I’ve got a million topics that have been screaming to be blogged. It’s been weeks since Bird finished the Top 100 Children’s Novels run-down. I convinced myself the  time was past for blogging anything about it (especially when these other things are wanting their time).

And then I made the mistake of looking over her “Everything Else” list, the one’s that didn’t make it. And I just couldn’t resist.

Before moving on there, though, let me say that I love the Top 100 list. I could spend hours and pages telling you why I love its books. And why I would put them in different orders.  🙂 But suffice it to say I have very few disagreements with any book on the list (except Holes; I’ve never understood why anyone, kid or adult alike, thought Holes was so fabulous).

But the “also-ran’s” tug at my heart–and remind me of some of my all time favorites that didn’t make any of the lists. So here they are!

Voyage of the Dawn Treader by Lewis: This is the Narnia book that my boys loved. We even had a stuffed animal mouse, big and fuzzy with red ears and tail, that was named Reepicheep.

Homer Price by McCloskey: I loved all the fixes Homer got into but especially the doughnut machine.

Rascal by North: Everyone should read Rascal. There weren’t many books that made me want to live in another place and time, but Rascal was one of them. I thought it was a perfect life.

Soup by Peck: Got a boy that doesn’t like to read? Soup made readers out of both of mine.

Clementine by Pennypacker: One of the best kids’ books I’ve read in years! I love Clementine–and her parents. Funny, touching, and so spot on from a child’s view of the world.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Park: Fun and funny–and it gets the Christmas story right with no one even noticing (at least not at first ;-)). Forget the movie though; it’s horrid.

Secret of Hidden Creek by St. John: This one’s not on the also-ran list but it’s a companion to the Ghost Next Door which was. Another all time favorite of 10 year old self, probably the first mystery that really grabbed me and made me want to have a similar adventure. And they were so much more realistic than Nancy Drew. These stories had the delicious feeling of  “this  could really happen.” And I couldn’t figure it out–and the ending was so cool! I was terribly disappointed as an adult to discover that no one else knew of  these wonderful books by St. John.

The Cricket in Times Square by Selden: Another one that I am truly heartbroken to see did not make the list. This book taught me (and later my own boys) what it means to be a friend, again with no preachiness. It’s up there with Charlotte’s Web in my estimation.

Encyclopedia Brown by Sobol: I read everyone, multiple times, and had a blast! Glad to see they are being reprinted for a new set of kids!

Treasure Island by Stevenson: Must be read aloud but if it is, kids love it!

Farmer Boy by Wilder: My boys loved the first two Little House books but then that was enough–except for Farmer Boy! This really is our favorite of the series. I love the ending; it’s just right.

Now a few more of my favorites that didn’t make any list. 😦

The Hundred Dresses by Estes: I’m appalled this book did not make it. Again, it catches life as a child so well. Not a bit preachy but one that stayed with me forever. I still remember the ending in my gut.

The Witch Family by Estes: I was entranced and enamored and enraptured by this book. I can still see the pencil drawings in my head. I didn’t own a copy but I alone probably wore out a library’s copy. Also The Moffats, Rufus M. (my boys loved both), and Ginger Pye. Well, maybe everything by Estes. I’m so grateful that her books are being reprinted. They are just about kids and their life as kids, nothing more and nothing less. Just what a child wants to read about.

Gentle Ben by Morey: This was a “read and re-read” favorite of mine. I can still “feel” this book when I think about it.

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Latham: I stumbled on this one for my oldest son and wondered how I had missed it as a child. It captured the imagination of both my boys around age 9-10–as a read-aloud. Not an easy book but well worth the time and effort especially for boys.

Dolley Madison by Nolan: I loved this book so much that I tracked down an old copy to read to my boys. I wanted to be Dolley Madison after reading this book (still would in the broadest sense). Her story single-handedly cinched my love of history as people’s stories, (rather than events). Anyone looking for strong heroines needs to find this book (yeah, this particular one :-)).

Whew! That’s long! Thanks for indulging me!

Do you have faves that didn’t make a list?

Babette

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