1. Slider by Pete Hautman – I loved this book! 🍔🌭🍕 I definitely have never read a book about competitive eating before. I found myself cheering for David as a middle child who is not good at anything except eating. I loved the relationship with his sister and brother too. The competitive eating part is a little bit unsettling but the story is awesome.
2. The Year of the Book by Andrea Cheng – This whole series is basically my story. I love books, babies, and fortune cookies. I love going to China. I loved all the references to books! It’s so cozy and reminds me ofPacy Lin’s stories too. And the illustrations are lovely. This year has been the year of the book for me as well.
3. The Year of the Baby by Andrea Cheng – Basically a book about me and Isla. I loved the science project about babies! I am a baby lover and it is so sweet to read about a new baby sister <3.
4. The Year of the Fortune Cookie by Andrea Cheng – I loved this book because of the friendships and Anna going to China for the first time. I loved that her teacher adopted a baby!
(The 5th book being there because it fits into the cozy yellow covers of the other ones <3)
1. Jedi Academy: The Phantom Bully by Jeffrey Brown – I think the Star Wars character are adorable, and I love the illustrations too. Middle school sure is tough whatever planet you are on -_- and bullies are always lurking around the corner! :O
2. When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park – Linda Sue Park is one of my favorite historical fiction authors for kids, and I really do learn history from her novels. I was interested in the Japanese occupation of Korea because I watched a drama on the same period called Chicago Typewriter, which I loved. I like the fear of being caught and quiet patriotism that people under occupation show every day. It stood out to me that their uncle can only be a revolutionary because he is single and has no family, just like the resistance leader in the drama. A man cannot risk his life fighting for his country if he has to also provide and be there for his family. More books about resistance please!
3. The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata – This is my favorite book! I loooved it. I love stories about farmers, apparently. It was just so awesome to read about Summer and her summer 😛 If I had to spend my summer cooking for farm workers, taking care of my brother and grandparents, and end up having to drive a combine myself, I would probably go crazy but I would still do it. It is not too different from my life and basically Summer’s story is super relatable to me ❤ .
4. Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist by Liz Kessler – Mermaid stories are my guilty pleasure 🐟🐠. Neptune and Aurora were in love! One of the things I like about this series is the twist, where it’s a merman and a human woman instead of a mermaid and a man. Hehe.
5. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin – I did not finish this book even though I really wanted to. It was ever referred to in a Japanese manga 5 centimeters Per Second! I just could not get through it. Maybe I need to read a graphic novel version of this book. I think it would be a lot more exciting.
1. Pax by Sara Pennypacker – It reminds me of The Wild Robot because both are like really long picture books. It’s like a fable in an imaginary world. Very nice choice for a novel study in the elementary grades because the characters and plot lend themselves to prediction and analysis.
2. Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff – I am so glad I finished this book! It was really good. Fallon Little is my favorite character. Who cares if someone calls you Scarface or the “Bride of Frankenstein”? You are still yourself. I loved the teacher with the plants too. I’m going to be that teacher in the future, the one with a bunch of plants that need watering in her classroom.
3. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue – I read this for a book club and I’m glad I read this too. The plot kept moving forward and I wanted to find out what happened. In a way I think the Jongas did achieve their dream, even though they returned to Cameroon instead of staying in the U.S. The American dream isn’t what people think it is. People who have achieved that dream can still have it all fall apart in something like the market crash. It’s a relevant book especially now.
4. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green – I loved this book a lot! I think it’s my favorite John Green novel so far. I loved Aza, Davis, and Daisy because they are flawed but good friends to each other. It’s so realistic and I like that a place like Indiana can be very charming if you have the right friends and look for adventure wherever you are. I will cheer for the main characters.
5. A Year in Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath – Polly Horvath is becoming one of my favorite authors. I loved the recipes and I love British Canada as described in her books. It’s just so cozy and not everything goes the way you expect them too, and that is fine because no one is perfect and we just make do with what we have. I wonder if I can narrate my year like Primrose did. It just might be as exciting with all the hardships I go through, ha.
I just noticed that all of these books have a really unique format: poetry+memoir, text+graphic novel, letters, and picture book. I really am loving variety in what I read lately and they are all so wonderful!
1. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie – Wow, what a punch in the guts this memoir was. This is the kind of book that I am unable to read twice. Real life is intense and sometimes you don’t need to make up anything to make a story interesting.
2. The Marvels by Brian Selznick – Of the three graphic novels (Hugo, Wonderstruck, and this one) I think Wonderstruck is my favorite. The Marvels talks about a family of actors and how they came to their demise. It really shows the fine difference between truth and fiction and how we make meaning of what’s around us.
3. Unusual Chickens For the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones – I am a chicken lover so obviously I loved this book. So wonderful! I learned a lot about the care and keeping of chickens. I look forward to the sequel!
4. Mr. And Mrs. Bunny – Detectives Extraordinaire by Polly Horvath – Polly Horvath is becoming one of my favorite authors. I loved this book! I am really liking the format of the “big storybook,” which is like a grown-up chapter book+picture book. Mr. Bunny kept saying that Madeline has a big bottom! Poor Madeline.
5. Dear Farenheit 451 by Annie Spence – A book written by a bookworm, for bookworms. It was such a fun read! I wish I had a book buddy who read all of the same books as me and wrote their own version. Perhaps it would be called Dear Matilda?
1. Stuart Little by E.B. White – What a strange book. E. B. White’s stories are perverse but his prose is to be admired.
2. The Great Good Summer by Liz Garton Scanlon – Lately I have been reading a lot of books about kids wanting to go to space or interested in astronomy. This one reminds me of Because of Winn-Dixie. If I were 10 and growing up in Panhandle Florida in the 1970s, I probably would have liked to rope someone into going on an adventure with me.
3. The Truth About Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh – I loved this book because of how sweet and surprising it is! I couldn’t put it down. This is a case of not judging the book by its cover because I had thought this book was pure fluff, and it turns out that it is actually pretty meaningful and surprising. Did Paula Dean write the recipes?
4. What You Wish For by various authors – I am getting into short stories and some of the ones in this collection are pretty good. It’s really satisfying to read about the wishes being fulfilled in different ways. I, too, wish each child had a protectionist against his or her bully, but more importantly I wish that no child became a bully in the first place. The fact that we wish so much means that we have plenty of work to do.
5. Adventures with Waffles by Maria Parr – This is such a sweet book because it’s about two best friends (at first it’s one-sided but SPOILER ALERT: by the end of the book she acknowledges that he is her best friend too) and their shenanigans. Wafflehearts forever! More children’s books should end with the weddings of fringe characters.