I was thinking about making a reading list for my daughter when she gets older – something wholesome and absent of Satanism.
So I started reading this book that I was introduced to about a decade ago—Anne of Green Gables. I visited Prince Edward Island in Canada and saw the house where the author (Lucy Montgomery) grew up. It was a quaint little place, still stuck in the 1800s.
The book is ok, basically. Kind of an Oliver Twist type story, only for young girls: i.e. the orphan who succeeds against all odds. She might like it. Although she’s not an orphan, so maybe not. We tend to relate more to characters that are similar to ourselves.
Perhaps it’s better to not expose children to fiction. It could give them false ideas about the true nature of humanity. For example, happy endings don’t always happen (unless you pay $50 at a Korean massage parlor).
Better to do as Benjamin Franklin’s father did—only expose children to fact(s) in their formative years. That way they don’t become addicted to fairytales and fantasies.
6 thoughts on “On Choosing a Reading List for One’s Daughter”
Your ambivalence is showing, my Good Lord.
It is touching to see you waffling, for some reason. I sometimes picture as you this ramrod straight military figure who never bends, never breaks. Your humanity does you credit.
When you waffle a little, you show a side of you that is bumpy and life-experienced, as though all the bad moments you’ve had are raising their little heads on your skin, like little pinpoints. Your willpower, starting from an already strong base, reasserts itself after you slam the door on alternative choices. But what choice will stay, which shall be kicked out?
I think you’re lonely, Major. I am too. Perhaps that’s why we’re drawn to each other.
I think frankly your heart is in a place it can be reached by mine
Good point, sir. It’s best to be cruel and unwavering, especially as a full-grown man. Not to mention…chicks find it hot.
Anne of Green Gables is a good book for a girl around 9 or 10. I am not inclined to agree that we like stories to which we can relate to the characters too closely. Universal values and the true, good, and beautiful are more important, I think.
I’m sure you know that I have all kinds of thoughts on this subject, both as a parent of daughters, a teacher of writing and literature, and a lover of books. If you’re willing to give me an age range, I’ll ponder a bit and offer you a list of books. And they won’t all be girly, because I think it does both sexes good to read books where the lead character is the opposite sex. The main thing is an emphasis on the good, the true, and the beautiful. I think Anne of Green Gables fits that bill.
I tend to favor nonfiction but children can learn a great deal from stories, especially when they are young. Don’t dismiss them too quickly.
El, thank you. I agree with you assessment about non-fiction. Much better to start with fact and work your way outward.
I would really appreciate a few fection book suggestions Thank you for that. My daughter is only four, but I am preparing for her future reading list. One can never be too ahead of the game in this regard.
I meant non-fiction is my preferred reading choice for myself, although I am learning to branch out more and appreciate a well woven tale.
At four, even if your little girl can read, she would probably most enjoy having you and/or your beloved wife read aloud to her. Classics that are great for that at this age include:
-The Wind in the Willows
-My Father’s Dragon
-Peter Pan (the original, unabridged version)
-The Boxcar Children
-Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
-The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
As she is learning to read, don’t rule out picture books. She is a kid, and most like color and pictures. Of course, you need to chose them with care. Robert McCloskey is a sure and true author for kids’ picture books, and the art is classic and beautiful, not silly.
I also love The Bremen Town Musicians by The Brothers Grimm. Great story.
Nonfiction books I have few recommendations for because a lot of that is based on her interests, what you want her to learn and why. And with nonfiction (unless it’s hard science), you always have to be on the lookout for the slant or agenda.
Hope all that helps!
Great info, El! It is much appreciated. I can’t believe some of those slipped my mind, such as the Brothers Grimm.