Featured: 10 Timeless Books

Books amaze us countless times. Whether it is the plot or the characters, timeless books always draw you in. They hypnotize you with words and affect your feelings, through anger and sadness when a character dies, or delight when the story ends happily. Some books, like the books featured in this month’s 10 Ways…, are great examples of stories that capture the imagination. With a barrage of literary awards, these books are renowned for being impressive, spectacular works.

1. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Bridge to Terabithia is a story about two young kids named Jess and Leslie who create a fictional kingdom called Terabithia. In this kingdom, they reign as the king and queen and their imagination is their power. This book won the Newberry Medal in 1978, one year after it was published by HarperCollins. While heartbreaking, Bridge to Terabithia clearly demonstrates the power of friendship.

2. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

This book, besides winning the Newberry Medal in 1961, has won the William Allen White Children’s Book Award. Island of the Blue Dolphins is a story about a girl named Karana, who was left behind by her tribe because she didn’t want to leave her younger brother. She returns to the island only to find out that wild dogs killed her brother. Like Robinson Crusoe, she tries to survive and fend for herself in the island. Island of the Blue Dolphins shows how strong Karana is despite the numerous obstacles she faced, especially being all alone on the island.

3. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

The story is set during the Nazi invasion in Copenhagen, Denmark. It features the 10-year old girl named Annemarie in this dark time. In the story, she seems used to seeing Nazi soldiers everywhere but as time passes, she realizes that the war is affecting her life more than she thought. She learns that no matter how old you are courage can help to make a change. Number the Stars is a gripping novel for young kids and adults as well. It deserved the Newberry award it won in1990.

4. Holes by Louis Sachar

This book won two awards: the Newberry Medal and the U.S. National Book Award for Young People’s Literature – both won in the year 1999. This book was also adapted into a film by Walt Disney Pictures starring Shia LaBeouf. It’s a story about a boy named Stanley Yelnats who is unlucky enough to be falsely accused of stealing a famous person’s shoes and is sent to a juvenile camp for boys. There, he meets Hector or Zero who, later in the story becomes his best friend, and Warden Walker who is the granddaughter of Trout Walker. He was the reason the land was experiencing drought. Holes weaves through past and present; depicting the lives of the ancestors of Stanley, Hector and the Warden. It is truly deserving of its awards because the way Stanley continued to show kindness and compassion despite his adversities is something rare.

5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

This is a tale of two runaway siblings named Claudia and Jamie. They end up in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York where they are amazed and astounded by the artwork, especially the marble statue of an angel. The two siblings go to Mrs. Frankweiler who was the previous owner of the statue. They continue to search for the secret of the statue until they found the secret hidden in her files. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Franweiler is a witty and smartly-plotted novel that deserves its Newberry Award.

6. The House of Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

The story is set in the land of Opium, a land between the United States and Mexico. Matt is a clone who shares the same DNA as the extremely rich El Patron. Throughout the book, Matt questions himself because he finds it hard to believe that El Patron wants to harm him and how can you harm yourself? The House of Scorpioin is a book that won the U.S. National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. It’s a book that exemplifies that hope is still present in a dystopian-like world.

7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief is a unique book because the narrator is an entity that Markus Zusak created which is Death. It narrates its experiences with nine-year-old Liesel Meminger. She tries to find herself by stealing something that she can’t resist – books. Soon enough, she is stealing books wherever she can steal from – may it be from Nazi book-burnings or even from the mayor’s wife’s library. The Book Thief is an unforgettable tale that shows the ability of books to draw and feed people’s imagination.

8. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea is one of Ernest Hemingway’s most enduring works. It was also his last major work. It revolves around Santiago, an old fisherman who struggles with a marlin in the Gulf Stream. With Hemingway’s contemporary style, the theme of bravery in the face of adversities is clear in The Old Man and the Sea. Written in 1951 and published in 1952, it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in the following year.

9. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

The Tale of Despereaux centers around firstly, Despereaux Tilling, a mouse that was considered as an outsider because of his unusual personality and his considerably large ears. He breaks the number one rule of their kind, which is never to fall in love with a human, and fell in love with Princess Pea. Second, it centers on Roscuro, a rat trapped in the dungeon with a mysterious past. He began to crave the two things he was denied of – light and color. Third, the story focuses on Miggery Sow, a girl who lost her mother when she was young. She was sold to an old man who abused her until she became almost deaf. Finally, she comes to the Palace as a maid but she has different aspirations than being a servant to the Princess: she wants to be a Princess herself. The three characters listed above have their corresponding own ‘book’ and in the last ‘book’, Kate DiCamillo concludes the novel. The Tale of Despereaux is one of the most spellbinding narratives ever. The book is filled with wit, compassion and forgiveness. It celebrates courage and truly it deserves the award that it has won which was the Newberry Medal.

10. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

The story revolves around three young kids named Meg Murry, Charles Wallace and Calvin. Meg’s father was a government scientist who was working on a mysterious project called tesseract when he mysteriously disappeared. It is now time for the three of them to search for Meg’s missing father through different dimensions. A Wrinkle in Time is a well-expressed narrative. It clearly depicts the values of family and maturation. A Wrinkle in Time truly deserves its title as a Newberry Medal winner.

Thanks to harry styles. and Kurtni for editing!

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