The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (recommended by William, Political-Economic Section)
The great American author Earnest Hemingway once said “All American literature begins with Huckleberry Finn.” Although the story is ostensibly an adventure tale about a vagabond young boy and an escaped slave traveling on the Mississippi River prior to the Civil War, Twain uses the story to challenge traditional notions of authority, morality, and racial attitudes. It’s also the first major work to use American vernacular and regional English.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (recommended by Ariadne, Consular Section)
This moving picture book, authored by one of the greatest American poets, was first published in 1964. Classic story about the life-long friendship between a tree and a boy. During the book, the boy grows up, becoming a young man, and then an old man, while the tree continues to support him over the course of the boy’s entire life. I feel that this book is both sweet and slightly disconcerting, and shows readers how love can sometimes mean sacrifice and sadness.
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (recommended by Keisha, Cultural Unit)
I have wonderful memories of reading this book to my children. It is my favorite book to read to kids because it is engaging (the kids like to shout “I would not eat them ANYWHERE!”) and fun, especially for those just learning to read or new to the English language.
The Pigeon series by Mo Williems (recommended by Ryan, age 7)
When a bus driver takes a break from his route, a very unlikely volunteer springs up to take his place-a pigeon! But you’ve never met one like this before. As he pleads, wheedles, and begs his way through the book, children will love being able to answer back and decide his fate.
The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss (recommended by Bella, age 6)
The Sneetches and Other Stories is a collection of stories by American author Dr. Seuss, published in 1961. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children. This story teaches us to be kind to those who are different.
Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (recommended by Aaron, Political-Economic Section)
Classic children’s tale about a young boy who is sent to bed without any supper, and then magically sails away to a land inhabited by monsters, who hail the young boy as their king.