Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Miscellaneous Favorites of 2013

This final post for 2013 is going to be a mixture of some of my favorite books in various categories for the year.  Hope you have enjoyed each of the posts with my favorite books from 2013.  May everyone have a fabulous New Year and exceed all of your reading goals.

Previous posts:
Favorite Picture Books
Favorite Graphic Novels
Favorite Middle Grade

Early Readers:

Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? by Eve Bunting; Illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier (Clarion Books, March 5, 2013) - If you haven't seen this one, it's adorable and would make a great read aloud.

Early Middle Grade:

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow Books, September 17, 2013) - This one was recognized by the Nerdy Awards. It certainly is good.


Follow, Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer; Illustrated by Josée Masse (Dial, February 7, 2013) - A follow-up to Mirror, Mirror, Singer has another wonderful book with reverse poems.

The Pet Project: Cute and Cuddly Vicious Verses by Lisa Wheeler; Illustrated by Zachariah Ohora (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, April 2, 2013) - This book was witty and funny and wonderful. 

Seeds, Bees, Butterflies, and More!: Poems for Two Voices by Carole Gerber; Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin (Henry Holt, February 5, 2013) - My students love poems for two voices and this was a favorite in the spring.

Favorite Baseball Book:

Something to Prove: The Great Satchel Paige Vs. Rookie Joe DiMaggio by Robert Skead; Illustrated by Floyd Cooper (January 1, 2013) - I had to sneak in a favorite picture book on baseball.  I had so much fun with my baseball post earlier in the year.

Favorite Young Adult & Audiobook:

Far, Far, Away by Tom McNeal (Random House, June 11, 2013) - Most of the Young Adult books I read this year will have to wait to be discussed.  However, I can tell everyone how much I enjoyed this one now.

Favorite Professional Text:

Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits by Donalyn Miller (Jossey-Bass; November 4, 2013) - Donalyn has another inspiring book for teachers to encourage and support student reading habits.

So, any quirky or special books pop up for you this year?

Monday, December 30, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA - 12/30/13

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey.  Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee from Unleashing Readers have adapted it to focus on Picture Books to Young Adult Books.

I love when I have time to hang out in a bookstore and read a stack of picture books.  It only takes an hour or two to decompress from a crazy week if I can sit down and leisurely go through a pile of books.  For the past several months, I haven't had the luxury to even make it to the bookstore to look through books or to check out new releases like I usually do.  My first week of winter break has been wonderful and I have been trying to search out as many new picture books as I can. Just this weekend alone has uncovered some amazing gems.  I have listed my favorites below. 

Here's what jumped out of the stack this past week...

Please Bring Balloons by Lindsay Ward (Dial, October 17, 2013) - I think this is my new favorite picture book.  Last year, Ward's When Blue Met Egg ended up on my Best Picture Books for 2012.  If I had found this one sooner, it certainly would have made my list for this year.  Ward is a very talented cut-paper artist and her stories are charming.  Go out and find this one immediately and take time looking carefully at each page, especially the fold-out.  I need to thank the wonderful Bookseller at RJ Julia's who shared this one with me.

Herman and Rosie by Gus Gordon (Roaring Brook Press, October 15, 2013) - Carrie Gelson shared this book in her End of the Year post, but I loved the review by her students.  Click here to read what they had to say.  I have a feeling Herman and Rosie would have ended up in my top picks if I read it earlier.

Love Monster by Rachel Bright (HarperCollins, May 25, 2012) - This one was recommended to me by one of the Booksellers at Books of Wonder.  It is a fun book and will be great at Valentine's. 

Building Our House by Jonathan Bean (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, January 8, 2013) - I have been looking for this one for months and Books of Wonder had it on display. I enjoyed this story of a young family that builds their own home.

Big Snow by Jonathan Bean (Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, September 24, 2013) - I enjoyed reading several of Jonathan Bean's books while hanging out at Books of Wonder.  This one would be a fun read aloud about an impatient child, a very patient and understanding mom, and a snow storm.

Fraidyzoo by Thyra Heder (Abrams, November 5, 2013) - I discovered this one on the display shelves at RJ Julia's.  It's a fun story about how a family tries to help a young girl identify what she is afraid of at the zoo.  The illustrations are wonderful and it would be great for encouraging language as young children talk about the various animals.

The Man With the Violin by Kathy Stinson; Illustrated by Dusan Petricic (Annick Press, August 8, 2013) - Thank you Carrie Gelson for sharing this one is your End of the Year post.  I think Beth Shaum's review does a great job summing this one up.  Click here to read it and here to read her full review.  And click here for the book trailer.

How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens (Henry Holt and Co., October 1, 2013) - I love finding books that can be used for read alouds.  This one is definitely adorable and would be great for a kindergarten read aloud.

