I won’t go into too much detail on each book, as you can find summaries and reviews elsewhere, but I do hope my favorite reads might lead you to something new to discover and perhaps widen your perspective.
Happy Reading in 2018!
Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai; illustrated by Kerascoët ✦
Grace Hopper Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark; illustrated by Katy Wu ✦
Red & Lulu by Matt Tavares ✦ Try not to fall in love with this Christmas story…
I Am Peace by Susan Verde; illustrated by Peter Reynolds ✦ The picture book I really needed this year
Elementary Chapter & Nonfiction Books
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown ✦ Two teachers at my school have used this as a read aloud and the students in their classes are so anxious for the sequel! It’s so unique and full of heart
Real Friends by Shannon Hale, illustrated by Leyeun Pham ✦
Some Writer by Melissa Sweet ✦
Fenway and Hattie by Victoria Coe ✦ This was our school-wide read we did in conjunction with the Global Read Aloud 2017 and I can’t tell you how much fun it was to watch our K-5 students enjoy this book! Many teachers appreciated that the perspective was from a dog, which lead to great discussions about POV, character traits, etc. Can’t wait to keep going in the series
Chester & Gus by Cammie McGovern ✦ probably my most favorite chapter book for elementary students I read in 2017.
"...bonds formed without words are as meaningful and durable as those created on a river of chatter. Dogs have taught us that eyes speak volumes and love can be conveyed in perfect silence."
- from Chester & Gus
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling ✦ Wins the award for book I waited far too long to read because I LOVED it. If you ask me for a book recommendation, this will be a top 3 title to tumble from my tongue.
Amina's Voice by Hena Khan ✦
Refugee by Alan Gratz ✦ If you know me at all, you know I love this book. Easily a top 10 all-time favorite. A highlight of 2017 was having Alan come launch the book in the Outer Banks, teaching my students about the need for compassion and understanding towards refugees, and getting to support him in a NYT article.
Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz ✦
Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan ✦
Ghost by Jason Reynolds ✦ Jason Reynolds. If you haven’t read one of his books yet, you’re doing it wrong. He’s changing the world through literature.
Once and For All by Sarah Dessen ✦ Well, you had to know my book BFF would make the list, right? But this book shows why she’s still as relevant and well-loved after 2 decades of writing. I think back on this book, 9 months after reading it…
MARCH trilogy by John Lewis ✦ Should be essential US History texts
Transgression by Brandy Ange ✦ I was totally absorbed in this epic first book in a new fantasy series, self-published by a friend of mine! Think Cassandra Clare & Rick Riodan, but with angels set in modern day. Can’t wait for book 2.
First & Then by Emma Mills ✦ Adorable. Just, adorable.
The Girl In The Blue Coat by Monica Hesse ✦ If it wasn’t for #YearofYA, I might not have found this gem.
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han ✦ This specific book in the series was written just for me, so maybe I love it for that reason… but I do recommend her “To All The Boys I Loved Before” series!
"Families shrink and expand. All you can really do is be glad for it, glad for each other, for as long as you have each other."
- Jenny Han, Always and Forever Lara Jean
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot ✦
Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson ✦ I’ve never laughed so hard reading a book. My husband asked if I was OK because I couldn’t catch my breath or stop crying at one point… There’s actually a chapter on laminating a cat. But it also spoke to me hugely. I have about 20 quotes pulled from it, but one of my favorites is:
- “I wish someone had told me this simple but confusing truth: Even when everything's going your way you can still be sad. Or anxious. Or uncomfortably numb. Because you can't always control your brain or your emotions even when things are perfect.”
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates ✦
"I was made for the library, not the classroom. The classroom was a jail of other people's interests. The library was open, unending, free."
- Ta-Nehisi Coates
✦ 37 Elementary Books (not including picture books)
✦ 14 Middle Grade
✦ 43 Young Adult
✦ 18 Adult
- 31 of these 112 books were audiobooks
- 11 of these 112 books were nonfiction