Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Seven Books

Yes, more book talk...

I followed a conversation on my favorite homeschooling message boards lately. A lady was applying to teach at a Christian Classical school, and the application asked her to choose five books every school-aged child should read. One could interpret that question in wildly different ways, which I suppose would be the point. You might learn a lot about a person by the books they choose.

Since this is my blog, I get to come up with my own rules. (Isn't that the fun of having your own blog?) Limiting myself to 5 books was insanely impossible. So I gave myself one picture book for K and one fiction novel for every two years of public school (which equals seven books; are you impressed with my math skills?). (Please don't point out that I cheated by listing The Chronicles of Narnia. I suppose I would put The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe if I HAD to.)

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

Babe: The Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith

Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

Watership Down by Richard Adams

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Oh, how hard it was to not be able to put several other books on the list. The Tales of Beatrix Potter. The Little Prince. David Copperfield. The Count of Monte Cristo. Animal Farm.

I purposefully added the 'novel' designation (rather than simply 'book') so that I didn't have to find more room for the Bible, Shakespeare's plays, Greek and Roman Myths, poetry, or Aesop's Fables. Because those (and so many others) are a given in our school.

Anyone want to play along? You ONLY get one picture book and six novels.


Unknown said...

Well... it has been a long time for me to speak well to this subject... but several books stand out to me.

1. Diary of Anne Frank
2. The Velveteen Rabbit
3. Little House In the Big Woods
4. The Cricket in Times Square
5. The Incredible Journey
6. Encyclopedia Brown: The Boy Detective

picture book??? I dunno.

MomStarr said...

Very hard to narrow this down to 7 books...we have read so many as a family that we really enjoyed but here are the favorites:

1. See the Ocean by Estelle Condra (pic. book)

2. Cabin in the North Woods by CH Pearson
3. Cabin on the Prairie by CH Pearson
4. Just David by Eleanor Porter
5. Elsie Dinsmore
6. Carolina's Courage by Elizabeth Yates (love this writer)
7. The Brave Buffalo Fighter by John D. Fitzgerald

Hannah said...

1. YES to Miss Rumphius... but since you "took" it, I'll say Ox-Cart Man.

2. Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown

3. Charlotte's Web (recently voted the #1 middle-grade novel of all time on the School Library Journal's reader-compiled list of Top 100)

4. Island of the Blue Dolphins

5. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

6. Tuck Everlasting

7. Pride and Prejudice

Very tough assignment! You picked some great ones, too, including a couple I would have chosen too. (e.g. Narnia)

April said...

1. The Giving Tree --Shel Silverstein
2. Where the Red Fern Grows -- Wilson Rawls
3. Number the Stars-- Lois Lowry
4. Agreed-- The Chronicles of Narnia
6. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
7. Also agreed-- To Kill a Mockingbird

You have exquisite taste, Heidi, and that is why I'm a regular visitor! I'm sure I will think of dozens more later but these come to mind presently.

A Contrarian's Way said...

I recently started following your blog, and I saw a post on how you used Geography in your homeschool. You had a picture of a large map flipchart in one of your pictures. Any idea who that is by and where I might be able to purchase it? Thanks so much! I LOVE your blog. The only other homeschool blog I follow is A Holy Experience, so you are in great company! Sincerely, Julie Zilkie

Kristen said...

Because I agree with all of your choices I am going to attempt to do this without duplicating any of your answers.

1 Picture Book:
Mike Mulligan's and his Steam Shovel

6 novels:
Little House in the Big Woods
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlotte's Web
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
A Wrinkle in Time
Anne of Green Gables

Sandy said...

While to play along we only get seven books...aren't you glad that in real life our kids can read as many as they want? :)

Heidi said...

So many terrific suggestions! Ox-Cart Man and Mike Mulligan would be runners-up for my picture book list. :) Lots of other favorites mentioned.

Sandy~ YES!! As I was coming up with my list, I glanced at Levi's reading list so far this year. And mentally added those books to his 2009 list. And I'm soooooo glad he (and the other boys (and GIRL!), of course) will not be limited in their reading. Wahoooooo!

I guess while coming up with 7 books, I was trying to think of the ones that (all) kids shouldn't *miss out* on (rather than the only ones they should read) and WHY. What do the books have to say that will enrich, widen, inform, encourage, build up, caution, and edify kids in this day and age.

mdvlist said...

This was surprisingly hard. I suppose I'm not really up on children's novels, since I don't yet have anyone in the house as old as 4. I have to go by what I remember shaping my youth, most of which was classic in its way (L.M. Montgomery novels, Redwall, various Bevery Cleary series, the Miss Bianca books), but not exactly "must read." Here's my best, then, with no pretensions to originality:

1. I would have chosen Miss Rumphius, too (how often I read it in the picture book division of middle school speech tournaments!), but for the sake of variety, I'll go with Over and Over, since nobody should miss out on Garth Williams and Charlotte Zolotow.
2. Charlotte's Web
3. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh
4. The Witch of Blackbird Pond
5. Little House in the Big Woods
6. A Wrinkle in Time
7. The Wind in the Willows

Sierra said...

I agree with the majority...a few extras...

1. The Giver by Lowis Lowry
2. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
3. Frindle by Andrew Clements
4. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
5. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
6. C.S. Lewis -- anything!
7. The LIttle Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood -- picture book

carole said...

Of course I would like to play!
The one picture book limit is very challenging! Here's an off the cuff list:

1. Any of Robert McClosky's books, but most especially One Morning in Maine
2. The Saturdays
3. Treasures of the Snow
4. To Kill a Mockingbird
5. Meet The Austins
6. The Little House on the Prairie Series
7. The Chronicles of Narnia

Okay, so I cheated a little. :)

Marcia said...

Picture book: The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco

1: The Wheel on the School (Meindert deJong)
2. Rilla of Ingleside
3. Five Little Peppers and How they Grew.
4. THe Sparrows Fall by Fred Bodsworth (or THe Strange one by the same author)
5. The Hobbit, etc.
6. THe Railway Children by Edith Nesbit.

It's been a while since I homeschooled!

I am looking for the title of a book in which one of the characters is in a wheel chair and the kids help him create a balcony garden. If it rings a bell, please let me know!