Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Top 100 Children's Novels

I love to read.  I really do.  Yet when I came across this list compiled by A Fuse #8 Production of the Top 100 Children's Novels, I realized how much work I have yet to do.  (I hate to admit it, but I'm actually a little embarrassed by some of the books on this list that I haven't read yet!)

I've bolded the ones I've read, and placed a * next to my faves.  I'm adding the rest to my TBR pile, which grows longer everyday!   How many of these have you read? 
[*To give credit where credit is due, I picked up this link from Amanda at A Patchwork of Books.  Thanks for the meme!] 

100. The Egypt Game - Snyder (1967)
99. The Indian in the Cupboard - Banks (1980)
98. Children of Green Knowe - Boston (1954)
97. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - DiCamillo (2006)
96. The Witches - Dahl (1983)
95. Pippi Longstocking - Lindgren (1950)
94. Swallows and Amazons - Ransome (1930)
93. Caddie Woodlawn - Brink (1935)
92. Ella Enchanted - Levine (1997)
91. Sideways Stories from Wayside School - Sachar (1978)
90. Sarah, Plain and Tall - MacLachlan (1985)
89. Ramona and Her Father - Cleary (1977)
88. The High King - Alexander (1968)
87. The View from Saturday - Konigsburg (1996)
86. *Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets* - Rowling (1999)
85. On the Banks of Plum Creek - Wilder (1937)
84. The Little White Horse - Goudge (1946)
83. The Thief - Turner (1997)
82. The Book of Three - Alexander (1964)
81. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon - Lin (2009)
80. The Graveyard Book - Gaiman (2008)
79. All-of-a-Kind-Family - Taylor (1951)
78. Johnny Tremain - Forbes (1943)
77. The City of Ember - DuPrau (2003)
76. Out of the Dust - Hesse (1997)
75. Love That Dog - Creech (2001)
74. The Borrowers - Norton (1953)
73. My Side of the Mountain - George (1959)
72. My Father's Dragon - Gannett (1948)
71. The Bad Beginning - Snicket (1999)
70. Betsy-Tacy - Lovelae (1940)
69. The Mysterious Benedict Society - Stewart ( 2007)
68. *Walk Two Moons* - Creech (1994)
67. Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher - Coville (1991)
66. Henry Huggins - Cleary (1950)
65. Ballet Shoes - Stratfeild (1936)
64. A Long Way from Chicago - Peck (1998)
63. Gone-Away Lake - Enright (1957)
62. The Secret of the Old Clock - Keene (1959)
61. Stargirl - Spinelli (2000)
60. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle - Avi (1990)
59. Inkheart - Funke (2003)
58. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase - Aiken (1962)
57. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - Cleary (1981)
56. Number the Stars - Lowry (1989)
55. The Great Gilly Hopkins - Paterson (1978)
54. *The BFG* - Dahl (1982)
53. Wind in the Willows - Grahame (1908)
52. The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007)
51. The Saturdays - Enright (1941)
50. Island of the Blue Dolphins - O'Dell (1960)
49. Frindle - Clements (1996)
48. The Penderwicks - Birdsall (2005)
47. Bud, Not Buddy - Curtis (1999)
46. *Where the Red Fern Grows* - Rawls (1961)
45. The Golden Compass - Pullman (1995)
44. *Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing* - Blume (1972)

43. *Ramona the Pest* - Cleary (1968)
42. Little House on the Prairie - Wilder (1935)
41. The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Speare (1958)
40. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Baum (1900)
39. When You Reach Me - Stead (2009)
38. HP and the Order of the Phoenix - Rowling (2003)
37. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Taylor (1976)
36. Are You there, God? It's Me, Margaret - Blume (1970)
35. HP and the Goblet of Fire - Rowling (2000)
34. The Watson's Go to Birmingham - Curtis (1995)
33. *James and the Giant Peach* - Dahl (1961)
32. *Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH* - O'Brian (1971)
31. Half Magic - Eager (1954)
30. Winnie-the-Pooh - Milne (1926)
29. The Dark Is Rising - Cooper (1973)
28. A Little Princess - Burnett (1905)
27. Alice I and II - Carroll (1865/72)
26. Hatchet - Paulsen (1989)
25. Little Women - Alcott (1868/9)
24. HP and the Deathly Hallows - Rowling (2007)
23. Little House in the Big Woods - Wilder (1932)
22. The Tale of Despereaux - DiCamillo (2003)
21. The Lightening Thief - Riordan (2005)
20. Tuck Everlasting - Babbitt (1975)

