Monday, January 28, 2013

The Best Books for Children?

My mother sent me this article, which lists the top ten books parents think children should read. It’s a really interesting list, but I can’t say I agree with it.

The list is:

1. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

2. The Harry Potter Series, JK Rowling

3. The Lord of The Rings, JRR Tolkien

4. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

5. Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

6. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, CS Lewis

7. Animal Farm, George Orwell

8. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens

9. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien

10. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

So, no picture books for children? Two works by Dickens? Two by Tolkien? Jane Austen? No translated titles?

What age are we talking about? What’s the reasoning behind these choices? And what do people think children’s literature is for? Is it to teach children morals/lessons? Is it to entertain them?

In short, I’m not convinced by this list, though I certainly wouldn’t dissuade kids from reading these books. What would you recommend for young readers and why?

1 comment:

Douglas Carnall said...

Dickens! Tolkien! Rowling! Such dreadful bores. This is surely the top ten list of books that will reliably put children off reading, apart from maybe Carroll.

If you must impose the classics on the youth, I can chip in two off the top of my head: Twain's Tom Sawyer, and the first volume of TH White's The Once and Future King. Don't make the mistake of thinking that because Huckleberry Finn is about a boy it is suitable for children--it is bloody grim, as is the latter parts of White.