This is the list I submitted for Fuse #8’s Top 100 Chapter Books Poll…
1. Lizard Music
2. The Prince in Waiting — Christopher
3. Ordinary Jack – Cresswell
4. Ramona and her Father
5. The Book of Three
6. The White Mountains – Christopher
7. Prince Jen – Alexander
8. The Westing Game
9. The Case of the Marble Monster (Ooka the Wise)
10. The Blackhand Gang — Press
For the series I love most, I voted for the first in that series… The Book of Three for Prydain, The Prince in Waiting for Sword of the Spirits and The White Mountains for the Tripods Trilogy.
Overall, I’m rather non-plussed by the actual results. Not only did Lizard Music not make it AT ALL… bu Pinkwater himself was shut out. That’s just not right.
Frustrating that Christopher was also shut out after writing so many excellent, thought-provoking, mind-expanding books for middle schoolers.
And as for Helen Cresswell … no surprise that’s she’s not on the list. It is a COSMIC INJUSTICE, but no big surprise.
Why is Lizard Music my #1? Well, you may know that Pinkwaters Alan Mendehlson has a very special place in my heart. And the Snarkout Boys were my heroes. And The Hoboken Chicken Emergency is my idea of a perfect book.
But Lizard Music has a certain something to it. An attempt by Pinkwater to share grand, vast, ineffable things with kids, without dumbing them down. All that and still bigtime funny.
Pinkwater books carry a badly needed message of hope for lonely, weird kids like me: school may stink, but out in the wide world there is wonder and mystery and people who will understand you — or even if they don’t understand you, they’ll won’t make a fuss about it.
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