May 26, 2011

You Are What You Read

Scholastic's new social networking venture is There is a children's version available here and teacher guides for younger readers and older readers.

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The main thrust of the site is sharing your Bookprint: five books that shaped your life. Personally, I'm still working on mine. I know WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams, THE TRICKSTERS by Margaret Mahy, and THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME by Julia Quinn deserve to be on it. But then I think, perhaps not those. As for the other two, there is some fierce fighting going on among my bookshelves. (I can see THE SCARLET LETTER and A TALE OF TWO CITIES* gearing up to have an Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny.)

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Not that I think my Bookprint is that interesting, compared to the variety of people who have contributed to the site. Users include Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey, and Suzanne Collins. Here are two top ten lists generated by the site:

The 10 most influential books picked by adults on

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

2. The Holy Bible

3. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

6. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

7. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

8. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

9. The Giver by Lois Lowry

10. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

The 10 most influential books picked by kids on

1. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

6. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

7. Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney

9. The 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan

10. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

View a video about the site here.

*Please note that the linked edition is $2.24 at Amazon.


  1. Fascinating to see those 2 lists side by side. Personally I think some of the books on the adult list are overrated - I was influenced by far more genre novels.

  2. That's true. I'm not surprised that most of the classics on the list are aimed at children. No matter how much I love a book now, it will never be as influential as something I read when young.


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