Thursday, October 21, 2010

Book Crush by Nancy Pearl

Jennifer took some time on Wednesday to talk about her daughter's voracious new reading habit and the need for a comprehensive list of go to books for children.

I have to agree with her. Coming from the same family and growing up with the same inexplicable hunger for the written word it was only inevitable that our children should inherit the family's genetic propensity towards cozy afternoons in far off worlds.

That being said, it's nearly impossible to keep up with. If I had thought, as a child, that it would be advantageous of me to keep a list of the books I read, perhaps it would be easier for me now. Then again, perhaps not.

Book Crush: For Kids and Teens - Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment and InterestMy daughter has no interest in reading Black Beauty or Black Stallion even though these were my fall back books when I needed something to read. The reality is, my daughter has only read one book I read as a child--The Case of the Vanishing Boy by Alexander Key--everything else she just seems to snub out of pure stubborn spite. (No resentment on my part... I swear).

So what does a parent do!?

Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and ReasonI can't keep up with her reading (she can read multiple books at once... I can't, she has untold hours of free time... I don't, she has elders who encourage her behavior... I wish).

That's when I happened across the best book I've seen in a century (okay, maybe I haven't been alive that long, but that's beside the point).

Book Crush by Nancy Pearl is the child version of her hot selling Book Lust and compiles the world of books for kids into a fantastic gem of parental go-to.
"'s a great idea for families to set aside half an hour after dinner, to all sit down together and read. This can be a time when each person reads his or her own book, or it can be a time to read aloud a book the whole family might enjoy, such as John D. Fitzgerald's The Great Brain, Farley Mowat's The Dog Who Wouldn't Be, J.R.R Tolkien's The Hobbit, or M.T. Anderson's Whales on Stilts, to name just a few. This shouldn't be a time set aside only for the children in the family; it's vital that everyone have this time every day to lose themselves in a good book."
Each book Ms. Pearl mentions is bolded and easy to see in each of the 304 pages.

That's right, three hundred and four pages packed with book titles and authors. Who can go wrong with a book like this!? Even adults would do well to pick this book up.
   Biographies for teen readers serve a couple of functions besides being useful homework assignments. The first is that the best biographies broaden and deepen a reader's awareness of the complexities of well-known people. The second is that biographies are a good way to help less-than-enthusiastic readers discover the joy of books through reading about someone they admire or are curious about. Here are some excellent choices:
   In the well-documented and clearly written The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler, James Cross Giblin offers an in-depth (but not too long: only 246 pages) biography of one of the most powerful leaders of the nineteenth century.
   When she graduated from high school, Valérie Zenatti, like all Israelis, male and female, spent two years in her country's army, from 1988-1990. As she makes clear in When I Was a Soldier, she discovers, as other have before her, that "the army changes everything."
 So head on over to Amazon, or out to your local library and see what jewels you can find in Nancy Pearl's wonderful compilations.


Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Black Stallion by Walter Farley
The Case of the Vanishing Boy by Alexander Key
Book Crush by Nancy Pearl
The Dog Who Wouldn't Be by Farley Mowat
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Whales On Stilts by M.T. Anderson
The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler by James Cross Giblin
When I Was a Soldier by Valérie Zenatti

1 comment:

Susan said...

I have the same "problem" with my 8-year-old daughter. She reads CONSTANTLY and I can't always keep up with her. Sometimes she likes books I loved as a kid (she adores ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, Nancy Drew, Ramona, etc. , a lot of times she doesn't (she won't touch BLACK STALLION, BLACK BEAUTY or LITTLE WOMEN). I love Nancy Pearl, so I need to read this book ASAP. I'm pretty sure I have it here somewhere ...


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