Monday, August 10, 2015

Top ten classics to read before you're 10

Mary Sebag-Montefiore adapts adult classics for children and has rewritten everything from Wuthering Heights to War and Peace. At the Guardian she tagged ten classics every child should read before they are 10, including:
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This is one of the best family stories ever. It’s easy to identify with all four March sisters. What creative girl is not like furious, ambitious, masterpiece-scribbling Jo? Who does not have Meg’s vanities, Beth’s love of home, or Amy’s irritating ways? The joy of this book is its strong, un-saccharine picture of family life. Squabbles, scolding, jealousy, revenge (it’s not always cosy being a sister or a daughter…) are underpinned with indissoluble affection.
Read about the other books on the list.

Little Women also appears among Jeff Somers's five books that are arguably the first in their respective genres, Kate Kellaway's ten best Christmases in literature, Bea Davenport's top ten books about hair, nine notable unsung literary heroines, Sophie McKenzie's top ten mothers in children's books, John Dugdale's ten notable fictional works on winter sports, Melissa Albert's five favorite YA books that might make one cry, Anjelica Huston's seven favorite coming-of-age books, Bidisha's ten top books about women, Katherine Rundell's top ten descriptions of food in fiction, Gwyneth Rees's ten top books about siblings, Maya Angelou's 6 favorite books, Tim Lewis's ten best Christmas lunches in literature, and on the Observer's list of the ten best fictional mothers, Eleanor Birne's top ten list of books on motherhood, Erin Blakemore's list of five gutsy heroines to channel on an off day, Kate Saunders' critic's chart of mothers and daughters in literature, and ZoĆ« Heller's list of five memorable portraits of sisters. It is a book that disappointed Geraldine Brooks on re-reading.

--Marshal Zeringue