Making lists are difficult. I’m talking, in particular, about making lists like, “Top Ten Songs,” “Fab Five Movies from the 1990’s,” or “8.5 Awesome Artists.” The difficultly with these kinds of lists is that they are finite — captured in a moment in time — as soon as these lists are created they are obsolete. Also, the judge or list-maker may find themselves far too busy to accurately assess and create such a list. This topic comes up because I am attempting to create a list, “Ten Terrific Young Adult Books.” It has been a struggle just deciding what the criteria will be for such a list. For example, I think I will limit this list to only newer books, published within the last two years. However, my biggest problem is the fact that I have in no way read all of the books released in the last couple years. So how am I to give an accurate list!? The answer is I cannot. But this is difficult to come to terms with. I want the list to be great and all encompassing. But that is just not possible. This also brings me to my newest book review:
The newest addition to the 1001 family of books, 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up edited by Julia Eccleshare, is fun to look through, but falls a bit short. In fact, it is missing one of my favorite young adult books, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (I will talk about this book in another post, but just know — it is good). To not include this book seems truly like a travesty. Another problem with this list is that it includes quite a bit of foreign publications, which I have noticed are difficult to purchase and may not even be translated into English. Arg! Some looked adorable and I would have loved to order them for the bookstore but they were unavailable through our major distributor. The book did offer some helpful suggestions for books that have a related theme. It also gave a nice brief synopsis about the books it recommends.
All and all 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up is not awful. It is quite enjoyable to flip through, but I can’t quite get passed the horrendous exclusion of Hunger Games. I realize lists are difficult to create for this very reason. There will always be some book left out no matter how hard you try to patch up the cracks. When I finish my list, “Ten Terrific Young Adult Books,” I hope it will endure at least a little bit of scrutiny. I think it will need to be an “ammendable” list.