Over the last few months, Fuse 8 has been collecting data in search of the greatest children's books ever written. Her faithful readers have sent in their favorites and little by little, slowly but surely, she's made us all privy of her findings. I'm equally proud . . . and embarrassed.
My top 10 that I sent to her are as follows:
10: The BFG by Roald Dahl
9: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
8: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
7: Bunnicula by James Howe
6: The Giver by Lois Lowry
5: Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
4: Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
3: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
2: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
1: Holes by Louis Sachar
Two of my picks stand out like sore thumbs as the only two of mine NOT to make Fuse's final 100. BUNNICULA and GREGOR THE OVERLANDER. While I stand by GREGOR THE OVERLANDER and cry foul at it's exclusion from the list (if Percy Jackson can make it at #21, Gregor belonged on that list), I don't quite know what I was thinking with a BUNNICULA. I remember my 3rd (or maybe 4th) grade teacher reading it out loud and LOVING it as a kid. Maybe I was being sentimental. Looking back at the list, I surely could've included another Harry Potter book instead, or a Percy Jackson title, or WHEN YOU REACH ME, or HUNGER GAMES (would that have even counted?).
I guess I can say I'm proud to see 8 of my top 10 find their way onto the list, ranked 68, 54, 26, 17, 14, 11, 7, and 6. All in all, I'm pretty in touch with the spectrum of children's literature out there.
However there were MANY embarrassments while reading the results of the poll. I've only read 33 of the top 100. Gasp! Of the top 10, I've only read 5! While books like ANN OF GREEN GABLES and THE SECRET GARDEN just simply won't find their way on any reading list of mine, I'm utterly embarrassed to say that I've never read FROM THE MIXED UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER (5th) and A WRINKLE IN TIME (2nd).
And how can I call myself a lover of children's literature?
At least I can say I've read the overwhelming top selection, CHARLOTTE'S WEB. But who hasn't read that one?