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Seattle Children's Theatre Recommended Reading List for the 2002-2003 Season


bulletMy Only May Amelia
bulletThe Big Friendly Giant
bulletThe Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe
bulletThe Outsiders
bulletGo, Dog. Go!
bulletNicky Somewhere Else
bulletThe Shakespeare Stealer


Production:  My Only May Amelia
Booklist prepared by Pamela LaBorde, Seattle Public Library. Books available from

In 1899, life on the Nasel River in Washington is hard for a 13-year-old girl, and May Amelia Jackson is the ONLY girl in all of the Nasel settlement. She learns from the women in her life -- the grandmother who blames her for everything, the aunt who is her safe haven, and the mother who depends upon her -- that being a girl doesn't mean you can't be strong. As a pioneer, she learns that being independent can be as dangerous as it is fun, especially when you are the only May Amelia. Based on actual diaries from Jennifer Holm's Northwest family, this story brings the pioneering spirit to life for those who wish they'd lived here 100 years ago. (Synopsis from Seattle Children's Theatre website.)

Webmaster's note: Our ancestors traveled on the Oregon Trail in 1847. Read some of the trail diaries and other notes on Northwest pioneer life from our family.

For Children
coverOur Only May Amelia; Jennifer L. Holm
This book won the Newberry Honor Book Award in 2000.
Boston Jane: An Adventure; Jennifer Holm
Jane Peck has an adventure traveling by ship to the Pacific Northwest of the mid-1800s. When she arrives, she lives with traders and Chinook Indians in an environment where her east-coast training in etiquette is of little use.
The Way West: Journal of a Pioneer Woman; Amelia Stewart Knight, Lillian Schlissel Pioneer days on Puget Sound; Arthur Armstrong Denny
[Out of Print]
A Covered Wagon Girl: The Diary of Sallie Hester, 1849-1850 (Diaries, Letters, and Memoirs); Sallie Hester Sarah and Me and the Lady from the Sea; Patricia Beatty
The Ornament Tree; Jean Thesman Children of the Frontier (Picture the American Past); Sylvia Whitman Jason's Gold; Will Hobb

For Parents and Educators
Oh How Can I Keep on Singing? Voices of Pioneer Women; Jana Harris
Through a series of poems, local writer Jana Harris captures the lives of pioneer women struggling in the Okanogan region of the 1890s. Photos of the women accompany the text.
The Egg and I; Betty Bard MacDonald Wild Life; Molly Gloss
The Way We Ate: Pacific Northwest Cooking, 1843-1900; Jacqueline Williams


Production:  The Big Friendly Giant (aka "The BFG")
Booklist prepared by Caitlin Dixon and Judy T. Nelson, Pierce County Library System. Books available from

An unlikely friendship begins when Sophie finds herself whisked away to a strange land by a lovable Big Friendly Giant, who eats snozzcumbers, not little girls. Together they must stop the gizzardgulpers from eating all the human beans. Through the clever use of puppets--some that are truly gigantic--Sophie and the BFG travel to London to ask the Queen for help. Together they are able to bring peace and pleasant dreams to the world, and Sophie finds a friend she can count on.  (Synopsis from Seattle Children's Theatre website.)

For Children
coverThe BFG; Roald Dahl
Our oldest boy loves this story and all of the inventive details. Catch the animated story on video too.
coverBoy: Tales of Childhood; Roald Dahl
What it was really like to be Roald Dahl growing up, with summers in Norway, life in boarding school, and even a real life chocolate factory.
Crazy Jack; Donna Jo Napoli The Jack Tales; Richard Chase
Giants! Stories from Around the World; Paul Walker, James Robert Bernardin (Illustrator) Summer Reading Is Killing Me; John Scieszka
A Handful of Beans: Six Fairy Tales; Jeanne Steig Kate and the Beanstalk; Mary Pope Osborne
Shrek!; William Steig Sleep and Dreams; Andrew T. McPhee
Tales from the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird; Vivian Vande Velde

For Parents and Educators
coverDraw 50 Monsters, Creeps, Superheroes, Demons, Dragons, Nerds, Dirts, Ghouls, Giants, Vampires, Zombies, and Other Curiosa; Lee Ames


Production:  The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
Booklist prepared by J.T. Isch, Pierce County Library System. Books available from

Join Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy as they discover a glittering landscape filled with talking animals and magical creatures, a witch with the power to stop time, and Aslan, the great lion king. Half a century since the Chronicles began, the story remains fantastic and unforgettable. (Synopsis from Seattle Children's Theatre website.)

