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May 29, 2006


Wendy Betts

Fateful examples or fatal examples? ;-)


I find that even as a teen I enjoy books for "younger readers", and I hate being told a book is "too young for me" so I totally understand! :)


Here's another good reason:
No reading at the breakfast/lunch/dinner table. This rule kills me.

I hate it when people tell me that a certain book is too old for me. I know how Anne Frank felt for sure.


I also forgot to add that why can't we read good books in school? I know it's usually classics that we read, but does that mean someday The Goose Gil will be a classic???? Does it have to be old? So annoying.


Must save this list for when I have kids...Though yes, I'm only fourteen, I have this fear that my kids won't like books or something, or I'll somehow marry someone who had an unfortunate experience with books, such as having one fall on his head and nearly give him a concussion, therefore he bans all books...*shivers at the thought* How I could be persuaded to marry someone like that, I'll never know.

I think I'll die if my kids aren't avid readers. Seriously


I agree with Wendy, I hate being told that books are too young for me. I had an English teacher this year who I really liked except for one thing: he looked down upon the fact that at 16 I was still reading mainly young adult books. Personally, I think a fair amount of the greatest books ever were written for kids. Plus, who doesn't like to use their imagination?


Great list! I think that it should be forwarded to parents and teachers every where. I taught 7th grade last year and I had SO many students that haven't discovered the good in reading. I think largely due to many things on this list.

Whits: Nothing wrong with reading all sorts of books. I still read Young Adult books and I'm in my twenties. I don't know your English teacher, but he could be trying to push you out of your comfort zone a little so that you can try new books/authors/things. (Then again, I could be reading into what he was meaning, especially since I'm a teacher myself.) I think that a lot of YA lit provokes creativity, links to emotions and thoughts, and mentions themes not always covered by adult books or even classics. Not that reading adult books or classic novels aren't important. I just think that the key is balance.


I'm always reading books that are "too young" for me. I'm an adult, yet my favourite sections of the library are the children's and young adults' sections. There is a plethora of excellent books for kids and young adults.
I was always told to get my nose out of a book and go outside when it was nice out, so I would go outside and bring the book with me!


Mads: That would be so cool to have Goose Girl as a book during school. Everyone I recommended it to has just loved it!


yeah, i would! I would love that!
only one person i know hasn't liked gg. except for my friend sarah, but sha hasn't even read it, she only doesn't like it because i'm so obbsessed with it.(weird hey?)
i also love young adult and childrens books. sometimes it's just nice not to read a really serious book.
also- who ever made up that picture books are for little kids!?
some of them are great!


Agree with your list, Shannon. And here's another, which nearly made me weep when it happened.

A boy, probably around nine, adds "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" to the stack of magazines that his parents are buying. The dad looks at the book, picks it up and looks at it like it's a slug, and says, "Why does he need to read this? He's already seen the movie."


Ah, books! my mom sometimes gets annoyed because an average book (200-400p)will only last me a day, maybe two if its harder reading. I still read Juvenile fiction, young adult and a little adult.

Mads: I have found that there is such a thing as a book being too old for me...but that's just me.


I'm 27 and the majority of what I read it young adult. It's just what interests me, I have a nephew and a niece on the way and the one thing that really breaks my heart is that thier parents dont read aloud to them. I've tried tirelessly to get my sister to read to him, (I live too far away to do it myself) and she just won't. He's going to be 2 in oct, but I made him some cloth books that he can look at so I HOPE that helps.. reading is so important.


I'm one of those teens whose parents still read to them...It gets harder as you get older, with busy schedules and all. We don't read together as much as we used to, but when we can, we do.


Here, here! This children's librarian is in full agreement with your list, Shannon! I can't tell you how often I see these exact 10 things in action every day at the library. It's discouraging for those of us who are passionate about books, kids, and reading, but everyone's comments really give me hope! All of you rock!

PS- I'm so glad to hear people are in their twenties and reading YA!!


I attended the "reading" Shannon gave at BYU six months ago talking about high school killing the love of reading, and I agree. My parents are avid readers with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and books in every room. But, like Whits, I had a high school English teacher who told me I should be reading the classics, and the "SHOULD be" turned me off from them until I had spent a year in college recovering from high school.

Now, at 24, I can finally say I've recovered completely: I read all kinds of books (classics, YA, childrens, biography, etc), I go with my toddler to the library at least every week to ten days, I listen to audio books in the car, and the best part is watching it rub off on my 18-month-old son. He loves to hand you book after book to read him--but you have to let him choose the book. No one should be told what they "should be" reading.


That is an interesting list.i never really thought about those kind of things before! Good things my parents always encouraged me to read! I think they got more than the bargined for! I HAVE A QUESTION FOR EVERYONE!!! Well, I am now out of school and I have absolutly nothing to do. Can anyone recomend some awesome reading material? (ofcorse I already know about shannon's stuff. and the page on the site I just want to get a varried oppinion!)


y'know i'm 32 and i almost exclusively read books intended for younger readers. there's something much more honest and pure about literature for younger readers. i figure it's because if there's one section of the reading public that you can't fool with fancy plotlines and 20 volumes it's a reader of 8-15 years of age. so you have to be honest and just tell a good story.

but i have to be frank and say that i sometimes feel guilty that i'm not reading books meant for people my age. maybe it's because i have 2 degrees in English and Comparative Literature that i think i'm reading below some imaginary standard.

bah! to heck with it! i love YA fiction, so i'm-a-gonna read it!


hey Annie,

try books by Alison Croggon, Libba Bray, Tamora Pierce, Jonathan Stroud, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfeld and Diana Wynn Jones.

not a bum book in the lot. promise.


Great list! I have a 9 year-old son who has been a reluctant reader much to my dismay. My husband reads as much as I do and the kids see him doing it, books fill our home, we've read to this child since he was born, etc., etc. Because I couldn't get him to actually read on his own, last year, I started getting books on CD for him to listen to during rest time in the summer and on Sunday afternoons. (One hour when everyone has to read, listen to a book or actually rest! It's how I survive with my 3 children home all summer.) This year at school (3rd grade), he finally decided that reading is a good thing. Yea! We've enjoyed listening to books together, too, on trips in the car. Whatever it takes to open up the world of reading to my children! (Shannon, any chance of your books coming out on CD???)

Liz B.

I love this list! I remember looking at the YA section in the bookstore and trying not to be seen because people would think that at 15 I was too old for that section. Fast forward 20 years later (more or less) and I read just about anything, picture books, YA, adult, history, etc. etc.

I also wanted to say THANK YOU for not saying anything negative about TV or movies. I'm an avid reader, always have been, and also love TV & movies. And it always makes me sad when I read something along the lines that its either/or; and that watching TV means someone doesn't read or reads less.


I agree completely with that list. My mom had me learn the alphabet when I was 18 months old (I could pick the letters for her, perhaps I was not verbally saying them haha). She then read to me every night and took me to story time at the library each Sunday. I absolutely believe that she had the biggest influence on my obsession with books and writing. Because of her, it is truly the one thing I feel comfortable doing.


Mads: In my english honors course we read Witch Child by Celia Rees. so not every book we read was a "classic". :D thought i would share.....

awesome list Shannon. i will definatly make sure my kids read when/if i have kids. (have meaning adopt)



The list is great, but there's just one thing--I loved Johnny Tremain. It's on my Top Ten list of books all time. Of course, old books aren't the only good ones--Goose Girl is in my Top Ten, too!


Annie: Kevin gave some GREAT authors (MANY of my favorite books are by them). I'll just add a few of my favorites. (My students make fun of me because pretty much every book I suggest to them is "one of my favorite books.")

