Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Valentine-sized love of children's fiction

School Library Journal is counting down the top 100 Children's Novels of all time right now. Yes, it's yet another list, but I am very much enjoying watching this one unfold. SLJ blogger, Elizabeth Bird, asked readers to submit ranked top 10 ten lists of middle-grade novels. Each novel was assigned a score and now the countdown has begun. What I like about this countdown is 1) that it is reader-oriented--these are books we LOVE--and 2) that Bird, who works as a librarian in the New York Public Library system, has taken great pains to tell us about the books and why people have fallen in love with them. You can't read this list and not want to add to the pile beside your bedside table.

The countdown started Monday. #100-91 are here, #90-86 are here, and #85-81 are here. You can also check out last year's Top 100 Picture Book Poll or if you want to get in on some voting, you can still take part in Comic Book Resources Top 100 Comic Books Poll. I'm betting that this time next year, SLJ will be counting down YA. I can hardly wait.

So, tell me, what some of your all-time favourites when it comes to novels for the 8-12 set?


  1. I will be back to follow the comments...and look for any suggestions. Papoosie Girl long outgrew those early chapter books and I find some of the content of the 8-12 novels a bit heavy for her (just turned 9) so any help would be appreciated.

    I will check out those lists when I get a chance too.

  2. i'm so excited to check out the list!

    some of my favs from this age group: wrinkle in time, jacob have i loved (is this for older kids, can't recall?), behind the attic walls, the trixie beldon series, secret garden, 8 cousins, ...

    some of B's fav: all the series of unfortunate events books, all of the little house books, black beauty, anything my kate i want to "interview" her about her favs. hmm...maybe a post in the making....


  3. Zilpha Keatley Snyder! OMG. My sister and I used to tear her books out of each other's hands in our rush to read them. And she's #100! Imagine what's on the rest of the list! Off I go...

  4. anything by madeleine l'engle, louise fitzhugh, and e.l. konigsburg. the summer of the swans, by betsy byars.

    my son really likes louis sachar.

  5. Well my list is probably woefully out of date because it's from when I was a kid... so very, very long ago.

    Gordon Korman - my favourite book of his is I Want to Go Home but I think I'm probably alone in that. Most people I know prefer Bruno and Boots. I'm not familiar with his new books and series, but I'm sure they're fun.

    Lucy Maud Montgomery, of course.

    I had a few favourites when I was young that I read over and over - The Root Cellar by Janet Lunn, Behind the Attic Walls by Sylvia Cassedy, The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright, Judy Blume's Superfudge and the other books about the same characters, The Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine l'Engle, The Narnia books, the Booky trilogy and the Margaret trilogy by Bernice Thurman Hunter...

    There are more but I should stop now. It was so fun to remember my favourite books from when I was young.

  6. She works at one of my old branches!

    One of my hands-down faves is Shiloh.
    I easily fall in love with new stuff, but that one has stood out from others in my mind for a LONG time now.

    For a mystery, The Westing Game, though I also like Raskin's other works - The Tattooed Potato was wonderful.

    Someone above mentioned Snyder - loved The Egypt Game.

    Number the Stars, but also Lowry's much lighter Anastasia series.

    I really like the Alice books by Naylor and how they progress through lots of growing up stages and the issues, especially for a girl without a mom in her life, but even one with a nuclear family will face a lot of that stuff and have the same questions.

    And of course, a fistful of classics and a heap of new stuff that remains to be seen whether I remember it and how much I loved it ten years from now!

  7. I think I just worked my way across the young adult book shelves starting around 10 or 11... seriously. Straight across the shelves. I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on back then.


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