Children’s Literature Reading List …


Every fall I teach a class at Hogwarts Chatham University’s MFA program. It’s a great opportunity to spend time with young writers and talk about children’s literature! This year, I’m shaking up my standard reading list, and I thought I’d share it for those who want to play at home:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Peter & Wendy by JM Barrie

Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson

The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

Charlotte’s Web by EB White

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls (movie) dir. JA Bayona

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

The Secrets of Story by Matt Bird

A lot of thought goes into the selection of a reading list. Even the best books can get stale over time, and it’s important to strike a balance between books that teach well (Peter Pan, Charlotte’s Web) and books that excite me (A Monster Calls, Crenshaw). This year, I decided to multitask and include a number of books that tie into my own current work in progress … which is to say that there are CLUES about my next novel buried in this list!

4 Comments Leave a Comment

  • McKenzie, Nathanael, & Savannah H says:

    Mom over here with two kids (8 and almost 10) who a) are looking forward to reading the books on your list that we haven’t read yet, and b) hoping the Peter & Wendy listing is a clue I pointing to another book with at least Peter a Nimble in it. We finished Sophie Quire yesterday and we all loved it. We’re moving on to The Night Gardener today. Thanks for your wonderful contributions to children’s literature.

  • John Strong says:

    Love the list!

  • Brenda Burke Johnson says:

    As a retired educator from high school (taught middle also) and an adjunct at two universities, it is refreshing to read your list! This summer when my granddaughter entered one of Barnes and Noble summer reading programs, she chose her free book-one of yours-when I asked why this author? Her answer was sweet but refreshing-I like the books and he is Grandpa Burke’s relative- well/she is right!!! Good books! Keep writing and thank you for reaching kids and I suspect adults! You certainly have a way with words and such an imagination-since retirement I have edited books for an author and also I review for Amazon! You are quite talented!!! Thankful for writers such as you!!! Check out Craig Etchison young adult books-Aunt Brenda is in one-and my students loved The World Weaver!!!

  • Gotta love nepotism! Hope your granddaughter enjoyed the book!

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