Monday, September 9, 2013

Books Every (English-Speaking) Child Should Read

I know there are a number of these lists online; I know because my mother (yup, I have one, too) emails them to me all of the time.  I'm not sure if this is supposed to be an affirmation of her excellent parenting skills (Thanks, mom!), or if she's hinting that she wants grandkids.  Either way, it's not terribly subtle, even if the purpose isn't clear.

While stressing over the pile of essays I did not wade entirely through grading this weekend, I came up with the start of a list in my head last night (I was attempting to fall asleep):

*Please note that I am clearly not listing these in any order of age-appropriateness, etc.

Frog and Toad
The Wind in the Willows
Little House on the Prairie (the entire Laura Ingalls Wilder series--and this is good American history, too)
The Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien
Every Dr. Seuss book ever written
Good Night, Moon
The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, A. A. Milne
Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling
Gulliver's Travels, Jonathon Swift
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
Kidnapped, Robert Louis Stevenson 
Around the World in 80 Days, Jules Verne
A Journey to the Center of the Earth, Jules Verne
Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
The Time Machine, H. G. Wells
Hans Christian Andersen's Fairytales
Aesop's Fables
The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank
The entire Harry Potter series, J. K. Rowling
Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
Little Men, Louisa May Alcott
Joe's Boys, Louisa May Alcott
Any of the Hardy Boys series, Franklin W. Dixon
Any of the Nancy Drew series, Edward Stratemeyer
Adventures in the Big Thicket, Ken Gire
The Call of the Wild, Jack London
White Fang, Jack London
The Prince and the Pauper, Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Mark Twain
Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Christmas Tales of George MacDonald
The Princess and the Goblin, George MacDonald
At the Back of the North Wind, George MacDonald
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle, Washington Irving
To Kill a Mockingbird, (if s/he isn't already required to read it in school) Harper Lee 
The Yearling, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
Anne of Green Gables (and the whole series), L. M. Montgomery
The Princess Bride, William Goldman
Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
The Hunger Games Trilogy, Suzanne Collins

These are just the ones that came to mind last night while I was busy not sleeping.  Also, just letting your kiddos watch the movies is not what I mean.  In fact, if you let your kids watch the movies for any of these books without first having them read the book (or reading it with them), you have pretty much ruined the book for them.  In the case of Gulliver's Travels, don't bother showing them the movie at all.
More to come, I'm sure...