Revisiting the Top 100 Chapter Books

Betsy Bird decided to revisit her Top 100 Children’s books poll on her Fuse#8 blog.  She made a few rule changes to tweak the results.  If I remember correctly, she wound up putting together a separate poll for kids.  She also asked that people vote for the first book in a series as the representative unless there was something exceptional about a later book in the series. Both THE HIGH KING by Lloyd Alexander and THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN by J.K. Rowling were among the sequels that made it. 

There actually was quite a bit of shifting.  I know that I made some different decisions in order to help my favorite books move up the list.  On the first time through, I went almost exclusively on love based on the number of times that I checked out a book when I was a kid.  On this occasion, I did shift votes to the first of the series.   I also tilted toward the books that I adore now as well as giving a bit of extra love to books that I wanted to see move up.  It wasn’t a pure best of the best list. 

So here was my first round:

1. The Grey King by Susan Cooper (It’s the fourth book in her DARK IS RISING series, but I read it first because that was all the local library branch had. I loved it all the same.)

2. Knight’s Castle by Edward Eager (Edward Eager’s books are so much fun. SAVING THE GRIFFIN can trace its literary roots back to KNIGHT’S CASTLE, HALF MAGIC, THE TIME GARDEN and their siblings.)

3. The City of Gold and Lead (This is the second book of John Christopher’s original TRIPOD trilogy. THE WHITE MOUNTAINS comes first, but this one hit me the hardest.)

4. The Silver Chair C.S. Lewis (Jill Pole was my hero!)

5. Jennifer, Hecate, MacBeth….Konigsberg (I could relate to Elizabeth, and I had my own Jennifer.)

6. My Side of the Mountain (Great adventure. A wonderful survival story.)

7. Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken (I also adored BLACKHEARTS IN BATTERSEA and NIGHTBIRDS ON NANTUCKET. I’m afraid the others in the series left me a bit cold.)

8. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (My most recent title on the list. For the rest of this list, I was going by the books that I had a deep and abiding passion for back in elementary school.)

9. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein. (I read THE LORD OF THE RINGS when I was eleven also, but it really doesn’t fit in as a chapter book.)

10. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol. (I also liked ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS very, very much.)


While the book titles changed, eight of the ten top authors kept their same places. Two books dropped off entirely. Two others jumped on.   

1. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

2. Half Magic by Edward Eager

3. The Westing Game by Raskin

4. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe C.S. Lewis

5. Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me Elizabeth….Konigsberg

6. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

7. Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

8. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

9. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.

10. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol.

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