I am all for anything that gets kids reading. It doesn't much matter what it is... comics, graphic novels, Captain Underpants... reading is reading and it's all good. Reading truly is FUNdamental!
There are some books, however, that I think the youth of today would truly benefit from = here are few:
1. To Kill a Mockingbird - this is one of the most revered coming-of-age stories of all time. Scout and Atticus still have things to teach us, and besides it's just a darn good story!
2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a beautiful story about love, family, and poverty. I still remember reading it and being so touched by Francie's experiences. She's a reader, so we had that in common, even if she grew in in Brooklyn and I grew up in south Georgia.
3. Another book featuring a female reader that touched by soul is Little Women. Some young people may be familiar with the movie, but I recommend the book because there's only so much a movie can truly convey.
4. This next one is a heartbreaker, but I think it's important for kids to see what can happen - The Diary of Anne Frank. It's been said that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. I believe it is so important for all of us to not forget what happened before World War 2 (not a book... but for the same reason, I believe "Schindler's List" is a movie every adult should watch at least once. It's not pleasurable, but it is important).
5. The last one (I'm going to talk about) is Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. Actually anything by this author is worth reading, but especially this one. So many exciting things and so many lessons all at the same time.
Your thoughts on these or other suggestions?