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I keep meaning to be a better book blogger and I’m making it a resolution this year so let’s start with some of my favorite books that I read in 2012. I’ve been trying to be less liberal with my 5 stars but I am by nature an enthusiastic person so the list of 5 star books I read in 2012 is longer than it probably should be.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin - I read this one so I could write questions for my library/School District’s Battle of the Books and I’m so glad I did. A beautiful wandering fantasy about a girl who wants to change her fate and how she makes everything happen.
The Star Shard by Frederic Durbin - What can I say about this book? It’s just gorgeous! I have a half written review waiting in my drafts that I need to finish because you need to read The Star Shard. It was first published episodically in Cricket, if that tells you anything (and if you were as in love with everything Cricket when you were a child as I was, that should tell you a lot) when I found that out it just made sense because this book makes me happy.
Wonder by R J Palacio - I had an ARC of this book and I didn’t read it and didn’t read it because issue books make me groan but then I finally read it and I am so glad I did because this isn’t an issue book, it’s a beautiful book that just happens to have an issue. It’s now my one book/one community book for 2013 and R J Palacio will be here in February and I’m just in love with it. Read it with tissues.
Winterling by Sarah Prineas - Sarah Prineas is a delight and so is this book. If you like waesome low-middle grade fantasy with kick ass female main characters then read this book. If you don’t then this is not for you.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer - I’m a sucker for a really well done fairy tale retelling and I’ve read so many of them that it takes an amazing one to blow my socks off. Cinderella is a cyborg and the moon is trying to invade? Sign me up!
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore - I think I’ve discussed my love for this series everywhere I discuss anything. This is a perfect end to a perfect series and I am going to reread all 3 ASAP.
Sorcery and Cecelia, or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia Wrede - So the Enchanted Forest Chronicles have been some of my favorite books since I was tiny. How have I never read anything else from Pat Wrede? Clearly I am lacking in sense. Victorian fantasy. Love and secrets and magic and manners and it’s wonderful.
The Fault in our Stars by John Green - Yes, I’m a nerdfighter but this book was just great. Tears for days and joy for days and characters I’ll love forever.
A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton - As I said on goodreads, “waiting for godot meets the little prince. I love it so much I can’t even tell you.” (When I’m goodreading on my nook, it’s hard to capitalize things. Please forgive me.)
Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey - I told my friend Anna that I’d find her a perfect book and I kinda think this is it? A gorgeous fantasy set in New Zealand with evocative writing, great characters, a compelling plot, tons of diversity, and wonderful everything? I am so here for exactly this.
Crow by Barbara Wright - 1898 North Carolina, an 11 year old black boy is teaching his grandmother, a former slave, to read. Then the race riots happen. This is my current Newberry pick - but I honestly haven’t read enough of what other people are putting on Mock Newberry lists to say for sure? But of all the books I read this year, this is the one I hope wins it. Like Wonder this is a book with an issue not an issue book. Moses is real and flawed and wonderful and such a wonderful character.
The Wild Book by Margarita Engle - I am a sucker for a good novel in verse. Historical Fiction set in Cuba in the early part of the century, Fefa is “word blind” which I’m pretty sure is her doctor’s name for Dyslexic and she uses her “wild book” to write down everything she’s thinking. There’s fear and adventure and love and hope and if Crow doesn’t win the Newberry then this is my pick.
The Artful Parent is one I just read and one I’m still planning on writing a good review of. I highly recommend this for any children’s librarians out there with a parent/teacher collection in their children’s department, and for all the parents out there, this book definately inspired me to be a more thoughtful, artful parent. Full of tips, projects, and recommendations, I really loved reading this book. Her blog has become a staple on my RSS feed since reading this.
The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner - These are one of those fantasy books that isn’t exactly fantasy? No magic, no fantastic creatures, but set in a medieval england type land that is not our own. Swordplay and romance and gender fluidity and queerness and this book just makes me smile. The audiobook is especially well done if you’re an audiobook fan.
Paper Valentine by Brenna Yavanoff - I just finished this one last week and it’s another one I’m hoping to write a real review for. Hannah is being haunted by the ghost of her best friend who died of anorexia and while writing this I’m reading other reviews on goodreads and many people are complaining about how much STUFF she tried to stuff in here and that was part of what I loved about it? Hannah moved from anger at herself for not stopping Lillian from starving herself to anger at Lillian for doing it to anger at Lillian’s mom for being a jerk to just anger that we live in an effed up world. There’s a serial killer on the loose and Hannah (with help from Lillian) is going to solve the mystery. It’s Criminal Minds meets Gossip Girl with ghosts? So good.