A bit of a self-plug here: I also run a wiki for storytime resources, which you can find at http://mbuehlerstoryrhymes.wikia.com. It’s still small but growing all the time; whenever I find a rhyme that I like or that works especially well, I throw it up there so I can find it again more easily later (and also so other people can use it as a resource, hopefully!).
Entertainment Weekly is currently running a big bracket poll entitled What is the Best Young Adult Novel of All Time? and frankly, the poll is a bunch of B.S. (See the current bracket polls here.) I have many issues with the way this is set up – first, I can see four books right off that I wouldn’t categorize as YA (Dune, The Earthsea Trilogy, Flowers for Algernon, and The Princess Bride. Just because you read something in high school or as a high schooler doesn’t make it a young adult book.) Second, some of the matchups don’t make any sense – what structure does pairing Harry Potter against Holes make, especially for the initial bracket? There’s nothing to compare there! (See also: The Mortal Instruments versus The Invention of Hugo Cabret.)
So let’s construct our own poll. We’ll start by selecting 64 YA titles, split into four categories of 16 titles – I propose science fiction, realistic fiction, fantasy/supernatural, and historical fiction (on the assumption that most titles, even if they don’t fit solidly into any of these, can be loosely sorted this way, and because I think it’s a more fair way of determining initial match ups). A week from today, I’ll post the entire line-up, and we’ll do voting in one-week blocks. Not many people read this blog yet, so unless you guys want to see me voting by myself, tell your friends and let’s make this a full-fledged discussion.
Here are some of my proposals. Unlike the EW list, and every list ever, I’m not using one title for whole series – these suggestions are what I think are the best books in the series, so tell me if you disagree:
1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
2. I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett
3. The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman
4. Sabriel, Garth Nix
5. The Monstrumologist, Rick Yancey
6. Coraline, Neil Gaiman
7. Airman, Eoin Colfer
8. The Book of Lost Things, John Connolly
1. Ender’s Game
2. Leviathan, Scott Westerfeldt
3. The Giver, Lois Lowry
1. Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell
2. Looking for Alaska, John Green
3. Holes, Louis Sachar
4. Hatchet, Gary Paulson
5. Fat Kid Rules the World, KL Going
6. Whale Talk, Chris Crutcher
1. Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein
2. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
That’s to get us started – what else goes here, folks? I’ll post a complete bracket on Monday, the 18th, and the discussion and voting can commence!