Betsy Bird admitted at the very beginning that her poll on the 100 best chapter books was not scientific. But she did take a few wise steps. Since some teachers required their classes to take part, she insisted that each book to make the final list needed to have two adults vote for it. You can find the entire list with links here. Her list of the twenty books that came close were interesting as well.
So how did my picks do? Well, nine out of my ten favorite authors had places in the countdown even if my books didn’t win through. For example, I picked Susan Cooper’s THE GREY KING over her DARK IS RISING and Lloyd Alexander’s BLACK CAULDRON over THE HIGH KING. Five books of my books made the list.
But I wasn’t trying to guess which books would make the list. I was listing the books I loved when I was a kid so that they’d turn up. I can appreciate children’s books as an adult, but I don’t always experience the love that I might have if I were plunging into them in third through eighth grade.
So here, in alphabetical order are some of my favorite books that might have jostled for space on my list I’d thought of them in time or if I’d realized they were chapter books and not YA:
Anne of Green Gables
The Borrowers: Mary Norton
The Changeling (Zilpha Keatley Snyder)
Ghosts I Have Been: Richard Peck
Holes: Louis Sachar
King of Attolia (As my stand-in for the Attolia books) Megan Whalen Turner
Little Women: Louisa May Alcott
The Westing Game: Ellen Raskin
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
A Wrinkle in Time