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It's World Book Day: Time For Reading Lists And Dress-Up

Put down that screen: Today's the day to celebrate holding a bound book in your hands. World Book Day celebrations include storytelling and dressing up as favorite characters. We bring you a roundup of stories and reading lists.

Many young (and less-young) readers are using the occasion to dress up as beloved characters — from pirates and the doughnut-dispensing Mr. Panda to Hermione Granger of the Harry Potter series.

Even more than usual, the Web is bursting with lists of favorite books today. Young adult author Beth Reekles was mentioned on several lists — and then came up with her own.

Homages, recommendations and conversations broke out on Twitter, as people used the hashtag #WorldBookDay to quote favorite passages — and to discuss their top 5 (or 10, or 20) books, often breaking them down by genre.

Some folks simply offered a chance for fans of book to admire them in one of their natural habitats.

In Britain, the Sainsbury's store surveyed some 2,000 parents, asking them what book they'd like their children to read before they turn 16. They listed 50 books; here's the top 5:

  • Charlie and The Chocolate Factory — Roald Dahl
  • Alice in Wonderland — Lewis Carroll
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — C.S. Lewis
  • Winnie The Pooh — A.A.Milne
  • Black Beauty — Anna Sewell
  • The Guardian brings us a short reading list from teachers who were asked what they want their students to read. And the TED-Ed program has recommendations on literature, science, history and math, from educators such as Kathryn Tempest and Matthew Winkler.

    If you're looking for more suggestions on what older kids and adults should read, here's a quick guide to lists from the NPR Books team:

  • NPR's Bestseller Lists are culled from independent bookstores.
  • The Three Books series gathers several books under one theme.
  • The Book Concierge offers a guide to recommendations from 2014
  • PG-13 collected "transformative tales for teens" over a two-year span.
  • And finally, World Book Day inspired Irish website Entertainment to compile a list of favorite fake books from TV and film. They include Wish It, Want It, Do It, by the dog Brian on Family Guy, as well as the seminal 10 Dos and 500 Dont's of Knife Safety, from The Simpsons.

    Feel free to use the comments section below to share what you've enjoyed reading.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

    Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

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