Whether you're a parent or loved one looking to select a classic book as a Christmas gift or whether you're a child just wanting to learn more about great books you can read, School Library Journal's Fuse #8 countdown lists are for you. In 2009 Betsy Bird, a librarian at the New York Public Library, conducted a web poll to determine the top 100 picture books of all time. Over the course of several weeks, she unveiled the results along with a detailed discussion of each book. This past winter, she did the same for novels for the 8-12 set. The lists can be found here: picture books and novels. If you click on any individual title, you will find her write-up for that particular book.
Last spring, I got quite caught up in this countdown, agreeing with many titles but flying off the handle whenever I felt her readers got it all wrong. By the time I discovered the countdown, I had missed the deadline to vote. I'm pretty sure she's going to be taking on YA Lit after Christmas, so if'n you have strong opinions on the best books ever for 12-18 year-olds, keep your eyes peeled to the Fuse #8 blog following the New Year.
Oh, and if it's brand new books you're looking for, you can check out the blog's list of 100 Magnificent Children's Books from 2010.