19. *Charlie and the Chocolate Factory* - Dahl (1964)
18. Matilda - Dahl (1988)
17. Maniac Magee - Spinelli (1990)
16. *Harriet the Spy* - Fitzhugh (1964)
15. Because of Winn-Dixie - DiCamillo (2000)
14. *HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban* - Rowling (1999)
13. Bridge to Terabithia - Paterson (1977)
12. The Hobbit - Tolkien (1938)
11. The Westing Game - Raskin (1978)

10. *The Phantom Tollbooth* - Juster (1961)
9. Anne of Green Gables - Montgomery (1908)
8. The Secret Garden - Burnett (1911)
7. The Giver -Lowry (1993)
6. Holes - Sachar (1998)
5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - Koningsburg (1967)
4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - Lewis (1950)

3. *Harry Potter #1* - Rowling (1997)
2.* A Wrinkle in Time* - L'Engle (1962)
1. *Charlotte's Web* - White (1952)

Twelve by Twelve Reading Challenge: April

What better way to tackle my new stack of library books - along with the leftover books not read in the read-a-thon - than with another reading challenge? 

Am I crazy?  Nah, I just love to read.

This one is a month by month challenge.  This month's challenge is hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books.  The challenge?  Whatever rules I set for myself.  Pretty cool, huh? 

So for April's challenge, even though I'm somewhat of a late starter and there are only seventeen days left in the month, I will attempt to read through the library books I checked out so I can return them on time without renewing.  I am usually a chronic renewer!  I see all those books and just go crazy.  You should've seen me hefting my stack up the stairs to my place last night!  Can you say book nerd?

If you are curious what books I will be reading, please see my earlier post. (*minus Cracking Creativity because that is considered a non-fiction book and all books must be fiction!)

Join me with your own April reading challenge!

Musings in the Morning: Read-A-Thon Wrap Up & To Be Read Pile

Well, I made it 21 hours in the 24 hour read-a-thon

I read through 1-3/4 books in that time period and finished another book, Pleasing the Ghost by Sharon Creech, the following morning. 

I read a lot less than I thought I would, but for me it wasn't about how many books I could read, or trying to outdo anyone else.  It was about trying something new, spending some time with my daughters doing what I love, and having fun - which I definitely did.  I look forward to October's Read-A-Thon.

If anyone is interested in joining me in October, let me know.  I would love to do this with you!

Went to the library last night with the girls.  Here's what I picked up:
I am going to start with Laini's book first, and go from there.  Have you read any of these books yet?  If so, what did you think?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Read-A-Thon Update: Slap Happy but Still Reading

So we're entering into hour number 19 and I am really starting to show signs of wear.  There are deep, dark circles under my bloodshot eyes and I spent a good portion of the time I'm supposed to be reading, trying to predict how The Master Puppeteer ends.  My exhaustion prevented me from just reading and finding out sooner that way.  Instead I entered into a delirium with my 12-year old and we erupted into slap happy laughter over nothing.  I eventually recollected myself and FINALLY finished the book!  Woo Hoo!  Almost 2 books down.  Really.  What was I thinking? 15 books?  Never try to attempt to read that many books in a 24-hour period on 3 hours of sleep.  Never. 

First of all, the brain does not function correctly or with any amount of speed whatsoever; and as much as you try, it can't seem to make the connection from the words on the page to the part of the brain that comprehends those words.  I have read many sentences over.  Numerous times.  Unfortunately, that means lots of time spent "reading" equals itty bitty number of pages read.  Ah well.  I read on with happiness.

Since I last updated, Randi finished another book, Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary.  I'm sure she's read it before, but it's been a while.  As she giggled throughout the book, I remembered how much fun it is to read about Ramona.  So, that's 2 books down for Randi.  I'm pretty sure that's it for her tonight.  She's so tired that she's not feeling so great.  She wants to read more, but it's just not happening.  She's off to bed!

Sydney is back to reading again after a lengthy break.  She is reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney. As much as I love to see her reading, it is late and I will be prompting her to bed soon. 

It's been so awesome reading with my girls today.  That has been the best part of this challenge - our time spent together.

Randi and Sydney on the last leg of their reading tour

Mini Challenge:
Hosted by Literarily Speaking
This was a fun one because it asks readers to ponder the first book they ever loved.  For me, that was the Little Golden book entitled The Monster at The End of This Book starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover.  Not only was Sesame Street the show I watched on a daily basis transfixed to the television set, but Grover was my favorite character.  He was bumbly, furry, blue and silly.  I loved his antics and finding him at the end of the book instead of the scary, ferocious monster he prepared readers for....well, it made me want to hug him at the last turn of the page.  I still do.

