The 40th anniversary of WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. Enjoy Christoph Neiman's moving tribute to Sendak's work here: http://nprfreshair.tumblr.com/
The 50th anniversary of AMELIA BEDELIA by Peggy Parish. I loved reading this one aloud to my undergrad children's lit classes when I first started teaaching at SHSU (and when there was a mandated lit class all teacher ed candidates had to take; sadly, that is no longer the case).
The 60th birthday of Charlotte's Web. This video of experts talking about the literary merit of the book is fabulous. Snag it here at Monica Edinger's blog: http://medinger.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/is-charlottes-web-a-literary-masterpiece/
Yesterday, I spoke about the need for joy. Seems to me that celebrating birthdays (or anniversaries if you prefer) is another way to gathering joy, finding joy, recalling joy. Each of these three books holds a special place in my reader's heart. There are others; it is rather crowded in there. Here are books I read over and over again. As C.S. Lewis once observed, “No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”
When I review the list of books I require for my literature classes, I think I can say that each and every one of them is worth celebrating. I only hope my students feel the same way. But if they don't, that is fine as well. There is no one-size-fits-all book. What I love might be something someone else finds tedious and vice versa. And as we near the announcements from ALA about the Newbery, Printz, Caldecott, Odyssey, I cannot wait to see which books we will celebrate.