Best Early Reader: Year of the Jungle by Suzanne Collins
This is an important book and will resonate with young readers (and any age child) who has a loved one in the military. One librarian wrote me that she used the book on Veteran's Day to illustrate the meaning of what a veteran is and why we have Veteran's Day. What a great idea!
Best Early Reader/ Poetry: The Pet Project: Cute and Cuddly Verses by Lisa Wheeler
Illustrations by Zachariah Ohora
Whimsical and fun, sure to entertain and enlighten, this is a gem of a book!
Best Children's Book: Fraidy Zoo by Thyra Heder
Fraidy Zoo is charming and ingenious. Clever writing and witty, winsome illustrations will amaze young readers. Children will love guessing what animal Little T's parents and sister are trying to act out. This is an alphabet book, but so much, much more. This is the best children's book I've read in years. Kudos to Thyra Heder. This one's a winner!
Origami Pick: Art2-D2's Guide to Folding and Doodling by Tom Angleberger
Who isn't a fan of Tom Angleberger's fun series of Origami Yoda books?! Great for reluctant readers and Star Wars fans. This book is always checked out!
Best YA of 2013:
Contaminated by Em Garner
Heartbreakingly real, Contaminated should scare you to death!
The Prey by Andrew Fukuda
Fukuda continues the story of Gene and a few other surviving humans in book 2. Fukuda is riveting and his prose is tight and highly readable. One student commented: "I like his writing style. It is so approachable!" I couldn't agree more!
Unfed by Kirsty McKay
Unfed is book two. Zombies are on the loose in Scotland and the teens continue fighting to stay alive. Who knew zombies could be this much fun?
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
Fans of The Hunger Games will be astounded by this book! The Testing is the true battleground for the human species. The plot races rapidly along and readers will be caught up by the story and the premise of survival. The Testing is fierce, ferocious, fantastic and fascinating.
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Paranormal with a twist. The Archived is genius! The Archived is a real treat for readers who love a captivating story, a feisty female protagonist and a charming, almost alarming and totally disarming male love interest.
The Raft by S.A. Bodeen
A survival story at its best. Readers won't anticipate the shocking secret revealed at the novel's end. Bodeen proves she can write just about anything!
Winger by Andrew Smith
Winger is a book for the underdog in all of us. You will never forget Ryan Dean West, aka Winger. This book will resonate with readers long after the last page.
Money Run by Jack Heath
Buckle your seatbelts. Money Run is a serious adrenaline rush from the first page. Kids + crime = caper. Money Run will give you a run for your money.
Spy Camp by Stuart Gibbs
Spy Camp is book two in the series, and it's great. Teenage spies in training versus evil bad guys. Great fun!
The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington
The BEST ghost story of the year, hands down. I loved this book!
Adult Best Book of 2013:
Life Among Giants by Bill Roorbach
Life Among Giants is on my Best Books of All Time list which also includes To Kill a Mockingbird and The Shadow of the Wind. This book is a magnificent achievement--the characters real and meaningful. Life Among Giants is recommended for all book clubs. It will give readers plenty of food for thought and will lead to deep conversations and musings. In fact, I may have to reread this right now! I loved Life Among Giants--best book EVER!
That's it, my Best Books of 2013. It was a great year. Thank you for your love of reading and the written word. Please give the gift of reading to a child. It is truly magical and inspiring. It will change both of your lives forever.