Kids have their say about favorite books

First Published      Last Updated Mar 10 2017 12:09 pm

Kids have their say about favorite books.

Parents, teachers, librarians and booksellers have a worthy goal in common: They are eager to put quality books in the hands of young readers. This is the reason prestigious awards like the Newbery and Caldecott medals exist — to recognize and promote outstanding titles for children.

But wait! Do kids always like the books adults select for them?

Sometimes. Still, there are plenty of award-winning children's books that appeal more to the adults who select them than they do to young readers.

Cindy Mitchell, a middle-school librarian and book blogger (www.kissthebook.com), says this: "Personally, I don't think the committees ever ask themselves if students will love the books when they make their choices. Maybe popularity isn't a perfect measure, but even a book that will stand up to the test of time and be loved by parents who pass that love on to their children and grandchildren would be preferable."

That's why The Salt Lake Tribune recently invited Wasatch Front teachers and librarians from a range of schools (public, charter and private) to ask kids to share which books they're actually reading. Here are their responses.

"Terry Pratchett's Discworld series is a fantastic social satire that also makes fun of every terrible pulp fantasy novel you've guiltily read under your duvet. Most books you read in high school are actually pretty great if you approach them with an open mind and take your time with them. Except Dickens."

— Liam, 17

"I read 'The Illustrated Man' by Ray Bradbury recently. I love this book because it's so unique. It's several short stories that all connect in some way and the stories are very imaginative and fantastical. I really enjoyed reading it."

— Marissa, 17

"The Maze Runner series is a huge favorite of mine. I love the way James Dashner has created his world and the way he puts his characters into our sight. I like the dystopian feel to it and the technology he used in it!"

— Katrina, 16

"I need to be emotionally attached to a book, and 'A Child Called It' by Dave Pelzer really did that. With the small towns we live in, we are sheltered. I loved this book because it showed me that life is not butterflies and rainbows. '[Expletive] happens' is the best way to explain it."

— Samantha, 16

"'Illuminae' by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is really interesting and different. It's a bit harder to read, and it's way sci-fi, but it's worth it. The format is made up of a bunch of, like, text messages and hacked documents and stuff. And it's SO cool! The characters are all super complex, WAY complex, but they are also awesome. With such complex characters you really live the story with them because you can find something of yourself in all of them."

— Madelyne, 16

"I like historical books. I like to see how different it was compared to now. I also like rock 'n' roll biographies." — Eli, 14

"I like realistic fiction. Richard Paul Evans and Nicola Yoon. Romance novels. I also like history books [like] 'Death Coming Up the Hill' by Chris Crowe."

— Ysidra, 14

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