The Washington Post

Favorite books: Taylor Swift, Cody Simpson, Julie Andrews

Trying to get your kids to read a book over the summer? Here are a few book lists — including some from popular singers such as Taylor Swift and Cody Simpson — that may give you some ideas.

Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, has asked thousands of people to list the books that have helped shape their lives.

Former president Bill Clinton, Daniel Radcliffe of “Harry Potter” fame, writer Malcolm Gladwell and many other notable people have made their “Book Prints,” and you can, as well, at the Web site. More than 15,000 adults and kids have participated so far. The site, which launched last October, also includes information on every book selected.

If you look at the lists and feel like scoffing at some of the entries, don’t. Reading the ingredients on a can of food is better than not reading. Literacy experts will tell you that if your child wants to read a book that you think is unimportant or unchallenging, let them read it anyway.

Here are last week’s lists, compiled by Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Bill Gates. And here is Taylor Swift’s list, in no particular order:

Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White

Big Bird’s Day on the Farm, Cathi Rosenberg-Turow, Maggie Swanson (illustrator)

Girl With a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier

Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert

Stargirl, Jerry Spinelli

Here is singer Cody Simpson’s list:

Miles to Go, Miley Cyrus

The Measure of a Man, Sydney Poitier

Beneath the Surface, Michael Phelps

Contest, Matthew Reilly

Here is Julie Andrews’s list (which may surprise you):

The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman

Watership Down, Richard Adams

The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

The Little Grey Men, “B.B.”

The Sword in the Stone, T.H. White


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Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.


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