These are some of my favorite books this year! My list of favorite authors is slowly growing. I’m so glad some of these are early career authors because I can’t wait to read more of their work!
Lu is the last of the Track series by Jason Reynolds. I loved this series and it was an absolute home run. Each kids has their own obstacle to overcome and it is the thing that defines them, and there’s no shame in that. Lu’s “thing” is that he is albino. There has been a kid who makes fun of him for his skin, and he has a baby sister on the way. Not to mention that being a leader is not easy.
I absolutely loved The House That Lou Built by Mae Respicio! It’s one of my favorites now. For so many reasons this book spoke to me:
- The strong sense of time and place in current day San Francisco
- The fact that Mae wants to become an architect! Having worked in an architecture firm, I really value the fact that girls want to be one in a male-dominated field
- Teamwork and how Mae and her friends pitched in to build her dream tiny house
- Filipino culture and how Mae describes the details to readers without lecturing us
- How Mae describes being biracial but doesn’t make it a huge deal or attach a lot of anguish to it
Paul Mosier is a really good writer. The Train I Ride is his debut and his style is full of heart and about kids in a major transition in their lives. Mosier’s stories are definitely character-driven when you consider that the entire novel takes place over a three-day train ride. This would be such a good case study for writing characters, including minor characters who really help the story become richer.
On the contrary, there is a master of writing, Ottessa Moshfegh whose stories are both character- and plot-driven. She really is a master and I don’t know how she can write like that. Homesick for Another World is a collection of fifteen characters, weirdos, and the troubles, pain, embarrassment, and weird joys they find themselves. How does she know so much about all of us? I have a feeling her characters write themselves into being, that is how realistic they are.
I just finished A Circle of Elephants by Eric Dinerstein. I love the amount of research and real-life experience that went into the writing of this! The author is a naturalist/conservationist by trade. However, this book was not lacking in heart. You really root for Nandu, Subba-sahib, Baba, Father Autry, and the crew that helps save animals. I love that rhinos, tigers, and elephants are all given attention in this book!
In conclusion, I love books about being kids who have strong beliefs and take action!