12 books to read before you're 12

Indigo just released a list of books every child should read before they’re 12 years old. Here’s the list and what Cassandre thinks might be missing.

By Cassandre Cadieux
12 books to read before you're 12

Photo: Jenn and Tony Bot/Flickr

My favourite store in the world, Indigo, recently released a list of books they think every child, male or female, should read before they enter the stages of teenage-hood. Quickly glancing at the list, I noticed that some of my picks were noted, but that there might be something missing, especially with a certain blockbuster movie coming out soon.

Here the list:

- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid #1 by Jeff Kinney
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
- Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
- Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
- The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
- Holes by Louis Sachar
- Goosebumps #1: Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine
- Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

After taking a closer look at the list, I noticed that I’ve actually only read three of the books on the list (maybe four, I’m not sure which Goosebumps I've read). That being said, I’m probably not the best person to judge reading knowledge against since I did a lot of my childhood reading in French and never stuck to books that were actually age-appropriate (and some of these books are after my time), but I still thought that was odd.

While it’s a great list, I’m puzzled that J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is nowhere to be found. I didn’t read it as a child (I also didn’t know it existed — my parents aren’t really big readers), but I did study it in children’s literature in university and have many friends who would call it their favourite. Even reading it as an adult I could appreciate it for its younger audience, and could see why it would appeal to children.

I’m also surprised there is no Robert Munsch (or Beatrix Potter!) on the list, but I suppose it might be because there is no Stephanie’s Ponytail feature film, since 10 of the 12 have appeared on the silver screen in the last decade or so (and Goosebumps? was a popular TV show in the 90s). But that’s a whole other question to think about, not to mention adding to my confusion as to why The Hobbit is absent, especially with its promising film opening in December.

Nevertheless, the list contains a dozen great books that I would encourage all children to read. Why not include hitting the library on your to-do list this summer?

Are your favourite children’s books on this list? Which would you add/get rid of?

Photo by Jenn and Tony Bot via Flickr.

This article was originally published on Jul 26, 2012

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