2015 Faves

There were SO MANY amazing books this year that it’s really hard to sort through and create a best-of list. I just can’t be that picky! But I have narrowed down some of my favorites of the past year.

Picture books are the hardest for me to choose. I read so many of them and I have a hard time keeping track of when they were published, but these two stuck out to me.

Sonya’s Chickens, by Phoebe Wahl
The illustrations are stunning and the story is moving. A really beautiful book about death.

This is My Rock, by David Lucas
I really wish this one was eligible for the Caldecott because it would be my top choice. The story is simple but the illustrations are out of this world amazing.

Next up- My favorite juvenile fiction. MAN, there are so many books I wanted to pick, but these are the four that I read and continued to carry even after I finished them.

A Handful of Stars, by Cynthia Lord
I love Lord’s books unequivocally. They deal with timely issues without the heavy-handedness of less experienced authors.

The War The Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
I find the cover to be a tough sell, but this one is a real winner and was my earliest pick for the Newbery. The world and characters Bradley has built stuck with me for a long time.

George, by Alex Gino
Talk about timely issues- the need for diversity in books has never been greater, especially books about LGBTQ children. There’s YA and adult books about gender identity (not many… but some), yet middle-grade children are so often to be overlooked. George is a first step in filling that void.

The Imaginary, by A. F. Harrold
I love a book that can be both fun, sweet, and utterly creepy.

I find myself telling people that I don’t really read YA and I don’t really (no time!), but my YA list was the hardest to whittle down because what I have read is superb.

 

Ms. Marvel, G. Willow Wilson
Outside of assigned reading in grad school, I’ve never really read comic books. I’m so glad the first one I picked up for fun was the new Ms. Marvel because it’s literally the best thing ever.

Lumberjanes, by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis
This was the second comic I picked up in 2015. Why did I start reading comics sooner? Lumberjanes is so fun, I love the slang, I love the pop culture references, and I love the art!

The Hired Girl, by Laura Amy Schlitz
Basically grown-up Dear America Diaries.

Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell
I didn’t have super high hopes for this one, partially because I found the premise… wackadoodle. It’s a book written by Rowell, but based on a book written by a fictional author in one of Rowell’s other books. Also it’s book eight¬†in a series and the other books were never written. But I picked it up anyway and read it in a day because it’s AWESOME.

Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson
Watching Nimona go from a tumblr webcomic to a National Book Award Finalist has been awesome (you get to watch someone’s dreams come true in real time!). Nimona is completely deserving of its accolades. It’s a fantastic story with beautifully flawed (and hilarious) characters.

I hope 2016 is as good to my bookshelves as 2015!

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2016 Blogging Goals

Most of what I end up blogging is random rather than planned. What I feel is useful, things I might like to see on someone else’s blog, what I have time for… My number one goal for 2016 is to start blogging more intentionally. I’m going to break that down into 3 smaller goals.

  • Twice a month, I’m going to read a children’s book (anything other than fiction picture books) that is outside of my typical comfort zone. I love realistic fiction (at every age level) and recognize that I really need to branch out. I’ll blog my reviews every month too.
  • Blog about my storytime plans. Books, rhymes, crafts, what works and what doesn’t- it’s all going to be posted.
  • Participate in one Flannel Friday a month.

My goals feel small now but when I look back at how sporadic my entries are, I think they might actually prove to be a bit of a challenge!