Robin McKinley (Hero and the Crown, Blue Sword, Beauty)
Vivian Vande Velde (Heir Apparent, Witch Dreams, Curses, Inc.)
Patricia C. Wrede (The Enchanted Chocolate Pot, Raven Ring)
Anthony Horowitz (Alex Rider books, Raven's Gate)
Lloyd Alexander (Prydain Chronicles)
Christopher Paolini (Eragon, Eldest)
Jane Yolen (Devil's Arithmetic, Dragon's Blood, etc.)
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief)
Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl books)
Terry Pratchett (Wee Free Men, Hat Full of Sky)

and oh so many more. You've probably read many of them, but these are some of my favorite. Most of these are YA and Sci-Fi/Fantasy, but most are very different in style and mood.

Have fun!!!


My parents did all those things, but it has never stopped me. I read all the time. :)


I gotta remember this list for when/if i have kids. My mom read to us and she reads in front of us so i have never had that problem. Because of her i practically live at the libary, i stay there for 1 1/2 to 3 hours with out even looking at the clock. I just love to read! :)


another group of good authors are
Gerald Morris
Sherwood Smith (her Wren books)
Emily Rodda
Erin Hunter

Hope these give somemore ideas!


I am on the same boat as you, being done school and having nothing to read. But last week my mom and I went to the Scholastic Warehouse Sale and found some good ones. Here is a list you might find helpful.
Ann Rinaldi (anything by her is fantastic!)
Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson (Peter and the Star-Catchers is really good)
Rachel Vail
Mary Pearson
Libba Bray
Adele Geras
E.D. Baker (she wrote the frog princess and two sequels. they are all right, though it is kinda easy to figure out what will happen next!)
Meg Cabot (some of her books are iffy but Avalon High was super!!!)
Witch of Blackbird Pond
There is a pretty good list. I hope it helps! DO you have any suggestions for me?



Mads- Oh, glad you asked. Have you ever tried Jane Austen's Works? My pesonal favorite is Pride and Prejudice! Read The Princess Bride, thats great! The Giver is an awesmoe book. So are the SPiderWick Chronicles. A Series of unfourtunate events is great too. I'm sure you already knew about most of these. But they are all os great! After I read each one, I got kinda a hollow feeling inside. I was always sad I had finished them. ;)


I really like anything by Patricia Reilly Giff...she is a wonderful writer. And, did you know that E.D. Baker has a fourth book coming out in Sept., with Bloomsbury??? Oh, the similarities!


thanks Annie! I will have to check into some of those. I always feel sad when I finish them, cause you have nothing to read!!!! Sometimes I have lots of books, but don't feel like reading them since it's not like the last one I read. I call this a 'book rut'. lol
I just found out about the 4th one today!!! I am so excited!!!! Why can't they come out in the summer, before school starts??? It would make more sense that way...

shannon hale

Kim--I think some kids are much more inclined to learn by hearing rather than seeing (i'm the opposite), and audio books are such a great tool for those readers! To those cynics who say listening to a book isn't the same as reading it, I say, P-shah! Good for you. Goose Girl is on CD, by the way, from Full Cast Audio, and Princess Academy will be out in the fall.


Annie - Here's a list of some of all-time favorite books: http://www.geocities.com/le_smorgasbord/readinglist.html

Those aren't the only ones. I ran out of room on the page...And I don't have the books that I have reviews for on my website, so check on the "Books" page too. Anyway, hope this helps.


I don't know what I would do if my mom hadn't instilled a passion for books in me...shrivel up and die probably! And one is never too old for the "kids" section. Never.

I'm surprised no one has suggested Inkheart or Inkspell---which at its very heart is all about the love of reading! Also, Inkheart was one of the best books on CD I've ever listened to. Cornelia Funke and Shannon share the title of my favorite "new" author in the past year or so. Fantastic, lovely books.


Wow the site Jordan recomended was awesome!!!!!!
I forgot to add the book Goose Chase by Patrice Kindl. That book was really good!!!


