Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gateway Books . . .

In continued celebration of Banned Books Week, I thought I'd post a list of what I like to call "Gateway Books." You know, the ones that got you hooked on reading. The one's that might've taken you from a "reading is boring" mentality to the proud owner of a towering TBR pile.

This list, compiled by votes from First Book, which, by the way, is not only a rockin' charity providing books to children in need, but pretty much a 24/7 book-lovers-love-fest, contains many of my favorite titles, many of which, big surprise, have been banned and/or challenged!

While the first book I learned to read was HORTON HATCHES THE EGG by Dr. Seuss, my personal gateway book, the one that changed everything and turned me into a bonafide addict, was Judy Blume's ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT'S ME, MARGARET, which just happens to claim the number 62 spot on the Top 100 most frequently challenged books of 1990-2000 list because apparently writing about REAL issues affecting REAL girls is somehow dangerous.

Or something.

I can't quit grasp the ideology behind the pro-book banning argument. It all seems so--dumb.

All I know is that Judy Blume says this about it:

“[I]t's not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.”

And I totally agree.

Any who, below is the list of gateway books, some of them deemed dangerous, some not. But what I really want to know is:


    Top 50 Books!

    1. The Nancy Drew series
    2. Green Eggs & Ham
    3. Little House on the Prairie series
    4. Charlotte's Web
    5. Cat in the Hat
    6. Little Women
    7. The Boxcar Children
    8. The Bobbsey Twins
    9. Black Beauty
    10. The Dick & Jane series
    11. Go Dog Go!
    12. To Kill a Mockingbird
    13. Goodnight Moon
    14. Gone With the Wind
    15. Heidi
    16. Anne of Green Gables
    17. Curious George
    18. Black Stallion
    19. Harry Potter series
    20. The Secret Garden
    21. The Bible
    22. The Pokey Little Puppy
    23. The Giving Tree
    24. A Wrinkle in Time
    25. The Little Engine That Could
    26. The Hobbit
    27. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
    28. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
    29. The Hardy Boys series
    30. Hop on Pop
    31. Where the Sidewalk Ends
    32. The Velveteen Rabbit
    33. Are You There God? It's me Margaret.
    34. The Babysitters Club series
    35. Pippi Longstocking
    36. Amelia Bedelia
    37. The Hatchet
    38. Superfudge
    39. Ramona Quimby books
    40. Cinderella
    41. Island of the Blue Dolphins
    42. The Wizard of Oz
    43. The Outsiders
    44. Winnie the Pooh
    45. Treasure Island
    46. Horton Hears a Who
    47. Love You Forever
    48. Old Yeller
    49. Call of the Wild
    50. Twilight



Keri Mikulski said...

Love this post, Alyson. My original Gateway book was the Nancy Drew series. :)

I loved to read in elementary and part of middle school and then I stopped for a bit. I don't remember why. But, I became a reluctant reader.

Then, during a vacation when I was sixteen I picked up Jackie Collins's book, LUCKY in a bookstore and I fell in love with reading again. After all this talk about book banning, I thanked my mom yesterday for never judging what I read and letting me read for the utter joy of it. Who knows what I would be doing with my life if my mom took away my freedom to read what I want. :)

Anonymous said...

Ditto on the Judy Blume. I don't see how any girl came of age without reading one of her books.

Alyson Noel said...

Keri- Well said! Nancy Drew rocks!And I also read LUCKY--and I could NOT put it down! I think I need to call my mom and thank her too!

Pam- I know. Judy Blume is like a right of passage!

Trish said...

I was seriously hooked on the Little House on the Prairie books as a little girl, but I think the one that hooked me hardest was Julie of the Wolves.

Alyson Noel said...

Trish- Aw, yes, Laura and Pa! I loved those books-- made me long for those covered wagon days . . .