Book Awards · Book News

Booktrust’s 100 Best Books: 12-14 year olds.

In this final look at the Booktrust’s list of 100 books children should read before they turn 14 the books are aimed at 12 – 14 year olds, the cut off point imposed by Booktrust as “beyond that, children tend to progress to more adult literature”. I may come back to this idea in a later post, but for now will concentrate on the list.

This is the full list, with the books I’ve read made bold.

Watership Down by Richard Adams
NoughtsCrossesNoughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Forever by Judy Blume
– The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
– Junk by Melvin Burgess
Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
MaggotMoonMaggot Moon by Sally Gardner
– The Owl Service by Alan Garner
– Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
– The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
– Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman
WitchChild– Witch Child by Celia Rees
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
– Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
The Fellowship of the Ring by J R R Tolkien

For this final list I have read 17 out of the 25, similarly to yesterday’s 9-11 years list there are 4 books that have been on my need to read list for some time. There are a couple of books I’ve never heard of, ones I must definitely investigate.

It’s interesting that in comparison to the three other sections of the list this is the one with more modern and recent releases than the other lists. There are only a small handful of books that were already relatively old when I was a child, compared with much bigger portions of previous lists. I read some of the books on this list when I was in the target demographic but have read far more of them since, some due to their publication dates and some because they just weren’t in my awareness.

Like all of the lists there are books I’m surprised to see, and books I’m surprised not to see. I think this is the list I am probably most curious to see the voting results for, once the public have chosen a favourite. I think it’s probably the hardest to predict out of all four lists.

Book Awards · Book News

Booktrust’s 100 Best Books: 9-11 year olds.

In this third post looking at Booktrust’s list of the 100 books children should read before they’re 14 the focus moves to books aimed at 9-11 year olds, a book demographic I particularly enjoy.

Here’s the list in full, books in bold are the ones I’ve read.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
SkelligSkellig by David Almond
Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden
– Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
– Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce
The Witches by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake
Matilda by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake
Flour Babies by Anne Fine
– Once by Morris Gleizman
The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé
– Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson
StigStig of the Dump by Clive King
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis
Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
– Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Jim Kay
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
TruckersTruckers by Terry Pratchett
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling
Holes by Louis Sachar
– The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield
The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien

With 18 out of 25 books read from this list, this is the list I’m most familiar with (just). Of the 7 books I haven’t read 4 have been high on my radar for quite some time – I just haven’t got to them yet. Of the books I have read there are some titles that were real favourites when I was young, 6 or 7 of them would appear on my most re-read books list. I’m very pleased to see some far more recent “classics” appear on the list, and thrilled that last year’s Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals winner A Monster Calls has a very justified inclusion.

Book Awards · Book News

Booktrust’s 100 Best Books: 6-8 year olds.

Today my attention is shifted to the 25 books aimed at 6-8 year olds that Booktrust have included on their list of 100 books children should read before they’re 14.

Again, here’s the list in full with the books I’ve read in bold type.

EnchantedWoodThe Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton
Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton
A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond and Peggy Fortnum
The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook by Joyce Lankester Brisley
Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown and Scott Nash
– Clarice Bean, That’s Me by Lauren Child
– That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton
The BFG by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake
– The Story of Babar by Jean De Brunhoff
My Naughty Little Sister by Dorothy Edwards and Shirley Hughes
Asterix the Gaul by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
AmazingGrace– Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman and Caroline Binch
Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson (translated by Elizabeth Portch)
The Queen’s Nose by Dick King-Smith
The Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith and Mike Terry
– Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren (translated by Tina Nunnally)
Winnie-the-Pooh by A A Milne and E H Shepherd
The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy
– The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
– Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross
TheArrivalThe Arrival by Shaun Tan
– Charlotte’s Web by E B White and Garth Williams
– Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
– Mister Magnolia by Quentin Blake

This time I’ve read 15 out of the 25, and of the ones I’ve read virtually all of them were books I read myself as a child – the notable expection being Shaun Tan’s excellent The Arrival which I’ve only recently read. Of the books I have read there are a few that I read repeatedly as a child – I re-read most books by Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl a fair few times, and my mom became so fed up of my repeated borrowing of Milly-Molly-Mandy from the library that she bought me my own copy.

I’m a little surprised that there are so few books published in the last decade or so on the list. I personally haven’t read many books in that time period aimed at the 6-8 year old reader, but my Beaver Scouts all bring exciting looking books with them to sleepovers so I’m aware they exist – I think I’d better start borrowing some of them so I can judge them myself.

Are there any books you’d have expected to see on this list?

Book Awards · Book News

Booktrust’s 100 Best Books: 0-5 year olds.

Today I’m going to look at the 25 books for 0-5 year olds selected by Booktrust for their list of 100 books every child should read before they’re 14.

Here is the list in full, I’ve bolded all of the books I’ve read.

