Source: Borrowed from the library
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
OK I know I'm already "grown-up" and anyone reading this blog probably is too, but hear me out before you skip over this post. I was looking for some inspiration for my Classics Club list, so I went to the library to borrow 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. While I was there, I spotted this children's version I didn't even know existed. I decided to check them both out, figuring it would also be fun to flip through and revisit my childhood a bit. Little did I know just how much of a gem it would turn out to be!
There are people all over the place blogging about the adult version and I was so eager to check it out. But as I started browsing through it, I just wasn't feeling most of the selections. To me, there seemed to be a bias toward certain authors whose books earned multiple spots at the expense of others I expected to see, but weren't listed at all. There were plenty of well-known, excellent books, but overall it wasn't what I was hoping for. I guess I wanted to be excited or inspired by (nearly) every book, and I just wasn't. I'd still be curious to see how many I read over time, but I have zero interest in actually trying to read them all.
But then I cracked open this kids' version and was delighted to find such a wide-ranging and truly fantastic selection. THIS is the book I'd really like to read may way through. Forget the grown-up list, they're letting the kids have all the fun! It's split up by age group, so anything in the 0-3, 3+, and 5+ categories I'm more likely to read with my (as yet non-existent) kids someday, but the 8+ and 12+ sections are filled with really great books that my "grown-up" self would love to read. I do think some of them are a little above the age range they're listed for, but if you're using this as a book guide for an actual child, use your best judgement of their maturity and reading level.
The other interesting thing I discovered was almost every book I was already considering for the Classics Club is listed in this volume! I was well aware several of them fell into the genre of "children's literature," but there are many others I wouldn't necessarily have categorized that way. No matter what your age, the books on this list will make you a more well-rounded reader. You'll find a lot of "typical" classics in addition to more "modern classics" that have already proven they themselves worthy, despite the fact they haven't been around for decades (or centuries). I'll be interested to see if this volume gets updated and reprinted over the years like the adult book has and what new titles might earn a spot in the future.
So, what to do with all this information? I'm going to post the list and keep track of what I've read, of course! (You can find it here, or on the tab up top.) I highly recommend getting your hands on the actual book though, since browsing through the list is way more fun when you can look at the book covers and have additional information at your fingertips. But be warned, there do seem to be spoilers in some of the reviews/blurbs -- they're not giving everything away, but the descriptions are pretty detailed. So if you don't want to know anything about a certain story beforehand, you may want to proceed with caution!
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Coming soon: my Classics Club sign-up post and list -- can you tell I like lists?!