Cindy's 2008 Baker's Dozen

Why 13 titles? Everyone makes a top ten, and besides, Lynn and I can’t possibly narrow our favorites down that far, so we’re giving you a Baker’s Dozen of 2008 favorites. Mine are here and Lynn’s are in a separate post. Our first ten are selected on literary merit alone and are in alphabetic order by author. The extra three titles are some of our other favorites of the year, thrown in for free. Let us know what YOUR favorites are!

Cindy’s 2008 Baker’s Dozen

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to a Nation: Vol. II: Kingdom on the Waves, by M. T. Anderson (Candlewick)

Different than Pox Party, but with equally excellent storytelling, this sequel brilliantly concludes a duet that is destined to become a classic. (archived Bookends post)

Bog Child, by Siobhan Dowd (Random House/David Fickling)

More proof that we lost this talented author too soon. (archived Bookends post)

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks, by E. Lockhart (Hyperion)

In a year full of fun female characters, Frankie is tops. This is a breakout book for Lockhart.

The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman (Harper Collins)

Exquisite storytelling that tells a creepy story but also illuminates the journey that prepares you to leave the safety of “home” to seek your fortune. (archived Bookends post)

Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)

A rip-roaring adventure with important themes to consider. (archived Bookends post)

Living Dead Girl, by Elizabeth Scott (Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse)

Painful to read, but a haunting and searingly honest story that won’t be forgotten. (archived Bookends post)

Little Audrey, by Ruth White (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

I hadn’t read this until after I saw it on Booklist’s Top of the List Editor’s Choice list. It quickly moved firmly into a place on my list too.

Nation, by Terry Pratchett (Harper Collins)

If Jonathan Hunt admires a survival story, you know it is something special. This is.

Paper Towns, by John Green (Penguin/Dutton)

Are you a string, a blade of grass or a vessel? Quite possibly John’s best book yet. (archived Bookends post)

Tender Morsels, by Margo Lanagan (Random House/Knopf)

I just started this one, but am so sure that it will make my top ten, I’m putting it there now. I’ll own up if I change my mind after I finish.

Cindy’s extra three:

The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness (Candlewick)

Evil, pure evil…to leave a reader hanging so precipitously waiting for the sequel. (archived Bookends post)

Knucklehead, by Jon Scieszka (Penguin/Viking)

Everyone who reads this shares a funny childhood story with me. It doesn’t get any better than that. (archived Bookends post)

Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow (Tor)

I’m now a hacker librarian with my R3AD license plate, thanks to “w1n5t0n.” Loved the technology usage in this and the cautions about privacy. (archived Bookends post)



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.

4 Comments on "Cindy's 2008 Baker's Dozen"

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  1. Lissy S. says:

    Hunger Games was just a great book. I really, REALLY LOVED it and can’t wait for the sequal. (if we get it, can I have it first please?) I also really enjoyed Paper Towns, John Green’s newest release. I read his book An Abundance of Katherines, which was hilarious!! Paper Towns didn’t have as much humor, but it was definitely a great book (even if it was a little slow in the middle :)) I also read (I promise this is the last) Little Brother, which was another just FANTASTIC book. Well written in every way, and it really does make one wonder what the government doesn’t tell us…

  2. Amanda S says:

    Out of these 15 books, Hunger Games is definitely my favorite. It was just so different from other books that have been published. It was something that hadn’t really been published before. I loved it!

  3. Jack T says:

    I loved Hunger Games too! I think it may just be my new favorite book of all time- only time will tell. Nice new site, by the way. Best of luck!

    PS. I thought I was going to be getting the sequel first? *uses puppy dog look*

  4. I don’t know, Jack. Your blog ( needs more Indiana Hoosiers posts to move up on the Hunger Games arc rotation list. My boys need some love this season.

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