"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Lists! 'Tis the Season!

2015 Best of Books
And so it begins, the end of the year BEST BOOKS lists. My focus is on young adult books. (Please open the links in a new browser so you can read up on my thoughts below the fold after you'd had a look.)

School Library Journal Best Books of 2015

Horn Book Fanfare

NYT Notable Children's Books

Goodreads Choice Awards 2015

2016 Morris Award shortlist

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, finalists

Publisher's Weekly Best Young Adult Books

Kirkus Reviews

Please join me below the fold for my thoughts on these lists...

School Library Journal has a fairly complete list of favorites and other books oft mentioned in the BEST OF discussions. This is my favorite of all the lists I've seen so far. It has all the usual suspects with a few surprises. I've read 9 of the eighteen books of this list, which makes me more determined than ever to speed up my reading. I especially like it that Bone Gap made the cut. It is such a fun and quirky book with many layers to the story line. I have never even heard of Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection. I am adding it to my next book order, for sure.

Horn Book Fanfare lists five YA fiction titles and three nonfiction selections. A.S. King's I Crawl Through It was a late addition to our Mock Printz list but I haven't seen it on any other lists than this one. I think it is definitely worthy of a Printz nod. Glad to see it here. I just finished The Emperor of Any Place this week and think it is very good. I hope it gets some Printz love, too. The nonfiction title that is missing from the list, in my opinion, is Symphony for the City of the Dead. In fact, I'm shocked it is not here. I am glad to see Drowned City, the graphic novel about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. It is short and powerful.

NYT Notable Children's Books list is very short on those considered YA books. And I actually disagree with their designations of a few middle grade and YA books. I consider Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and Nimona  to be YA titles and Hired Girl a MG title, they have these three on the opposite lists. Notably missing from this list is Challenger Deep, the National Book Award winner. How could they have missed it? I haven't read Becoming Maria or Six of Crows but these books haven't received much attention up to this point, so they are surprising additions.

Goodreads Choice Awards are really just popularity awards since readers vote for their favorites and could technically vote more than once if they are tricky. The YA books on the list, with the exception of All the Bright Places, haven't gotten any love from the professional reviewers. I like Bright Places a lot and so do my high school readers.

Morris Award Shortlist books were just announced on Thursday. This is the award for debut YA authors. I was pretty surprised by the list, since I've only read on them, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda (which I love). One thing I appreciate, all the books are clearly YA titles. Here is the list:
  • Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
  • Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert
  • Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  • The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
  • The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
YALSA Award for YA Nonfiction. Finally a list with both of my favorite nonfiction titles on it: Most Dangerous AND Symphony for the City of the Dead. I think this year there are three clear leaders in the race for Printz Award, these two and Challenger Deep, and it will be a footrace to see which one wins. The other three titles I am not familiar with so I want to look into them. Here is the list:
  • Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: a memoir by Margarita Engle (Geared toward grades 6-10.)
  • Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin (Geared toward grades 7 up.)
  • Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege on Leningrad by M.T. Anderson (Geared toward grades 9-12.)
  • First Flight Around the World: the Adventures of the American Airmen Who Won the Race by Tim Grove  (Geared toward grade 5-8.)
  • This Strange Wilderness: The Life and Art of John James Audubon by Nancy Plain (Geared toward grades 7 up.)
Publisher's Weekly provides a little slide show of the top books by category so you can check out their adult titles, too. There are seventeen YA titles listed. Once again Most Dangerous is on the Middle Grade list.  Am I the only one who thinks this book is more geared toward older readers? This is a really fun list to peruse since they offer suggested titles in so many categories. But here is my question for Publisher's Weekly. What about books published in November and December? Your list comes out so early you are surely missing some real gems.

Kirkus Reviews is releasing their various lists on a time table. Their best of YA books will be released mid-month. I often think theirs is the least picky of all the lists, so I anticipate they'll have around thirty books on it, but they will identify their top five in each category as their finalists.

1 comment:

  1. We need to look through the adult lists for Book Club!! :)


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