By popular demand, the list is back! Although, it’s a bit simplified this year. In the past, I’ve included images of every book, annotations for each book, and sometimes even a link to each book’s Amazon.com page.
You know what that is? About five hours’ worth of work. And considering that I’m only 2 days away from Baby Katie’s due date, five hours is a commitment I just can’t make right now.
So: here’s the list. Keep in mind that, as in the past, this is a highly personal list — and also that I’m not a professional book reviewer and do not have access to every single title that came out in 2010. I also tend to leave off bestsellers (like Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay) since I know that most of my blog readers have already read them, or at least are familiar with them. But I consider all of them to be lots of fun, and I’m sure you’ll find something in here to please you, as well.
Oh, and yeah: I forgot your favorite book. Sorry in advance.
So fire up those library cards! Happy hunting!
Picture Books (and keep in mind that I am VERY picky about these. My personal requirement is that the books have to withstand being read out loud for at least five consecutive nights without driving me crazy):
- Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan
- Clever Jack Takes the Cake by Candace Fleming
- April & Esme: Tooth Fairies by Bob Graham
- The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood
- Cupcake: A Journey to Special by Charise Mericle Harper
- A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead — this just won the Caldecott Medal for illustration. Hooray!
- My Garden by Kevin Henkes
- Sneaky Sheep by Chris Monroe
- A Beach Tail by Karen Lynn Williams
- Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown
For Beginning Readers
- Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! by Grace Lin
- Bink & Gollie by Kate diCamillo and Alison McGhee
- We are In a Book! by Mo Willems
- Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke — yeah, good luck finding this one. It’s awesome, and yet hardly any libraries carry it. [shakes fist at sky]
- The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz
- Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes by Sally Mavor — the fabric/mixed media illustrations are INCREDIBLE. I’m wagging my finger at the Caldecott Committee for overlooking this one.
- Joha Makes a Wish: a Middle Eastern Tale by Eric Kimmel
Middle Grade Novels
- One Crazy Summer by Rita Garcia-Williams
- Countdown by Deborah Wiles
- Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm
- Palace Beautiful by Sarah DeFord Williams– historical fiction set in the Avenues of Salt Lake City! And in the 1980s, so one of the characters is totally into a The Cure knockoff band! A great debut from a local author.
- A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz — probably my favorite American novel of the year, although it’s not for everybody
- Cosmic by Frank Cotrell Boyce — my favorite British import of the year; it definitely IS for everybody
- The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
- The Clockwork Three by Matthew Kirby — a fabulous fantasy debut from yet another local author!
- The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry — wins the prize for being the most Roald Dahl-esque
- Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
And one more: Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool — it just won the Newbery Medal, so even though I haven’t read it (and hadn’t HEARD OF IT until it won the award) I’m recommending you track it down anyway.
- Smile! (middle grade) by Raina Telgemeier (it’s excellent, but I admit a little extra bias in favor of a book set in the late ’80s/early ’90s. She wears ex-cla-ma-tion perfume and a turquoise scrunchie that matches her turqoise socks! What’s not to love?)
- The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier (middle grade)
- Mercury by Hope Larson (young adult, although I’d give it a PG rating)
- Calamity Jack by Shannon and Dean Hale (middle grade; gorgeous illustrations by Nathan Hale)
- Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman
- Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors ALSO by Joyce Sidman. Wow.
- Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer
- Kakapo Rescueby Sy Montgomery. Probably one of the best science writers out there, and that goes for adult nonfiction, too.
Young Adult Fiction (caveat: Owing to my high pregnancy-induced hormonal state, I didn’t read as much YA fiction this year as I usually do. You’ll notice a distinct lack of contemporary and historical fiction here; escapist fantasy and sci-fi was more my cup of tea this year. Except for Monsters of Men. It’s part of Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy, and makes The Hunger Games look like a kitten wrestling with a rainbow. I couldn’t even look at the cover without bursting into tears. Okay, caveat over.)
- As Easy as Falling off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins
- The Cardturner by Louis Sachar — probably more appeal for adults than YAs with this one, depends on the kid
- A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner — best fantasy writing of the year, hands down
- Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve — a stand-alone prequel to his excellent Hungry City Chronicles
- Bruiser by Neal Schusterman (excepting the very last paragraph)
- Incarceron by Catherine Fisher — so glad to see this author getting some appreciation; I loved her Oracle trilogy
- Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi — winner of the Printz Award for outstanding YA fiction! This made me VERY happy.
One More Quirky Category — Best Vintage Children’s Fiction I Read in 2010
- Helen Cresswell’s Bagthorpe Saga: Ordinary Jack; Absolute Zero; Bagthorpes Unlimited. Very funny farcical British fiction; there are jokes set up in Book 1 that don’t come into fruition until the end of Book 3. Brilliant stuff, although it takes a bit of patience to “get” the British humor. Absolute Zero was my favorite of the bunch.