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We Ask a Book Blogger: What Children’s Book Would You Give Out for World Book Night?

May 4, 2012

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.

– Tegan, Queen Anne’s Books and Tegan’s Blog @ttigani


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!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2012 12:08 pm

    Difficult because a children’s book that works well as a read-aloud may not initially hook a reluctant reader. And the age levels for children’s books are all over the place. For children who can’t yet read, I’d want to give Harold and the Purple Crayon. For readers who think they don’t like to read–a Tintin–any Tintin. Those books have it all–text, vocabulary, characters, plot, and pictures. Where? A mall–any big, soulless, non-literate shopping mall, with a stiff drink after the books are gone.

  2. May 4, 2012 6:31 pm

    I would say… hmmm…. haha I love Tintin, I have them all… and all the Astérix’s… and I love Flotsam and Hatchet… I would recommend… gahhhh this is hard… okay… well… how about… for girls, I’d say American Girls or Princess Diaries, but for boys, National Geographic and stuff like that. I recommend Percy Jackson, Kane Chronicles, Harry Potter, also, for a bit older…

    Haha overuse of colon. Apologies!

  3. May 12, 2012 2:35 pm

    1. I LOVED The Snowy Day as a kid. 2. Re: Hatchet, what a great idea!

  4. May 29, 2012 7:23 pm

    I’d give ’em all Treasure Island. I loved this when I was young, I think because first and foremost it’s about a boy who isn’t much supported by his parents, to the extent that the most powerful and influential role model in his life is a one legged pirate bent on acts of vicious perfidy. I also like the way that a lot of the most powerful and formidable characters are disabled or destitute or both. Terrific stuff!

  5. August 27, 2012 11:38 pm

    I recommend “A Boy Named Ray”. It is a story of love, respect and family values. It’s about learning, acceptance, forgiveness, and taking responsibility for our mistakes. It will take us on a wonderful journey filled with exciting adventure and unforgettable characters that will surely become a family favorite.

    One book reviewer says:

    “The novel is written in simple language, easily understandable by children as young as five years old. Parents can read this fun, love-filled adventure to their children, and children aged seven and above may be able to read it themselves.

    On the whole the book is fun, inspiring and it fosters co-operation, love and acceptance. A great choice if you are looking for a bedtime story to read to your kids!”

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  1. We Ask a Book Blogger: What’s Your Favorite Summer Read? « Random Acts of Reading

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