2016: favorite children’s and YA books

I’m doing something a little bit different this year! (links go to my reviews)

Nomad by William Alexander
The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Some Kind of Happiness by Claire LeGrand
Goodbye, Stranger by Rebecca Stead
Of Mice and Magic by Ursula Vernon

To be honest, I hadn’t realized what connects these books until I put them all in a list, when the fact that they’re all about real, hard things that kids deal with while also being full of hope and kindness and connection kind of jumped out at me. I also hadn’t realized how many great middle grade books I read this year–making a choice was tough!

Peas and Carrots by Tanita S Davis
Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston
Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana
When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
Burn, Baby, Burn by Meg Medina
Keeper of the Mist by Rachel Neumeier

Four books I totally expected to love (and did), three that took me by surprise. Obviously, I’m kind of an E.K. Johnston fan at this point, no matter what she’s writing about. I loved Burn, Baby, Burn even more than Yaqui Delgado. And Rachel Neumeier is a perennial favorite in these parts. The three that took me by surprise–Peas and Carrots, Mirror in the Sky, and When the Moon Was Ours–were all rich books with lots to think about and really strong characters. The relationship between Dess and Hope, the thoughtful look at a world of what-ifs, and the lush, sharp prose made these ones stand out.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “2016: favorite children’s and YA books

  1. I love this list! When I tried clicking on the link to Mirror in the Sky, though, I got a google doc that said I needed permission to view it…

  2. Peas and Carrots is one of my most favorite books of last year, even though I almost never read middle-grade anything. Also I read When the Moon Was Ours at the very, very end of 2016, and it really super impressed me. Not exactly my thing? With all the magic realism? But it was amazing to read a book where a trans boy just gets a straight-up happy ending. Fuckin good for you, Sam.

  3. Pingback: January 2017 round up | By Singing Light

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