18 4 / 2013
Over lunch, our informal lunchtime turned into a fascinating discussion about children’s books when Craig shared his personal list of favorites. We reminisced over the ones we adored and proceeded to judge the childhood literary tastes of each other - exclaiming things like, “How could you not have heard of “From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”?!?! Below is the list courtesy Craig.
Thanks to Craig for the lunchtime entertainment and a reminder how much we all love reading!
My Favorite Children’s Books
Really, these are Young Adult books, though I do include some books for youngsters at the end. (I don’t know very much about that age group though.)
I’ve listed them in approximate age order, though I’m not very good at judging these things.
- Winnie the Pooh + The House at Pooh Corner — Milne
- The Book of Three + 4 sequels — Lloyd Alexander
- The Phantom Tollbooth — Juster
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland + Through The Looking Glass — Carroll
- Charlotte’s Web — E.B. White
- The Trumpet of the Swan — E.B. White
- The Hobbit — Tolkien
- Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH — O’Brien
- The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe + 6 sequels — C.S. Lewis
- The Wizard of Oz — Baum
(Note: a zillion sequels, but they’re not really all that good)
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — Dahl
(Note: those who like this will probably like any other Dahl book as well, eg James and the Giant Peach & Danny Champion of the World).
- Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book — Silverstein
- From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler — Konigsburg
- Ella Enchanted — Levine
- The White Mountains + The City of Gold and Lead + The Pool of Fire — John Christopher
- The Dark is Rising + 4 other books in the series — Susan Cooper
(Note: Dark is Rising is probably the best of the 5. It’s the second book in the series, but can be read first. The actual first book is enh.)
- A Wizard of Earthsea + Tombs of Atuan + The Farthest Shore — LeGuin
(Note: there’s a 4th book in the series: Tehanu. Opinion is sharply divided on it. I refuse to read it, out of fear it will retroactively ruin my enjoyment of the first three books.)
- The Westing Game — Raskin
- Peter Pan — Barrie
- Holes — Sachar
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone + 6 sequels — Rowling
- The Princess Bride — Goldman
- The Golden Compass + The Subtle Knife + The Amber Spyglass — Pullman
(Note: the first book is much the best of the lot.)
- Howl’s Moving Castle — Diana Wynne Jones
- Bridge to Terebithia — Patterson
(Note: I love this book, but others — particularly those forced to read it for school — often hate it.)
- The Giver — Lowry
- Ender’s Game — Orson Scott Card
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — Douglas Adams
This isn’t a children’s book, but was my favorite book when I was 12 or so, to the point where I’ve probably read it 7 or 8 times:
- Dune — Herbert
Finally, some actual books for tykes:
- Good Night Moon
- Where the Wild Things Are
- The Monster at the End of This Book
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Harold and the Purple Crayon
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
- Interrupting Chicken
- Pish Posh, Said Hieronymous Bosch
- Suess I particularly like: Sneetches, Yertle the Turtle, Horton Hatches an Egg
07 12 / 2012
Play time meets work time. What better than some classic toys to encourage creativity and fun at work?
And not too surprisingly, play also makes its way back into how we work!
We hope that the fun and joyfulness we cultivate in our team comes through in the experience on Khan Academy!
03 8 / 2012
When Craig Silverstein joined Khan Academy, he brought a few traditions with him from his Google days. The most delicious one is bread. It is homemade - or rather office-made - fresh every week. The sweet baked bread aroma wafts through our office and lures us to pounce at the perfectly crunchy crust and pillowy insides time and again.
Check out our pouncing skillz the first week:
Over time, this baked bread tradition has become more and more elaborate, with not just butter to accompany the main staple, but peanut butter, Nutella, and even BBQ sauce (Matt) partnering with the yummy treat.
There was a bread scare when Craig announced he was going on vacation, but luckily Chefmaster Hu stepped up to fill Craig’s shoes. And boy has he filled them!
With interns this summer, we are now doing double loaves, and have added freshly made butter (thank you Emily!), and fresh squeezed lemonade (thank you Tom and Arun!).
Like Craig, David kicks off the weekly ritual by strolling around the office with the bread to really makes us salivate after the wafting scent before we can dive in, and then announces in a booming voice: “BREAD!!!”
Tom’s expression says it all - we may have fun with a lot of things here at Khan Academy, but we’re serious about our bread.
25 6 / 2012
Wired just released an article about the talent that’s gravitating towards Khan Academy these days. http://www.wired.com/business/2012/06/khan-academy/ We like working with ‘em a lot too.
Interested in applying for a position here? Check out our open positions: www.khanacademy.org/jobs