As of July 2014, I have read 21/48 titles. I started with 30 titles to read. Yikes! I will not be adding any other titles to my list! (Ok, I might add 2 more to make it an even 50, but only because I am compulsive.)
As I look at my list, I'm noticing that I must be on a YA binge since almost all of my YA titles are read. I just cannot help myself, though. There are some really incredible YA options and they really need me to read them!
Since April, I have read the following titles that I highly recommend:
Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff (MG)
I could write an entire dissertation about this book. (Ok, maybe not entirely, but still.) If you were impacted by the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio, you will adore Absolutely Almost.
Albie is a fifth grader in New York. He has some learning difficulties that make life with his parents (and classmates) extremely challenging. And yes, there are parts of this book that are emotionally painful to read. But through it all, Albie survives, despite this book's realistic ending. I also appreciated the short chapters and font choice of this text, which is not something I usually notice. This is a must-read for us all.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (YA)
Books with many twists and turns are some of my favorites! We Were Liars is one of those books. I was so captivated by this novel that I read it in one sitting on a Saturday morning in May. Set mostly on Cape Cod, Cadence suffers a mysterious accident at age 15 while vacationing with her relatives. She spends the next two years trying to figure out what happened to her.
Oh, and the use of metaphor in this book will knock your socks off. (I *may* have tweeted the author, E. Lockhart, about her use of metaphor. And she *may* have responded about the use of metaphor. And I *may* have gotten a little fangirly about it. Maybe.)
Wonkenstein (The Creature From My Closet) by Obert Skye (MG)
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Obert Skye last spring in Oxford, MS, which is where I purchased this book. It became a hit in my class this past May as students realized that the art is hilarious and the plot is awesome!
In a graphic novel-like format, Robert Burnside is a 12 year old with a really creepy closet stuffed with junk. He soon realizes that there is a creature in there...who is a cross between Willy Wonka and Frankenstein. The adventures in this book will keep you laughing and I cannot wait to read the sequel!
You can even follow the main character, Robert, on Twitter at @Potterwookiee
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd (MG)
Felicity Pickle moves back to her mother's hometown of Midnight Gulch with her family. She soon discovers that the town has a bit of magic floating around it, and that she might even have some magic inside of her, too. This book is extraordinarily sweet and smart with a delicious message.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (YA)
After I read this book, I thought to myself, Why have I not read more fiction from this point of view? Why aren't reservations the settings in more novels?
The main character in this book, Junior, lives on an Indian reservation in Washington state. He is dorky, goofy, and super intelligent. He becomes the only teenager from "the rez" to attend an all-white school outside the rez. Throughout the novel, which is interspersed with cartoons and drawings, Junior tries to come to terms with his own identity.
This is a voice, a narrator, that needs to be heard. The characters are sweet and sad and hilarious and heart-wrenching. I found myself in a strange state of mind...wanting to sometimes punch the characters, and then in the next breath, hug them and take care of them. Read this. It's important.
I am currently reading Wake Up Missing by Kate Messner. (Middle Grade)
Which titles are you reading? I need to make my list for 2015!
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