The New Classics – Books I think will endure

There are some books that endure, in your heart and in your mind.  Parts of those books stay with you forever – ‘Woop Zoop Sloop’, as Bud, Not Buddy might say.  Whenever I think of libraries, I think of Bud and ‘page powder’ and Ms. Hill, his favourite librarian.  I don’t think that there has ever been a better first kiss than that between Bud and Deza Malone.  The mere mention of Atticus brings no Roman to mind, but one of the greatest children’s books ever, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.  And I cannot think of New Zealand books for children without thinking of ‘Under the Mountain’ by Maurice Gee.

This page is going to list the books that I think are new classics, and are still relevant to kids today.  Some titles will be familiar, and are generally considered to be classics, others are ones I think should be, and hopefully will be considered classics one day.  These are tried and true in the classroom.  Give them a go, if you haven’t already!

Just a note regarding age appropriateness – you will know your children best, so my categories are really only guidelines (all boundaries are fuzzy!):

YA – 15+

MY – 11-14yrs

J – 7-10yrs

SPB – Sophisticated Picture Book (It may be a picture book but there’s something in it for everyone.  Probably quite mature themes)

(As you can see, I’m ambitious – there are a lot of categories here, and I will add to them gradually.)

In no particular order, these are the nominees…Please feel free to suggest books you think are worthy.

New Zealand New Classics

  • Under the Mountain – Maurice Gee (J/MY)
  • See Ya Simon – David Hill (MY)
  • Buddy – V.M. Jones (MY)

Canadian New Classics

  • Bud, Not Buddy – Christopher Paul Curtis (J/MY)
  • The Maestro – Tim Wynne-Jones (MY)

American New Classics –

  • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (MY)
  • Charlotte’s Web – EB White (J)
  • Holes – Louis Sachar (MY)
  • Because of Winn-Dixie – Kate DiCamillo (J/MY)
  • Maniac Macgee – Jerry Spinelli (MY)
  • Silkwood – Jerry Spinelli (MY)
  • Love That Dog – Sharon Creech (J/MY)
  • Mrs Frisbee and the Rats of Nimh – Robert C O’Brien (J)

English New Classics

  • The London Eye Mystery – Siobhan Dowd (MY) Mature 10 years olds may enjoy this, too.
  • Millions – Frank Cottrell Boyce (J)
  • Skellig – David Almond (MY)
  • An Indian in the Cupboard – Lynne Reid Banks (J)
  • Tom’s Midnight Garden – Phillipa Pearce (MY)
  • The Lionboy Trilogy – Zizou Corder (late J/MY)
  • The Sheep-Pig – Dick King-Smith (J)

Australian New Classics

  • Once – Maurice Gleitzman (MY)
  • Tomorrow, When the War Began – John Marsden (MY – 12-13+)
  • The Violin Man – Colin Thompson (SPB)

One response to “The New Classics – Books I think will endure

  1. Rosa

    The first book I remember reading was The Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton. I still have that same copy and it is practically unrecognizable. From the time I could read to the age of about 12 I read that book over and over, hardly finishing before starting again. It took me to another world- well many other worlds really. I haven’t read it in 10 years and could still tell you about all of Peter and Mollie’s adventures in their magical antique chair with the little red wings. It is a mystical and marvelous story that enveloped me. As a child with a very active imagination there wasn’t much I couldn’t think up myself- but this book took me places I never would have dreamed of. I would like to suggest it as a classic.

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