Huh...I just realized why I love reading so much. My parents did all of those things with me. My dad used to read me a chapter of a book every night when I was a kid. It was always something great like A Wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Little House in the Big Woods. I can't wait to be able to do that with my own kids. Of course, I'll also be reading the Goose Girl, and your other books. I have to say, I'm going off to college next year and I still love to read "kids books" sometimes you need a simple, yet entertaining read.


Annie-if you haven't already, you should definitely read Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Or, if you want a really fun, fast read (at least it was for me), I loved Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo, by Obert Skye. One of the best fantasy novels out there! Eragon is really good too.


Thanks for pointing me to Full Cast Audio. (Great website--and, I've always loved Bruce Coville!) That sounds like the way to hear a story! I think I need to request that our county library get a copy of Goose Girl! My current favorite Audio books are Peter and the Starcatchers (I'm looking so forward to the sequel in July!), all Harry Potter books (Jim Dale has the most amazing voices!), and A Long Way from Chicago (which entertained all of us from Nashville to Atlanta this weekend). Some books are better to be read to oneself, but there are those that make for a wonderful treat for the ears, too. It's also a great way to build listening skills in children. And, goodness knows my children could work on listening! :-)


Kim--Thanks for bringing up books on tape. I think that sometimes they are under-rated. I use them a lot with some of my struggling readers who have trouble visualizing. Full Cast Audio has some great ones. I've listened to Shannon's Goose Girl and absolutely loved it.

Shannon--Thanks for the heads up. I can't wait for Princess Academy to come out! I thought that Goose Girl was very well done.

Mads--If you liked Goose Chase, I think that you also would love Once upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris. It's got a similar sense of humor and is one of my favorites. Also, I love Sharon Creech. Especially Bloomability and The Wanderer.


Your list is very thought provoking. I'll try to remember it for when I have kids. A confession: I have read more children's picture books in the last 8 months than I probably did as a child. Sometimes I'm a little embarrassed at the library, checking out a huge pile of picture books without any kids at my feet, but oh well. I love 'em.


Love "Marigold"!--Have you read her other book, Love Among the Walnuts? Hilarious! And, I love Sharon Creech, too. Tale of Desperaux is another great fantasy/fairy tale with humor. Kate DiCamillo's new one is delightful, too. (Can't remember the exact title--Journey of Eduard Tulane.


So true! Another reason I think some kids really do not like to read is that some schools teach kids that they need to read for speed and they stress that so much that, to me, it takes all of the fun out of reading. I think that is why my younger brothers dislike reading so much is because of the ways that they are forced to read at school.


Is this your list, and can I steal it to send home to my student's parents next year? I'm the Elementery Librarian who had fun with Max in Layton. Do you have your pledge on the site somewhere? I want to hang it in my Library


Wow. 45 comments including mine? Must be a new record!


I've always thought that the Austin family in Madeliene L'Engle's books (Meet the Austins, The Moon By Night, A Ring of Endless Light, etc.) was a nice example of a book-friendly environment. They talked about books, the mother read out loud to all the children, and their grandfather has a barn-library which I've secretly coveted.

shannon hale

Hi DaNae! Yes, i wrote this, use it as much as you like. I haven't put up my pledge yet. I'll do it! Soon! I swear! (yikes, i'm so behind on everything. will someone please come vacuum my house?)


Do you have a good vacuum (powerful, light, useful attachments), or should I bring my own?


Just wanted to add a couple of of things, some other authors I would recommend would be Clare B. Dunkle, I LOVED the hollow kingdom trilogy, and also Michael Buckley's "The Sisters Grimm" series. Grimm is a bit young but they are really good. Also has anyone heard of Gail Carson Levine's "Fairest" coming out also in September? It sound's really good! With so many good books being released it looks like Sept is going to be a good month!! ;)


After finishing a great fantasy, I find myself feeling jealous of the characters. All of their adventures and special talents. Is that just me? Anyone else feel that way?
Sometimes I feel like Matilda. TV, TV, TV!!!!!!!! NO!!! booksbooksbooksbooks!!!!!

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