Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Best of...Emma's Top 10 Books

I have been meaning to feature my daughter on this series for awhile now. But while we were recently vacationing, we actually had a chance to really put our minds to it, and we came up with a specific list. I am directly responsible for some of the books she has grown to love in her 11 years, and some she has found all on her own. So if you want to know what trips a tween girl's trigger, this is it, in no particular order:


1. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins: We (defined as my daughter, my son and I) listened to this book on audio in the car. We were all entranced with this story, and gave us lots of fodder for discussion for weeks after we finished. What would happen once Katniss gets back home? Which boy will she choose? Who will star as Katniss and Peeta in the upcoming movie? These spirited interactions are priceless when some days you can't get a word out of them.


2. Are You There God, It's Me Margaret - Judy Blume: I had to include this particular picture, which was the cover of this book that I own from my childhood. My mom saved it all these years, and just recently I decided it was probably appropriate for my daughter to read. She read it in one night, and has read it several times since. The who Blume appeal just never wears off, I guess.




3. The Harry Potter Series - J.K. Rowling: Emma started reading this series when she was in second grade, and has since completed it twice. Strangely enough, she has not turned to the dark side or has joined a Wicken cult, like some proclaimed would happen. This series just firmly planted her on the side of a literary obsessive. I'm OK with that.



4. The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman: Several days before this book won the Newberry, I sent my mom out to buy it, so I could read it to the kids. (I think I got the tip from Carrie @ Books and Movies). Mom read the first chapter or two, and doubted my sanity. Granted, the plot is a bit morbid, but made it all the more appealing for the young crowd. The kids did not want me to stop reading.



5. Fairest - Gail Carson Levine: I have not read this book. It was one of the many books I ended up buying at a Book Fair last year. But Emma couldn't read it fast enough. Based on the back-of-the-book blurb, I can understand why. It seems to give a little twist on the well-worn Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty or Snow White story. The plain but smart maiden, the mean queen, the handsome prince. Who can argue with that recipe?


6. Gossamer - Lois Lowry: I'm pretty certain we have read most of Lowry's books. They are targeted at a crowd slightly younger than YA, but aren't the least bit dumbed down (which I find to be the case with kids' books at times). They are thought-provoking and beautiful. But this one started it all, and again I credit Carrie @ Books and Movies. In addition to those qualities we see in all Lowry books, this one is magical and sweet and gentle. And Emma fell in love with it.

7. The Warriors Series - Erin Hunter: At this point, I have lost track of how many Warrior Series are out there. At least three, maybe four. But Emma and I read the first series independently, but at the same time. The premise is intriguing...a community of wild cats, their hierarchies, their enemies, their habits, their higher deity, prophecies, death, life and survival. All told from the viewpoint of one narrator cat. I know it sounds hokey, but I found myself unable to put the books down. We are quite the cat-lovers, after all, which meant even more to us. We have yet to read the later series, but I'm sure we will eventually.


8. Shudders - Various artists: Straight off my childhood shelf, along with Judy Blume. These are the short stories that kept my BFF and I up at nights, worrying about shriveled monkey paws and waxworks of serial murderers and transporting corpses on lonely roads. Emma shares the thrill of the heeby-jeebies with me, and has enthusiastically read this one several times.



9. Inkheart - Cornelia Funke: Emma has read the entire series, all umpteen pages. But this one was her absolute favorite. She continues to beg me to read them (I'm hanging my head in shame), and I suppose, based on her list, I should take her good word. I try to explain to her about the TBR, and challenges and such, but she just shrugs her shoulders, rolls her eyes, and says "Whatever mom! Just read them!". Ok honey. I'll get right on it!


10. Princess Academy - Shannon Hale: This was another Book Fair purchase, at the urging of several of Emma's friends. I have not read it, but feel that perhaps I should, considering all the love that Shannon Hale gets in blogdom. This is another twist on a Cinderella story, one that won a Newberry Honor Award.




So how many more "Best of" lists can I do? This is the question. I have TWO PEOPLE who I have asked for lists and haven't received them yet. (You know who you are, Ms. Savard and Ms. Falconetti!) I know it is hard to do. You notice I haven't come up with mine! I'm wondering what in the world I will do when I run out of names. I'm liking the idea of Sunday Salon, but haven't committed yet...

28 comments:

Jeane said...

Fairest- that's a Levine book I hadn't heard of. Is it newer? And I tried so hard to like the Warriors books, but after going through the Ratha series they were pale by comparison. What you had to say about her response to reading Harry Potter made me laugh!

farmlanebooks said...

What great taste Emma has! I plan to read the Inkheart series soon, so am very pleased to see it on Emma's list.

The Hunger Games is one of my favourite books too!

caite said...

Sandy, you are lucky to have a daughter that enjoys books as much as her mom.