Number of books read since started: almost 2 
Pages read since last update: 79 pgs
Running total of pages since started: 253 pgs 
Amount of time spent reading since last update: 3 hour 5 minutes
Running total of time spent reading since started: 8 hours 35 minutes
Mini-challenges completed: 7
Other participants visited: none at this time
Prize you've won: none
What I've eaten/drank: Dinner at Islands...2 Baja tacos and an iced tea. 
What I've been doing when not reading:
  • having a nice dinner with my family
  • laughing hysterically
  • trying to read but not computing
  • helping Sydney rinse her hair


Read-A-Thon Update: Halfway Point

Mid-Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now? The Master Puppeteer by Katherine Paterson (which I am throughly enjoying!)

2. How many books have you read so far?  2, not all the way through either yet 

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Pleasing the Ghost by Sharon Creech

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Not really.  It's a nice Saturday for reading! 

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?  The only interruptions I've had are those from my kids which aren't bothersome at all to me.  In fact, I need interruptions to give me some breaks from reading. 

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? First, how little I've read.  I thought I would be much farther along by now.  I'm normally a fast reader but am moving at a snail's pace today.  I am also surprised how involved some of the mini challenges are.  I think if I spent less time on some of them, I could be reading more.  They are so great though and hard to pass up!  I've had to pass up a few that I would've really liked to do.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?  For those relatively new to blogging, as I am, it is rather cumbersome to orchestrate the posts, the links, visit different readers and post and link successfully in time for the deadlines.  I think if there was some sort of "pre read-a-thon" (with some instruction on how to handle some of the bloggy stuff), to prepare those who need it, it might make the process go smoother for us newbies!  :)  I also feel that some of the challenges are great, but shouldn't be a  part of the read-a-thon, but rather outside posts for daily interest, because they are rather involved and take up a lot of precious reading time.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? I would get a full night's sleep the night before!  I would set up templates days before the Read-a-thon so I could spend less time typing and more time reading.

9. Are you getting tired yet?  Oh yes!  But I can't tell if it's from reading, or not getting enough sleep the previous night!

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?  Pick a physical reading buddy, whether it be your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, a neighbor, whatever.  It really makes it fun to have someone who is reading alongside you. 

Read-A-Thon Update: Hour 11 & 12

I am so confused on the hours now.  Time seems to be moving so fast!

What's new:
  • Sydney finally joined us!  She slept so much she still feels tired!  She managed, however, to complete The Little Prince and read with me for a bit from The Witches of Worm.
  • Randi completed Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
  • I entered another mini challenge with Nomad Reader.  This was a fun one!  It required going to Google Maps and placing a pin on the map where our current book's setting happens to take place.  The Master Puppeteer takes place in Feudal Osaka, Japan (12c. 19c.)  I didn't notice any other pins in that area on the map.
  • I also entered a Mini Challenge for Reading is Fundamental.  Although I missed the deadline, I thought this one was worthy whether I'm up for a prize or not.  I chose to spend some time reading with my 9-year old daughter.  I always love the chance to spend time reading together.  So this was a no-brainer.  We are reading The Witches of Worm.  It is a rather frightening, eerie tale, but we enjoy it nonetheless!  Reading with our kids is important!
Number of books read since started: still only partial of 2 books!  I will finish one soon.
Pages read since last update: 41 pgs
Running total of pages since started: 174 pgs
Amount of time spent reading since last update: 1 hour 15 minutes
Running total of time spent reading since started: 5 hours 30 minutes
Mini-challenges completed:  6
Other participants visited:  Reading with Tequila (A blog title after my own heart)
Prize you've won: Zip.  Zilcha.  Nada.  I'm loving the read-a-thon regardless!
What I've eaten/drank: Clementines and some water.
What I've been doing when not reading:
  • talking to my girls
  • showing Sydney my blog and how to become my follower
  • talking about Witches of Worm with Sydney 
  • seeing off Randy and Randi as they go off on a fabric/design hunt for Randi's puppet costume

Read-A-Thon Update: Hour 9

I can't believe I am on Hour 9.  I haven't finished one book yet!  I picked out 15.  Hmmmm....wonder how close I'll get to finishing all 15!  HA! 

I feel like I'm reading slower than normal today because I made the mistake of only getting about 3 hours sleep.  When husband works graveyards, I don't sleep well.  Which is strange for me, because throughout my family I am known as a "coma sleeper."

I'm a little tired.
Just a wee bit. 
Hard. To. Read. FAST!!! 

