"Education Secretary Michael Gove says that children aged 11 should be reading 50 books a year to improve literacy standards. [Huffington Post] asked three of Britain's leading and two of [their] in-house book experts to each pick 10 books, suitable for Year 7 students. The authors chose books that have brought them huge joy, while expressing their outrage at the "great big contradiction" of Mr Gove's claim to wish to improve literacy while closing libraries across the country."
I've only read 6 of these books... perhaps I'll get to enjoy many more of them in about a dozen years when my little one is reading them. I'd also add to this list Le Petit Prince and The Buffalo Tree.
How many have you read?
1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. Indispensable. The great classic beginning of English .
2. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. What effortless invention looks like.
3. Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner. A great political story: democracy in action.
4. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. As clear and pure as Mozart.
5. Black Hearts in Battersea by Joan Aiken. If Ransome was Mozart, Aiken was Rossini. Unforced effervescence.
6. The Owl Service by Alan Garner. Showed how children's literature could sound dark and troubling chords.
7. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Superb wit and vigorous invention.
8. Moominsummer Madness by Tove Jansson. Any of the Moomin books would supply the same strange light Nordic magic.
9. A Hundred Million Francs by Paul Berna. A particular favourite of mine, as much for Richard Kennedy's delicate illustrations (in the English edition) as for the story.
10. The Castafiore Emerald by Hergé. Three generations of this family have loved Tintin. Perfect timing, perfect narrative tact and command, blissfully funny.