We Ask a Book Blogger: What Children’s Book Would You Give Out for World Book Night?
Each month, we present a panel of book bloggers with a question relating to children’s books and we share their views here on the blog. If you missed last month’s post on whether or not the picturebook is dead, or our first post on trends in teen fiction, check them out here and here.
Today’s question: World Book Night just passed. We’d love to know what children’s book you would give out if there was a children’s book version of the event. What book do you think every child should read? And if you have someplace in mind you would donate the book, please share!
I would have to recommend WONDER by R.J. Palacio. I just finished this book last night and it was AMAZING. I can’t stop thinking about it and I think every middle grade aged kid should read this novel! I would love to personally hand out this book at middle schools, various sporting events, and The Children’s Hospital at Hershey Med.
WONDER tells the story of Auggie, a 10 year old boy who is making the transition from being homeschooled to attending a middle school. Beginning a new school can be difficult enough, but when you add that Auggie has a severe facial deformity, his experiences are even more difficult. Auggie in convinced that he’s just like everyone else, but as we all know, middle school kids can be cruel… sometimes very cruel. In this heartwarming story, Auggie learns the true meaning of friendship as well as his own inner strength.
WONDER is an incredibly touching book that had me crying more times than I can count; however, it is also very uplifting and has some wonderful messages about the inner beauty of individuals. Some of the life lessons that children will learn from this story include inner strength, friendship, loyalty, family love, devotion, and staying true to one’s self.
- Julie, Booking Mama @bookingmama
I would give out THE SNOWY DAY by Ezra Jack Keats. It’s such a simple but beautiful book. I grew up in New England, so it didn’t occur to me until I read this at story time in Seattle that many picture book listeners in the United States have not experienced snow yet! Reading about Peter led us to try walking different ways to leave different footprints like he did, and helped us think about all the layers one wears to play in the snow, and encouraged us to explore imaginative ways to enjoy nature, even in the city. My favorite part of the book might be when Peter decides that he doesn’t want to participate in some of the rougher play of the snowball fight– not yet; it’s such a great message about making good decisions, knowing your limits, and enjoying being a child.
I don’t have anywhere special to hand this out, but an urban playground that could use some extra free fun seems fitting.
For real? You’re making me pick just one?!?! There are so many picture books from my childhood that I still adore. Add in the books I grow hoarse from reading to my niece and nephew and the number doubles! Still, if I had to choose I actually think it would be something like FLOTSAM by David Wiesner. Now, this might seem like an odd choice since it’s a wordless book but I feel like it’s universal. It fosters imagination and children can revisit the story again and again to find something new. There is so much to look at and discover, foremost, the love of books.
- Heidi, YA Bibliophile @hmz1505
When I read the question, the first book that popped into my head was THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL by Anne Frank, because it had a huge impact on me when I read it as a child. It was the first World War II book I’d ever read and I found it very disturbing but it left me curious and opened a dialogue between my parents and me – not only about World War II, but also about doing what’s right even if it puts you at risk. The book is certainly sad, but it’s also full of hope. I think it speaks to children since it was written by a child. It’s one of the rare books I’ve read repeatedly.
I would urge every child from 11 or 12 on up (and their parents) to read the book and would give it to all of them I could. If enough children read of the horrors of war and prejudice, maybe one of them will figure out a way to end them.
- Kathy, Bermudaonion’s Weblog @bermudaonion
What one book should every child read? I decided my audience for this book is in 5th grade, right at that crucial moment when a reader, especially a boy, may tip into the world of the non-reader. I chose HATCHET, by Gary Paulsen. It’s an adventure story about a boy stranded alone in the wilds of Canada with only a hatchet to help him survive. It’s a book that shows people that they can make it through tough times on their own. I’d deliver it to juvenile detention facilities because readers of all ages would appreciate the tension and storyline, and it’s written at a level that most readers will be able to handle. I think they’d appreciate how Brian, our hero, evolves and grows during the time he is alone in the wilderness. I think they’d also appreciate the humor. It’s a book that will lead the reader to other books, always a good thing.
- Rene, Notes from the Bedside Table
This was an amazingly difficult question. I went back and forth between so many titles. Old ones. New ones. Books for a particular age level. I think I finally settled on a new book. THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate. Ivan’s story has parts that make you laugh and parts that make you cry. And most of all, there is a way to change your life and become more of who you are suppose to be. I have really enjoyed reading it aloud in 2nd and 3rd grade classes and having 4th and 5th graders read and discuss it as part of a book club. Children love animal stories and I have been so excited to introduce them to Ivan, Stella, Bob, and Ruby. I wish I could deliver a copy of the book to every elementary school in my school district.
- Alyson, Kid Lit Frenzy @alybee930
Now we’d like to ask you…what book do you think all children should read? And is it possible to choose just one? Our bloggers had a hard time with that!