Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Telegraph's 100 must-read books for children

The Telegraph has come up with a list of 100 books that 'every child should read', in order to, of course, make sure they remain readers for life. I think it's poorly compiled. The Telegraph has come up with a list of 100 books that 'every child should read', in order to, of course, make sure they remain readers for life. The list features an introduction by Michael Morpurgo and is divided into three parts: the early years, the middle years and the early teens. I checked out the list: most of the titles are popular stuff, including Roald Dahl, JK Rowling, Mark Twain, Philip Pullman, and CS Lewis.

The whole thing seems to be bordering on fantastic literature, but surprisingly, the Arabian Nights or Hans Christian Andersen aren't on the list. Huckleberry Finn or Oliver Twist isn't there either (although you have Tom Sawyer and Great Expectations); and only one title from the Harry Potter series makes the list (honestly, haven't kids grown up with Harry Potter throughout all three aforementioned stages of childhood?). I was almost hurt to find out Jules Verne or Bram Stoker don't even feature, while Morpurgo himself pops up a couple of times. Do we smell a controversy here? All in all, this pretty much shows how poorly we estimate children's reading. Scrolling through the whole list feels like moving through snapshots of just another boring feel-good movie with little variations in theme. If I were a kid I'd feel cheated.

JK Rowling hit the right chord with kids with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It was a children's book that combined horror, Bildungsroman and mystery elements -- and still went on to become massively popular. In other words, kids do think a lot like us adults. Let's hope all those listers and writers learn from this. [image: Telegraph]

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Telegraph's 100 must-read books for children

The Telegraph has come up with a list of 100 books that 'every child should read', in order to, of course, make sure they remain readers for life. I think it's poorly compiled. The Telegraph has come up with a list of 100 books that 'every child should read', in order to, of course, make sure they remain readers for life. The list features an introduction by Michael Morpurgo and is divided into three parts: the early years, the middle years and the early teens. I checked out the list: most of the titles are popular stuff, including Roald Dahl, JK Rowling, Mark Twain, Philip Pullman, and CS Lewis.

The whole thing seems to be bordering on fantastic literature, but surprisingly, the Arabian Nights or Hans Christian Andersen aren't on the list. Huckleberry Finn or Oliver Twist isn't there either (although you have Tom Sawyer and Great Expectations); and only one title from the Harry Potter series makes the list (honestly, haven't kids grown up with Harry Potter throughout all three aforementioned stages of childhood?). I was almost hurt to find out Jules Verne or Bram Stoker don't even feature, while Morpurgo himself pops up a couple of times. Do we smell a controversy here? All in all, this pretty much shows how poorly we estimate children's reading. Scrolling through the whole list feels like moving through snapshots of just another boring feel-good movie with little variations in theme. If I were a kid I'd feel cheated.

JK Rowling hit the right chord with kids with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It was a children's book that combined horror, Bildungsroman and mystery elements -- and still went on to become massively popular. In other words, kids do think a lot like us adults. Let's hope all those listers and writers learn from this. [image: Telegraph]