Musings on children's and YA literature, the academy, and the relationship between them, from an English professor and mother.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

100 Best...

If, like me, you're having trouble remembering which books have already been mentioned in Betsy Bird's fabulous series of posts on the Top 100 Children's Novels, you can check out this wonderful resource--just the list, provided by Six Boxes of Books. It's about two days behind at the moment, but I'm sure it will catch up soon.

(Kicking myself that I forgot The Phantom Tollbooth; but what would I have dropped? Maybe The Painted Garden? Maybe?)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Top 100 Children's Novels ...

Can you believe Alice in Wonderland didn't even crack the top 10? Ah, well; at least one more of my choices made the list. But I'm thinking at least two of mine won't, now. Maybe more...

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

who were your role models?

Some years ago I wrote an article about role models in children's literature, wondering how far we can take the question of "identification." Do strong female characters produce strength in their readers? I couldn't answer the question--I don't do empirical research!--but I do think it's worth continuing to talk about the issue. Here's a nice piece in Parent Central that takes up some recent heroines and how they differ from their predecessors.

Girl heroes take spectacular flight -

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

another lazy post

When You Reach Me When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Miranda's getting weird letters, and her mom is practicing to be on the $25,000 Pyramid, and her best friend doesn't seem to want to talk to her anymore. Middle school is bad enough--this all seems much, much worse.

I loved this book. Miranda's connection to A Wrinkle in Time makes her my kind of protagonist--nerdy, emotionally interesting, on the outskirts of popularity (but still fascinated by it and even hopeful that she might find it one day). The book raises some of the same kinds of questions that Miranda's favorite book does without seeming at all imitative or derivative. A keeper.

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Monday, March 01, 2010

a very lazy, and belated, review post

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1) The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Like everyone else in America, I enjoyed this book--a clever way to introduce kids to Greek myths and a fun adventure as well.

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but should we see the movie?