The phrase children's literature means something different to me than simply children's books. To me literature is the good stuff, the children's books that have stood the test of time.
The key question is, "According to whom?" Well, the people whose opinions I would value on the subject of children's lit would be teachers and librarians.
That's why this list has me so excited
The National Endowment for the Humanities queried top public and private schools from across the nation, at least one in each state.
(That takes care of my teachers and librarians requirement.)
They asked for the extracurricular reading lists provided by each top school to their students....
They took 60 of these children's literature lists and picked out the books that appeared most often....
Then they applied the test of time
They removed from the list any book that had been published since 1960.
Voila! Classic children's literature!
I'm going to intersperse the usual Amazon search boxes here, but I'm also going to put in some gray search boxes from BookCloseouts.com.
Amazon rocks for its huge selection. Book Closeouts rocks for its low prices. They have a lot of back editions of classic children's literature.
Remember, it pays to buy more than one book at a time from either to hold down your average shipping costs!
You're going to enjoy reading through this list. You'll recognize many of the titles and authors, and you'll think, "Yup, this is children's literature."
(Any title that appears as a link will take you to a review of the book on this site.)
I know it's the children's literature list I've been looking for ever since children came into my life.
Children's literature without cell phones!
These children's books - by definition - aren't "current," but I think you'll find many of them timeless. And how nice it'll be to share with your children literature that you yourself read as a child!
Of course, once kids reach a certain age, they're likely not to think their parents' choices in children's literature all that "cool." In fact, some kids will be unlikely to think anything about you is cool.
Here's a children's literature tidbit of advice I got from a friend with teenagers. She'll approach her children with a book and say, "Here's something my parents didn't want me to read when I was your age."
Middle school and junior high. Reading now has some tough competition for your child's attention. Use well-chosen classic children's literature to try to keep reading from disappearing from your child's radar screen!
Classic children's literature - Grades 9 through 12
You know how important reading is to your high schooler's future, but your high schooler probably doesn't. Look for classic children's literature that speaks in particular to your young adult's interests and concerns.
A Death in the Family
Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Sensibility
Go Tell It on the Mountain
Balzac, Honore de
Waiting for Godot
Note that some of these children's literature listings are actually plays.
Now we're talking real classic children's literature.