Sunday, November 04, 2007

striving toward literacy

So I have this friend named Emily. About a month ago I was amazed to discover that when she was in grade school, she read every single Newberry Award-winning book up until that time. What's more amazing is that when I asked her what the best Newberry book was, she said it was hard to decide, but that she would think it over and rank them all from best to worst. She calls herself a book-geek. I've wasted lots of free-time devoting myself to other things, but my geek cred isn't nearly as... intelligent as hers. Anyway, you'll probably learn a lot more about her on her blog (if she has one).

Point is, just a couple of days ago she sent me an email saying that she's still working on the list, but that she's narrowed down her favorites from individual decades. Here's the list:

1994 Medal Winner: The Giver by Lois Lowry (Houghton)
1984 Medal Winner: Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary (Morrow)
1972 Medal Winner: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien (Atheneum)
1968 Medal Winner: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg (Atheneum)
1955 Medal Winner: The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong (Harper)
1949 Medal Winner: King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry (Rand McNally)
1936 Medal Winner: Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink (Macmillan)
1927 Medal Winner: Smoky, the Cowhorse by Will James (Scribner)

And you know she's an absolute book-geek when she makes sure to supply the publishing companies too.

I've read Frisby, Mixed-Up Files and parts of Henshaw (which I found pretty absorbing even though I recall someone in elementary school saying it was lame). I liked the NIMH movie more than the book (I'm a movie-geek -- I've got my loyalties) and all I really remember about the Mixed-Up Files is something about bologna and that the kids bathed in a public fountain.

I've heard of The Giver, but I haven't heard of any of the others. Has anyone else? What should I read once I get through Twilight (and its sequels), Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, Interview With the Vampire, Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Dracula, Frankenstein, Empire, Shadow Puppets, Black Sunday, Neverwhere, Seventh Son, and Wise Blood? Who am I kidding? I'll probably just read Twilight.


Blogger laura said...

You should read The Giver. I have it if you want to borrow.

November 05, 2007 1:54 PM  
Blogger J.R. said...

I don't think she meant The Giver, she means The Gyver a brilliant sci-fi film with Mark Hamil.

November 05, 2007 1:55 PM  
Blogger charlotta-love said...

Twilight is good. It kept me occupied for a good week. Now onto New Moon.

November 06, 2007 1:09 PM  
Blogger Rhett said...

Of the Ayn Rand novels, read Atlas Shrugged over Fountain Head.. unless you like architecture.

November 08, 2007 5:45 PM  

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