I was reading Rick Riordan's blog this morning (Rick is the author of Lightening Thief, one of the boys favorites). He posted a speech that he made at the annual conference for the Federation of Children's Book Groups at Worth Abbey School in England. The theme of the conference was "Crossing Frontiers".
This part in particular jumped out at me:
Recently I was asked in an interview to name the ten books I thought every child should read. I took issue with the question. Perhaps we should stop thinking about a universal canon of children's literature. The ten books my twelve-year-old son should read are not the same as ten books his nine-year-old brother would enjoy, or that a fourteen year-old girl would like. Children are not the same. Perhaps instead of narrowing the field to define the center of children's literature, we should be more active in pushing the boundaries and widening the edges. Let's expand, not narrow.
Obviously I agree! Reading is such a personal thing and while I do believe in exposing kids to a wide range of literature, I also believe that kids should be allowed to develop and follow their own tastes.