It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week. Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.
It’s been an amazing year of books! So many great books were published this year that have become “favorites” that it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few. Which books did I hug extra tightly or put under my pillow just to keep them with me a little longer?
Inspired by my friend and book blogger extraordinaire Carrie Gelson, I have decided to choose 13 books (for 2013) and organize them into categories I read the most of: picture books, nonfiction books and novels.
1. Journey – Aaron Becker
Mesmerizing watercolor illustrations that take the reader on a journey of adventure, self discovery, courage, hope and unexpected friendship. This book will likely top many 2013 lists and it certainly tops mine.
2. The Man With the Violin – Kathy Stinson
This book, based on a true event, celebrates the power of music and reminds us that in the business of our lives, we need to stop and appreciate the beauty around us. (also 3 cheers for Canadian authors)
3. The Day the Crayons Quit – Drew Daywalt
Oh, how I love clever books! Oh, how I love a book that makes me laugh out loud and wish I had written it myself! Oh, how I love a book that I read and immediately start thinking of ways I will be able to use it in my classroom. This book has all my loves tied up together.
4. Ben Rides On – Matt Davies
Ben loves his bike. Ben’s bike is bullied away. Ben figures out a way to get his bike back. There is tenderness amidst the lightheartedness and Ben is my hero.
5. The Dark – Lemony Snicket
This is the story of how dear Little Laszlo stops being afraid of the dark. My oh my, there is something magical about this book. Personification at its best.
6. Water in the Park – Emily Jenkins
Community, neighborhood, water, time; From dawn to dusk we witness the comings and goings in a park. Simple. Beautiful.
7. Silver Buttons – Bob Graham
(or “The Silver Button” )
The celebration of a single moment and all that happens – from one moment in a an apartment room to that same moment all over the world. Extraordinary. Brilliant. Hugging this book.
8. Hello, My Name is Ruby – Philip C. Stead
I fell in love with Ruby this year. She is all that represents fearlessness, curiosity, courage, adventure, wisdom all wrapped up in a sweet little bird body who asks questions. By far my favorite character of 2013.
9. The Matchbox Diary – Paul Fleischman
This book is a celebration of memories, keepsakes, treasures, life stories and relationships. A grandfather opens his matchboxes of memories, his life story and his heart to his granddaughter. My favorite “connect” book of the year.
10. The World is Waiting for You – Barbara Kerley
Following your passion amidst all that the world has to offer. Imaginative and inspiring.
11. Walk this World – Jenny Broom
A celebration of the everyday similarities and differences that exist between cultures around the world. A new country on every page – with windows to peek under and many surprises to discover! Wow! An adventure from cover to cover!
12. What Does it Mean to Be Present? – Rana DiOrio
Carpe Diem, seize the day, appreciate the moment, be present, be grateful, give back. How could anyone NOT want to share this message with children. Love x a lot for this one.
12. The Animal Book – Steve Jenkins
Happiness is a new Steve Jenkins book. Happiness is being amazed by his signature collage illustrations and the intriguing facts he wows us with. Happiness is adding this book to my Nonfiction Book list for 2013.
The Runaway King – Jennifer A. Nielsen
When a grade 6 boy tears up with joy because his back order Scholastic Book order copy of The Runaway King has just come in – you know it is a great book. This follow-up is equally as good as the first. I will get my box of Kleenex ready for the 3rd installment!
Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library – Chris Grabenstein
Funny, crafty, twists and turns, puzzles and adventures. Some were less impressed with the “too close for comfort” to legendary Charlie Bucket but both my students and I LOVED it!
Wake Up Missing – Kate Messner
Concussions, Treatment centers, stolen identities and friendships = fast paced, page turner, grab-the-book -from-your-son’s-room-while-he’s-sleeping-because- you-can’t-wait-to-find-out-what-happens -book!
The Real Boy – Anne Ursu
A magical fantasy – beautiful, enchanting, mysterious, sad, hopeful. This one ended up under my pillow.
Well, there are my top books for 2013. (And for anyone who happened to be counting – I believe I went way over my original “13 picks for 2013” by several titles!) It was, indeed, a very good year for books! What books did you celebrate in 2013?