Speaking of old books...

I was trying to think of the books on our grade school librarian Miss Prince's "Book Club" list. (If you read a certain number of them, then took a quick test, you could become a library helper and work in the library--I spent more time there than in class.) I figure any one of them has got to be better than the current books.

There were about 40 books on the list, and I can barely remember any of them:

Red Badge of Courage
Little House books must have been there
Wizard of Oz was probably there

I'd guess: Cricket in Times Square. The Borrowers. Stuart Little. Some Beverly Cleary like Harriet the Spy or Romona the Pest. Johnny Tremaine. Call of the Wild (maybe). I think "The Trouble With Jenny's Ear" was on there--it's one of the few books I remember reading as a kid. Encyclopedia Brown. Homer Price. The Great Brain.

Bro, can you remember any of them?

Steve Says: Let's see if I can add to your list... some of these I'm not sure about.

Amos Fortune, Free Man
Banner in the Sky
Big Red
Black Stallion
Call of the Wild
Cay, The
Charlotte's Web
Chronicles of Narnia
Cricket in Times Square
Doctor Dolittle
Encyclopedia Brown
Endless Steppe
Flight of the White Wolf (out of print!)
Follow My Leader (Garfield)
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler
Great Brain
Harriet the Spy
Henry Huggins
Homer Price
Island of the Blue Dolphins
Johnny Tremaine
Lemonade Trick
Little House on the Prairie
Little Women
Misty of Chincoteague
Mr. Popper's Penguins
My Side of the Mountain
Old Yeller
Phantom Tollbooth
Pushcart War
Rabbit Hill
Red Badge of Courage
Rifles for Watie
Romona the Pest
Stuart Little
Summer of the Swans
Thimble Summer (?)
Thursday's Child (streatfeild author?)
Time Cat
Trouble With Jenny's Ear
Twenty-One Balloons
Wizard of Oz
Wrinkle in Time
Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze (??)

I remember a story of some kids trapped in the mountains in winter, but I don't remember the name.

Ann says: That's funny, I remember the same book, and also can't remember the name. Of those, so far, E has read: Charlotte's Web, Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Cricket in Times Square, Mixed up Files, Half Magic, Harriet the Spy, Island of Blue Dolphins, My Side of the Mountain, Phantom Tollbooth (twice, I think), Trouble with Jenny's Ear, and Wrinkle in Time (one and half times).

I just ordered 21 Balloons from Amazon as well as the first Three Inspectors books. We have the Pushcart War, I think. And S's read most of Mr Popper's Penguins, of course.

Steve: Wow, my niece has read a lot! Thinking about this topic a bit, I now remember something about children's books and how they have changed. Somewhere in the 70's I recall children's books became more serious. Whereas before they were most often thrilling adventures, they later became more concerned with ``teen problems.'' It's difficult to explain... perhaps this famous book gives the best idea of what I mean.

Ann says: She also tried to read The Secret Garden, but it was too hard for her when she made the attempt--in second grade. She read Island of Blue Dolphins and Mixed Up Files this year for school (along with Indian in the Cupboard, Trouble Don't Last, The Penderwicks, Holes, and a couple more.) Her current favorites are the series by Pseudonymous Bosch which began with "The Name of this Book Is Secret" and includes "If You're Reading This It's Too Late" and "This Book Is Not Good For You". She's also managed to get through the first 5 Harry Potter books--the fifth being the tedious, bulky, poorly-written one.