- One Day in December by Josie Silver
Devoured it. Worthy of a future re-read
- *Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Cannot believe how long it took me to read this amazing book. So many lines were recognizable from being shared widely by other writers, readers and fans of Anne Lamont. This book changed me to my core. I now have a bird decal in a 1” box where my wrist rests on my keyboard to help me remember that writing, working & reflecting should be done “bird by bird.”
- The Magic Words by Cheryl Klein
The writing book I needed this year. Will go back to over and over.
TOP YOUNG ADULT
- *A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi
Powerful. Should be widely read, IMHO.
- Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson
Another one that should be widely read. Speak was transformational for me… this one was tough because of the subject, but so many times I was saying YES! aloud while reading.
- Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adyemi
Hooked from the very first chapter. One of those books I found myself reading every spare minute I could find. Anxious to dive into Book 2
TOP MIDDLE GRADE
- New Kid by Jerry Craft (GN)
I couldn’t wait to get this book in my library. ALL kinds of students read it over the past year and it became a favorite for many… that’s how universal the message is!
- Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
This sequel was what I hoped for in one of my fave MG of all time. Even though Aven is a 9th grader, it’s very middle-grade friendly.
- Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab
Set in the catacombs of Paris, it’s spooky sequel to another favorite series of mine! Book 3 will take place in NOLA! (yessssss)
TOP KID LIT
- Little Dreamers by Vashti Harrison
Obsessed with this series and with Vashti’s incredible illustrations
- Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
Read it because it was the Newbery Medal Winner, absolutely deserving of the honor. A modern, complex update to the Blume & Cleary contemporary kids stories.
- Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Such a unique story, but told in a way that readers can connect to Mia’s struggles and hopeful outlook.
- *Becoming by Michelle Obama
So glad a friend recommended this, especially to listen. When Michelle talked about her mid-20’s professional struggle, questioning if she had picked the right career… it was exactly what I needed to hear this year. Being a school librarian was a true joy and I enjoyed so much of it, but like Michelle, I felt like there was something more for me to go out and discover.
- Say Nothing by Patrick Keefe
While this is very Northern Ireland specific, the storytelling and background history is incredible for any reader.
- Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Heard good things about this Pride & Prejudice retelling & they were all correct.
MEMORABLE GRAPHIC NOVELS
- *Guts by Raina Telgemeier
- *White Bird by R. J. Palacio
- Hey Kiddo (GN) by Jarrett Krosoczka
Books with * are top 5 faves of the year
"Maybe the only thing that has to make sense about being somebody's friend is that you help them be their best self on any given day. That you give them a home when they don't want to be in their own."
- Poet X, Elizabeth Acevedo
"I ponder... the wisdom of leaving behind a small but sure thing for an uncertain future." - Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zetner
"Often during tough times, the first instinct is to exclude. But this book is about what happens when you include, when, despite all your suffering and your heartache, you still wake up every morning and look out at the world with fresh, curious eyes." - Front Desk, by Kelly Yang
"Sometimes you don't need words to feel better. You just need the nearness of your dog." -A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd