Hundreds of books for kids are published every year, but a few have something special that keeps them in print and makes them favorites for generations.
Here are six of those books we think you'll enjoy reading with your kids and maybe keeping on your own bedside table as well.
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Celebrating its fiftieth year in print, this book introduces us to Harriet, who turns to writing about people to relieve her loneliness. Newbery Medal-winning author Rebecca Stead explains that Harriet first writes "in order to know herself and to understand others. By the end, she’s also writing to express herself and to connect with others." Stead credits Harriet with helping her understand the power and pleasure of writing.
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler)
This is the first of 13 books titled A Series of Unfortunate Events, which follow the Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny in exciting and funny adventures that remind us of the Charles Dickens' David Copperfield and Oliver Twist.
A film and video game have been made based on this popular series, but the books themselves are the real treat!
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
An endearing story that offers some life lessons and an introduction to that rogue rabbit, Peter. This story also provides a starting point for enjoying Susan Wittig Albert's wonderful modern mysteries, The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, which feature animal characters created by Potter. Great reads for kids and adults.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
This book, in print since its publication in the 1960's, is the story of 14-year-old Meg Murry, a misfit in school and lonely at home. She and her younger brother Charles are transported through the time and space in an adventure to rescue their scientist father.
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
This Alice in Wonderland-like adventure takes a boy from boredom to a love of words and reading.
Peter Pan (or Peter Pan and Wendy) by J.M. Barrie.
Most of us know Peter Pan through the stage musical or the Disney film, but the book on which they're based shows us an intriguingly different view.
Look for some of these books and others at the 50th Annual Big Book, sponsored by Friends of SF Public Library Sale and benefiting the SF Public Library, at Fort Mason, Sept. 24-28 (10 AM-6PM)
Our staff at The Literacy & Language Center would like to hear about your long-time book favorites. Let us know next time you come by.