Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “ten books I want my future children (or nieces/nephews, godchildren, etc.) to read.” I had a lot of fun coming up with this list (although it was difficult!), so let’s get into the books I chose!
madalyn’s top ten
Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling // I mean, I might as well get the obvious choices out of the way first. I can’t wait to read Harry Potter books with my future kids and to watch them experience the magic that has meant so much to me throughout my life.
A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray // Anyone who knows me probably knows how dear I hold this trilogy. I think Gemma and her story informed so much of the feminist I eventually became. Middle-school-Madalyn read this story at the exact right time. I needed a protagonist like Gemma, who is one of the strongest female protagonists I can think of, without ever being characterized as physically strong or intimidating. Plus, like, my ultimate goal in life is to force everyone I love to read Libba Bray, because she IS my all-time favorite author, after all.
Between the World & Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates // I think this book should be required reading for everyone. It’s such a concise, powerful narrative about institutionalized racism, police brutality, and just being black in America. The format makes it even more powerful; it’s written in the form of a letter from Coates to his teenage son.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood // No matter what gender my children are, I plan on exposing them to as much feminist literature as possible. I chose The Handmaid’s Tale for this list because, quite frankly, it shows how a society rooted in patriarchy (AKA our current society) can easily devolve into something far more sinister. I feel that it’s as much a cautionary tale as it is a dystopia.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie // Seriously, I could make a list ten miles long of feminist texts I want my future children to read, but I chose this particular book (which is actually a transcription of Ngozi’s TED Talk of the same title) because it’s a quick, eloquent, and most importantly, intersectional, introduction to why feminism is vitally important. (Side note: Adichie’s feminism is not perfect, but I think this particular speech/book holds a lot of educational value.)
March graphic novel series by John Lewis // Another book I think everyone should read. I plan to stay in Atlanta for a while, and John Lewis is such a pivotal figure in this city (he’s my Congressman!) and in the Civil Rights Movement that I think everyone should know his story. The graphic novel format is seriously the perfect format for his memoir, too.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas // I hope to God that by the time I have children (which, let’s be clear WILL NOT BE FOR MANY YEARS), we will have made progress toward confronting and rectifying the immense racial injustices in this country. Either way, though, The Hate U Give perfectly encapsulates this moment in history. It’s a powerful, engaging story with fantastic and much-needed social commentary. Plus, I love the family dynamics in this one.
Noteworthy by Riley Redgate // I want my future kids to read this simply (and selfishly) because this book is me. Seriously, Noteworthy is the book of my heart, and I feel like anyone who reads it automatically would understand me as a person a little better.
My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris // I don’t have any other justification for this book being on my list besides that THIS STORY IS PURE GENIUS. The art, the characters, the setting, the storylines, the representation… it’s simply masterful storytelling. As someone who loves literature, I just want everyone to experience stories like this one.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck // My favorite classic, and another book I’d add to my “required reading for all humans” list. This book, widely considered Steinbeck’s best work, is part family saga, part retelling, and all brilliant. It addresses so many questions of morality, predestination vs. free will, religion, and more. Ugh, it’s so wonderful and necessary and always leads to interesting discussions.
Do you agree with any of the books on my list? What books made your list this week?