It's one of those times when you can read an entire paragraph, or page, or chapter, and have no recollection of what you just read because your mind is muddied with other thoughts or lazy daydreams.  Randi knows what I mean.  We chatted about it as we read together, legs sprawled out on the couch.

Randi woke up about 11-ish and began reading beside me. 
Here's what she's working on:
New Moon & Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.
As of this update she is also feeling extremely tired, but is doing the best she can.  As of this update, she hasn't finished either book.  According to Randi, she is almost finished with New Moon but can't seem to get past a rather slow-moving part at this time.

Sydney just woke up!  Boy what tired kids!  We went to bed WAY too late.  She is on her computer right now probably watching silly youtube videos and trying to wake up before she cracks open her first book.  I wonder which one it'll be...

My update:
Still working on Wicked and The Master Puppeteer

I am thoroughly enjoying The Master Puppeteer.  This book was recommended to me by my daughter, who just read it for her 7th Grade Language Arts class and liked it enough to pass it on.  She has helped me understand the class system of feudal Japan (12c. - 19c.) to better understand the setting for this book.  What a smart girl!  I am continually in awe of her brilliance!

Wicked isn't at all what I thought it would be but I love the character of Elphaba, more popularly known as The Wicked Witch of the West.  Can't wait to see how the story unfolds further.  With that, I better get back to my reading.

Title of books read since last update: Wicked by Gregory Maguire and The Master Puppeteer by Katherine Paterson

Number of books read since started: parts of 2
Pages read since last update: 45 pgs
Running total of pages since started: 133 pgs
Amount of time spent reading since last update: 1 hour 20 minutes
Running total of time spent reading since started: 4 hours 15 minutes
Mini-challenges completed: 4
Other participants visited: none since last update
Prize you've won: 0
What I've eaten/drank: 2 cups of coffee! 1/2 turkey,salami and cheese whole wheat sandwich with some pretzels 
What I've been doing when not reading:
  • Talking to Randi
  • watching, with fascination, my husband sew as he works on a costume for a puppet my daughter is making for a school project
  • fixing food to eat for Randi and me 
  • eating and drinking coffee
  • updating blog (this seems to take most of my time)
  • posting Read-A-Thon on Facebook status
  • relaxing in my bed chatting with Randi between sentences read

Read-A-Thon Hour 5: Mini Challenge and Update

At Linus's Blanket, we are asked to find mention of food in the books we are reading.

Here are my finds:

In Wicked, Fiyero comes across Elphaba's abode for the first time where food is not a particularly palatable, nor abundant, commodity. 
"She unrolled some dried sausage and some graying bread, and found a couple of oranges and a lemon and put them uncermoniously on the table...'Eat this stuff,' she said at last. 'I'm not hungry. You eat it, go on.'"

In The Master Puppeteer, hunger is Jiro's only motivation. 
"Them Mochida brought in a pot of steaming rice.  He was followed by a boy carrying a covered earthenware cooker from which the smell of fish and vegetables escaped and snaked seductively through the room.

After Jiro jumps in to feass despite his father's disapproval, he feels ashamed for letting his hunger dictate his actions causing shame to his father. 
"Yes, by all rights, Jiro should have choked or at least the food should have turned to dust in his mouth.  Instead, it tasted like a heavenly feast.  He ate rapidly with his head bowed over his bowl so as not to meet his father's gaze, and as soon as it was empty, he allowed Yoshida to fill it again and again."

Daughter #1 just woke up.  Her first uttered words were, "Are you reading?"  Of course when she finally awakes here I am pounding away on my laptop!   Daughter #2 has yet to wake up...it's 11:00 A.M. here in the PT.  I suppose I should wake her up!

Title of books read since last update:  Wicked by Gregory Maguire and The Master Puppeteer by Katherine Paterson
Number of books read since started: parts of 2
Pages read since last update: 42 pgs
Running total of pages since started: 88 pgs
Amount of time spent reading since last update: 1 hour 10 minutes
Running total of time spent reading since started: 2 hours 55 minutes
Mini-challenges completed: 4
Other participants visited: Blair @ In the Turtle Shell
Kate @ I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read
Sheila @ One Person's Journey Through A World of Books
Rachel @ And The Plot Thickens...
Prize you've won: 0
What I've eaten/drank: Bowl of cheerios and milk.  Water.  No coffee yet!  Imagine that!

Back to reading alongside Randi!

