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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Top 100 Children’s Novels #28: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

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#28 The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (1995) 61 points It’s refreshing when children’s literature tackles grand themes and trusts that the reader can handle them. Such is the case with Philip Pullman’s landmark 1995 fantasy. What’s more grand than a meditation on the human soul? But maybe Pullman’s greatest feat was to craft a […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #29: The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

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#29 The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall (2005) 58 points There are two families I would love to live next door to: the Cassons and the Penderwicks. Adorable in it’s classic charm, you can’t help but fall in love with the absent-minded professor […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #30: Matilda by Roald Dahl

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#30 Matilda by Roald Dahl (1988) 58 points I loved that Dahl wrote completely for children. A kid reading Dahl knows he can make something or be someone or do something, no matter what anyone else around him says or does. – Heather Christensen It just wouldn’t be right to make a list like this […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #31: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

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#31 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1865) 58 points A full out absurdist assault at the arbitrary nature of language, Carroll challenges everything about the way we speak and write, from homonyms to idioms. When people talk about children’s movies and books being entertaining for both kids and adults, they usually mean that […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #32: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

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#32 Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor (1976) 56 points This series took me to a time and place so different from my reality. It opened my eyes and made me think. – Martha Sherod As with all my polls, there is often a shocking derth of authors of color.  However, there […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #33: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien

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#33 Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien (1971) 56 points My Dad was my 5th-grade teacher, and he read this book to our class. When I re-read it in library school I was still affected by the story. I have such fond memories of this book. – Hilary Writt First […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #34: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

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#34 Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (1961) 55 points I remember crying so much through this book, and even today I tear up thinking of Big Dan and Little Ann. I also loaned this to my (then) children’s librarian, because the library copy was always out. I even marked the pages, “Get […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #35: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

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#35 Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume (1972) 54 points Nobody can get the voice of kids quite like Judy Blume. Fudge and Peter are every kid and just as relevant today as they were in 1972. – Stacy Dillon The synopsis from the publisher reads, “Living with his little brother, Fudge, […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #36: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

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#36 The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (1958) 53 points Somehow I never read this one as a kid, and that fact hasn’t bothered me.  But if you check out the 90-Second Newbery video of this title at the end of this post, you’ll be forced to agree with me when I […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #37: The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

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#37 The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt (2007) 53 points Don’t know if this qualifies as a children’s—it’s kind of on the border between middle grade and YA, but it’s one of my favorite books of all time so I’m including it. There’s so much going on, and Schmidt has the wonderful capacity to […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #38: Frindle by Andrew Clements

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#38 Frindle by Andrew Clements (1996) 51 points This book touches me as a teacher, and I can relate to it from the perspective of the students. I can’t read this to my students without choking up over the letter from the teacher. – Dee Sypherd If you’re a children’s librarian then you are probably […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #39: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

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#39 The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (2007) 50 points Perfect and artful blending of prose and illustration. – Dee Sypherd No book like it. It reinvents storytelling. It plays with our notion of “the book.” It takes great advantage of the physical nature of “the book.” In the end, the story celebrates […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #40: Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

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#40 Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (1990) 49 points It’s an old tale. A kid with extraordinary skills simply lives with the ordinary desire to belong. Jeffery is not just a gift to those he touches in the book, but to the readers who champion him. Spinelli’s prose is as rhythmic and swift as his […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #41: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

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#41 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (1900) 48 points Oz is too overwhelming for a single post.  Indeed, there are whole websites, blogs, and societies out there solely dedicated to its existence.  With that in mind, here is a quick overview of the title and its impact on America at this […]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #42: Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright

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#42 Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright (1957) 47 points What child has not wanted to discover a lost place and create a special hidden retreat known only to herself and maybe a few friends? That’s what we read about here: cousins finding an abandoned summer colony of houses, with two older characters that have retreated […]