Books are glorious. Wonderful, brilliant, doorways into other worlds. Other lives. Other minds. There is nothing quite like the effects of reading a well written book.
I am terrible at making decisions and awful at picking favorites, so I would like to remind you that these are SOME of my favorites. I don’t actually just have a top ten. And keep in mind they’re not in order.
Enough with the disclaimers.
LET US BEGIN.
1. The Mysterious Benedict Society, Trenton Lee Stewart
I was trying to decide what to do first and then I unintentionally quoted this so…
It has a wonderful cast of characters, a compelling plot, and… S.Q. I guess he’s apart of the ‘wonderful cast of characters’, but I’m really drawing a blank of what to say…. Yeah. Just go read it.
2. The Sherwood Ring, Elizabeth Marie Pope
DO NOT BE DECEIVED BY THE COVER OR DESCRIPTION.
I never would have read this if I hadn’t been forced to for school. “…. and there were ghosts and there was romance… bleh.” But SERIOUSLY. It’s interesting and hilarious and there are baked beans. And Peaceable Sherwood. Who could ask for anything more?
3. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, J.R.R.Tolkien
THESE ARE THE WORST COVERS EVER.
I chose them just so I could laugh at them.
I mean- why is Gandalf HOLDING the ring?! And- and-
WHY IS ARAGORN WEARING A LIGHT-BULB CROWN?
Anyway. The books. All my best friends were reading them when I was ten and I was like “I CAN’T EVEN GET OUT OF THE SHIRE.”
I did, eventually. Just a few years ago. I tear-stained the last page of The Return of the King.
4. The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
Especially The Horse and His Boy.
Because it’s AMAZING.
Wow. I’m feeling really articulate today.
Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, Great Expectations, CHARLES DICKENS
I couldn’t decide. They’re all so brilliant.
Charlie Bates and Herbert Pocket and John Harmon and SMIKE.
6. Maniac Magee, Jerry Spinelli
I wouldn’t think I would like this kid because he’s all amazing at sports and good at everything. But he’s really just this lonely little kid and he’s so sweet-
If you don’t like sad books, I should warn you- HE’S ALLERGIC TO PIZZA.
So, yeah. If you can’t handle tragedy…
7. The Giver, Lois Lowry
If you’ve just seen the movie THAT DOESN’T COUNT.
But I’m not going to rant about the movie right now. I’m talking about the BOOK.
It’s so brilliantly written. The way the reader sees through the eyes of this kid who thinks his world is perfect. Then we start to realize….
Well, I can’t really SAY anything. Just go read it.
8. The Tiger Rising, Kate DiCamillo
It’s so short yet so poignant. And it builds to such and emotional climax.
And I love Rob SO MUCH.
9. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
DON’T EVEN MENTION THE MOVIE OR I WILL SMASH SOMETHING.
The book. THE BOOK.
This another one of those books I wouldn’t have read if I hadn’t been forced to for a class. I mean- Aliens? I don’t know, it just didn’t sound that interesting.
I WAS WRONG.
It’s so psychological. I LOVE psychological. It’s not really about aliens ant all. It’s about this kid and all the emotional effects of everything he goes through. He’s disturbing and scary and by the end he’s this brilliant military commander, but really he’s just a seriously messed up kid.
My sister actually spoiled the ending for me… Two years before I read it. Yet, I still loved it.
10. When You Reach Me, Rebecca Stead
MARCUS MARCUS MARCUS.
So many children’s books nowadays are sloppy with cringe-worthy writing and flat or inconsistent characters.
Here we find a glorious exception.
Well written, well plotted, and-