Thursday, August 04, 2011

Top 10 books to read aloud

Mal Peet is an author of young adult fiction. His second novel, Tamar, won the Carnegie medal, and his fourth, Exposure, won the Guardian children's fiction prize. His latest novel, Life: An Exploded Diagram, is now available in the UK.

For the Guardian, Peet named a top ten list of books that his children liked to have read to them and that he liked reading.

One of two stories by Dickens to make the list:
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

The other Dickens novel that children are most likely to enjoy. Mind you, you'll do well to get through it in under a month. I could never be an actor. I'm too easily embarrassed. I do like doing voices, though, and Dickens Рan actor manqu̩ himself Рwrites great voices. If time travel were an option in the Guardian travel supplement, I'd pay good money to be in an audience when Dickens was reading. I'd like to know how well he managed the myriad voices he deploys in his books. I was pretty good but inconsistent. "Dad," Lauren would complain, "this is the Artful Dodger. You're doing Nancy." The strange thing (in the sense of "not funny at all") is that Oliver Twist, a story about abandoned and unloved children resorting to street crime in order to survive, seems urgently contemporary.
Read about another book on the list.

Oliver Twist is on John Mullan's list of ten of the best handkerchiefs in literature; it is one of John Inverdale's six best books.

Also see: Meghan Cox Gurdon's five best list of children's books that are especially enthralling when read aloud.

--Marshal Zeringue