You first! What's your favorite book of the year?

Cindy and Lynn:  Before we head off to Seattle for the ALA Midwinter Meetings and the much anticipated 2013 Youth Media Awards,  we are going to post our top ten lists of our favorite picture books, novels, and nonfiction of 2012. While we cram in a few more books and whittle our lists to ten (or twelve) we’d like to hear from YOU!

Now, don’t panic. You don’t have to vet any titles for eligibility other than a 2012 copyright date. You don’t have to study the texts for an obscure anachronism or a missing source. You don’t have to justify a complete story arc if your favorite is book two in a trilogy! Your choice doesn’t even have to exhibit literary merit over popular appeal. Nope. This is so much easier than serving on an award committee. You can do this and still have time to watch Downton Abbey. The criteria is just that you enjoyed reading the book or that it remains a favorite of the books you read over the year. List one, list one in each category (picture book, novels, nonfiction), list 10, we don’t care. Give us a reason or just leave a title and author. We will compile the results into one list to share with all of you.

Rumor has it that Bookends Blog has real readers out there in the nets. We get a lot of page hits but we still sometimes have a hard time believing we aren’t just posting to amuse ourselves here. Take a minute and talk back to us. We tell you all year what we enjoy reading. We can’t wait to hear what you choose.

And (this is Lynn who FINALLY got Cindy to watch her first episode of Downton Abbey in December)  we’d love to hear what you think about Season Three as well 😉 (Cindy here–no spoilers for ME please. I have two seasons of catching up to do.)



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

16 Comments on "You first! What's your favorite book of the year?"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1.' Brenda Kahn says:

    YA: My absolute favorite YA was Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.
    2. Personal Effects by E. M. Kokie
    3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
    4. Legend by Marie Lu
    5. Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi
    6. The Diviners by Libba Bray
    7. Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
    8. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
    9. Dodger by Terry Pratchett
    10. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
    11. I Swear by Lane Davis
    12. Butter by Erin Jade Lange

    Middle Grade: didn’t have an absolute favorite, but Twelve Kinds of Ice came really close.
    2. One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
    3. Wonder by R. J. Palacio
    4. Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker
    5. The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
    6. Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
    7. Plunked by Michael Northrop
    8. Starry River to the Sky by Grace Lin
    9. The Fairy Ring by Mary Losure
    10. Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead

    Picture books: my personal pick for Caldecott is Unspoken by Heny Cole
    Close 2nd and favorite: Hello! Hello! by Matthew Cordell
    3. Eight Days Gone by Linda McReynolds
    4. Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey by Mini Gray
    5. A Home for Bird by Philip A. Stead
    6. It Jes’ Happened by Don Tate
    7. Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems by Kate Coombs
    8. Each Kindnes by Jacqueline Woodson
    9. A Rock is Lively by Dianna Hutts Aston (recommended it to the sixth grade earth science teacher to introduce her unit on rocks.
    10. Bink and Gollie: Two for One by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee (I know, it’s not a picture book, but I do adore those two.)

  2.' Joanna says:

    Hi, Cindy and Lynn
    I’m still trying to read my 2012s before the YMA, but here are my favorites in no particular order.

    Code Name Verity – even with its faults it is the most fascinating book of the year.
    The Fault in Our Stars
    The Brides of Rollrock Island
    No Crystal Stair
    There is No Dog

    Middle Grade:
    Liar & Spy
    The False Prince
    The Adventures of Sir Balin the Ill-Fated
    The Mighty Miss Malone
    Splendors and Glooms
    One Year in Coal Harbor
    The Great Molasses Flood (NF)

    Boy + Bot
    Dragons Love Tacos
    This is Not My Hat
    Extra Yarn
    Jimmy the Greatest!

    Most surprising:
    The Casual Vacancy. Okay, it’s adult, but impressive.

    Downton Abbey:
    I’ve been avoiding spoilers for season 3 and thought the 1st episode went well. Although, I truly hope we don’t have to sit through bickering about money all season long. I also hope the downstairs folks get interesting story lines. The theme is all about big changes so let’s see some good stuff here. I’m thinking of a valet especially.

