As adults, what children’s books do you remember vividly? Which authors stood out to you as your favorites? One recent blog post attempted to name “The 10 Best Authors of Children’s Literature,” including favorites of many gifted readers like Lois Lowry and Katherine Paterson. It’s not the first list of its kind on the Internet, but it raises the question of what parents and teachers of gifted readers can do with lists like these. Some ideas include:
- Make a list: This especially works great with more than one child. Have each make his or her own list of the top 10 children’s authors, then compare their listings. Students can argue for and against including various authors. To up the ante, have them post their lists in their own blog entries on a class or home blog.
- Challenge a reader’s repertoire: Many of the authors on this list and others have huge catalogs of titles or a lengthy series of books. Students can be challenged to read everything an author has written (within their grade/reading level) or an entire series, then chart the differences in an author’s work from book to book. This also could be a great way to spice up a summer reading challenge at a local library or through Barnes & Noble’s summer reading program.
- Find gifted protagonists: For young gifted readers, finding characters like themselves can help them gain insight into their own everyday struggles and worries. Have kids dig into the authors on this list to see which characters reflect their own giftedness (E.L. Konigsburg is a good place to start). Then, have the students create book trailers to share with other gifted kids to encourage them to read books with gifted characters. A good site for finding book trailer resources is this blog.
If your gifted students have connected with their favorite authors in other ways, we’d love to hear about it!