For Children
coverThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; C.S. Lewis
There is also an unabridged Audio CD version of the book. The Chronicles of Narnia (Boxed Set) includes the full set of seven novels by C.S. Lewis.
coverOver Sea, Under Stone; Susan Cooper
The three Drew children are excited about spending a holiday in Cornwall with their Great-Uncle Merry. But Great-Uncle Merry isn't quite what he seems, and when they discover an ancient map in the house, they find themselves in a dangerous battle between good and evil. (This version of The Dark Is Rising Sequence also includes Silver on the Tree, The Grey King, and Greenwitch)
The Book of Three; Lloyd Alexander The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Frank Baum
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Roald Dahl Around the World in Eighty Days: The Extraordinary Journeys; Jules Verne
The Secret Garden; Frances Hodgson Burnett Bed-Knob and Broomstick; Mary Norton
The Enchanted Castle; E. Nesbit Treasure Island; Robert Louis Stevenson
Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast; Robin McKinley

For Parents and Educators
Touch Magic: Fantasy, Faerie, & Folklore in the Literature of Childhood; Jane Yolen
Jane Yolen is a well-known storyteller, poet, playwright, and the author of over 200 books for children and adults. In this collection of essays she explores the many aspects of fantasy literature and how it can be used to enrich children's lives.
Crafts from Your Favorite Fairy Tales; Kathy Ross The Land of Narnia: Brian Sibley Explores the World of C.S. Lewis; Brian Sibley
The Lord of the Rings; J. R. R. Tolkien The Neverending Story; Michael Ende


Production:  The Outsiders
Booklist prepared by Elizabeth Panni, King County Library System. Books available from

S. E. Hinton's story of rebellion rocked a generation 35 years ago. Hinton's rich "socials" and low-rent "greasers" may be bent on destroying one another for sport, but the costs of winning or losing are irrevocable. THE OUTSIDERS remains a poignant anthem for today's teens who continue to grapple with issues of class and violence. (Synopsis from Seattle Children's Theatre website.)

For Children
coverThe Outsiders; S. E. Hinton
coverTrue Believer; Virginia Euwer Wolff
Living in the inner city amidst guns and poverty, fifteen-year-old LaVaughn learns from old and new friends, and inspiring mentors, that life is what you make it-an occasion to rise to.
Crash; Jerry Spinelli The Misfits; James Howe
Rumble Fish; S. E. Hinton Scorpions; Walter Dean Myers
Teen Love: On Friendship. A Book for Teenagers; Kimberly Kirberger

For Parents and Educators
The Romance of Risk: Why Teenagers Do the Things They Do; Lynn E. Ponton, M.D.
Go inside the minds of fifteen troubled adolescents to catch a glimpse at today's teenage experience. Challenging traditional views of adolescence and offering a constructive new model for understanding teen behavior, this is an essential for today's parents.
I Only Say This Because I Love You: How the Way We Talk Can Make or Break Family Relationships Throughout Our Lives; Deborah Tannen Everything You Need to Know About Street Gangs; Evan Stark
West Side Story (video) and the original The Original Sound Track Recording of West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein. There is also a  Novelization by Irving Shulman. Website:


Production:  Go, Dog. Go!
Booklist prepared by Shauna Yusko, King County Library System. Books available from

Remember when learning to read was more magical than anything else in the world? We do, especially those of us who grew up with P. D. Eastman's GO, DOG. GO! This play gives literacy an entirely new spin. Full of spectacle, dance and circus appeal, our colorful dogs will travel up and down, over and under, and straight into your heart. (Synopsis from Seattle Children's Theatre website.)

For Children
Go, Dog. Go!; Philip D. Eastman
coverCosmo Zooms; Arthur Howard
All the dogs on Pumpkin Lane have a special talent, except poor Cosmo. One day he starts his nap on a skateboard and finds himself taking the ride of his life-and discovering his own talent.

