Tuesday, April 13, 2010

And the Winner Is...

Charlotte's Web by E. B. White! That would be the best children's book of all time. Was there ever any doubt? Okay, I'll admit I put it at #2 myself, but I stand corrected: some 366 librarians, booksellers, writers, teachers, students, and parents can't be wrong!

I am referring, of course, to Betsy Bird's marvelous poll over at her blog, Fuse #8 (School Library Journal). In case you missed it, Betsy has been posting a countdown of the Top 100 middle grade novels for lo, these many weeks. Each post is charming, intelligent, and full of fun facts and links. Here's the link to the full list, which is handily linked to the individual book posts. All I can say is that I'm going to be going into poll withdrawal over my breakfast cereal for the next week or so... But you can still catch up on the whole thing!

Update: I was asked in the Comments which book was my Number 1, so here are the ten books I submitted, with their ranking in the final poll results at Fuse #8 in parentheses afterwards: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (19), Charlotte's Web (1), Maniac Magee (17), The King of Attolia (N/A), Harriet the Spy (16), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (3), The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (4), A Wrinkle in Time (2), The Secret Garden (8), and Little House in the Big Woods (23). Not too bad!

And the ones I missed? From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (5), Holes (6), The Giver (7), Anne of Green Gables (9), and The Phantom Tollbooth (10). The one on my own list that I knew might not make it (and didn't) is The King of Attolia. I will mention that I tend to think of The Giver as a YA book. My reasoning for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory outranking Charlotte's Web was influenced in part by my fourth grade student who said, "This is boring," of Charlotte's Web, but was entranced by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Much as I love the books in the Top 100, I suspect today's kids, left to their own devices, would make a slightly different list. For example, it would include Diary of a Wimpy Kid. However, the final list is a great resource and represents some very good taste in kidlit!

For my own list of 50 great books from the last century and my annotated Top 10 for the new millenium, see this post.

Update #2: Okay, here's something fun to ask yourself--how many of the books on this Top 100 list have you read? (I got this idea from MotherReader.) I tallied them up today and discovered that I have read 89 for sure. There are 7 I know I haven't read and 4 I think I might have read years ago, but can't quite remember. What about you? Let us know in the comments!


Cristiana C. said...

Hi Kate!
Well, now I am curious... can we know which book was your own number one? :-) Cris

Kate Coombs said...

Cris--Thanks for asking! I went back and added that (plus some other stuff) to the post.