Tuesday, July 01, 2014

The Love of Annotated Book Lists (and Blessing the Memory of Gladys Hunt)

This morning, the sweet girl was lingering at the breakfast table (oh, happy summer days!) perusing Gladys Hunt's Honey for a Child's Heart. It makes my own heart very happy to see that she has inherited her mother's love for reading annotated book lists. It's one of my favorite reading past-times, and a great way to discover more books I want to read!

My twelve year old daughter (yes indeed, I can say that now...the birthday weekend festivities are now behind us!) noted that the author Gladys Hunt had also written a book called Honey for a Teen's Heart, and asked if I could find a copy for her. I went looking in our library system, which seldom fails me, but today I could only turn up the earlier edition of that book, from 1992, with a slightly different title. The 2002 revised edition is for sale in various places, and I think I am going to swing a copy from Advanced Book Exchange and chalk it up to a school year purchase. I have always liked Hunt's lists...not only trustworthy book choices (and fun to read annotations) but usually accompanied by small but cogent essays on the importance of reading, why and how we read for best enrichment, ways to discern good qualities in literature, and so on.

Since the last edition of Honey for a Teen's Heart came out in 2002, the year my own almost-teen (gulp) was born, I went looking to see if perhaps there was a third edition in the works. Alas, I see that Mrs. Hunt, rest her soul, passed away in 2010 at the age of 83. Though saddened to hear that news, it was edifying to read her obituary and to discover that in addition to writing these great books for families, she and her husband had a long and fruitful ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for many years. I was also happy to see that her archived blog from Tumblr is still up, with many good posts about children's and young adult literature.

All of this is making me wonder where I can find good book lists (of the trustworthy and spiritually-rich variety) on young people's literature since 2002. I'm sure there are many blogs and other online resources, and perhaps some new collections too. As I begin to hunt that down, I will report back any finds here!  I may also, of course, need to begin my own annotated list.

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