American Spectator Children's Booklist
Welcome to the first annual American Spectator Children’s Book List! Whew! This is a labor of love and will hopefully be a guide and help to you. How we picked the books: 1. We liked them. This may sound obvious, but there are books that stuck with us and we love. That means some books considered “great” like Watership Down and The Great Gatsby are not on there. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get these books for your children if you think they’re the best. Your enthusiasm is infectious for your child or grandchild. Go for it!
2. Their message is moral. There are many books out there that are very good but require a sophisticated and strong moral ethic to be in place before reading them, otherwise, the book can be misunderstood and reinforce values that a parent doesn’t want their child to have. This is subtle. There are books not included on this list that are fantastic but may be better left to adulthood.
3. The writing is beautiful. There are many good stories written. Some people are snobby about this and won’t read anything that doesn’t convey lofty ideas in perfect prose. To me, that’s silly. Not every book has to be a Tolkienesque epic where the writing itself is poetic. Sometimes good stories are just fun to read even if the writer could use a good editor (hello Stephen King.) But we endeavored to pick books for this list that feature different styles that are all beautiful. (We do have one Stephen King novel in there, though.)
4. The illustrations are beautiful. For the younger years, gorgeous illustrations and the one-on-one time on mom or dad’s lap reinforce reading in the most lovely way. At The American Spectator, we value the art as much as the writing. We love the sensation of the paper and covers. We value that for children, too. They are sensitive little beings and pick up on themes and tone visually, too.