Books in which people read
Back to: Top |
Lists |Booktalks main page
A Few Fair Days; Jane Gardam
A Great Good Thing by Roderick
Townley. A novel told from the storybook characters' vantage point,
who are only *on* when they have a Reader.
A la Recherche, Proust.
A Long Way from Verona; Jane Gardam
A PLACE TO CALL HOME, (Atheneum)
Ana and her little sister read RUNAWAY BUNNY together as a way of comforting
themselves in the face of their mother's disappearance.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Francie
Nolan checks out two books from the library every Saturday and reads one
on the fire escape outside of her apartment while eating peppermint wafers.
Also, from the time she and her brother are infants until they are old
enough to read to themselves, Francie's mother reads them a page from the
Bible and one from Shakespeare every night.
All-of-a-Kind Family, by Sydney
Taylor. Opening chapter about the sisters' weekly visit to the library,
later chapter about their acquisition of several used books.
And Peakie Lived Happily Ever
After, Lavinia Russ
Aunt Chip and the Great Triple
Creek Dam Affair by Patricia Polacco
Awake and Dreaming, Kit Pearson's
Governor-General Award winner, features a child who finds solace from an
uncertain and unhappy existence in reading.
Baa, Baa Black Sheep
Bastables, E. Nesbit. include
quite a few references to the books that they read, and their impact on
Be a Perfect Person in Just Three
Days by Stephen Manes (NY, Clarion, 1982)
Because of Winn Dixie, India reads
_Gone With the Wind_ to her elderly friend.
Behind the Scenes at the Museum.
Betsy-Tacy books, e.g. "Betsy
and Tacy Go Downtown" Maud Hart Lovelace
Book by Peter Catalanotto.
Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss
BOUNCING ON THE BED (Orchard),
toddler and his dad are seen reading together - "He reads the words. I
turn the page."
Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine
Paterson. Jess reads one of Lloyd Alexander's books (title not mentioned),
lent to him by Leslie.
Buckley, Grandmother and I--one
scene (in both versions) shows the child sitting next to older sibling(s)
as they read to her Hoban, Arthur's Prize Reader
BUD, NOT BUDDY, it is a librarian
that pulls out the ATLAS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA to show Bud where
his favorite librarian, Miss Hill, now resides. And then she pulls out
STANDRD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDE to show him directly where Chicago was from
Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen
Crossing Jordan, by Adrienne Fogelin.
The girls read Jane Eyre together.
Eating Between the Lines, Kevin
Major, Doubleday Canada, 1991, uses reading as a gourmandizing experience
for the hero.
Edward and the Pirates by David
Fire and Hemlock, Diana Wynne
Jones, begins with the main character picking up a book and beginning to
piece together events in her life that had been magically obscured from
her memory. One of her memories is of receiving special books from an older
friend the Christmas after her parents are divorced. Both writing and reading
are very important escapes for her.
Gone with the Wind, by Margaret
Mitchell. Melanie reads Dickens aloud to a group of women tensely awaiting
word of their men out on a vigilante mission.
Half Magic, Edward Eager
Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen
King the main character is given a book by his neighbor (Lord of the Flies)
and can't put it down. He also reads the newspaper to him everyday to earn
money for a bicycle he wants.
How Green Was My Valley
How to Be a Real Person... in
Just One Day by Sally Warner
Hunger of Memory, Richard Rodriguez,
(literacy distances him from his family)
It All Started with Jane Eyre,
Sheila Greenwald's has the protagonist reading JE and YA problem novels
(and then deciding her family and friends have some of the same problems
she's finding in fiction).
Jeremiah Learns to Read, Jo Ellen
Bogart. is a picture book about an elderly man who is immensely capable
in many ways, but is unable to read. The book details his learning to read
and how it enriches his life.
Katie John and Heathcliff. Mary
Calhoun: (impact on Katie of reading "Wuthering Heights")
Lark Rise to Candleford, Flora
LAST VOYAGE OF THE MISTY DAY (Atheneum),
Denny hauls out all her childhood favorite Christmas books as a way of
remembering good times with her father.
L'Enfant noir (English title is,
variously, _The African Child_, _The Dark Child_ and probably others).
Camara Laye, There is a marvelous description of the oral performance of
a _griot_, or paid orator. I haven't read all of this text, but if
memory serves it also has the child distanced from his family and culture
by reading. Someone on the list who does French literature might
be able to speak to how often literacy narratives are part of the "souvenir
d'enfance" (memories of childhood) genre.
Lyddie by Katherine Paterson (Being
read to and then learning to read _Oliver_ maintain Lyddie through her
separation from her family and factory working conditions.)
Matilda_ by Roald Dahl. The protagonist
Memoirs of a Bookbat by Kathryn
Moffats books; Eleanor Estes e.g.
the library episode in "Rufus M", and the one in "The Middle Moffat" where
Jane resolves to read every book in the library in order
MOLE AND SHREW series (Random)
Mole is a great reader. He is seen reading in MOLE AND SHREW ALL YEAR THROUGH
and then again extensively in MOLE AND SHREW HAVE JOBS TO DO - in which
Mole and Shrew go job hunting, trying out a number of jobs with humorous
and disastrous results. Ultimately they come to the conclusion that they
should do what they love, which for Mole is sharing his love of books as
Narrative of the Life of Frederick
Douglass, An American Slave: Written by Himself. Young Frederick
surreptitiously teaches himself to read, and literacy eventually leads
to his freedom. The focus is on the reading act rather than specific
works, though some are mentioned.
