Over at the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof writes about The Best Kids' Books Ever.
There's a bit of a logical fallacy with a twist of semi-research involved is wanting to write about kids books: I was aghast to learn that American children drop in I.Q. each summer vacation — because they aren’t in school or exercising their brains.
Considering all of us who have been blogging and writing about the assigned summer reading, Kristof's "we need summer reading lists" makes some of us sigh. He may not state it explicitly, but he's really talking about how kids who don't read on their own over the summer can be encouraged to read. Which, frankly, involves more than a "best kids' books" list.
Kristof then makes the leap to "these are the books I/my kids loved, so they are great for everyone!" Conversation at his blog then turns to "my favorite books."
And you know what?
That's cool. I don't agree that the books Kristof and his kids think are "the best" are going to be "the best" for everyone; and reluctant readers need more than an assigned reading list to discover the joys of reading. But this is his personal favorite list -- and you know what? That's cool.
Everyone has their own favorites; and Kristof isn't the first to think his personal favorites are universal. Parents do it all the time -- and so do librarians, teachers, and other readers. Actually, everytime a librarian tells me they only booktalk books they love, I back away a bit, because they are doing what Kristof is doing -- only recommending personal favorites. At this blog I do review books that may not be my personal favorites but that I know, upon reading, will be favorites for others.
On a side note, he recommends On to Oregon! (aka Seven Alone). Tea Cozy readers know how that really ended; I wonder if Kristof does?
© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy