I know you really need guidance as to which titles would be best for your child to read over the summer or, if you're homeschooling, things to keep in mind for the next school year. So I'll refer you to people who know more than you do in book selection, the wise people from the state of California. They're implementing the faaaabulous world-class Common Core Standards, which means that education as we know it will of course change for the better.
I took a look at their reading lists. Not many classics as we know it (Beowulf is not on the list, nor is Huckleberry Finn, Around the World in 80 Days and plenty of others), but plenty of new and um, epic reading, um, things are to be... like, looked at.
"The list also includes such interesting titles as 'Dancing in Red Shoes
Will Kill You,' a book in both the health and visual and performing arts
subjects. In the 2005 book by Dorian Cirrone, a 16-year-old
big-breasted ballet dancer and her sister, an artist, confront sexism,
conformity and censorship at their high school."
Yyyeah. Our kids really need to read this crap. There are some decent and interesting titles such as Maus that it won't kill your kid to read, but it seems they've squeezed all the real canonical materials in order to be culturally relevant or what-ever. Maus is cute, but it's a comic book, people. In all fairness, it should not be on any "top books kids should read" list.
Who's on these committees and what are they smoking?