We love lists. Lists of things to do, lists of questions to ask, lists of places to go. But most of all, we love lists of books. In fact, we have an entire section of the site dedicated to lists of books (and toys, but mostly books). There's something inherently delightful about a list of books. It's a list of promise and adventure, not a list of errands and chores. Each book crossed off the list means that you have added a new experience your child's life and to your own.
So as we were thinking through this current series on Being Savvy, we thought it might be fun to add some book lists. But not lists of our usual picture books. We asked some of our favorite book bloggers what their favorite books from this year are. And they delivered. We have a list of books for elementary school students and middle schoolers, a list of the best literary fiction from this year, and a list of best young adult fiction, which you can read even if you aren't so young anymore. And it's more than just lists. We've linked to the bloggers' reviews, too, so you can see what they think before heading off to the bookstore, list in hand.
And be sure to check back with us in December when we will have our regular look at the best picture books from the year (here's our list from 2009, if you're interested). Read on!
Children's and Middle Grade Books from the Editors at Mundie Kids
Mundie Kids is the "baby" site to Mundie Moms. They have five editors, all of whom are parents or educators, who review children's through middle school-aged books. And they review all kinds of books for younger readers -- from the basics to the fantastic to resources for young aspiring writers. Their list of the best books from this year is below.
Jack Blank and The Imagine Nation by Matt Myklusch
DORK Diaries: Tales From A Not-So-Popular Party Girl by Rachel Renee Russell
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood
The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
The Ladybug Girl Goes to the Beach by Jacky Davis
Chester's Masterpiece by Melanie West
Literary Fiction from Rebecca at The Book Lady's Blog
The Book Lady's Blog is written and edited Rebecca Joines Schinsky. The blog features her reviews of literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, and a few other genres, on occasion. In addition to reviewing books, Rebecca also writes about book conferences, author events, and publishing news. In addition to writing The Book Lady's Blog, she also runs SocialMediU, a business helping authors promote their work via social media, with Michelle Franz, and she was the inspiration for the Get in Bed with a Book Blogger campaign launched in May of this year. Her picks for this year's top literary fiction so far are below. Check her blog over the next two months for a few more publications coming out later this year that promise to maker her year-end top 10 list.
The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris
The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors by Michele Young-Stone
Day for Night by Frederick Reiken
The Singer's Gun by Emily St. John Mandel
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
American Music by Jane Mendelsohn
The Typist by Michael Knight
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
Young Adult Fiction from Stacie and Leigh at Whimsical Fic-ery
Stacie and Leigh are readers, friends, and most of all, moms who never grew up or out of their love for Young Adult fiction. Together they discuss books, characters, themes, and *ahem* the occasional swoon-worthy protagonist over on their blog Whimsical Fic-ery. This is their list of the best YA books from so far this year and a few from last year that have recently been released in paperback.
The Iron King and The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Mockingjay by (Be careful! There are spoilers in this review.)
Linger by (Spoilers here, too.)
The Last Olympian by
Clockwork Angel by
Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Gone by (In fact, they recommend the whole series.)
At one time or another, we all feel like we are on the outside looking in. At these times, it seems like everyone else just gets something that we seem to have missed. The bad news is your kids are not immune to this feeling. The good news is there a... read more
A powerhouse of children's literature, and the recipient of more prestigious awards than we even have room to mention, Beverly Cleary has been delighting young readers and their parents for a couple of generations. Her stories of "real" childhood—o... read more