Books I’ve already talked about
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes
How I Became a Ghost by Tim Tingle
Hunt for the Hydra by Jason Fry
Dragonborn by Toby Forward
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt
Hide and Seek by Ida Vos
Kingdom Under the Sea by Joan Aiken
Sun Horse, Moon Horse by Rosemary Sutcliff
Binny For Short by Hilary McKay
Enemy Brothers by Constance Savery
Runemarks by Joanne Harris
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson: Rachel Neumeier suggested this one when I posted about books that give me feels. It’s a heartwrenching contemporary YA. I liked Lennie, the main character, a lot. I especially liked that the story gives her room to make mistakes without judgement. And I was happy with the way the romance was resolved.
Hob and the Goblins by William Mayne: This is an older book. It’s an odd little story, which I enjoyed but in a dreamy sort of way which doesn’t really lend itself to enthusiasm. It might work well for fans of Elizabeth Goudge’s children’s books.
Rose by Holly Webb: This is a very lovely middle grade fantasy, which focuses on a different class than most books of its type. Rose is an orphan and then a servant, rather than a lady. I liked the historical setting and especially Rose, who is a lovely main character.
Constable & Toop by Gareth Jones: Another middle grade historical fantasy. For some reason, I didn’t like this one as much as I thought I was going to, and I’m not quite sure why. There were lots of nice elements, and yet somehow it never quite became amazing. Bah.
Charlotte, Sometimes by Penelope Farmer: Which I found, appropriately enough, on Charlotte’s Library. It’s a time-travel story, with an English boarding school feel. There’s a bit of heartache, but it’s not traumatic.
A Song for Bijou by Josh Farrar: This is a sweet middle grade romance with multi-cultural elements. It was nicely written, but at the same time I had niggling doubts about it. Perhaps something about how easy it was for Alex to enter into Bijou’s world? I don’t know.
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh: Tears of laughter.
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder: The Egypt Game was one of my favorite books when I was younger, so I decided to try The Headless Cupid. It turned out to be super creepy! I appreciate ZKS’s writing chops, but no. Just no.
Five, Six, Seven, Nate by Tim Federle: I think I’m the only one who didn’t love this one as much as the first book. Maybe it’s just middle book syndrome, but so much seemed unresolved. I did like Nate’s romance, which was sweet and nicely done.
The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell: This is a nice classic-feeling middle grade fantasy. Like several other recent mg fantasies, it has a Scandinavian feeling to it (which makes perfect sense in Almhjell’s case). It doesn’t do new and exciting things, but it has the kind of comforting and old-fashioned feel of a good cup of hot chocolate.
The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods: A biracial girl connects with the black side of her family, who she hasn’t met because her father died before she was born and they’re not on speaking terms with her mother. It’s not very subtle, but it’s a sweet story and well written, and does come organically from Violet’s experiences. And there’s a lot of nice bits about identity and family and forgiveness.
Real American Girls Tell Their Own Stories by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler
Bird Lake Moon by Kevin Henkes
The Dream Stealer by Sid Fleischman
A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer