You know how sometimes, you read something that makes you want to talk about it? Yesterday, I received one of those mails. It was just a newsletter, from one of my favourite Secondhand Booksellers, AbeBooks. By the time I made it to the end, I was buzzing.
This is a very clipped part of the article, reproduced with kind permission from Richard Davies of AbeBooks – you can see the original article here.
“Reading should be an essential part of any childhood. Teachers and schools can teach you many useful things (although I’ve not used calculus in my adult life) but a steady diet of literature can ensure a young person’s education never ends.
Below are 50 books that I and a few other colleagues recommend for a typical 11-year-old – some can be read at a much younger age while others are verging on the young adult genre. Some of these books I have revisited as an adult while reading to my eldest. Some are ageless classics and others are hyper modern. Some are sets or series so you are actually receiving more than 50 recommendations.
Many people, let alone an 11-year-old, would be hard-pushed to read all these books in 12 months. Mr Gove’s heading in the right direction – let’s just get young people reading.”
I showed it to Katy, and we spent literally 20 minutes Oooh!-ing, Yes!-ing, Oh-D’you-Remember?-ing, and long pauses whilst we drooled over the list. We both came to the same conclusion – we fully intend to work our way right through it.
Although the list says for 11yr olds, most of these I’ll be reading to my 8 & 9yr old too. Because they love to be read to at bedtime. And now I’M about to start choosing the books – because I know that no matter how much they dismiss the cover, one chapter in to some of these and they’ll be utterly hooked. Just like I was 30 years ago.
I’m also very tired of my children’s sad penchant for dismissing books in old used covers, wanting shiny new reprints even of old classics – this time they’ll be getting 2nd hand much-loved battered varieties to read from.
50 Books Every Child Should Read