Nightjohn, Gary Paulsen, where
slaves seek to learn to read at a time when this was forbidden.
Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen's,
is of course about a young woman's reading and its impact on her. The potentially
misleading influence of bad novels also features in some less well-known
books of about the same time; e.g. the story of "Angelina or l'Amie Inconnue"
in Maria Edgeworth's "Moral Tales".
Peter's Room; Antonia Forest
POSSIBLES, Vaunda Micheaux Nelson,
it is the protagonist, Sheppy who reads to her dying father poetry and
it just happens to be Shel Silverstein's "Listen to the Mustn'ts" from
WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS.
RAISING DRAGONS, Jerdine Nolen,
the protagonist goes to the library to pick up MURDOCK'S ADVENTURE ATLAS
OF THE KNOWN AND UNKNOWN.
Ramona, Age 8 by Beverly Clearly
(Sustained Silence Reading or DEAR is Ramona's retreat from a pesky Willa
Reading to Matthew, Jacqueline
Vivelo, 1993, Roberts Rinehart Publishers (poignant book)
Seven Day Magic by Edward Eager
- has a great scene of the five children going to the library and being
pleased (or disappointed) by their selections. And the magic all
happens when they check out a book and start reading it - and they're in
Seven Days to a Brand-New Me,
Ellen Conford, a girl reads a self-improvement book and a Harlequin-style
So You Want to be a Wizard by
Diane Duane - great beginning scene in a library where the book "So YWTBAW"
grabs Nita's hand - and starts her on a whole new path.
SOMEDAY (Orchard), Celie reads
GONE WITH THE WIND as a way of escaping from her own troubles.
Swallows and Amazons, Arthur Ransome,
all the children, but especially the sensitive protagonist Titty Walker,
adore Robinson Crusoe.
Thank You Mr. Falker--Patricia
The Ballad of Lucy Whipple, by
Karen Cushman. Lucy's few books are passed from hand to hand throughout
the mining community in 19th century California.
The Bookstore Mouse by Peggy Christian
The Cricket Term
The Daring Game, Kit Pearson,
the heroine decides to go to boarding school based on her reading of school
stories—the reality does not live up to the fiction
THE FALCON (Atheneum), Luke is
not seen reading, but does refer to and discuss his favorite book, CATCHER
IN THE RYE many times.
The Fragile Flag. Jane Langton
The Great Good Thing, Roderick
Townley. published this year by Atheneum, a wonderfully imagined tale that
posits what happens to a book's characters when the book is closed. The
act of reading is a powerful one, and the central metaphor for the story.
The King of the Barbareens, Janet
Hitchman: especially the episode where she reads "Jane Eyre", and the impact
it has on her
THE LIBRARY by Sarah Stewart;
pictures by David Small
The Library Card, Jerry Spinelli,
The Most Beautiful Place in The
World by Ann Cameron about a South American boy who wants to read and learns
some by reading sections of the newspaper while waiting to shine shoes
on the street.
The Mystery of the Plant That
Ate Dirty Socks, Michael is reading The Curse of the Evil Ooze
The Never Ending Story
The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton.
Ponyboy reads Gone with the Wind to Johnny in the church.
The Pagemaster (out of print)
THE PRIMROSE WAY (Harcourt), Rebecca
smuggles her favorite books across the ocean to the New World even though
her Puritan father frowns on women reading anything other than the Bible.
The Return of the Evil Ooze, which
have plots that parody the Goosebumps series. He and his friends brag to
one another about how many they have
The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth
George Speare. Matt reads aloud to Attean from Robinson Crusoe to teach
him to read. Matt reads aloud until a section where a "savage" bows
down to a white man and becomes his slave. After that, Attean doesn't
want to hear any more of the book because that event is not realistic in
The Summer After the Funeral ;
To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem is
forced to read each day to a dying old woman who is trying to break her
addiction to morphine.
Tomas and the Library Lady. Pat
Mora and Raul Colon
Travel Far, Pay No Fare, Anne
Lindbergh. about a magical summer reading program where the children
enter the books.
What Then, Raman? by Shirley Arora.
Raman reads little paper books of Indian legends and dreams of owning a
Wolf by Becky Bloom
Words by Heart---Ouida Sebastian
I Hate to Read, Rita Marshall,
1992, Creative Editions
Least of All_ by Carol Purdy.
NY, M.K. McElderry, 1987
More than Anything Else_ by Marie
Bradby NY, Orchard Books, 1995 (Actually, while the main character
is depicted on the cover holding a book, he does not actually read it in
the course of the story--he seeks out someone who can teach him to read,
so he can read the book eventually)
My Great Aunt Arizona by Gloria
Houston, 1992, HarperCollins
Papa's Stories, Dolores Johnson,
Possum Magic, Mem Fox, 1983, Harcourt
The Libarary by Sarah Stewart,
1995, Farrar Straus Giroux (Even the cover shows the main character
The Library Dragon, Carmen Agra
Deedy, 1994, Peachtree Publishers LTD.
The Wednesday Surprise_ by Eve
Bunting NY, Clarion, 1989 is about a girl who secretly teaches her
grandmother how to read.
| Last Updated: December 28, 2001 |
Copyright © 1999-
by Nancy J. Keane
Permission is granted for the noncommercial duplication
and use of this resource, provided it is substantially unchanged from its
present form and appropriate credit is given.