Thursday, April 23, 2009

Staff Favorites: Children's Novels

Home of the Brave

We end every youth services staff meeting with a roundtable book discussion. Every one (there are six of us) brings one (or two, or three!) book to briefly discuss. I used to assign themes, but that got old fairly quickly (the only time we do a theme is the meeting held after the ALA Midwinter conference, in which we discuss the recent award winning titles). One staffer has enthused about this book several times, at meetings and when we were just talking shop. When I finally read it, I fell in love with it too. It's a lyrical story about perseverance and friendship.

Black Stallion

Bull Run

A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver


I believe this is the newest title mentioned. Savvy is one of the recent Newbery Honor books, and well deserved!

My Father's Dragon


The sequel to Locomotion was recently released and is just as powerful.

Esperanza Rising

A fabulous historical fiction novel about Mexican migrant workers during the Great Depression.

Elvis and Olive

McBroom's Wonderful One-Acre Farm

The Star of Kazan

Gripping historical fiction set in turn-of-the-century Vienna.

Bud, Not Buddy

Fabulous historical fiction set during the Great Depression.

Charlotte's Web

Ending makes me cry every time!

The Big House

The Twenty-One Balloons

The Hundred Dresses

Half Magic

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler


Homer Price

The Railway Children

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

Mary Poppins

Pippi Longstocking

Love Pippi! I was Pippi for Character Day in third grade.

The Yearling

A Girl of the Limberlost


Island of the Blue Dolphins

Little House on the Prairie

Beloved for years....and still constantly in circulation at all three branches. When I was growing up, my next door neighbor and I used to play Little House on the Prairie. For some reason, it involved hanging out by the ditch in front of our house (jumping over it and walking on the logs on the side). I don't know why.

Betsy and Joe

I read the Betsy books too!

The Long Winter

B is for Betsy

The Hundred and One Dalmatians

The Dragons of Blueland

Trixie Belden and the Mysterious Visitor

I was more of a Nancy Drew girl, myself (the originals as well as some awful thing called The Nancy Drew Files, which "updated" the series). Tho' I did read Trixie Belden.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Another childhood favorite. The Peter Hatcher books are still popular and haven't dated all that much, if at all.

A Little Princess

I didn't read much of the "old" children's literature classics in my childhood-I read/was read contemporary children's literature (anything younger than books published in the early 20th century). I specifically remember reading Heidi, The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, and A Little Princess. I adore A Little Princess. We have a beautiful film version of the story; there are some major changes, but it captures the spirit of the story very well, with wonderful and genuine performances from the children.

Moominland in Winter

The Phantom Tollbooth

Belle Prater's Boy

Beezus and Ramona

Many love Ramona. There are quite a few, however, who identify with older, responsible, sensible Beezus, who feels that little sister gets away with murder. I have a feeling this is why this book was specifically named, and not the other Ramona books.

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