Over at NPR, author Lesley Blume has developed a "classic list of must-read children's books." While I applaud all of her choices (The Witches! From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler!), I have to add a few of my own:
- Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery: Okay, I may love Anne because she's a redheaded bookworm, but her feistiness, awkwardness, and imagination will warm your heart. And just try not to cry at something involving Matthew. Just try.
- Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh: Because Harriet isn't exactly a nice little girl. She's curious and a little bitchy, but she's eighty times cooler than anyone else in her class. I bet she grew up to do something really kick-ass.
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle: Her most well-known, and possibly her most endearing. Between Meg, Calvin, and Charles-Wallace, you know the universe is worth saving.
- The Giver by Lois Lowry: Oh geez, I freak out about this book. Best freakin' book ever. It's one of the most thoughtful, moving portrayals of a dystopian society ever written. Period.
- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton: More than forty years later and Ponyboy's thoughts and struggles are still relevant. Stay gold, Pony.
- The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi: Charlotte Doyle puts the kick in kick-ass. A thrilling tale set on the high seas. What more could you want?