This post is part of our Guest Picks series, featuring members of our library community sharing their favorite books and movies.
Dr. Daniel Wallace is a human factors engineer for the U.S. Navy. He is active in teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to children through demonstrations and teaches a science camp for a week every year at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Colonial Beach, VA. He is now in his 14th year as a member of the Westmoreland County Public School Board. He is also a musician, playing violin in the praise and worship band at his church.
We are very happy that he has agreed to share some of his favorite books with CRRL readers. To begin, here are favorites from his childhood:
For the youngest readers there are so many great new offerings, but, since I’m a grown man (and my kids are now grown), I’m going to go a little retro. Because they captured my imagination and drew me into their worlds, two of my faves growing up were·: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, by Virginia Lee Burton, and Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak.
For the YA lit crowd, again, there are many great offerings. I’ve read a lot in this category because I wanted to know what my kids were reading! I tend to like the dystopian themes simply because the YA audience is starting to recognize that there are problems in the world, and there is an understanding that they will need to step up to help solve them. In this category, I pick The Uglies series, by Scott Westerfeld; The Hunger Games series, by Suzanne Collins; and The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling.
Video games can be a storytelling medium. The Portal series and The Legend of Zelda series are pretty good, but one that is a bit obscure is The Undertale computer game, with a charming, touching narrative that espouses character and friendship.
Check out more of Daniel’s favorites here. The full list, linked below, includes his recommended websites.
"...artsy and subtitled, but a sweet story."
Suggested because it is a "delightful adventure with a mystery to be solved… and I wanted to do it, too!" Also available on audio CD.
"Orphaned Harry Potter goes from the abused poor relation of cruel mundanes to a celebrity at a school for magic."
"Does love have any place in a requisite death match inspired by a thirst for power and revenge?" Also available as an eBook.
"With the colorful word imagery, I felt I was there. I’ve re-read these many times." First published of The Chronicles of Narnia. Also available on audio CD.
"Love it! Great themes of redemption."
"This is a coming-of-age adventure that got into the science of survival." Also available on audio CD.
"Everybody wants to be Pretty - don't they? Tally Youngblood isn't so sure, especially after her friend runs away to join the rebels. But Tally's operation that will make her a Pretty is coming up soon. She must decide."
(Where the Wild Things Are and Mike Mulligan) ". . . captured my imagination and drew me into their worlds." Also available on book-plus-CD and on audio CD.
"This explored some pretty deep philosophical topics for kids… and I LOVED it!" Also available on audio and as an eBook.