What are Washington-area kids reading?
Judy Blume, E.B. White, Beverly Cleary and movie novelizations such as "E.T." and "Star Wars" are among the most popular books so far in 1,800 entries submitted for the "It's Elementary" (Channel 7) TV show's Favorite Books Contest.
Spurred since April 1 by a weekly drawing of four tickets to King's Dominion, "Kids have sent in an amazing range of titles, more than 800 different names of books," says producer Susan Lechner.
The entries show that children still read such classics as Huckleberry Finn, Black Beauty, Treasure Island and Dr. Doolittle. But outer space, self-improvement and how-to books such as Karate for Young People also made the list.
Also, says Lechner, "Books with witches, chocolate and bunnies in their titles are big.
"There's a definite split between what boys and girls like. Only girls selected Little Women, Little House on the Prairie and Snow White. Boys went for books on snakes, football and war; only boys selected Robin Hood."
The top 20 favorites so far of children 7-14:
Superfudge; Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing; Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Charlotte's Web; The Ramona series; The Black Stallion Series; Star Wars; The Outsiders; E.T.; Blubber; The Wizard of Oz; The Cat in the Hat; The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
Annie Books; A Wrinkle in Time Trilogy; The Trumpet of the Swan; The Encyclopedia Brown series; The Way of the Dolphins; The Little House on the Prairie series; Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade.
The contest continues until Oct. 29. Anyone 14 or under may send in the title of a favorite book, along with name and address, to "It's Elementary," P.O. Box 11616, Washington, D.C. 20008.