(Image from Barnes & Noble)
Like many bibliophiles, I'm also a big lover of lists. Especially book lists. Although I never totally agree with Top Whatever lists, I still think it's fun to peruse them. Not only do they remind me of great books I've read, but they also offer recommendations for books I haven't sampled yet. What's not to love?
I enjoyed 101 Movies to Watch by Suzette Valle, so you can imagine my excitement when I was pitched another book in the same format, except about books. Naturally, I had to snatch it up! 101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up by Bianca Schulze (available October 10, 2016), the Australian-born founder of The Children's Book Review, is a fun, easy guide to some great kid lit that can be enjoyed even if you're already (gasp!) a grown-up. As you can see from the illustration below, each entry features a plot summary, colorful pictures (by illustrator Shaw Nielsen), readalike suggestions, trivia, and other information. There's even a book review feature where you can record your thoughts on each selection as you read it.
No two readers are ever going to agree on a "Best of" type list, but Schulze offers a wide selection of books that covers a lot of territory. From time-tested classics like Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea to "new" classics like Harry Potter to stories that teach about history and world cultures, all Schulze's selections share common themes:
Be kind, be brave, and make good choices. Remember the struggles of those that came before you. Always dream of the fantastical future ahead of you and those who will come after you. Be true to yourself, and with every page you turn, live your life like an epic adventure.
The best part of reading this book as a grown-up is that it reminded me of some of the wonderful stories I experienced as a child. It also inspired me to pick them up again and re-enjoy them as an adult. As a lifetime book lover, I was surprised by how many of the featured books I hadn't read. Now, I've got some wonderful recommendations to add to my TBR
list mountain mountain chain.
If you've got a young book lover on your Christmas gift list, this would be an excellent present. It would also make for a fun parent/children book club project. Basically, anyone who loves books is going to love this book about books. Seriously, what could be more fun?
If this were a movie, it would be rated:
To the FTC, with love: I received a finished copy of 101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up from the generous folks at Quarto Books. Thank you!