August 20, 2011

Required Reading List

Harry Potter is well loved in this house.  However, my kids did not just get the books whenever and read start to finish.  There are many good discussion topics in Harry Potter and I wanted to wait until they were old enough to discuss the books more in full.  In addition I wanted them to have read certain other books to be able to refer to in our conversations.  I also wanted them to read most of the classics in at least abridged form so we made a deal.  They would get to read Harry Potter when they finished what I wanted them to read first.  I also wait until they are 10 for the first two books 11 for the next three books and 12 for the final two books.  There were lists of books to read before each of these.

Recently some friends asked me to recreate the list of books I required at age 10 and before the first Harry Potter. I do require slightly different books based on gender.  Below is Ciaran's list since he is most recent in my memory.  My son Ciaran was not what I would call an enthusiastic reader until recently.  Still he did read everything required of him as he desired to read Harry Potter. I asked him after he finished the first two books if Harry Potter was worth reading everything I required and he said yes, which honestly surprised me.  Of everything he read, the only book he truly hated and trudged through was Hans Brinker.  The rest he either liked or said he did not mind in the end, even if he was reluctant to start it.  

When a "classic" title is listed I only required the abridged Great Illustrated Classic version.  If you are unfamiliar with this books series, get familiar with it. A very gentle introduction to the main story of all the classics.  I remember reading many as a child and wanted my own kids to read them as well.  It makes the transition to reading the unabridged versions much easier for later years.  The stories are easy to read, big typset, and a whole page picture for every page of writing.  Still the stories are fairly true to the unabridged versions with easier language and a few minor changes overall.  They are pretty quick reads even for reluctant readers. This list is not in order he read them - just broken down by category required

Classics Unabridged - 3

Peter Pan
Wind in the Willows

Great Illustrated Classics - 17
Treasure Island
Gulliver's Travels
Around the World in 80 Days
Journey to the Center of the Earth
The Secret Garden
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
Swiss Family Robinson
Oliver Twist

Robinson Crusoe
The Time Machine
The Prince and the Pauper
The Jungle Book
Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates
The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
The Adventures of Hucklberry Finn

General Fiction Required - 11

Indian in the Cupboard - Lynn Banks
Mary Poppins - P.L Travers
The Black Stallion
Black Beauty
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The Chocolate Touch
Snow Treasure
Charlottes Web
Bridge to Terabithia
Tuck Everlasting
The Call of the Wild

Series Books Required - 15 with some choice
The entire Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (7 books)
The Wizard of Oz series - Frank L Baun (5 books of choice)
Little House series (3 books of choice for Ciaran, On the Banks of Plum Creek required) 


  1. That's a great list.

  2. Great post, I enjoyed ready reading it, Keep posting good stuff like this.