Re-Discovering Classics for Kids

TIME magazine recently published a review of Lizzie Skurnick’s “Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading.”  Her book explores children’s and teen fiction, but from a grown-ups point-of-view.

I have my own book shelf filled with books that I never stopped loving.  And so you can bet I have intoduced them to my kids.  Here are my top five:

#1) A Wrinkle in TimeWrinkle in Time
I read this in the 5th grade and was blown away by some of the scientific concepts mixed in with elements of fantasy and spirituality. And who doesn’t love a book that ends with a climactic battle between heroic kids and a giant pulsing brain?

#2) The Hobbit
The Hobbit

I would be lying if I said this was an easy read for me when I was a kid. It wasn’t. I was a slow reader (still am by comparison to most of my friends), but I was in love with the cartoons I had seen about the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I used to check the books out of the library, study the maps of Middle Earth and start to read… and get stuck somewhere around chapter two. But in 7th Grade I finally got serious and got past Hobbiton… and into an incredible adventure.

#3) Dr. Seuss Books
Dr. Seuss

Just about any Dr. Seuss book is a work of creative genius. The rhymes. The characters. The illustrated world of Seuss that is truly like no other. But I have to say that “The Butter Battle Book” had a huge impact on me. It was about the arms race during the Cold War. And, now that I think about it, that book freaked me out! (Which might be why I haven’t read it to the kids — we read everything else though!)

#4) Where the Sidewalk Ends (and other books by Shel Silverstein)

Where the Sidewalk Ends

My favorite poet when I was a kid. Here’s a classic:

I made myself a snowball As perfect as could be.
I thought I’d keep it as a pet
And let it sleep with me.
I made it some pajamas
And a pillow for its head.
Then last night it ran away,
But first- it wet the bed!

#5) Choose Your Own Adventure Books
Mystery of Chimney Rocks

These books are probably responsible for my love of reading. Because before the 4th grade, I just couldn’t get into books. These interactive stories, such as my creepy favorite “The House on Chimney Rock” were fun to read over and over again.