I love participating in Slice of Life, started by Two Writing Teachers and writing a story, reflection, or musing at least once a week.
Right now on Facebook, a popular challenge is to list 10 books that have made the greatest impact on your life. My daughter, Libby, posted hers and challenged me. Here is her list:
1.Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
2. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
4. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
5. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
6. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
7. The Stand by Stephen King
8. East of Eden by John Steinbeck...
9. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
10. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
I posted a personal text set on the blog in 2012. It was the text set I compiled for an Ohio Writing Project class (Teachers as Readers) in 2008. Since I was challenged to post mine on Facebook, I thought it was time to revise. I still love my original text set, but I've read a few books since then (wink), and I need to add some more (but there will be a few that remain). This time, I'm sticking with children's literature only. It's too hard to choose ten books if you include both adult favorites and children's favorites. These books are ones that I recommend to anybody who will listen - adults and children alike. They are also ones that define why I love kid lit. To be honest, not many adult books move me the way children's books do. Children's writers know how to spin a good yarn, and that's why I love what I do. I get to hand these gems over to some of my favorite people - my students!
1. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling “It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.’” (Dumbledore) p. 718
This book will always remain. Read this post to find out why.
2. Wonder by R.J. Palacio "If every single person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary - the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God." (Mr. Tushman)
When I first read this book to myself, I knew it was special. But little did I know how special it was. It's THE most powerful read aloud I've ever chosen. Kids LOVE it.
3. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate “I like colorful tales with black beginnings and stormy middles and cloudless blue-sky endings. But any story will do.”
This is another book that I loved when I read to myself, but loved even more when I read it aloud. Kids that I have in sixth grade still ask me to talk in my Ruby voice after reading it to them as fourth graders (but I won't do it - only when I'm reading ;-)). We had a parent/student book club over it at the Cincinnati Zoo. It's one of the best memories I've ever had as a teacher.
4. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”
Quite simply the best children's book ever written. E.B. White was one of the good guys. This book will always be on my list.
5. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson “It was up to him to pay back to the world in beauty and caring what Leslie had loaned him in vision and strength.”
One of the best endings in children's literature. It's a classic and will always be one of my favorites. This is a perfect one for taking about legacies and friendship. Beautiful.
6. City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems
Pair this one up with The One and Only Ivan and Bridge to Terabithia. Gorgeous and amazingly expressive illustrations - this book is perfect for teaching theme, symbolism, and circular structure. But it's also just tear-jerkingly perfect.
7. Journey by Aaron Becker
I fell in love with this book last year, so much so that it inspired my to choose JOURNEY for my One Little Word. It's magical, breathtaking, and a testimony to the beauty of story.
8. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
I think this is the funniest picture book ever written (with This Is Not My Hat running a close second). Libby and I discovered this book together, and laughed and laughed. Both books are favorites in my classroom. You have to appreciate dark humor to love it as much as I do.
9. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell “Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”
I listened to this brilliant young adult novel on audio, and I thought it was amazing. I loved the explorations of family, fate, and individuality in this compelling story of two misfits who are perfect for each other.
10. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green "You have a choice in this world, I believe, about how to tell sad stories, and we made the funny choice.”
I read this story aloud to my friends in the car on our 8-hr. summer journey to our annual getaway weekend. Yeah, we're weird bibliophiles. Talk about hard to get through a book! I had to stop many times since I was crying (and so were they).
I'll probably want to change this list tomorrow, but right now, I think it's perfect!