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    Giving Our Children Good Books

    October 28, 2009 by Brandy Vencel

    If you have a child like my E., it is a race to keep up with the book supply. Children like this can read their books over and over, and yet we parents still feel like we don’t have enough books. What to do? Well, I’ve talked to you before about a wonderful resource, Hand That Rocks the Cradle, which suggests 400 different books, and even categorizes them by age-appropriateness.

    I recently came across another resource that is also helping me figure out what to add to our library.

    You see, as I was listening to my CiRCE CDs, I noticed that Karen Kern, in her talk Cultivating the Moral Imagination, mentioned that we read the 1,000 good books so that we can read the 100 great books.

    At first, I thought this was just something that was said. And then I wondered if there was really a list out there somewhere.

    There is a list out there! And today I’m going to share it with you: The 1,000 Good Books List.

    This list is divided by age. It doesn’t contain the wonderful reviews that are in Hand That Rocks the Cradle,but this is still an exceedingly helpful list.

    If you are like me, you’ll look at the list and think that a couple of the books you see aren’t what you’d consider for such a list. That’s the beauty of a 1,000-book list! There is something left, even when you throw out the things that don’t fit your family.

    I used this list to plan my book-buying for Christmas.

    I also watch it and compare it to what the children are interested in. Just the other day, E. asked me, in regard to one of our school readings, “What is a cathedral?” I tried to describe it, but I was delighted to be able to find Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction by David Macaulay. This is eighty pages of details on the cathedrals and how they were built. Amazon’s author information explains that Macaulay was once an architectural student at the Rhode Island School of Design, and that he is known for his detail in explaining the design of the buildings he’s writing about.

    My son is going to eat this up when he receives it for Christmas! Best of all, I can see how this, along with other of Macaulay’s books such as Castle, would help him read some of the truly great books, like The Pilgrim’s ProgressBeowulf, and most especially The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, what with Hugo’s focus on architecture and all.

    I also liked that the 1,000 books list contained some types of books that weren’t in my other resource, like books for holidays, or Bible stories, and so on. This DecemberTerm, we’ll be reading what I think is going to be a new favorite, The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey.

    So enjoy the list! Use it to fill out your PBS wish list, or purchasing gifts for Christmas.

    And by the way, while I have you here…Thank you all so much for shopping Amazon through the sidebar. You have been extra-generous lately, and you, my friends, are buying my children’s books this Christmas.

    Possibly Related Posts:
    All Books Are Not Created Equal
    Technopoly, Poetic Knowledge, and the Disappearance of a Bookstore
    My review of Hand that Rocks the Cradle

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  • Reply Brandy Afterthoughts October 30, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    You know, I was just perusing the “senior” level of this list while I drink my coffee…and I feel there is a lifetime of literature for me on it! I have only read a few of the Good Books out there.

    Also…I saw that Snow Goose was on the list. Even though she is too young, I purchased that (a beautifully illustrated copy) for one of my daughters this year for Christmas. Books are like clothes, right? Sometimes we buy things they can grow into.

  • Reply Rahime October 30, 2009 at 6:08 am

    Great list!! It’ll be fun to peruse it and add to the ever-expanding wishlist.

  • Reply Brandy October 30, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Hahahahahaha … have you SEEN my Amazon wishlist?! It’s already got a TON of books on it … but hey, what’s a few hundred more, right?!

    Seriously, though, THANK YOU for posting that link! I, like you, have a hard time keeping enough good books in our oldest daughter’s hands!

    … and it’s just in time for me to go birthday shopping for her 6th bday next month! *grins*

  • Reply Brandy Afterthoughts October 29, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Sorry about that KM. 🙂

    *evil laugh*

  • Reply Kansas Mom October 29, 2009 at 3:37 am

    Well, the last thing I needed was another list of books.

    But I can’t really get enough of them, so thank you!

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