Henry and Mudge: The First Book of Their Adventures; Cynthia Rylant

Harry the Dirty Dog; Gene Zion
Martha Speaks; Susan Meddaugh How to Talk to Your Dog; Jean Craighead George
Bark, George; Jules Feiffer Biscuit (My First I Can Read Book); Alyssa Capucilli
Hop on Pop; Dr. Seuss Smasher; Dick King-Smith
Dog Days: Rhymes Around the Year; Jack Prelutsky

For Parents and Educators
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery; Deborah and James Howe
Told from the point of view of the Monroe's dog Harold, this humorous read-aloud tale starts when the family adopts a bunny that has fangs and nocturnal habits. Chester the cat is sure the rabbit is a vampire bunny and sets out to prove it to the family with hilarious results.
Ribsy; Beverly Cleary Dog Crafts; Linda Hendry
Bob Books for Beginning Readers/Set 1; Bobby Lynn Maslen Teach a Child to Read With Children's Books: Combining Story Reading, Phonics, and Writing to Promote Reading Success; Mark B. Thogmartin
Eyewitness - Dog (VHS); Dorling Kindersley Vision Homeward Bound - The Incredible Journey (VHS); Walt Disney Pictures
Also available in DVD format


Production:  Nicky Somewhere Else
Booklist prepared by Chance Hunt, Seattle Public Library. Books available from

This is the tale of a little boy who, aided by angels, finds out he has a twin brother who lives "somewhere else." Nicky sets off on an adventure, in search of this curious place and his long-lost brother. Along the way he meets some of his favorite people--people who exist only in his memory and imagination. (Synopsis from Seattle Children's Theatre website.)

For Children
coverThe Little Prince; Antoine de Saint-Exupery
An aviator whose plane is forced down in the Sahara Desert encounters a little prince from a small planet who relates his adventures in seeking the secret of what is important in life.
In the Night Kitchen; Maurice Sendak

Angels: poems; Eloise Greenfield
[Out of Print]
William Shakespeare's a Midsummer Night's Dream; Retold by Bruce Coville Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge; Mem Fox
Bonjour, Lonnie; Faith Ringgold Dog Heaven; Cynthia Rylant

For Parents and Educators
Magic Trees of the Mind: How to Nurture Your Child's Intelligence, Creativity, and Healthy Emotions from Birth Through Adolescence; Marian Diamond
Supported by scientific research, this work provides background information and practical ideas for parents and teachers interested in sparking and stimulating the growing mind of children and teens.
Playwriting for Puppet Theatre; Jean M. Mattson In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World; Virginia Hamilton
The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales; Bruno Bettleheim How the Animals Got Their Colors: Animal Myths from Around the World; Michael Rosen


Production:  The Shakespeare Stealer
Booklist prepared by Kim Kopetz-Buttleman, Seattle Public Library. Books available from

Set in the Elizabethan days of dukes and duels, this mystery adventure blends the drama of William Shakespeare with the story of Widge, an orphaned apprentice. Widge's cruel master has taught him to write in a secret code. When the menacing Falconer arrives, willing to pay a fortune for Widge, the boy is spirited away to a wealthy manor. Eager to please his new master, Widge agrees to use his coding skills to steal the script of Shakespeare's HAMLET. Caught up in the life of the players at The Globe Theatre, Widge learns that everyone may not be as they seem, but truth and friendship need no disguise. (Synopsis from Seattle Children's Theatre website.)

For Children
coverThe Shakespeare Stealer; Gary L. Blackwood
coverJack Black & the Ship of Thieves; Carol Hughes
Young Jack Black joins the maiden voyage of the world's largest airship, the Bellerophon, captained by his father. Once aloft, Jack overhears plans to sabotage the ship, but just before he's able to alert his father, Jack plummets overboard and falls (literally) onto a ship of thieves. A page-turner of an adventure-complete with a sea monster, a volcano, a quest to save the Bellerophon, and a host of unforgettable characters.
William Shakespeare & the Globe; Aliki

Shakespeare's London: A Guide to Shakespeare's London; Julie Ferris
Shakespeare Without the Boring Bits; Humphrey Carpenter
Audio CD also available.
Bravo, Mr. William Shakespeare!; Marcia Williams
Shakespeare's Scribe; Gary Blackwood Matida Bone; Karen Cushman
The Whipping Boy; Sid Fleischman Oliver Twist; Charles Dickens
The Young Person's Guide to Shakespeare: With Performances on CD by the Royal Shakespeare Company; Anita Ganeri

For Parents and Educators
coverWilliam Shakespeare: The Man Behind the Genius: A Biography; Anthony Holden
William Shakespeare overcame unlikely beginnings, as a priest in training and a lowly actor, to become a preeminent poet and playwright. A spunky rags-to-riches biography that debunks the myths and pulls a few skeletons out of Shakespeare's closet
William Shakespeare (Biography); Carol Dommermuth-Costa Life in the Elizabethan Theater (The Way People Live); Diane Yancey
Shakespeare: His Work and His World; Michael Rosen, Robert R. Ingpen (Illustrator)


For booklists from other productions of the Seattle Children's Theatre, click here.


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