Daily Archives: June 25, 2013

NPR’s Backseat Book Club’s Call for Best Books for Kids 9-14

NPR’s Backseat Book Club has a call out for nominations for their “Ultimate Kids’ Bookshelf — a collection of 100 books that every 9- to 14-year-old should read.” Here’s what I contributed:

In looking through the nominations they don’t seem very diverse, most likely because of your audience. That is (as was the case with the YA poll) those who listen and follow NPR (and this feature of it) are a particular demographic. Couple that with the many suggestions that are nostalgic and you seem to be heading toward a very …er…not-diverse…list of “The Best Books for Kids Age 9-14.” I do hope you can somehow get the word out so the nominations widen out a bit. That said, here are mine (selected because I personally love them and because I’ve seen firsthand kids today loving them as a teacher):

1, E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web (I’d be a bit horrified not to see this on a best books list for this age group.)

2. Christopher Paul Curtis’s The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963 (I was glad to see this was one of your book club selections. Still my favorite of all of this fine writer’s works.)

3. E. L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (This fabulous author died earlier this year and this is probably her best known and loved book. Still holds up for kids today in my experience as an elementary teacher.)

4. Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials (This was also on the YA list, but is great for the upper end of this age range, especially the first two books.)

5. Rita Williams-Garcia’s One Crazy Summer (Wonderful and the most recently published of my nominations.)

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