Friday, May 19, 2006

A prescription for books

Earlier today, I was reading with Fiona and it suddenly struck me just how excited I am to read her some of my favorite books. I've thought that time and again since before she was born, but today, I couldn't stop thinking about great it will be to share Meg and Charles Wallace with Fiona. I just don't think she can be a fully moral human being until she has read those books. And I got to thinking about all the other wonderful stories that have taken up residence in my heart and mind and created me, and I just can't wait to read them with her--if only so that she can look back as an adult and say: "Ah. Watership Down at age 5. That explains everything." So here is a short list of some of the books I'd like to share with my child over the next ten years of her life. Please post any books that you think are great books for kids, and maybe a suggested age for exposure.

A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, & A Swiftly Tilting Planet, L'Engle. Maybe when she's 7 or 8. What a wonderful portrait of doing right and facing down evil, no matter how much we might want to turn away.

Anne of Green Gables, Montgomery. 6-ish. Anne is just plain funny; I re-read her about once every three years. And she lives in such a wonderful, wonderful world that I wish I could move in!

Watership Down, Adams. 5-7. Because even rabbits can be heroes.

Charlotte's Web, White. 4-5. Eloquence is important. So is kindness.

Bunnicula, Howe. By the end of the year. If it had a few more pictures, I would have checked it out the other day. Under all the humor, wonderful messages of tolerance.

The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings: it's hard to know when she'll be ready, but it's the most important adventure in print!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: 6? Some of the language is heavy, but the story kicks @!! The messages about friendship and love are important, too.

Alanna, Pierce. 8. My first introduction to chicks-can-kick-butt fantasy action, and I can't wait for Fi to check it out.

I can't wait to see what you guys will add to the list, but it'll be good. And just so you have a little bit of a grasp on Fiona's reading level/interests (no, she can't read yet, but she holds still very well), is that we struggled through James & The Giant Peach a couple of weeks ago. It took us about 6 days, and she kept trying to turn the pages to see the next picture, but it worked great in the car. She really liked it and followed the story well.

I am really looking for some suggestions of books on that level or a bit easier so we can start diving into meaty reading!

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