Book Diet: Choosing the Best Books

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. —Francis Bacon Essays (1625), "Of Studies".

Medal Earners

Caldecott Medal & Honor Books– 1938 to present

Newberry Awards– 1922 to present

Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Award Winners – from the website:

“The Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award is an annual award given to the author of the book voted most outstanding by students in grades four through eight in participating Illinois schools. The award is named in honor of Rebecca Caudill who lived and wrote in Urbana, Illinois, for nearly 50 years. The award is given in recognition for her literary talent and the universal appeal of her books which have touched the hearts of many children and young adults.”

The Abraham Lincoln Award –  similar to above, but voted upon by students in grades 9-12

YALSA (the Young Adult division of the American Library Association) has a Teen’s Top Reads each year announced during Teen Read Week – here are the  2015 contenders (voting open until October 24th, 2015)

Other Lists and Resources

Great Books of the Western World  – a project which began at the University of Chicago and collaborated with Mortimer Adler to develop a course for the purpose of helping adults fill in the gaps of their education; to render the reader as an intellectually rounded man or woman familiar with the “Great Books” of the Western canon, and knowledgeable of the great ideas developed in the course of three millennia.

Read-Alouds: Easy Fiction – a Schmaling “house” list created to help parents instill in their children a life-long love for quality, excellent literature.

ATN Reading Resource – a collaborative effort among librarians that has detailed categorizations to help you find specifically what you are searching for

1000 Good Books List – from a classical homeschooling perspective; grouped conveniently by reading/age level

The College Board’s 101 Great Books Recommended for College-Bound Readers

Summer Reading Program selections – what fellow patrons read and how they rated them:
Young Adults