Friday, May 19, 2000
The results are in: favorite children's books of the millennium
An interesting thing happened when Carlisle library users, children and adults alike, were invited to select their favorite children's book of the millennium! During National Library week, visitors to the Gleason Public Library and the Carlisle School Library filled in surveys to vote for what would surely be a clearcut favorite. While the results were somewhat predictable there were some surprises in store.
In the midst of the current Harry Potter craze it was not unpredictable to find the three books in J. K. Rowling's successful series among the top vote getters. What was interesting and pleasing to note is that there were nearly as many different selections as there were votes. Comments written on the ballots and a review of the submissions indicated a wide range of tastes among Carlisle's readers.
Harry Potter was described as mysterious, awesome and cool. One thoughtful reader simply stated about J.K. Rowling, "I just like her writing!" Other fans of the fantasy genre were drawn to Brian Jacques Redwall books, Tolkien's Hobbit trilogy and C.S. Lewis' Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. Newer fantasy titles included Patricia Wrede's Dealing with Dragons and The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman.
Classic books favored by many included The Tales of Peter Rabbit and Dr. Suess' Green Eggs and Ham. Also mentioned were Robert McCloskey titles Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal. Not to be forgotten were Charlotte's Web, Harriet the Spy, and The Cricket in Times Square. Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth made one reader's "imagination run wild!" Island of the Blue Dolphins inspired one reader to know that "girls could succeed."
More recent children's books that were very popular included The Trolls by Polly Horvath, Avi's Poppy and Rye, Holes by Louis Sachar and the Amber Brown books by Paula Danziger.
The equestrians in Carlisle's reading circles enjoyed Black Beauty and The Black Stallion. Marguerite Henry's Newbery Award winning Stormy, Misty's Foal is still remembered. A newer series of horse stories in The Saddle Club series by Bonnie Bryant was also mentioned.
Favorite authors among our voters included Gary Paulsen, Roald Dahl, Bruce Coville, Beverly Cleary, Patricia Polacco and Sharon Creech. Carolyn Keene's Nancy Drew mysteries can still be relied on for "great suspense." New writer Lemony Snicket is capturing imaginations with the "awesome book" The Bad Beginning.
With summer vacation just around the corner it can't be too soon to start planning just which books and authors might become your favorites too!
Sandra Kelly is the Carlisle School library media specialist.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito