Thanks to Jacqui for the heads up. Go here. Read about it. Then submit your selections to Fusenumber8@gmail.com. Put them in order, best to tenth best.
1. Potter--I picked the first one for the sake of simplicity, but really, any of them would do. Why it's number one: I used the stranded on a deserted island test. If I were in such a place, I would read and reread and reread any of the Harry Potter books above the others on the list.
2. Maniac Magee--First, it's awesome. Second, it's totally boy. Third, Spinelli deserves to be on the list and Maniac is his best work. There are other reasons.
3. Holes--Pure story. Awesome plotting. And another one for the boys.
4. Charlotte's Web--Is there a better story of friendship?
5. The Tale of Despereaux--I love Kate DiCamillo's writing, and for my money, Despereaux is her best story.
6. James and the Giant Peach--Because you must include Dahl.
7. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing--More a series of vignettes than a "story," but I read it to my third graders every year and they love it. After all these years, it's still funny.
8. The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963--I like unconventional. A lot. Which is partly why Maniac Magee (a serious story about race that's told as a tall tale), Despereaux (the dicking around of the timeline is fun), Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (see above), and Watsons make the list. Christopher Paul Curtis spends a good three-quarters of the book making you laugh your ass off and then--WHAM!--church bombing! I admire his guts (or ignorance--He's admitted as much in interviews), but I admire his publisher's guts even more.
9. The Westing Game--Because mysteries are fun and this is the best middle grade one I've read. We need more good mysteries. Anyone willing to write one?
10. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH--Like James and the Giant Peach, this one makes the list because I loved it as a kid. I like it somewhat less now, but you can't argue with nostalgia. I still refuse to admit Knight Rider sucked.
Now show me yours. But do it on your own blog, please.