you know that White’s “The Lion’s Paw” is back in print, check it out at http://www.thelionspaw.org!
Oh my goodness this one was so hard but here it is: Anne of the Green Gables, Matilda, The True Meaning of Smekday, Charlotte’s Web, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
5 indispensible titles: Maniac Magee/Spinelli;Bud,Not Buddy/Curtis;Steal Away Home/Ruby;The Giver/Lowry; Walk Two Moons/Creech
Tale of Desperaux, Invention of Hugo Cabret, Al Capone Does My Shirts, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sideways Stories From Wayside School, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, City of Ember, Among hte Hidden
For Boys, I’d say: Hatchet, though some of the material might be a bit mature; Mouse and the Motorcycle, Ribsy, the Matt Christopher sports books, Ender’s Game.
Once again, because I HAVE to stand up for the non-fiction books: KID CHAT GONE WILD!, 38 WAYS TO ENTERTAIN YOUR PARENTS ON SUMMER VACATION, HER STORY: A TIMELINE OF THE WOMEN WHO CHANGED AMERICA, SKY’S THE LIMIT: STORIES OF DISCOVERY BY WOMEN AND GIRLS, HOW BRIGHT IS YOUR BRAIN?
Anything from DK. I taught history for a year and even the students who absolutely dispised the subject were fascinated by these books. There’s nothing like teaching about the middle ages and having books that simply and beautifully describe things at the same time that they provide detailed illustrations for what is being written about.
Hobbit, Dark is Rising, Ender’s Game, Anne of Green Gables, A Wrinkle in Time and really must sneak in Chronicles of Narnia
I wanted to suggest a few underappreciated newer titles: The Penderwicks and The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, Savvy, The BIrchbark House and The Game of Silence (haven’t gotten around to Porcupine Year just yet). I also think that the Beacon Street Girls are great, especially because they involve a character with dyslexia!!!
Peter Pan, Little Women, The Wizard of Oz, The Tale of Despereaux
Anything by Larry Gonnick, especially the “Cartoon History of the Universe, Vol I-III” and anything by David Macaulay, especially “The Way Things Work.”
Ah, I would be so keen to recommended these titles to an eager reader. Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor It’s about time I read Roll of Thunder again.
Holes, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, A Wrinkle in Time, The True Meaning of Smekday, and Millicent Min, Girl Genius.
The Book of Three – Lloyd Alexander (and the other 4 in the Chronicles of Prydain); The Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan; The Borrowers – Mary Norton; Number the Stars – Lois Lowry; Sarah, Plain and Tall – Patricia MacLachlan
Yes – The Lion’s Paw!; Little House in the Big Woods; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; The Secret Garden; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Monday’s troll Prelutsky/Sis);Frozen man (Getz);What it feels like to be a building (Wilson);Dar is rising;Charlotte’s web
Baseball Book New Baseball Book for Kids: Watch Andrew Develop the Courage to Win! Lulu.com/CourageToWin
I’m just going to say one I am sad to see missing here… Mr Popper’s Penguins… ok, two The Phantom Tollbooth
The Penderwicks; Harry Potter; Banner in the Sky; Ramona the Pest; Charlotte’s Web
JACOB HAVE I LOVED THE WEDNESDAY WARS HARD TIMES FOR JAKE SMITH HOLES A LONG WAY FROM CHICAGO
The Neverending Story, Harry Potter series, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Lord of the Flies, Watership Down…agonizing to only pick five!!! I know I’ll think of ten more as soon as I hit submit!