March 23rd, 2010

Two Lists

First List:
Nancy Drew
Dr. Doolittle
The Outsiders
Gone With the Wind

Second List:
Louisa May Alcott
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Norman Juster
Mark Twain
Lewis Carroll
Madeleine L’Engle

The first list consists of books I loved when I was 12 and under but have no need to read ever again. The second list is authors whose books I loved and still love. I didn’t spend a lot of time searching my brain for books for either list, so I’m sure I could make a much longer version, but I think I’ve got enough to make sweeping generalizations (don’t I always?).

What jumps out immediately is that the second list has smarter stuff on it. More universal and pressing issues are addressed in the work there. The books by those authors, while not perfect, are freer from some of the more offensive stereotypes. The writers also write better than those responsible for the first list.

But I’m curious. Which of your favorites from childhood would you give your kids? Which ones would you like to read again? Why?