In December, the UK National Literacy Trust, sponsored by Starbucks, commissioned a YouGov poll of 2,688 adults to launch a drive to get 50,000 books for schools donated to Starbucks stores this Christmas. The results of the poll (top 10 favorite children's books) were published in this Guardian Unlimited story on December 21st. Beloved and prolific UK author Enid Blyton dominated the poll, with books in the first and third place spots, edging out the Chronicles of Narnia despite the recent movie. The complete list follows:
- The Famous Five books by Enid Blyton
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
- The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
- The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
- Charlie and Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
- Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
- Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
- The Biggles series by W. E. Johns
- Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
- The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien
I've read 8 out of 10 of the books and series on the list. Swallows and Amazons has been on my list for a while, but I haven't tried it yet. And I'm not at all familiar with The Biggles. I suppose I'll have to add them to my list. I loved The Famous Five books books when I was a child. They are about four children and dog who go on a series of adventures, and have many excellent picnics. Sadly, I found that I was not able to re-read those as an adult, due to the extremely stereotyped gender roles. I think that The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Charlie and Chocolate Factory and The Narnia books should be on everyone's list.
I learned about this survey in ReadAlert, a blog about youth literature maintained by the State Library of Victoria, Australia. This blog also has a link to a very funny column about how the Famous Five feel about their recently popularlity win. This column will likely only be funny to those who have actually read the Five books.