Recently, my writing students worked on a Literacy Narrative project (more assignment details coming – they were fascinating!). In the project, we discussed books that these young college freshman remembered from his or her childhood. Out of 100 students, many of the same titles came up over and over as favorites. As a childhood literature fan, I was fascinated to hear the titles of books that actually stay with children through adulthood.
Dr. Seuss & Green Eggs & Ham
[A clear majority of my students grew up with Dr. Seuss, either in their home or classroom. The rhymes and wacky cartoons must've made quite an impact as it was easily many students early listening experience.]
Love You Forever
[Munsch's picture book was another favorite of many of my students. For many, this early literacy experience brought back memories of parents, bedtime, and reading with a parent. The repetition of this sweet story seems to have as much of an impact on children and adults.]
An extraordinarily different story by Robert Munsch is a gentle affirmation of the love a parent feels for their child–forever. Sheila McGraw’s soft and colorful pastels perfectly complement the sentiment of the book–one that will be read repeatedly for years.
[This series, according to my students, taught a generation how to read and how to love to read. Despite my lack of familiarity with Junie B., I was astounded as to what an impact this series made on my own students' literacy experience. Perhaps, the analogy I've been thinking of is how many readers of my generation loved Ramona by Beverly Cleary. After this project, I'd recommend this series for any beginning reader.]
Meet the World’s Funniest Kindergartner—Junie B. Jones!
Remember when it was scary to go to school? With over 50 million books in print, Barbara Park’s New York Times bestselling chapter book series, Junie B. Jones, is a classroom favorite and has been keeping kids laughing—and reading—for over 20 years! In the 1st Junie B. Jones book, it’s Junie B.’s first day and she doesn’t know anything. She’s so scared of the school bus and the meanies on it that when it’s time to go home, she doesn’t.
[Similiar to the Junie B. series, The Magic Tree House series has been helping young readers improve their reading skills along with being excited to read more adventures. This series grew along with the young readers as they read longer chapter books, and the readers loved the adventure of this series. Again, I would recommend this series to reluctant, struggling, or disinterested readers - along with those readers looking for an exciting series!]
Jack and Annie are ready for their next fantasy adventure in the bestselling middle-grade series—the Magic Tree House! Where did the tree house come from? Before Jack and Annie can find out, the mysterious tree house whisks them to the prehistoric past. Now they have to figure out how to get home. Can they do it before dark . . . or will they become a dinosaur’s dinner?
[It's quite easy for us book lovers to take for granted what an huge impact this series had on young children who may or may not have had an interest in picking up a piece of fiction. J.K. Rowling did truly inspire a generation of readers, and for that, I was reminded during this project. I imagine we'll be studying, discussing, reading, and enjoying Harry Potter for decades to come.]
Tell us what books or series helped you or your children become readers?