Sunday, January 31, 2010

Children's Favorites

The problem with completing Elizabeth Bird's Top Ten Middle Grade Chapter Book list is twofold: 1) that it took far too long, when I should have been doing at least a dozen other things; 2) my choices might be totally different if compiled at some other time (and that doesn't even take into account my question of whether a series counts). I was disappointed not to meet her at ALA but assume she is a kindred spirit. . .
1-A Little Princess/Burnett (all my favorite genres in one: orphans, historical fiction, school story)
2-Anne of Green Gables/Montgomery (the ultimate orphan)
3-A Traveler in Time/Uttley (time travel, and one of my other favorite things, Elizabethan England)
4-Betsy-Tacy series (if I had to pick just one, I guess Betsy and Joe)
5-Masha/Mara Kay (not very well known but adored by anyone who read it, orphans and school story)
6-Charlotte Sometimes/Farmer (school story and time travel and I think she’s an orphan too)
7-The Wolves of Willoughby Chase/Aiken (orphans almost always a theme with Aiken)
8-Ballet Shoes/Streatfeild (although Skating Shoes a close second) (more orphans)
9-Knight’s Castle/Eager (although it is hard to pick my favorite Eager between this and Seven Day Magic and The Time Garden)
10-Diamond in the Window/Langton (yet more orphans)

Runners-Up
Time at the Top/Ormondroyd
The Lark and the Laurel/Willard (first in one of my all time favorite series)
The Prydain series/Alexander
Emily series/Montgomery (Powell’s has these in YA but AOGG in middle grades-as a series I like these better but AOGG beats them out individually)
Emmy Keeps a Promise/Chastain
Autumn Term/Forest (I am tempted to count this but did not read it until grown up)

9 comments:

Chandra said...

I did this one the other day too! And it was insanely difficult to choose! I like your list - lots of unique titles!!

LaurieA-B said...

I am not publishing my list (which I just submitted), but wanted to say I was so pleased to see your image because I ended up with Wolves of Willoughby Chase at number one. (I am very fond of Laura Lippman's appreciation of Wolves, published in Shelf Discovery, by the way.)

I really hope some men contribute lists, because I think theirs would be quite different.

CLM said...

I had to leave off Judith of France by Margaret Leighton (which I adore) because no one has else has read it except my mother, whose copy I have, also all of Robin McKinley (I suppose I could have kept Beauty but that is not my favorite) and And Both Were Young, which is definitely YA in the new version. I am not sure about the new edition of Charlotte Sometimes. I will check to see if my nieces' copy is revised.

I do love the Wolves of Willoughby Chase but was not absolutely sure it belonged in my top ten. Then one of the criteria I used was how many times I had reread it. I really need to read the whole series in order (because I have missed some of the late ones) but there is no time.

Wendy said...

Oh, I should have thought to make our brother Scott do it! Though many of his favorites are the same as ours, Beverly Cleary, Elizabeth Enright, Edward Eager.

I only counted the first four Betsy-Tacy book as middle grade; Betsy says in the comments that only single books can be nominated, not series, so I chose one. I also left off Beauty when I realized I included it just because I was rereading it at the time (though I think it's marvelous). I also think it's not really middle grade.

Jenners said...

Well I'm with her on the first two books ... "A Little Princess" was one of my favorites as a child. And I just "discovered" Anne of Green Gables this year and fell in love. I wish I'd read it as a young girl ... I would have been in heaven.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

There are so many wonderful books here. I would include The Wood-Be-Goods and New Treasure Seekers, which I adore. Or at least one of them. But what could leave the list?

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Well, I guess that the Would-Be-Goods!

CLM said...

My mother likes the Bastables better than I do. If I were choosing a Nesbit, it would be Harding's Luck which is my favorite. However, I am more perturbed at having omitted The Sherwood Ring.

kinderny said...

Not sure if it stands up, but as a girl I LOVED "Jessamy" which was orphans and time travel. Think I will go reread....