Read With Me: Reshma Babu’s top 3 books to read before 18

The Diary of a young girl, Gone with the wind, Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

[Entry to the 3 Books Before 18 Contest]

Share with us the top 3 books that you think children should read before turning adults. One featured selection that was your rite of passage to the world of grown ups will be gifted to the winner of ‘The book without a picture’ and also win you a favourite book from Page 99.

1) The Diary of a young girl by Anne frank


This is one amazing book. Anne make you smile with her, laugh with her and cry with her. You will be taken away by the innocence of the twelve year old, at the same time salute her boldness and maturity at such young a age. The book talks about the normal life in hiding and the life during the Nazi warfare times. The striking feature throught the book is her optimism. With the whole world falling apart in front of her she believes that there is still ‘good’ left in the world. It was one of her dreams to be a writer which sadly, she fulfilled, but never lived to see it. This is definitely a must-read.

2) Gone with the wind by Margaret Mitchell


It is rightly called one of the biggest love stories of its time and not once does it turn dragging. It tells the story of love, war, decadence and tragedy. It paints a perfect picture of the Civil War and the transformation of the Southern belle Scarlett o Hara from a young girl to a bold lady who fights with fate to have things her way. The story talks about how she turns into a hardened spirit and her love for her land, Tara. As we read on, we see both the negative and positive aspects of her, but even in her worst forms, we cannot help but sympathize with her. Her passion for life and fiery nature to fight against all odds is admirable.

3) Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Robert Bach


This is an inspiring philosophical book about a seagull who wants to fly. It’s a book that grows with you. It talks about believing in yourself-the most important thing that children should be empowered with as they grow older, for faith in oneself is a quality that wanes as you travel into adulthood. You forget the innocence and curiosity you had as a child and succumb yourself to the norms of the society inorder to be liked by all. The book talks about the seagull laughed at for cherishing a notion to fly. “The power of being misunderstood is that either you are the devil or you are god.” And on attaining complete knowledge, he doesnt yearn for revenge against those who called him an outcast, but wants to guide the rest to true knowledge. It talks about all the phases of growing up- the mockery, standing for your principles, instilling kindness in yourself and the power to forgive and forget The book has a different meaning each time you read it.

Check out other entries to the 3 Books Before 18 contest run by The Alternative and Page99.

This piece is published as part of Read With Me – August Special on The Alternative. 

As parents, educators, readers and writers, we know how important it is to get children – from infants to young adults – to be readers, and readers for life. Read With Me all this month looks to encourage children to read more. We are also talking about reading that goes much beyond a good tale – as vibrant, fun and effective ways to get children to connect to themselves, their roots, accept difference, understand people and places and be more sensitive.

Mail us your entries at Let’s read with our children for a better world.


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