Children’s Book Reading Extravaganza 2010: Children’s Novel #100
So a few weeks ago, a list of the Top 100 Children’s Novels of ALL TIME (Sounds daunting, doesn’t it? Like it should be said in a booming voice that’s all echo-y.) came out on the dear old internets. As my mobility is not what it used to be thanks to Mini Mimi, I thought to myself, “Self, maybe you should plop yourself on the couch, read all these fantastic books and blog about them.” You all thought that was a fab idea aaaannnndd here we are.
Before we begin – some logistics. (Clearly we have to start here because in my mind, logistics = list making + planning = me wanting to sing “These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things.” A complicated yet amazing equation, I know.) I’m thinking I will post once a week about the novels. Prob on the weekends. So, it’s going to take me roughly 100 weeks to get through them all.
(Are you still with me?)
(Can I get a “HELL YEAH!”?)
Not to fear, I also plan on simultaneously doing weekly updates on the Top 100 Children’s Picture Books of ALL TIME (insert echo-y voice again here). And, at the suggestion of one fabulous reader (Thanks Diandra!), I am also going to tackle The Top 50 Multicultural Books Every Child Should Read because I am a) amazing and b) nerdily excited by my little project.
Basically, I’m saying you are stuck with me talking about books every weekend for the foreseeable future. (Not to fear, I will also keep up with the usual rantings, political commentaries and stories of my little friends.)
Okay. So now that most of you have clicked elsewhere (read: HOW LONG WINDED CAN YOU BE, WOMAN?!?), let’s get back to #100 on the list of Top Children’s Novels Of ALL TIME. (Am so loving the booming voice complete with echo.)
I’ve never read this one before. Originally published in 1967, I kind of dug the strong female characters. In a Mrs. Mimi-esque nutshell, a little girl named April moves in with her grandmother because her mother is off gallivanting with a boyfriend, trying to be an actress. She befriends another girl, Melanie and together they discover an old abandoned junk yard behind an antique store. Together they create an elaborate (complete with fab costumes!) game in which they pretend to be Ancient Egyptians. Eventually three other neighborhood kids get involved in the game too. However, it’s all drama times when a local child is murdered (no graphic details) and it appears as if the Egypt Game has gone too far. (Insert cliff hanger here…are you DYING? No? Well…I tried.)
It’s a great story about imagination. I mean, it’s a great example of kids who don’t sit around playing video games all day and are truly captivated with learning about another culture. If you’re looking for a book to bring Ancient Egypt to life or tie into a unit on Ancient Egypt, this may not be your book. There isn’t a lot of time spent on crazy accurate historical detail.
According to the Scholastic Book Wizard, this book clocks in with a grade level of 5.9 and interest level of grades 6-8. But, as a millionth-grader, I had a hard time sticking with it through a lot of the detail from time to time. (If we’re being honest with each other…)
Because I am always thinking of my little friends, this book did remind me quite a bit of Meggie Moon.
Another fab read aloud. Both have strong female characters (Holla!!!) who have great imaginations and are able to put together amazing games out of basically piles of junk. I mean, let’s hear it for a resourceful girl, am I right?
So that’s that. 1 down and 99 to go. Next up, is The Indian in the Cupboard which I read about a billion years ago, but am a couple chapters into right now. Stay tuuuuned…
Before I go and because I heart you all intensely…what do you think about this new little feature? Anything you want me to talk about that I didn’t? Connections you want me to make? Thoughts? (Other than telling me to “shut up” because that might hurt my feelings.)
Oh, and clearly, feel free to nerd out and read along with me!