I am putting together a list of 42 excellent children’s books (one for each student) for my Child Studies course next semester.
I am looking for books suitable for children between the ages of 8 and 12 – “chapter books” rather than picture books. I’d also like them to be less contemporary books, books that my students are not likely to have encountered on their own – so no Harry Potter or Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
I’m particularly interested in books that will appeal to boys. Most books that spontaneously come to my mind are ones that I enjoyed, and my interests were not boyish. (Don’t get all up in my grill about gender stereotypes, please; anyone who teaches teenagers knows that these things matter.)
Here’s my list so far:
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (possible candidate for the whole-class reading)
- Anne of Green Gables
- Little House on the Prairie
- A Wrinkle in Time
- The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
- Bridge to Terebithia
- Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing
- Harriet the Spy
- From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
- Swallows and Amazons
- The Railway Children
- The Secret Garden
Do you have suggestions for great kids’ books, especially books that my (mostly non-reading) students are unlikely to have encountered by themselves or through elementary-school reading assignments? What books did/do you feel kids really must read?
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