I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical when Oprah announced that she would be publishing a list of books she recommends for kids. While I certainly enjoy many of her adult book club picks, I wasn’t sure how a kids book list would turn out. However, I felt a little bit better when I heard that she had contacted the ALA for help.
Well, I finally got a chance to look at the list. Can I just tell you how THRILLED I am?!
Here is the press release from PW Children’s Weekly:
As of tomorrow, the Book Club section of Oprah Winfrey’s Web site will offer a list of recommended children’s titles, courtesy of the American Library Association’s Quick Lists Consulting Committee. According to Diane Foote, executive director at the ALA’s Association for Library Service to Children, the organization was contacted by Winfrey’s staff in the spring about putting together such a list. “We were gratified they came to librarians to do so,” Foote says.
The ALA compiled a list of 100 titles (including both recent and “classic” titles) in five age categories: infant to two, three to five, six to nine, 10 to 12 and 12 and up. The ALA’s Quick Lists Consulting Committee has prepared recommended reading lists for numerous organizations in the past, including the PBS Kids Web site, Toon Disney and the National Endowment for the Humanities Bookshelf Grant Program.
The list is divided by age. The 10-12 year old recommendations list includes the following titles (these are just my favorites):
New Releases- Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, , The Willoughbys, and Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree. YES YES YES! DIARY notwithstanding, these books all need to find more readers. EMMA JEAN is a personal favorite of mine and I would love to see this little book take off. And CRACKER was a huge hit with my readers this year.
Again, YES YES YES! These are the classics middle schoolers should be reading. Take note summer reading list makers!
And the 12+ list looks just as good!
New Releases- The Patron Saint of Butterflies, Paper Towns (which I haven’t read but I already know it is amazing), Found (Missing), The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, Trouble, and The Wednesday Wars.
And I love all the classics!
Kudos, ALA and Oprah! Kudos! Hopefully, some of these books will now become more mainstream and make their way into the classroom. I would love to see Oprah put out an updated list every few months. Maybe schools and teachers (who aren’t aware of the vibrant kidlitosphere) will use the lists as a jumping off point for getting new books into our schools!