A Few of My Favorite Short Books

So I'll start this post with a confession - I'm a slow reader.  Growing up, this always bothered me.  I remember in elementary school when my classmates were able to finish books so much more quickly than I could.  It made me feel as if I was not a good reader.  Now that I'm all grown up, I have embraced this "slowness" in myself.  I tell school groups that being a slow reader doesn't mean I'm not a good reader, just means I'm slower.  I may not read as many books as my peers, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the ones I read to the fullest.

I think because I'm a slow reader, I've often been drawn to short books.  So for this month's post, I'd like to highlight three of my favorites.

The first is The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes.  It's an oldie but goodie, and its theme of class bullying lends itself to a lot of self reflection and dialogue regarding this topic.  It's such a simple story, but Estes draws readers in and leaves them feeling the emotion of, not only the character who is bullied, but also those who have been the bullies and those who have been bystanders.  Amazing that a book published in 1944 is still so relevant today.

What I Believe by Norma Fox Mazer is another short book I love.  Writing in free verse poetry, Mazer is able to tell an entire story with so few words, and I am in awe.  The plot is compelling and the emotions of the characters are so authentic and believable.  Every single word packs a punch.

The last short book that is a favorite of mine is The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo.  The figurative language and symbolism in this book makes a wonderful story incredibly powerful.  DiCamillo draws readers into the characters' lives making it an emotional read which stays with readers long after they've finished the book.

So take heart all you slow readers out there, great stories can come in very short books!  And even all you fast readers, take a break from your big, long novels, and pick up one of these amazing short books for a quick read you'll most certainly enjoy!

Happy Reading,
Nancy J. Cavanaugh


  1. I have only read one of these! I'm a fan of short books too, especially when they are in verse form. I can read so many of them in a short time! But what I'm reading right now is WAY LONG and I started it before Christmas!


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