3 Must-Read Books on Children’s & Young Adult Literature

Here are three books that I recommend for everyone who cares about children’s and Young Adult literature. I’d love to hear your recommendations for books that give insight into the world of kidlit.

The Wand in The Word – edited by Leonard S. Marcus.

The Wand in the Word is a book to curl up with and be inspired by. Interviews with the gods and goddesses of children’s fantasy from Ursula K Leguin and Madeleine L’Engle to Phillip Pullman and Garth Nix. The ‘Q and A’ style creates a sense of sitting down for an intimate chat with the masters.

1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up

1001 Children’s Books is a fantastic reference, separated into rough age-group recommendations. My copy sprouts thousands of scrap-paper bookmarks of titles I hope to get to in the near and distant future. Thankfully I’m not threatening to grow up any time soon.

A Family of Readers

A Family of Readers is my favourite of the three books, recently released in paperback. It is a collection of wide-ranging essays and lists of great-reads in many different genres. Contributors and interviewees include Maurice Sendak, Betsy Byars, Judy Blume and Jon Scieszka. Edited by Roger Sutton and Marth V. Parravano from The Horn Book Magazine, it’s an ambitious, surprising and satisfying read for anyone who loves children’s books. This book is an agitator of discussion, daring the reader to delve into serious issues and ideas around creativity, craft and what constitutes the best in children’s literature.

STOP PRESS: Okay, I lied. I have four recommendations. The Paul Jennings biography by Matthew Ricketson is also a must-read and gives great insight into a fascinating man.

Don’t forget to leave a comment with your favourite books on the subject of kids’ and YA lit.


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