A Life in Books: Jane Yolen

The author of more than 280 books, Yolen, a writer of folklore fantasy and children's literature, is best known for her Holocaust novella "The Devil's Arithmetic." Her latest work, "Naming Liberty," tells the story of a Russian girl and the designer of the Statue of Liberty.

1. "Moby-Dick" by Herman Melville. It's a book I reread every 10 years, which is coming up again. I even love the whale parts.

2. "Winter's Tales" by Isak Dinesen. It has two of my favorite Dinesen stories, "Sorrow Acre" and "The Sailor-Boy's Tale."

3. "The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson." Her poems taught me to "tell all the truth/but tell it slant."

4. "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. This stood the world of children's picture books on its head in 1963.

5. "The Great Stink" by Clare Clark. I read this mystery novel set in the London sewers in one long, stinking sitting.

A book you hope parents will read to their kids: James Thurber's "The Thirteen Clocks." This perfect fairy tale will get inside you from your guggle to your zatch.

A classic you revisited with disappointment: L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." All I could see were the repetitions, the unvarying sentences and the paper-thin characters.

A Life in Books: Jane Yolen | Culture