All the while I was
wasting so much time engrossed with Volume Eight of Our Wonder World, I had in the back of my brain something I’d read a long time ago. I could paraphrase it well enough, but that wasn’t good enough. And then…
“He welcomed the story as an old and dear friend.” Just lovely.
I mention this because I perused Amazon’s “100 Children’s Books to Read in a Lifetime” yesterday. What rubbish. I recognized 22 that I would consider classics, and I even allowed for modern classics like My Side of the Mountain and The Secret Garden. There were 14 such modern entries on my list. That leaves eight– of one hundred– that would have been both on Amazon’s list, and on the “Good Books to Read” in 1914 list. Or– and let me turn on that part of my brain that does arithmetic– to put it another way, 92 out of 100 (that’s about 92%) of the books Amazon recommends for kids of all ages (that’s how I interpret “to read in a lifetime”) have been written since 1914! That’s pretty freaking stunning.
But. As I approach Old Age, I’m tired of griping. What can I do?
If these two are representative, the Librarians will be of no help. Heck, the libraries themselves are going to black mold hell. Friends of Libraries are social clubs whose members would not know a classic if it whacked ’em on the head. Teachers? Don’t be silly.