October 2, 2012

Top Ten Older Books I Don't Want People to Forget About

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the bloggers of The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is my top ten "older" books that I don't want people to forget about. For clarification of the topic, I interpreted "older" to mean any books published at least ten years ago. 

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (1997) — Ella Enchanted will forever and always be my favorite Cinderella (and fairy-tale in general) retelling. Although she's cursed with obedience, Ella is spunky, clever, and determined, and the type of fairy-tale heroines that all retelling authors should attempt to imitate. I am beyond saddened at how horribly the movie represented this book. The movie can fade into oblivion, but I want this story to be read for ages to come.

Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith (1997) — Crown Duel is one of my favorite fantasies. My version actually has the two novels Crown Duel and Court Duel combined. I love how the two different novels each focus on a different issue, as evidenced by the title. The former is all about war tactics and physical fighting while the second is about political intrigue in court. Together they can help readers see how multifaceted political conflicts really are.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (1999) — Speak is such a subtle yet powerful book and really raises awareness of the many issues that teens endure in our current society. Even if more and more awareness is raised about these particular issues, this is a book that should constantly be read. I haven't read any of Anderson's other books, but my understanding is that they all deal with important teen issues that need to continually be brought to attention.
The Giver by Lois Lowry (1993) — The Giver is my favorite YA/MG dystopian novel of all time. I just love the world Lowry created where people place all the world's memories on one person, who then makes informed decisions about how everyone should live. It speaks volumes in terms of how much people can be afraid to hear the truth, and how tempting it is to hand all the responsibility to another.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953) — Bradbury's perennial classic about the threats of too much governmental control and censorship so far has been remembered. I think that this is another dystopian that needs to be read. While I can't imagine modern societies burning books and enforcing censorship, it has happened before. So it's an issue we definitely need to keep in the backs of our minds. Words contain so much power. 

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (2002) — Both The House of the Scorpion and The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm are fantastic examples of Nancy Farmer's post-apocalyptic series. I love the fact that The House of the Scorpion takes place in a futuristic world infused with Mexican culture. It's hands-down one of the most thought-provoking books I ever read as a child. What does define life? What sort of ownership should humans have over their clones? Mat's story is one that will continue to resonate with me for years and years.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (1997) — Of course the first Harry Potter book had to make my list! It's not my favorite (that would be the seventh book), but it establishes the groundwork for one of the best children's fantasy series I have ever read. There's just something so satisfying about reading how an isolated child told he's nothing special for years suddenly finds out he's magical and has a means to leave his horrible old life behind. And nothing beats reading about Harry discovering the magical world of wizardry for the first time.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (1985) — Although I have owned this book for long time, I only read it myself two years ago. One of the best aspects about Ender's Game is how it shows the strength and power that children have, but it's about more than brute strength or military tactics. Children are ultimately shown to be resourceful, whether it is Ender and his friends developing new drills to test out against other teams], or Valentine and Peter influencing political decisions.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960) — If there was any story to be a one-hit (er, one-novel) wonder of, it would definitely be To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee's classic story forces us to look at societal issues such as racism through the eyes of a child. Perhaps that isn't too out of the ordinary now, but back then it certainly was something radical back when it was published.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (1967) — Another YA classic. It's been such a long time since I've last read The Outsiders, but it really is such a moving book. Besides giving its readers a little insight into a past culture, it deals with some perennial issues that teenagers continue to face, from ostracism to crushes to drama. And it features a male cast, which is a rarity in YA literature.

What are some older books that you don't want others to forget about?
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Amanda loves few things better than sitting down with a cup of tea and a book. She frequently stays up far too late, telling herself she just needs to finish one more page. When she's not wrapped up in the stories of others, Amanda works as a children's librarian in a public library.


  1. Love the classics on this list!

  2. I loved To Kill A Mockingbird but forgot about it and didn't add it to my top ten.

    Nancy @ The Avid Reader

    My Top Ten

    1. Yes, To Kill a Mockingbird is a great book (and movie).

  3. Great list - I've read all but one of these, and I can testify that they're wonderful books. I doubt any of them will be forgotten. Thanks for sharing!

    1. haha perhaps not, but I'd definitely want to ensure that they don't get forgotten. Thanks!

  4. Okay, so there are quite a few in this list (about half) that I haven't gotten to yet despite them being on my tbr list FOREVER and I am quite ashamed about that. So it's definitely good to get a reminder so that I can keep in mind all the great books I am missing out on. Especially The Giver, good grief. In my defence, my class was pretty much the only class who wasn't made to read that one in school so that's why I never got around to reading it when everyone else did. And I will for sure read Ender's Game before the movie comes out.

    1. Aw I'm sure you can get to them all! I don't know which ones you're missing, but I would recommend starting with The Giver regardless. That and The House of the Scorpion are some of my favorite YA "classics." And yes! I just hope the movie of Ender's Game does justice to the book.


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