I have a love-hate relationship with lists like this one. On one hand, I can’t resist them. I have to see whether my favorites made the cut. And I’m eager to find new recommendations too.
On the other hand, I always find something to criticize. A common problem with lists for kids is that they try to encompass books for all ages. For example, this list includes everything from Sherri Duskey Rinker’s Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site to Marie Lu’s Legend.
Lists for kids also tend to be overloaded with classics. For instance, I enjoyed L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables (published in 1908) when I was younger, but I would not put it on my sons’ must-read list. The Cheese Touch has much more relevance to their lives—and I give Common Sense Media credit for also including Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid (published in 2007).
Lists for kids also tend to favor the educational and inspiring over the humorous and fun. This list, though, seems to include a mix of both.
All in all, I wouldn’t use this list as a checklist, but it has some good suggestions.
Blaine has less than six months until his 12th birthday, and he’s only read half of these books. Maybe he’ll find a summer reading pick or two here. Or on TIME’s list of The 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time, NPR’s 100 Must-Reads for Kids 9-14, the New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books, or Time Out’s 73 Best Kids’ Books of All Time.
What do you think of these lists? Anything you would add? Or leave off?