Mini Challenge

From Bart's Bookshelf comes this great Mini Challenge which I had to try. 
It requires readers to make a sentence using only book titles.  I could've spent gobs of time on this, but I chose to do it lickety-split so I can get back to reading!  I will provide an update of my reading next time around.

It's short and sweet, but here's what I came up with:
Dear Diary, please understand me.

Read-A-Thon Hours 1 -3

I got a bit of a late start, beginning 45 minutes into the read-a-thon, so I'm posting a tad later than I wanted, but it's all good.

Mini Challenge Hour 1

Where are you reading from today? I'm reading from my home in Brea, CA.  I am reading on my couch, but will likely move around during the day to keep from getting bored.  I will eventually take my reading outside.

3 Facts About Me:
1.  I have a unique middle name that I love.  I am convinced I am the only one in the world named Beline. 
2.  At one time I owned 13 cats. 
3.  I have never won a trophy in my entire life! 

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hrs?  Fifteen (15).  I am certain I won't get through them all, but I will give it my best shot.

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?  My only goal is to have fun and to try to get through as many books as I can.  I do plan on finishing the two books I started before this read-a-thon began: Wicked and The Master Puppeteer.

If you're a vetaran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time?  I'm a first timer.  I look forward to reading other comments on this.

Mini Challenge Hour 2
Hosted by Miss Remmer's Review
The Kickoff Of Champions

In this challenge, we are to discuss what we are surrounding ourselves with as we begin diving into our reading.  I have everything I need in my small abode: my couch, my stack of books, my bed, snacks, and my girls, (who aren't awake yet and I don't have the heart to wake them up so early on a Saturday morning.)  I begin my reading on my cozy couch with a notepad by my side so I can keep running totals of my time, pages, etc.

Reading Update (since Read-a-thon began):

Titile of Books Read: Wicked by Gregory Maguire
Number of Books Since Started:  part of 1
Pages Read: 46
Amount of Time Spent Reading: 1 hour 45 minutes
Mini Challenges Completed: 2
Other Participants Visited: Amanda at A Patchwork of Books
Prize You've Won: none yet!

Off to read some more! 


24 Hour Read-A-Thon!

What better way to come back to blogging -after almost a whole year hiatus- than with a 24 hour read-a-thon. Yeah, I couldn't think of anything better either!

Better still? I am not doing it alone. I have two eager participants (my daughters) to read with! This is my first time joining the twice-a-year event and I am really excited. I remember reading about it last year in April and thinking, next time I will join. October came too fast and my procrastination reared...next time, next time. Now it's April again and as springtime often entices, I feel renewed and ready! We are a merry reading group of three! *cough book nerds we are cough*

The details:
We start reading April 10, 2010 at 5 A.M. PT and read as much as we can for 24 hours. I know for sure my girls will not be staying up to read the whole 24 hours because they need their sleep! I highly doubt I will stay up the whole 24 hours either because, as anyone who knows me can testify, it isn't pretty if I haven't slept! But I'm going to give it my best shot. Here are the books we picked out:

Sydney's Stack
A Fairy Called Hilary by Linda Leopold Strauss
Boy by Roald Dahl
Socks by Beverly Cleary
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Keattey Snyder
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More by Roald Dahl
A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Randi's Stack
Peter Pan by J.M Barrie
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
Ice Fire by Chris D'Lacey
Eleven by Lauren Myracle
A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney
Ramona The Brave by Beverly Cleary
Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
Ramona and Her Mother by Beverly Cleary
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary
Pixie Tricks (The Whole Series) by Tracey West

My Stack
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl
The Master Puppeteer by Katherine Paterson
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
Pleasing the Ghost by Sharon Creech
The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech
The Report Card by Andrew Clements
Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Nelson Bolles

I know these lists are long, but I wanted to make sure that we each had variety to choose from so we wouldn't get bored. I don't plan on making it through my entire list, but I'd rather have an overabundance to choose from than not enough. Most of my choices are YA titles and I have one nonfiction self-help book for good measure. It's a book I've been wanting to read for a long time so we'll see how much I get through.
For my first read-a-thon I plan on making this as fun as possible which, to me, means flexibility. Here are my parameters, or lack thereof:

I will not force myself to read if I get tired. I will take breaks which include showers, meals, walks, trips to the library (to check out books for my daughter's upcoming historical figure report), naps, Facebook, etc. I will allow myself to flit from book to book if I become bored with one or another. I give myself permission to stop reading a book altogether if I cannot seem to get through. These parameters go for my girls too, as the whole purpose of this is to have fun and see how far we can make it!!

I plan on updating every chance I can during the next 24 hours to inform you of my progress. I can't wait to get started!