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#1 of 9 Old 03-14-2013, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This post might belong in the Books forum, but in light of a couple of recent threads about reading and finding good books, I thought I would put it here. I stumbled upon a couple of lists of books for children at GeekDad. 

 

67 Books Every Geek Should Read to Their Kids Before Age 10  

 

It's a pretty good list, although not exactly comprehensive. It is not well-organized in terms of younger vs. older children either. Also, some books are questionable for the proposed age group eg. Ender's Game.  After the lack of diversity was pointed out, a follow-up list was provided:

 

Additions to Our List 

 

The comments sections for both posts provide several more good suggestions.  

 

 

Someone in the comments section provided a handy list of the original 67 titles: 

 

The invention of hugo cabret,Brian Celznick
The wind in the willows,Kenneth Grahame
The Miraculous journey of edward tulane,Cate DiCamillo
Junie B. Jones,Barbara Park
Shel Silverstein's Poety,Shel Silverstein
Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone,JK Rowling
The Princess Bride,William Goldman
Ender's Game,Orson Scott Card
Hobbit,JRR Tolkien
Fellowship of the Ring,JRR Tolkien
The Two Towers,JRR Tolkien
The Return of the King,JRR Tolkien
Silmarillion,JRR Tolkien
Coraline,Neil Gaiman
Half Magic,Edward Eager
Arabel's Raven,Joan Aiken
Peter and the Starcatchers,Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents,Terry Pratchett
The Borrowers,Mary Norton
The Graveyard Book,Neil Gaiman
The 13-1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear,Walter Moers
The Cartoon History of the Universe (series),Larry Gonick
Danny Dunn (series),Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series),Jeff Kinney
The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon,Crockett Johnson
The Mad Scientists Club,Bertrand R. Brinley
Percy Jackson and the Olympians (series),Rick Riordan
Savvy,Ingrid Law
Shredderman (series),Wendelin Van Draanen
The Chronicles of Narnia,C.S. Lewis
The Tale of Despereaux,Kate DiCamillo
Far Flung Adventures trilogy,Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
A Mouse and His Child,Russell Hoban
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH,Robert O'Brien
The Penderwicks (series),Jeanne Birdsall
The Phantom Tollbooth,Norton Juster
Toys Go Out series,Emily Jenkins
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon,Grace Lin
The Search for WondLa,Tony DiTerlizzi
James and the Giant Peach,Roald Dahl
The House with a Clock in its Walls,John Bellairs
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing,Judy Blume
Charlotte's Web,E. B. White
The Giving Tree,Shel Silverstein
The Silver Crown,Robert C. O'Brien
Holes,Louis Sacher
The Big Orange Splot,Daniel Pinkwater
The Little House Series,Laura Ingalls Wilder
Stuart Little,E.B. White
The Railway Children,Edith Nesbit
From The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,E.L. Konigsberg
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,Roald Dahl
Magyk,Angie Sage
The Mysterious Benedict Society,Trenton Lee Stewart 
A Whole Nother Story,Dr. Cuthbert Soup
The House of Dies Drear,Virginia Hamilton
The Lorax,Dr. Seuss
Tikki Tikki Tembo,Arlene Mosel
Winnie-the-Pooh,A.A. Milne
LIttle Bear,Else Holmelund Minarik 
A Wrinkle in Time,Madeleine L'Engle
Green Eggs and Ham,Dr. Seuss
Amelia Bedilia,Peggy Parish
In the Night Kitchen,Maurice Sendak
Curious George,H. A. Rey
Frog and Toad are Friends,Arnold Lobel
Owl at Home,Arnold Lobel
Henry and Mudge,Cynthia Rylant
Clifford,Norman Bridwell
Arthur,Marc Brown
Where the Wild Things Are,Maurice Sendak

 

 

 

 

 

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#2 of 9 Old 03-16-2013, 05:40 PM
 
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Interesting list. I'd say we've done about half of them. I friggin' hate Junie B Jones, though — only let them read that to themselves. I had to ban the audio books from the car and make it clear that I would never read THAT!


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#3 of 9 Old 03-17-2013, 06:51 AM
 
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I have a lot of problems with this list. It has Peter and the Starcatchers, but not the original Peter Pan!  It has The Graveyard Book, but not The Jungle Book.  One of the two Dr. Seuss books they include is the most boring one, Green Eggs and Ham.  It includes mediocre stuff like Junie B. Jones and Clifford.  It leaves off Alice in Wonderland and Tove Jansson's Moomin books. It doesn't include anything by Francis Hodgson Burnett, Eleanor Estes, Beverly Cleary, or Astrid Lindgren (though at least Pippi Longstocking is one of the additional suggestions.)  And why does it list every book of the Lord of the Rings series separately, but have a single entry for the Chronicles of Narnia and only list the first book of the Harry Potter series?  If I were making a list, only about a third of these books would be on it.

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#4 of 9 Old 03-17-2013, 09:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beanma View Post

Interesting list. I'd say we've done about half of them. I friggin' hate Junie B Jones, though — only let them read that to themselves. I had to ban the audio books from the car and make it clear that I would never read THAT!

 

 

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Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post

I have a lot of problems with this list. It has Peter and the Starcatchers, but not the original Peter Pan!  It has The Graveyard Book, but not The Jungle Book.  One of the two Dr. Seuss books they include is the most boring one, Green Eggs and Ham.  It includes mediocre stuff like Junie B. Jones and Clifford.  It leaves off Alice in Wonderland and Tove Jansson's Moomin books. It doesn't include anything by Francis Hodgson Burnett, Eleanor Estes, Beverly Cleary, or Astrid Lindgren (though at least Pippi Longstocking is one of the additional suggestions.)  And why does it list every book of the Lord of the Rings series separately, but have a single entry for the Chronicles of Narnia and only list the first book of the Harry Potter series?  If I were making a list, only about a third of these books would be on it.

 

Actually, as a list of books a "geek" should read their kids before "10," it seems pretty good.... especially if you were a dad as the list was made by dads. I see a ton of books my DH read to our kids. I can see Peter Pan being omitted. It's a difficult read aloud for those who aren't gifted in the read aloud arts lol. My eldest read it to herself (after we botched the first few chapters aloud.. and we're not bad at it generally.) She actually, didn't love it though does love the ideas and characters. Peter and the Starcatchers was more beloved and certainly registered high on the "geek" meter. Oh, and if you ever get the chance to see it on stage... tons of fun lol.

 

I've made peace with "Junie B. Jones." I hated it when it first came on the market. My DD wasn't interested in them so wasn't an issue when she was younger. Then, at 8, DD played her in a splashy musical to sold-out houses filled with good little girls with bows in their hair and carrying their favorite Junie books. They were so cute after... all taking their turn getting autographs, all so polite and excited. Thing with Junie, it's not brats she attracts, it's girls who would never dream of doing anything Junie does. DD, now 16, still says it was such a fun release to play her at that age. Sure, it's an annoying series to read and seriously, what 5-year-old talks like that, but I never buy into the idea that kids are somehow using it as a blueprint on how to act (not that you were saying that... just what I hear from others.) You can't argue that she gets kids reading and kids who will read through all the Junie books will be excited to find other series to tackle after.


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#5 of 9 Old 03-17-2013, 09:39 AM
 
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Oh, I have no problem with Junie B. Jones.  I think it's weird that people get so worked up about those books.  I just don't think they're good enough to be on a list like this.  I guess I can see why Peter Pan might be omitted, but it's one of my special favorites (and my kids loved it as a read-aloud) so I want everyone else to read it.  I bet most kids would enjoy it more than The Wind in the Willows, which makes the list.

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#6 of 9 Old 03-17-2013, 09:52 AM
 
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Why are these books recommended? Vocabulary? Subject matter?

I never read Junie B. Jones, so I'm not sure what the objections are about. Green Eggs and Ham, boring?!? It's a challenge to a new reader to get the woulds and coulds straight! I can think of other, more boring books, though not by Suess.

Are these intended to be read to or with the child(ren), or by the child? And I agree that an increasing reading level order to the list, or some other indication of intended reader, would be helpful.
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#7 of 9 Old 03-17-2013, 09:56 AM
 
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No, I didn't worry about my dd2's behavior w/ regard to Junie B, I just hated it for myself. I actually didn't care at all if dd2 read it. She enjoyed it — it's fine. I just could NEVER read it to her. Way, way, way too annoying! And, OMG, the audio book — urgh! The reader does it too well and the whiny little kid voice just drove me up the wall. I told her after the first Junie B audio book in the car, never again. She could listen to them in her room if she wanted to and she was welcome to read them to herself, but I was not participating in Junie B-ness anymore.  In the girls-causing-mischief genre I much prefer Ramona (loved Stockard Channing's audio book version), Ivy & Bean, Clementine, and I'm sure I'm leaving a few out.

 

And I do think it's weird Junie B is on this list. She's neither geeky, nor great literature.


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#8 of 9 Old 03-19-2013, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think the problem is the way the list was presented as books that geeks "should" read to their children. In the follow-up post introducing the second "Additions" list, he admits that it isn't a comprehensive list and explains 

 

"The idea was to let GeekDad writers suggest their favorite books to read to their children, and create a list of staff picks for you to use when looking for something to read together." 

 

 
In that sense, It's like the "What are you reading with your kids" threads that are posted from time to time here. Simply as a book poll of current readalouds that some parents are enjoying with their children, it isn't quite so objectionable. I thought it was interesting because there were a few books on the list that I'm not familiar with and thought others might be interested too.
 
Of course there's lots to quibble about with the selections. Personally, I don't like Junie B. Jones either. Every list like this is subjective and open to argument. I don't think I've ever seen a list where everyone agreed with every title or didn't have further suggestions. That's why they could publish a long follow-up "Additions" list.
 
  
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#9 of 9 Old 03-19-2013, 11:25 PM
 
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Thanks for posting - DD has read lots of these but there are some I haven't heard of that look interesting.  I am always on the hunt for good new books to read and lots of her faves are on there.  

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