Book shelf quilt block by Angela
Every post I’ve written this week has been focused on some kind of reading list or other, so I thought I would continue the theme today. There is something about a book list that makes me want to (1) agree or argue; (2) make my own list; (3) see what other people are saying about the list; and especially (4) start reading so I can check things off of the list.
The New York Public Library has published a lovely new list of 100 Great Children’s Books from the last 100 years. And they’ve published in a format with little boxes to check off what you’ve read! It’s like they knew exactly what I want to do with this list!
I’m immediately a bit disheartened looking at the list, because I haven’t read the second book on it, Sydney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind Family. Taylor’s novel is on my to-read list, because it’s #55 on SLJ’s list of the Top 100 Children’s Novels, which I will someday complete. (I only have about 15 books left, but it seems that half of them are Roald Dahl books, and I am sorry to disappoint some of my devoted readers, but I LOATHE Roald Dahl.)
I am finding it very hard to argue with the NYPL list: book after book, I find myself nodding in agreement. Even if the book in question wouldn’t make my personal top 100, I understand why it’s in someone else’s. These are unarguably great children’s books. (Of course, it’s not a surprise it’s a terrific list. Librarian Betsy Bird helped create it.) There are a handful of books on the list that I have never heard of, and I’m excited to get to the library and remedy that. (Only first the 20+ inches of snow in Rapid City has to melt–and there was nearly 4 feet of snow in Lead, South Dakota. Crazy!) I also notice that this list seems to be fairly diverse. I would have to crunch the numbers to see for sure, but my impression is that it’s an admirably balanced list.
And I will be printing it off next week and heading to the library and looking for the books I haven’t read. And definitely checking off boxes for the books I have read.