  3.' Walter M. Mayes says:

    Posted here and nowhere else, I’ll have you know:

    Walter’s Top 10 Picture Books of 2012

    And Then It’s Spring Fogliano

    The Bear in the Book Banks

    Extra Yarn Barnett

    Each Kindness Woodson

    Green Seeger

    Looking at Lincoln Kalman

    This is Not My Hat Klassen

    Unspoken Cole

    Z is for Moose Bingham

    Walter’s Top 10 Nonfiction of 2012

    A Black Hole is Not a Hole DeCristofano

    Bomb: the race to steal and build the world’s most dangerous weapon Sheinkin

    The Fairy Ring: Or Elsie and Frances Fool the World Losure

    The Great Molasses Flood: Boston, 1919 Kops

    His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg: courage rescue and mystery during World War II Borden

    Island: a story of the Galapagos Chin

    Moonbird: a year on the wind with the great survivor B95 Hoose

    One Times Square: a century of change at the crossroads of the world McKendry

    Temple Grandin: how the girl who loved cows embraced autism and changed the world Montgomery

    We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March Levinson

    Walter’s Top 10 Fiction (ages 5-12) of 2012

    Drama Telgemeier

    In a Glass Grimmly Gidwitz

    Liar & Spy Stead

    On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave Fleming

    The One and Only Ivan Applegate

    Penny and Her Doll Henkes

    The Second Life of Abigail Walker Dowell

    The Shark King Johnson

    Splendors and Glooms Schlitz?

    Wonder Palacio

    Walter’s Top 10 Fiction (ages 12-18) for 2012

    Ask the Passengers King

    The Brides of Rollrock Island Lanagan

    Code Name Verity Wein

    The Diviners Bray

    Every Day Levithan

    Long Lankin Barraclough

    My Book of Life by Angel Leavitt

    Pinned Flake

    See You at Harry’s Knowles

    Seraphina Hartman

  4.' Cindy Logan says:

    I’m a lurker to your blog! But I really enjoy it!

    Here are my #1 2012 titles: YA: It’s a tie between The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Insurgent by Veronica Roth. (To be fair, I haven’t got my hands on a copy of The Diviners yet; but it sounds like my cup of tea!) MG: Wonder by R.J. Palacio Picture Book: Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters by K.G. Campbell, which made me guffaw out loud, but which would go over the heads of my preschool classes. And I haven’t had a chance to catch Downtown Abbey yet either!

  5.' Chelsea C says:

    In no particular order, just the titles that I remember enjoying the most:
    The Raven Boys by Steifvater
    Dodger by Pratchett
    Code Name Verity by Wein
    The Brides of Rollrock Island by Lanagan
    Grave Mercy by LaFevers
    The Name of the Star by Johnson
    Unspoken by Brennan
    The Broken Lands by Milford
    Keeping the Castle by Kindl
    The Fitzosbornes at War by Cooper
    Cinder by Meyer
    I Hunt Killers by Lyga

    Bomb by Sheinkin
    Three Times Lucky by Turnage
    Splendors and Glooms by Schlitz
    Chickadee by Erdrich
    Starry River of the Sky by Lin
    Almost Home by Bauer
    The Great Unexpected by Creech
    Liar & Spy by Stead
    Son by Lowry
    Moonbird by Hoose
    Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Pennypacker

  6.' ed Spicer says:

    Here are ten fine picture books that come to mind (both fiction and nonfiction–and not necessarily Caldicott eligible):

    Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad by Cole
    Oh, No! by Fleming, Candace
    Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey by Golio
    Monsieur Marceau: Actor Without Words by Schubert
    Each Kindness by Woodson
    Ostrich and Lark by Nelson
    Green by Seeger
    Laundry Day by Manning
    Magritte’s Marvelous Hat by Johnson
    More by Springman

    Here are the first middle grade books to come to mind:

    Liar & Spy by Stead
    Splendors and Glooms by Schlitz
    The One and Only Ivan by Applegate
    Bomb by Sheinkin
    Moonbird by Hoose
    National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry edited by Lewis
    Wonder by Palacio

    And here are some YA books that are fabulous:

    Brides of Rollrock Island by Lanagan
    Code Name Verity by Wein
    Raven Boys by Stiefvater
    The Peculiar by Bachmann
    Seraphina by Hartman
    Bitterblue by Cashore

  7. Wow! This is awesome! I love it that readers share my inability to list just a few 😉

    Keep these going Bookends readers!–Lynn

  8. Yes, thanks for playing along…but we need to hear from MORE of you. Don’t be intimidated by the long lists. It’s okay to list just one or two if you want!–Cindy

  9.' Brittany W says:

    After reviewing my “Read” list on Goodreads, it looks like I spent most of this year catching up with BBYA books I had missed from previous years! However, the 2012 books I did get to were all pretty great.

