My Top Ten Fiction Books for Juvenile Readers

Elizabeth Bird of Fuse 8 asked for lists of top ten juvenile fiction.  Last year’s Top 10 Picture Book list was a lot of fun–my top ten can be found here (on my previous blog).   I can’t wait to read the results of her poll. 

1. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery. My mother got it in her brain that I should read this book the summer of my eighth grade. I couldn’t have resisted more but finally gave in once my younger sister read it and really enjoyed it. I fully believe that I’m a librarian because of Anne and her story. In reading it I discovered that reading a book could actually take you places! I hadn’t experienced that yet.  

2. Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Mole and Rat! Wise Badger! And Toad! They are such good friends. When parents are at a loss when their young children are reading at a sixth grade reading level, I direct them to my friends in the Wild Wood.

3. A Proud Taste of Scarlet and Miniver by EL Konigsburg. I didn’t know the story of Eleanor of Aquitaine until I read this clever book. It’s middle of the 20th Century in Heaven where Henry II is finally out of purgatory and ready to be judged. I loved the clever way Konigsbury told the tale and it was such a fun book, I wanted to know more.

4. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. I love realistic fiction, every day stories about life that help kids learn about life vicariously. And Harriet was probably one of the first books I read and a child that I could relate to. 

5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling. The beginning and wonder of a fascinating new world.  Some people may not know life before Harry.  I do and I remember reading it for the first time.   I flew myself to Florida and read this on the beach. No one knew about it and I had this great new world all to myself.

6. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. This is my Newbery selection. I hadn’t read this title until after it was awarded the Newbery Medal. This was my first foray into the free verse novel. I had never read one before and didn’t have any idea how a series of poems about dust could form a novel or plot development. I quickly learned otherwise. And I will never, ever, look at dust the same way again. (I left that tiny little phrase out the first time, oops.)

7. The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry. I’m calling this my Middle of the Alphabet Newbery Authors Choice. Lowry, Naylor, Paterson. The triumvirate of children’s literature. But what to pick? I like the Willoughbys. I like how she takes all the elements of old children’s books and runs with it.

8. Thwonk by Joan Bauer. One of my favorite authors at her best… and it’s funny.  A girl (AJ) sets out to photograph a picture for the school paper ends up dealing with Cupid. Cupid will help AJ with her love life, her school life, or her artistic ability. It’s the ultimate question in every girl’s life.  Thwonk? that’s the sound cupid’s arrow makes. (Powells lists this as children’s…)

9. Tangerine by Edward Bloor. I love mean characters and boy is Paul’s older brother mean! He’s epic mean. He’s as mean (if not worse) than those boys from The Chocolate War.  Tangerine is a sports book, a problem novel and a journal. There’s a blind soccer player and a school in a sink hole.  And fascinating information on the citrus industry in Florida.

10. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. My knowledge of Greek Mythology was wanting until I read of Percy Jackson’s adventures

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