I think you all know how much I love books and lists. Put those together, and I simply cannot resist.
I’ve shared various book lists before, but just today I decide to create my own very short essential list. One fiction book for each year of childhood. (Yes, I cheated and listed a couple series or trilogies. I also left out plays, poetry, myths, and non-fiction.) I chose books that would be varied and rich in message, meaning, and ideas as well as delivery. These are the kind of stories that a reader could think about and mull over for years to come. Books that could stir up discussion and debate between child and parent or student and teacher.
Last time I shared an even shorter essential list, one reader commented that as fun as it is to make our short lists, aren’t we glad that our children in reality can read thousands of wonderful books before they leave childhood behind forever?! And that we have years of books ahead of us as reading adults?
Without further ado:
1. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
2. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (or The Little House) by Virginia Lee Burton
3. Tales of Beatrix Potter
4. Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall
5. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
6. Babe: The Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith
7. The Chronicles of Narnia (series) by C. S. Lewis
8. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
9. Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
10. Little Britches and Man of the Family by Ralph Moody
11. Animal Farm by George Orwell
12. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
13. The Hunger Games (trilogy) by Suzanne Collins
14. Watership Down by Richard Adams
15. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
16. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
17. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
18. Perelandra by C. S. Lewis
What books would be on your list, and why?