So, what are you reading?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Favorite Middle Grade Novels of 2013

Recently, I started my count down to the new year by listing my favorite books from this year.  Today, I am sharing my favorite middle grade novels.   However, this list was probably my hardest one to create.  Some books that I loved this year, I will not be able to share with you until after January 28, 2014.  Others, I never had a chance to read because of the classes I took this year, which really cut into my reading time. So, today I am sharing just a few of the ones that I loved but I do encourage you to check the posts of others in order to not miss any of the amazing stories that were written this year. 

Earlier Posts:
Favorite Picture Books of 2013 Post
Favorite Graphic Novels of 2013 Post

In no particular order, here are few of my favorites of 2013...

Doll Bones by Holly Black (Margaret K. McElderry, May 7, 2013)

The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher (HarperCollins, June 18, 2013) - Click here to check out the book trailer.

From Norvelt to Nowhere by Jack Gantos (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, September 24, 2013)

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins,  September 17, 2013) - Click here to check out the book trailer for the book.

Every Day After by Laura Golden (Random House, June 11, 2013)

Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle (Simon & Schuster, February  5, 2013) - Click here to listen to author, Tim Federle talk about the book.

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo; Illustrated by K. G. Campbell (Candlewick Press, September 24, 2013) - Click here to watch the book trailer.

The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson (Random House,  September 10, 2013)

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein (Random House, June 25, 2013)

And yes, I do know that this one below isn't a fiction novel, but since I did not read enough longer middle grade nonfiction to do a separate post, I decided to squeeze this one in here. It is too good to miss. 

Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America's First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Stone (Candlewick Press, January 22, 2013) - Click here to see a short video about the book.

So, what where your favorite Middle Grade Novels in 2013?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Favorite Graphic Novels of 2013

Yesterday, I posted my favorite picture books of 2013.  Today, I am sharing my favorite graphic novels of the year.  There is a huge range of interests and appeal in the list below.  I love these books and have shared them often and look forward to future work from each of these authors and illustrators. 

In no particular order, here are my top 10 for 2013...

Extreme Babymouse (Babymouse #17) by Jennifer L. Holm; Matt Holm (Random House, January 22, 213)

Lunch Lady and the Video Game Villain (Lunch Lady #9) by Jarrett Krosoczka (Random House, April 23, 2013)

Game On! Squish #5 by Jennifer L. Holm; Matt Holm (Random House, May 1, 2013)

Odd Duck by Cecil Castelucci; Illustrated by Sara Varon (First Second, May 14, 2013)

Bluffton by Matt Phelan (Candlewick Press, July 23, 2013) - Click here to see the book trailer for Bluffton.

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdkis by Jim Ottaviana (First Second, June 11, 2013)

The Great American Dustbowl by Don Brown (HMH Books for Young Readers, October 8, 2013) - Click here to see a video of Don Brown talking about his book.

Poseidon: Earth Shaker (Olympians #5) by George O'Connor (First Second, March 19, 2013)

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley (Macmillan, April 2, 2013)

Jane, the Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt, Isabelle Arsenault (Groundwood Books, September 1, 2013)

So, what are your favorite graphic novels of the year?

Friday, December 27, 2013

Favorite Picture Books of 2013

It's that time of year!  Now is the time to look through my list of books read throughout the year and pick my favorites.  I love remembering what I was thinking and feeling at the time of reading those books.  There is something special about deciding on which ones will find a place on this special list. 

Below are my top 13 for 2013. There were so many more that I wanted to add to the list but I decided to limit my list.  Also, I haven't listed the books in any special order.   And, though I would love to see some of them end up with shiny stickers at the end of January, this is really the list of books that  resonate with me after a year of reading.

Bluebird by Bob Staake (Schwartz & Wade, April 9, 2013) - Click here to view book trailer.

Journey by Aaron Becker (Candlewick, August 6, 2013) - Click here to view book trailer.

Fossil by Bill Thomson (Two Lions, November 5, 2013) - Click here to view book trailer.

Little Red Writing by Joan Holub; Illustrated by Melissa Sweet (Chronicle Books, September 24, 2013)

The Story of Fish and Snail by Deborah Freedman (Viking Juvenile, June 13, 2013)

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, September 3, 2013) - Click here to view book trailer.

The Mighty LaLouche by Matthew Olshan; Illustrated by Sophie Blackall (Schwartz & Wade, May 14, 2013)

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywelt; Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel, June 27, 2013)

Mysterious Traveller by Mal Peet, Elspeth Graham; Illustrated by P.J. Lynch (Candlewick Press, October 8, 2013)

No Fits, Nilson by Zachariah Ohora (Dial, June 13, 2013)

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle (Chronicle Books, February 5, 2013) - Click here to view book trailer.

Deep in the Sahara by Kelly Cunnane; Illustrated by Hoda Hadadi (Schwartz & Wade, October 8, 2013)

One Gorilla: A Counting Book by Anthony Browne (Candlewick Press, February 12, 2013)

What picture books would end up on your list?