Monday, September 9, 2013

To Write a Classic

Recently my son and I have been rereading the "My Father's Dragon" trilogy by Ruth Stiles Gannett. We read all three books several years ago and he loved them. As I was organizing my books in our new house, he spotted this old favorite and asked to read it again. I happily obliged.

As we are zipping through these much loved stories, it was amazing to me to look back at the copyright for the first book... 1950. How incredible to have written a book that stands the test of time and is still being read and loved 63 years later!

This made me wonder. What makes a book that kind of classic? "My Father's Dragon" was a Newbery Honor book, so it was recognized as being exceptional for its time. (And it really is exceptional. So wonderfully fun and funny!) But do all honored book withstand the test of time that well?

And of course as a writer I can't help but wonder, how long will children be reading the books I write? (63 years from now would certainly be awesome!)

What do you all think about classics? Which long ago books do you love? Which of today's books do you think have a chance of becoming modern day classics?


  1. Can't speak for PBs, really, but I think Judy Blume will continue to be read for many, many years. Jerry Spinelli, Louis Sachar, Lois Lowry all have books I can see becoming classics.

  2. I would imagine Lobel's Frog and Toad books will become classics.

    And Ferdinand has already passed the test.

  3. Thanks for the suggestions J.A. and Gale! It's funny... I already see most of the authors and series you mentioned as classics. But they really are quite recent! I so adore Frog and Toad, The Giver, Holes and Wayside School and Maniac Magee. And, of course, Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? I can definitely see all of these becoming classics!