Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Top Ten Books That Should Be Required Reading for Teens

For many people, the last time they pick up a book is in high school or college.
So I want that book to be drop-dead amazing.

I've always had the notion that it would be fun for kids in high school or college to spend a semester reading children's picture books. Children's picture books are surprisingly rich. And it would set kids up in a mighty fine fashion for reading aloud to their own children in a few years.
So here are ten picture books that might work for teens. (If you have other suggestions for this category, I'd love to hear them.)

How about...

The Empty Pot

The Little House

Rotten Island

The Giving Tree


Tadpole's Promise

The Other Side

The Big Orange Splot

Martin's Big Words

First the Egg

14 Cows for America

What would you have on your list?

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.


  1. Funny, you've got one of my favorite children's picture books (13 Cows for America--I cried the first time I read it in F&Gs) and one of the picture books I loathe (The Giving Tree) all in one list. I love how widely your list ranges and I think it's an interesting conceit to list picture books instead of the traditional teen level reading.

  2. That's a very interesting idea, to assign picture books to teen readers. I think many children growing up forget the magic of picture books as they are forced to "move up" to "proper" books... having teens return to that world (often just as complex and well-built as a fully prose one) can only do well.

  3. I love The Little House! My son and I used to read it together all the time.

  4. Great choice for should reads. I agree picture books should not just be for elementary kids.

  5. The only one of those that I've read it The Giving Tree! I am including on my list Speak, Hunger Games, Chris Crutcher's books, and more

  6. Guess I'd better get reading since I've read only one of the books on your list. Thanks for the fun twist on the days Top Ten!

  7. I would add anything by Patricia Palacco. Some of the best high school teachers I know use picture books as part of pre-reading activities with their high schoolers, or as jumping off points for writing projects.

  8. I always love reading your top ten lists because they usually have books I've never even heard of, which expand my horizons. :)

  9. Nice book choices! I read a good deal of YA books, but thanks for sharing ides for picture books.

  10. Aw, the Giving Tree. Whenever I read children's books as an adult, I am amazed at how much they have to teach. I recently read and loved And Tango Makes Three. When I was a kid, I loved The Velveteen Rabbit and Where the Wild Things Are.

    Come visit me at The Scarlet Letter.

  11. This is a great idea.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  12. +JMJ+

    I know what you mean about picture books being surprisingly rich. And I'm sure teens will appreciate the charm, beauty and humour that you can only find in these books, no matter how great some longer (unillustrated) texts are. =)

  13. Along the same lines I would add Blueberries for Sal or Make Way for Ducklings.

  14. Caps for Sale was a perennial favorite in my house as a kid, and my house as a parent :)

  15. You took a different route than the rest of us, Deb. I like it. I love picture books. Still read 'em. I have a nice collection of my favorites.

    I remember THE LITTLE HOUSE from so many years ago. LOVED it then, LOVE it now.

    I included MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS and BLUE BERRIES FOR SAL (Both by the great Robert McCloskey) when I did a post on 5 Best Prize Winning Books. Great minds think alike, Belle.

  16. I used to manage the children's section of a major bookstore, and of the ones you listed, I recommended The Giving Tree, a somewhat wistful but emotionally uplifting book for any age. Rae


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