Young readers in the Juniata Valley- and the young at heart - can look in their local libraries for the 100 great books from the last 100 years.
A list of the 100 greatest books for children was developed and just released by the New York Public Library to celebrate children's literature.
It includes picture books for preschoolers as well as books for older readers like "The Hobbit" and "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE BOYER
Books line the shelves in the colorful Children’s Room at the Juniata County Library in Mifflintown.
"What strikes me most is that the list contains not only some fantastic classics like 'The Hobbit' and 'Green Eggs and Ham,' but also some very recent ones like Neil Gaiman's 'The Graveyard Book,'" Brady Clemens, director of the Juniata County Library, said.
"They are classics, and books that are very likely to be classics, books that say something meaningful as 'The Hobbit' does about finding courage or books that help promote learning among children."
Molly Kinney, director of the Mifflin County Library, noticed that "the books on this list are time and children tested. They are not only popular with children and adults, but are really fine examples of the very best that publishers and libraries have for children to explore their world, solve problems, realize they are not alone, and just have fun!"
Readling lists like the one devised by the New York Public Library are tools for anyone seeking a good read.
"Lists like these are useful in that they can help parents select quality works - but they are only a starting point. That's where we come in -if a young reader has enjoyed certain books, we at the library can help point them in the direction of similar books that they might like to read, to help cultivate a lifelong love of reading," Clemens said.
"Juniata has many, if not most, of the works on the list," he said. "And we can always purchase or interlibrary loan books that patrons want that we don't currently have."
At the Mifflin County Library, Kinney said, "Because of the variety and reading levels of this list - there are titles for young children through tweens - public librarians can help parents select age-appropriate titles to share with their children."
Kinney points out that "Because of their popularity and universal themes, these books are often checked out of the library, but customers are welcome to place a hold on any title and we will call when the book is available for check out."
"The Cat in the Hat," "Pippi Longstocking" and "Where the Wild Things Are" all made the list, which accompanies an exhibit on children's literature at the New York Public Library's main building in midtown Manhattan.
Authors Judy Blume and Eric Carle joined librarians for a reading and panel discussion.
"Viewed over time, children's books are the collected memory of our hopes and dreams," said moderator Leonard Marcus, a book critic and the curator of the exhibit. "They are the message in a bottle that each generation tosses out to the next generation in the hope that it may wash ashore and be read and be taken to heart."
Blume, whose "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" is on the list, said that when she was in the fourth grade herself she always had stories in her head.
"But I never told anybody about them because I thought if I did they would think I was weird," she said.
Since Blume began publishing in the 1970s, many of her books dealing with subjects like racism, divorce and sexuality have been banned by authorities who considered the topics inappropriate for children.
"Books that are loved by children are often the books that scare adults," Blume said.
Carle made the library's list with "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," his 1969 picture book about a voracious bug that becomes a butterfly. He said he created the caterpillar by folding and manipulating paper; he first thought of the character as a bookworm, Willie the Worm.
"And I had this wonderful editor and she didn't like the worm so much," Carle said.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Top 100 kids' books
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Because of Winn-Dixie
Big Red Lollipop
The Birchbark House
The Book of Three
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
The Bossy Gallito/El Gallo De Bodas:
A Traditional Cuban Folktale
Bread and Jam for Frances
Bridge to Terabithia
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Caps for Sale
The Cat in the Hat
A Chair For My Mother
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
Frog and Toad Are Friends
From the Mixed-Up Files of
Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
George and Martha
Go, Dog. Go!
The Graveyard Book
Green Eggs and Ham
Harold and the Purple Crayon
Harriet the Spy
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat
Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
The Lion and the Mouse
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Little House
The Little Prince
Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story
Make Way for Ducklings
Matilda - Roald Dahl
Meet Danitra Brown
Millions of Cats
Miss Nelson is Missing!
Mr. Popper's Penguins
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An
My Father's Dragon
My Name is Yoon
One Crazy Summer
The People Could Fly: American
The Phantom Tollbooth
Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue
Pink and Say
Ramona the Pest
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
A Sick Day for Amos McGee
The Snowy Day
Starry River of the Sky
The Stories Julian Tells
The Story of Ferdinand
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
The Tales of Uncle Remus: The Adventures of Brer Rabbit
Ten, Nine, Eight
Tomie dePaola's Mother Goose
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Watsons Go to Birmingham
The Westing Game
When You Reach Me
Where Is the Green Sheep?
Where the Wild Things Are
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
A Wrinkle in Time