Andreea said...

Great books. I've heard of some of them. Your daughter has a great taste! I hope my daughter will love books as much as I do!

Frances said...

Your daughter has great reading taste! Like mother, like daughter. Lots of my own favorites here especially Inkheart. Has she read the next two in the series?

Kathleen said...

Sandy, I really enjoy your "best of lists". Sounds like Emma had read and enjoyed some great one. I almost fell off my chair when I saw the cover of the Judy Blume book...looks just like the one I read and remember when I was a kid! Happy Sunday!

Literary Feline said...

It is good to see that Judy Blume still has the same impact she did when I was reading her as a child. :-) The Harry Potter books are so much fun. I haven't yet read The Graveyard Book but it's one I hope to read one of these days. I'm still not quite sure about The Hunger Games. If my friend ever finds her copy to loan me, I may give it at try.

It was fun seeing what Emma would put on her top 10 list!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Jeane - Fairest was featured on the book fair last year, so I assume it is pretty new. As far as the Warrior books, this was the first we'd read from this author. We have yet to explore any of the other series yet.

Jackie - I know, I need to get to the Inkheart series. Someday...

Caite - I know! She and I will often both curl up on my reading chair and read for hours together.

Andreea - Ah ha! So you know you are having a girl??????

Frances - yes, she has read them all. But the first was her favorite!

Kathleen - I know, I searched long and hard to find that cover, as it is the one I still have!

Wendy - It really warms my heart to see my dauther enjoying the same books I did. If there is nothihng else I do for my kids in life, I want them to love reading!

ds said...

Isn't it great when your kids like your childhood faves? Emma has great taste. Good for her--and good for you!

Florinda said...

Your daughter has excellent taste in books - thanks for sharing her list!

I'm mulling over joining the Sunday Salon myself...

DesLily said...

from an OLD person who reads quite a few YA books I can't agree with your daughter more about the Inkheart series!! READ THEM ! They really are good lol

Carrie K. said...

I loved reading this list! I've been trying to get my daughter to do a list for me - I think I'll send her this link for inspiration. And I'm glad I was able to suggest books that have become favorites in your house! That makes posting book reviews worthwhile.

bermudaonion said...

Wow! Your daughter has great taste in books!

Ti said...

What a great list!! My daughter is almost six but I can tell she is going to be a reader. Still working on my son.

The Bumbles said...

I really admire your encouragement and inclusion of your children and reading. Tell Emma she's come up with a varied and entertaining list. And she managed to do something her mother has not - provided a list of her favorites ;0)

Melody said...

I love it that you share some of your books to your children!

Some books are so good and it's a pity to see them go out-of-print! That's why I'm keeping mine so I'd share them with my daughters (hopefully they'll share my passion for books!!).

Alice Teh said...

Emma has a great taste for books. Out of all the ones listed, I've read only 4: Inkheart, Gossamer, Graveyard Book, and just recently The Hunger Games. I read only 4 of HP books so I need to finish them soon.

Book Chick City said...

I've heard that Catching FIre is amazing! I have it on my tbr pile, so will get round to that soon hopefully. I *loved* Judy Blume when I was younger, and this book was one of my favourites. I haven't read any Harry Potter books, I know, I think I am the last person on the planet who hasn't. The Graveyard book has had lots of positive reviews and does sound really good. Lots of great books on the list!

Beth F said...

Some great books here and some new ones to me. I'll have to add Fairest, Gossamer, and Warriors to my wish list. Thanks (I think), Emma.

Nymeth said...

You have excellent taste, Emma! I loved Gossamer and The Graveyard Book too. Not to mention Harry Potter, of course! And I have Fairest on my tbr pile.

Andreea said...

Yes, we are expecting a girl:) I only have a few weeks left and I am very excited!

Iliana said...

I think I had that same cover of the Blume book! Isn't that just the best? Glad Emma has discovered Judy Blume.

Amy said...

What a fantastic list. There are a few here I haven't read and i think I'll have to look into them! It's so nice Emma is a reader too!

Melissa - Shhh I'm Reading said...

I've read a couple of Emma's picks and have a couple of others on my shelves. I'll have to give some of her others a try next time I make a trip to the library!

Alyce said...

I've read four on the list and own one the others (Gossamer) but haven't read it yet. Have you guys read The Giver by Lois Lowry? I loved that one.

Jenners said...

I just love this post! It is so fantastic to hear about a young enthusiastic reader!! And I'm thrilled to hear that Judy Blume is still relevant to girls today! YAY!

And I love that you worked with your daughter on this list and published it. Great for you!

carolsnotebook said...

Awesome list. Thanks for sharing.

Anna said...

What a great list! I'll have to show it to my daughter. Judy Blume rocks, and I can't wait until The Girl is a bit older and she can enjoy the Margaret book, too.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric