Monday, March 29, 2010

Reader Polls: Chapter Books and Classic Poems

One reader's poll I've been following is winding down, while another is gearing up to start just in time for Poetry Month!

The poll winding down is Fuse #8's Top 100 Children's Novels. She's been counting down 100 favorite chapter books for 8-12 year olds, and a wonderful list it's been. She posted #11 today (Ellen Raskin's The Westing Game) so tomorrow we move into top ten territory. Since she's counting down only one per day at this point, and is taking weekend breaks, we've still got a couple of weeks to anticipate, enjoy and discuss! You can find the whole list posted in one streamlined and regularly updated list at Six Boxes of Books.

Of the ten I voted for, some have showed up already and one won't (it was a series book from the middle of a series; the series has been represented already by its first book). I was a bit flummoxed to see a couple of books I almost assumed would be in the top ten show up in the second tier of the top twenty, namely Bridge to Terebithia and The Hobbit. (The Hobbit came in at #12, a pleasant post to see on my birthday last Friday...made even nicer by the fact that I was quoted in the post!)

So far the list has been an interesting mix of classic and contemporary, and there's no reason to assume the top ten won't follow suit. Still I would fall down in an astonished faint if we don't see Charlotte's Web, A Wrinkle in Time, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone all in the final ten. Those four are the ones I'm considering (fingers crossed!) as shoo-ins. The other six are up for grabs, in my humble opinion, and I've got at least a dozen possible contenders scribbled in my journal as I try to think through what might show up. I'm guessing at least one book I'm not thinking of at all will make the list: either something new that children voted for in droves, or a classic I'm either forgetting or wrongly assuming not enough people will remember.

The other reader's poll is hosted by Sherry over at her blog Semicolon. She asked readers to submit their ten favorite "classic poems" -- meaning poetry in the public domain. I had a great time coming up with my list, though I pretty much gave up trying to pick my favorite ten poems of all time (just too hard!) and just went with ten poems I have loved and returned to again and again over the years. Given the fact that we've just moved into spring, I tended to gravitate toward spring-time poems. The poems are being tallied now, and the countdown begins Thursday, April 1, a fitting beginning to poetry month. I'm looking forwarding to checking in regularly to see the poems that others chose.

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