EachPeachPearPlumEach Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
Gorilla by Anthony Browne
– Would You Rather? by John Burningham
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
IWillNotEverNeverI Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child
– Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole
– Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
– Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury
– Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears by Emily Gravett
Where’s Spot by Eric Hill
Dogger by Shirley Hughes
– Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
– Not Now, Bernard by David McKee
MegAndMogMeg and Mog by Helen McNicholl and Jan Pienkowski
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
I Want My Potty! by Tony Ross
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
– The Elephant and the Bad Boy by Elfrida Vipont and Raymond Briggs

I’ve read 17 out of the 25, which is actually a few more than I’d expected. I think this reflects the relatively broad nature of the list – there are plenty of books here that were around when I was younger so I either read them as a young child myself, or to younger family friends. Of the books I haven’t read I had heard of most of them, I just haven’t come across them on one of my visits to the picture book section of the local library.

What do you think of the list? Are there any surprise inclusions or omissions?

Book Awards · Book News

Booktrust’s 100 Best Books.

BooktrustLogo
Today sees the start of Children’s Book Week 2013, the annual celebration of reading for pleasure for children. Booktrust have really kicked off the week well, they’ve announced their ultimate list of 100 books every child should read before they’re 14. They have split the books into four sections of 25 books, these are aimed at the age bands 0-5 years, 6-8 years, 9-11 years and 12-14 years.

This post about how they narrowed the list to 100 books is very interesting, and well worth reading. It puts the selection process into context and rightfully acknowledges that such a process is always a subjective one and any list is never going to garner universal agreement.

Booktrust are opening the debate to everyone, they’re inviting everyone to vote for their favourite book from the list for each of the four age bands. Voting closes on 15th November and they will announce “the nation’s top books” on 25th November.

For the rest of the week I’m going to focus on this list of 100 books. I will feature one section a day, listing the books in the section and my thoughts about them.

Book Stuff · Geek Stuff · TV Stuff

Lost in Space.

I’ve been trying to blog for over a week now, I went last Saturday to see The Effect at the National Theatre and it was just so good that every time I try to blog about it I get completely and utterly stuck. So I’m going to put that off until at least tomorrow and instead ask you lovely people a question.

I’m going to Starfury’s Serenity Forever convention in September, a 10th anniversary celebration of Firefly and Battlestar Galactica. I really love both shows so am looking forward to the convention, and am getting myself organised to rewatch both series over the next few months. I had this gorgeous book

IMG_0903

as a birthday present, it’s over 500 pages of scripts and facts and stories, so that will add lots to my preparation.

It’s left me thinking though about the fiction I read. I can’t remember the last book I read that was set in space, and this is something I want to change. This is where you come in – I’d love recommendations of books set in space, whether wholly or partly set on spaceships, it doesn’t matter whether they’re new books or classics, MG (aimed at 8 – 12 year olds), YA or adult, I just want to pull together a list of books I can read and enjoy. So please leave me a comment with your suggestion.

Book Meme

Top Ten Tuesday : Top Ten Settings I’d Like To See More Of (Or At All).

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature created by The Broke and the Bookish so that bloggers can share lists of bookish things.

TTT3W

I love this week’s topic for this week – settings for books I’d like to see more of. It’s been really fun to think of places I want to see more books set.

  1. Wales – my first choice has to be Wales. Whilst I’m temporarily not living there at the moment I still very much think of Wales as being my adopted home, it’s the place I can’t wait to move back to and the place I hope I get to live for many years. I wish it got used more as a setting for books, there are so many wonderful places that could be used so this is definitely my top choice.
  2. Rural UK – I’ve read some books that have more rural settings but I’d love to see more, having grown up in the countryside I always enjoy books set there.
  3. Spaceships – thinking slightly more broadly I’d love to see more YA set on spaceships, TV shows like Battlestar Galactica and Firefly are firm favourites so I’d love to see this.
  4. Different parts of the USA – I love reading books in the USA and I especially love books that are set somewhere a bit different. Don’t get me wrong, I especially love books set in New York City, but when I read books set in less popular states they really excite me.
  5. Patagonia – I hadn’t really heard of Patagonia until I moved to Wales but it sounds like a pretty interesting place, I really enjoyed actor Matthew Rhys’ Patagonia: Crossing the Plain about his journey on an expedition across Patagonia and would love to see fiction set there.
  6. Tropical Islands – Sun… sea… sand… sounds like the perfect setting for a lovely contemporary read.
  7. Tall Ships – I think the first book I read that was set on a tall ship was The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and a friend put me on to Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series. I haven’t read anything set on a tall ship recently, I think there are plenty of stories that could be told.
  8. Boarding School – I grew up loving the Mallory Towers and St Clare’s books by Enid Blyton and the Chalet School books by Elinor M Brent-Dyer so for more there can never be too many books set in boarding schools.
  9. University – this one’s linked to number 8 I suppose, I feel like I’ve read so so many books set at school but very few set at university, particularly at a British university. Maybe as the New Adult craze settles this will be something that becomes a bit more commonplace, I’d certainly like to see it.
  10. Planets from Outer Space – I know I already said spaceships, but I’d also like to read more books set on far flung, preferably imaginary, planets. Aliens, other ways of life, lots of adventures… yes please!

That’s my list. I’m sure there are books out there that have some of these settings that I’m just not aware of. If you have a favourite book set in one of these pleases do please leave a comment so I can add it to my reading list.