Youth -- introduction

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Young people take great pleasure in sharing their ideas about books—Books that Matter was an excellent opportunity for preschoolers through junior high school students to reflect and express their opinions about their favorites. In several Highland Park schools, this Library project sparked a variety of classroom activities, and entire classes submitted their ballots.

Young peoples’ favorites range from picture books enjoyed at bedtime or in library storytime, to adventurous sagas and eye-opening biographies. Both children and adults most frequently mention children’s fiction, rather than nonfiction, as books that matter to them, and many adults have warm memories of books that are still popular with today’s young readers.

Books matter to young people for very different reasons:

"This book matters to me because it was the book that I learned how to read from." One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

"Fascinating, exciting, and chilling." The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright

"I like it when the fox ate the gingerbread man." The Gingerbread Man

"Even though it was sad, I liked it." Mick Harte Was Here by Barbara Park

"Always made me feel warm and good inside. When I hear those words a tingle of love goes through me." Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

In choosing which books to highlight from the many titles which were submitted and are listed here, quality and child appeal were taken into consideration. However, due to space limitations, these are only a few of the hundreds of wonderful books waiting for young people—and adults—to discover. Many thanks to all the readers who took the time to tell us what books matter to them and why.

The titles in Books That Matter: A List for the Millennium were nominated by the reading community in Highland Park and these selections do not necessarily reflect the views of the Highland Park Public Library, its staff or the Library Board of Trustees.