Favorite Young Adult/Adult Books 2016

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While I didn’t read as  much as I wanted in 2016, the books I read were excellent.  I’m going to attempt to narrow things down a bit and maybe rank my list?

Ok. This is my third for fourth attempt at this post. Guys, I just read some really great books this year. And I keep remembering books that came from other sources than my main library. This is an excellent problem to have! I will give you my Top Five Young Adult/Adult selections. Read those. Then go to my 2016 Young Adult/Adult List and read the rest. Ha!

Top Five Young Adult/Adult Books for 2017

1 – Salt to the Sea (and others) by Ruta Sepetys. Salt to the Sea was breathtaking. Read it.

2 – Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt. This is a hard read. Be prepared. It might make some readers uncomfortable but once again, Schmidt handles hard topics with such grace.

3 – The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan. Perhaps we would like to deny that forced labor of children (slavery) still happens in this world but the truth is often hard. Don’t miss this powerful story.

4 – Once in a Million Boy by Monica Wood. I loved this story. Truly. I think in the end you will close this book with a sigh and a smile.

5 – The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. How did I miss reading this classic for so long? If you are like me and somehow missed this story, grab it now. Stay golden, Ponyboy. Stay golden.

Psst..I didn’t want to overwhelm my Top Five with World War II books but The Girl in the Blue Coat (Monica Hesse) and The Nightingale (Kristin Hannah)should be on your list if you haven’t read them.

Now..what book would you recommend to me?

Psst..again…I don’t recommend The Girl on the Train unless you are comfortable with language and intimate details.

 

 

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Favorite Picks from Children’s Lit 2016

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I love sharing books with my children so I often read books before passing them along. Why? Because a good book is a good book no matter who its intended audience is and it creates connections with my children. How could we play Literary Murder Mystery if we didn’t share our books?

The books in my Children’s Lit section are books I read personally and not aloud. I try to include a wide topic range but don’t always succeed. I must confess that a couple of my favorite picks this year dealt with the elderly.


How to Avoid Extinction – Paul Acampora – is a quick read that packs a lovely punch of life and laughter. Leo’s grandfather passed away and since then he has been in charge of tracking his grandmother who tends to wander off. She isn’t suffering from dementia but a grieving heart and a bit of free spirit. When his grandmother decides it is time for a road trip, Leo tags along. Donuts, dinosaurs, tattoos, and death…how can you pass this read up? It is middle grade fiction but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Leo’s relationship with his grandmother is sweet and I found myself smiling as I read it. At around 200 pages it would be a great choice for the reluctant or struggling reader as well. Mr. Acampora also wrote I Kill the Mockingbird which is another great one for the book list.


The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones – Wendelin Van Draanen – comes with a bit of a confession. I saw this book on my libraries New Books list; it was on order. As always I looked it up on Amazon to find out a bit more about it. The reason I put the book on hold was because it was perfect for fans of Counting by 7s. I loved Counting by 7s. When Lincoln Jones arrived I was skeptical. I was concerned that I had been mislead. Ah,  my concern was not needed. Lincoln Jones keeps to himself and keeps to his writing. Great stories all about a hero that saves the day.  Lincoln? He’s not a hero, right? I don’t want to give away this story because I don’t want to ruin it for you. Another middle grade fiction selection but one I think many would enjoy no matter the age.

Ghost – Jason Reynolds – I walked past it. Twice. It was on display at the library with other new books and the bright yellow cover did nothing to draw me. That day wasn’t a great library day. My selections were slim so at the last moment, literally on the way to check out, I grabbed it. It would be a quick read so why not? Ghost is just one of four middle school kiddos on an elite track team. All have a different story to tell but this one is, of course, Ghost’s story. When it comes to the track, Ghost is a natural when it comes to running. That happens when you find yourself running for your life. Thankfully Coach steps in before Ghost has the opportunity to ruin his life

Although this was a quick read, it didn’t take me long to love Ghost and Coach. I love the roll the adults played in this book and that the story came across as “real”. I passed it along to a couple of my girls and they enjoyed. We are looking forward to the rest of the Track series

Reynolds also wrote As Brave As You which we enjoyed well.

Raymie Nightingale – Katie DiCamillo – I had to double check to see if this was really a 2016 read. It seems like forever since I read this book while sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room. Raymie is putting all her effort into winning the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition. Because winning will be bring her daddy back. But  Raymie isn’t the only one practicing baton twirling for this competition. Louisiana and Beverly are in the competition as well. The unlikely happens and these three girls find that life is pulling them together in friendship. Winning the competition is not what any of these girls needed.  A friend to stand beside you when life is hard is the true prize. I would definitely add this to my girls reading list but they have already read  it, of course. Is it on yours?

 

Favorite Read Alouds from 2016

**Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. The small percentage earned from affiliate links goes toward books used in our home. 

 

Hope you all had a lovely Happy New Year. We celebrated with stuffy noses, coughs, and  a fever or two. We really know how to bring in a new year!   While we are kicking off a new year, I want to take a post or two to share some of our favorite reads.

Favorite Read Alouds 2016:

N. D. Wilson –  We read aloud several of Wilson’s books. Leepike Ridge, The Ashtown Burial series (please, please give us Book 4, Mr. Wilson!) and wrapped it all up with Outlaws of Time: The Legend of Sam Miracle. Cyrus, Antigone, and Nolan  are like old friends and if I could find a Polygoners patch, I would be mom of the year. Sam Miracle was a fun read aloud for us.  A bit of time travel, a little western flair, and snake arms….how could you go wrong? Wilson knows how to tell a good story. And yes, The Outlaws of Time #2: The Song of Glory and Ghost is already on our To Read list. For 100 Cupboard fans, there is a prequel coming out for that this year as well: The Door Before. Yes, the To Read List is already filling up fast. Woot!

 

A year or so ago, I read aloud Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt and it instantly became a family favorite. It is possible that Holling Hoodhood and yellow feathers come up quite often in conversation.  I finally remembered to grab Okay for Now that is a companion to Wednesday Wars. Okay for Now takes us into the life of Doug Swieteck. And it is possible that I loved it even more than Wednesday Wars. Schmidt has an amazing talent for telling a deeper story between the lines. So while this was classified as a Young Adult read in our library, I read it aloud to the whole family. The younger ones enjoyed the story and the older ones caught all the things not said. Loved it. If you haven’t read it, you should.

Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard: A Peter Nimble Adventure by Jonathan Auxier was a highly anticipated second book in the Peter Nimble series.  I will confess, I was a bit anxious about Sophie Quire  meeting the standard set by Peter Nimble. Thankfully it did not fail us. I would say that it has a different feel or atmosphere from Peter Nimble but any book lover is going to enjoy turning the pages with Sophie.

I will confess that a few of the book on our read aloud list for 2016 disappointed us a bit. Looking forward to some great reads in 2017. What is on your To Read in  2017 list?

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