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Top Books to Share with Your Children

Which book would you most like to pass on to your children? This was the question posed by Britian’s University of Worcester, querying 2,000 adults about the singular book they would choose to share with their kids. Being a British poll, native authors were heavily favored in the top ten list, with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol taking the number one spot. The only Americans to make the list were George Orwell, who came in at number seven with Animal Farm and Harper Lee, who earned the tenth spot with her only novel To Kill a Mockingbird.

The premise of the poll, choosing only one book, is a bit unfair, as most book lovers would be hard pressed to chose just a single book to pass on to their children. No doubt a list as subjective as this will have many bibliophiles shaking their heads at the titles that were not included. For my part, I would have included at least one Roald Dahl title, James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory come quickly to mind. I also feel that J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye deserves a spot, as Holden Caulfield, that paragon of adolescent discontent, has left an indelible imprint on contemporary literature.

Even Alison Flood, a writer for The Guardian has trouble deciding on just one book to share. “I honestly can’t, and I’m tying myself up in knots a little here worrying about what I’d go for. That said, I certainly wouldn’t have chosen A Christmas Carol, even as a reader, although not a particularly avid one, of Dickens. If it has to be Mr 200, then David Copperfield or Great Expectations (not placed on the list) would be better bets for me – and they’ve more pages to boot; if Orwell, then I’d send my children 1984-wards, rather than to Animal Farm (seventh on the list),” she writes.

What do you say avid readers? Which books would you choose to share with your kids?

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