Friday, November 18, 2011

Tuck Everlasting

Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt was one of my favorite middle-grade novels when I was growing up.

It has magic, romance, danger and a little philosophy. Although, what I really liked at the time was the little romance.

Winnie Foster is a ten year-old girl who is sheltered and mostly left alone. She meets the Tuck family, who drank from a magic spring and will now live forever.

A stranger shows up wanting to find the magic spring and market it for his own gain. And the Tuck's are in danger.

In the end, Winnie must decide if she will drink from the spring and live forever. Or will she choose to live a regular, finite life?

What would it mean to live forever? Babbitt subtly asks, "Is this a gift or a curse?"

The reader is the one who must decide.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top 50 Book Project

In August, Hans, one of the co-owners of Micawber's began a project to gather a list of the Top 50 Books that independent booksellers love to hand-sell or just love in general.

It all began when a customer asked Hans to tell her 10 of his Top 100 books. Unknown to the customer, this simple question has led to something much larger. Hans has now collected over 50 lists from booksellers around the country.

The vast majority of books listed are adult titles, but there are some children's books included in the Top 50 lists. To see the complete lists, visit Han's Micawber's Blog.

Here's a sample of some of the children's Top 50 book titles:

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Good Night, Good Night Construction Site by Tom Lichtenheld

Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Time for Bed by Mem Fox
We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

What are some of your favorite children's books of all time?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Book of Three - High Fantasy Classic

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander is one of my favorite fantasy novels for middle grade readers. It's the first book in the Prydain Chronicles series which consists of:

The Book of Three
The Black Cauldron
The Castle of Llyr
Taran Wanderer
The High King

This series is what I call High Fantasy. Think Lord of the Rings for younger kids. High Fantasy includes good vs. evil, hero quests, a medieval- like setting, and classic characters like witches, wizards, dragons and elves. There are no vampires or werewolves here.

Tarran, our young hero, goes from Assistant Pig Farmer to High King. Kids can relate to Taran's struggles and trials along the way, even if their own challenges take a very different form.

The Book of Three, and the entire Prydain Chronicles series, is especially good for boys, girls, and adults, who are smart and love classic, good vs. evil stories.

Plus, there's a giant cat. Who wouldn't want to ride around on a giant cat?