With the 2013 Newbery Award winner soon to be announced (on January 28), author
Claire Vanderpool has released her first book since her debut novel Moon Over Manifestwon the 2011 Newbery Medal. No small amount of expectation accompanies the follow-up to an award winner and with Navigating EarlyVanderpool rose to the occasion with two endearing characters, Early and Jack, and a novel of journeys, memories, and the power of a story to hold us captive or set us free. Navigating Early is our spotlight Best of the Month pick for middle grade readers this month and I'm still hearing Early's voice in my head and thinking about the magical properties of pi.
I always want to hear what authors (especially award-winning authors) recommend as their favorite kids' books and on Vanderpool's roster she includes some of the greats.
Clare Vanderpool's Favorite Children's Books
- A Long Way from
Chicagoand A Year Down Yonder by
Richard Peck: I read both of
these as an adult and really appreciated the Midwestern feel of the stories "“
funny, genuine, and full of great characters.
- Island of the Blue
Dolphins by Scott O'Dell: I loved this
story of a young girl's sacrifice and resilience. I had about ten pages left and wouldn't
leave the bathroom until I'd finished the book.
- A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeleine L'Engle:Who doesn't love
the Wrinkle in Time books? These books instilled a love of all things
time travel. If it ever becomes a
reality, I'll be the first to sign up.
- Half Magic by
Edward Eager: I still have the
original hardback that I read years ago.
The pages are yellow but that only adds to the charm of the story. I'd wish that I could read Half Magic again for the first time, but
we all know that wishes, especially ones that only come true by half, can lead
- The Lion, the Witch,
and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis: I read the first
chapter of this wonderful story in our 4th grade reader in school
and I was hooked. I got the whole set of
the Chronicles of Narnia for
Christmas and loved all of them. They
forever changed a good game of hide and seek.
- Treasure Island
and Kidnappedby Robert Louis
Stevenson: They're called
classics for a reason! These
swashbuckling tales have held up through the years and are a must read for any
adventurous boy or girl. Plus there are
some kind of scary parts that are fun to read with a flashlight, under the
covers, late at night.
- The Scarlet Pimpernel
by Baroness Orczy: Another great
story that I read as an adult. I started
it on a day off from work and couldn't put it down. A real page-turner with lots of twists and
- Charlotte's Web by
E. B. White: This one takes me
back to first grade when our teacher read it to us. We all wanted to know where Papa was going
with that ax. And we all fell in love
with a pig and a spider.
- The Phantom Tollboothby
Norton Juster: Crazy, wonderful
book! This is the kind of book that has
so many interesting and clever things in it that it should be read at least
once as a kid and then again as an adult.
- Anne of Green Gables
by Lucy Maude Montgomery:Anne Shirley is a
once in a lifetime character. She's an
orphan who gets adopted by a brother and sister who really wanted a boy. But they fall in love with her humor and her
spirit just like the rest of us.
- Little House on the
Prairieby Laura Ingalls Wilder: Required reading
for any Kansas girl "“ and anyone else who loves stories about place, and
family, and home.