    Monstrous Beauty, Elizabeth Fama
    My Book of Life by Angel, by Martine Leavitt
    The Drowned Cities, Paolo Bacigalupi
    October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard, Lesléa Newman
    The Girl in the Park, Mariah Fredericks
    Bitterblue, Kristin Cashore
    Cinder, Marissa Meyer
    The One and Only Ivan, Katherine Applegate

    Non-YA, but still a great read:
    Year Zero, Rob Reid – This probably tops as my favorite book of the year. It was absolutely hilarious from the first page on, but it also has a great message about how copyright law is set up to protect the corporations who own the copyrights and not the artists.

  10.' Liz Seeber says:

    Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
    Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
    Insurgent by Veronica Roth
    The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
    Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
    Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
    Starters by Lissa Price
    Shade’s Children by Garth Nix

    I read a lot of books this year that weren’t from 2012, but these were my favorites from 2012.

  11.' Scope Notes says:

    Looking forward to your favorites! Here are mine.

    Picture Book:
    Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

    Nonfiction Picture Book:
    Island by Jason Chin

    Graphic Novel (Nonfiction):
    Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy by Nathan Hale

    Graphic Novel (Fiction):
    Hilda and the Midnight Giant by Luke Pearson

    Middle Grade Fiction:
    Wonder by R.J. Palacio

    BOMB by Steve Sheinkin

  12.' Gina says:

    Middle grade: Wonder by RJ Palacio

    YA: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

    I also read a lot of books not released in 2012, but these two stood out to me.

  13.' Mrs. Mac says:

    Since I float back and forth between adult, young adult, and children’s books, I can’t come up with 10 titles in each category, but here are the 2012 books that impressed me so much I can list them off the top of my head:

    Young Adult:
    Code Name Verity – Wein
    Raven Boys – Stiefvater
    Seraphina – Hartman
    Colin Fishcher – Miller
    The Last Dragonslayer – Fforde

    Middle Grades:
    Close to Famous – Bauer
    Wonder – Polacio
    One and Only Ivan – Applegate

    Picture books:
    Extra Yarn – Barnett
    This Is Not My Hat – Klassen
    Unspoken – Cole
    Boy Who Harnessed the Wind – Kamkwamba
    Words Set Me Free: Story of Young Frederick Douglass – Cline-Ransome
    House Held Up By Trees – Kooser

  14.' Rebecca Dunn says:

    It’s always so hard for me to choose favorites… I tried to keep my list as short as I could:

    Middle Grade Fiction:
    Wonder by R.J. Palacio
    Twelve Kinds of Ice by Ellen Bryan Obed and Barbara
    Mr. & Mrs. Bunny Detectives Extrodinare by Polly Horvath
    The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
    The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
    Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz (I’m almost finished and love it!)

    Bomb by Steve Sheinkin
    One Times Square by Joe McKendry
    You Are Stardust by Elin Kelsey, artwork by Soyeon Kim
    I, too, am America by Langston Hughes, illustrated by Bryan Collier
    Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davis,illustrated by Mark Hearld

    Early Reader:
    Penny and Her Doll by Kevin Henkes
    Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover by Cece Bell

    Picture Books:
    Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin Stead
    And Then it’s Spring by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin Stead
    A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead
    Chloe by Peter McCarty
    Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole
    Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
    Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino

    Graphic Novels:
    Drama by Raina Telgemeier
    Hilda and the Midnight Giant by Luke Pearson
    Cardboard by Doug TenNapel
    A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted and illustrated by Hope Larson

    Can’t wait to read your picks of 2012!

  15.' Josie says:

    Another loyal reader here! We are out there!

    The FitzOsbornes at War by Cooper
    Code Name Verity by Wein
    Ask the Passengers by King

    Bomb by Sheinkin
    Temple Grandin by Montgomery
    Island by Chin

    Middle Grade
    See you at Harrys by Knowles
    Starry River in the Sky by Lin
    Splendors and Glooms by Schlitz

    Picture Books
    Green by Seeger
    This is not my hat by Klassen
    Step Gently out by Frost

  16.' Steve says:

    I love and appreciate all of the work that the two of you put into this each week. It is a wonderful resource. I’m guessing I’m not the only one intimidated by some of the above responses. Clearly many of your fans read almost as much as you do. But I will say that I really enjoyed the following:
    Every Day – David Levithan
    October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shephard – Leslea Newman
    The Fault in our Stars – John Green
    Don’t Turn Around – Michelle Gagnon

    Keep up the great work!!

Post a Comment