During 2012, I read a total of 143 books--chapter books, for lack of a better term, although they run the gamut from beginning chapter books to adult books. That represents quite an increase from the 79 I read in 2011. Here's how my 2012 reading broke down:
I am interested to see just how skewed my reading is in 2013, when I'll be reading for the 2014 Newbery Award Committee. Anyone want to hazard a guess just how much of my 2013 pie chart will be children's books?
As we head into 2013, I will leave you with my personal favorite reads of the year (that I haven't talked much about on the blog). If you're looking for something to read in the few weeks before the 2013 Youth Media Awards are announced, try starting here!
Favorite non-fiction I read in 2012:
I actually listened to this audiobook and reviewed it for Library Journal; I found Shadid's ability to blend his home renovation struggles in Lebanon, his own family history, and the cultural history of this area of the Middle East captivating.
Favorite adult fiction I read in 2012:
Prepare to Die! by Paul Tobin
I enjoyed the grittiness of this non-traditional superhero story far more than I would have anticipated. The book follows Steve Clarke, also known as Reaver, during the two weeks his arch-nemesis has given him between his defeat and his death. The book prompted some great discussions of superheroes in our culture in general.
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
I was completely taken by surprise by the beauty and melancholy of this novel. The story follows Julia, a middle school girl in California, in the first year of the Slowing--when the earth's rotation inexplicably begins to slow and to affect all life on the planet. My book club had a terrific discussion of this book, and I'd recommend it for book clubs in 2013.
Favorite YA fiction I read in 2012:
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
It's no secret that I fell in love with this book this year. I still don't feel I have words to adequately describe just how masterfully Whaley can weave together seemingly disconnected and odd storylines into a single story that is profoundly moving. This is a quiet book for sure, and it deserves your attention.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
I read an ARC of this story after picking it up at ALA in June, and I've been listening to the audiobook again--that's how much I enjoy the story. It's kind of coming-of-age, kind of paranormal, kind of realistic, kind of boarding school... Really, it defies easy classification. Give it a try.
Favorite children's fiction I read in 2012:
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
I was enchanted by the rich setting and characters in this mystery story. The small town of Tupelo Landing is a quaint, quirky sort of Neverland--minus the murder, that is--and the narrator, Mo, is a wonderfully drawn young girl with spunk, imagination, and an energy that makes her jump out of the page and into your brain. This book was a pleasure to read.
Ivy + Bean Make the Rules by Annie Barrows
I got on something of an Ivy + Bean kick this year. What can I say? I love those characters! Their personalities capture so well what it is to be children, and their friendship is a great model for children of all ages. I shared the Ivy + Bean series with many, many library customers this year, and they've all thanked me for it.
What were your favorite reads of 2012?
What are you most looking forward to reading in 2013?