Bookends Favorites 2016: Cindy’s Favorite Children’s and YA

BookendsCindy: I managed to keep my list to ten titles this year, a miracle, really. It helps that I can rest easy knowing that other personal favorites are appearing on Lynn’s lists. It’s always hard to pick just a small number as so many books become favorites for different reasons. The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, for instance, helped me through a tough Christmas season this year, but I can’t list them all. Here they are, in addition to the extra title I just snuck in there. Shhh….don’t tell Lynn!

Character, Drivencharacter-driven-209x315by David Lubar

I tried to keep this book off my list, since Sophomores and Other Oxymorons was one of my favorite books of 2015, but it snuck on here anyway. When I look at books that I truly enjoyed reading last year, Lubar’s mix of humor and wordplay, with its underlying pathos, rose to the top.

The Girl from Everywhereby Heidi Heilig

Time travel on the high seas through vintage maps? Yes, please. So eager to read The Ship Beyond Time coming in March 2017 to see what adventures await Nix.

The Inquisitor’s TaleInquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz, by Adam Gidwitz

I’m currently reading this exquisite tale again, this time with my ears, and it makes my work commute so much more delightful. I’m so heartened that our middle-school book club members are enjoying this as much as Lynn and I did, and we’re all hoping there’s room on that gorgeous illuminated cover for more gold.

Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! An Alphabet Caperby Mike Twohy

I’ve already bought this for one baby shower, adding a set of alphabet blocks, and it won’t be the last time. The abecedarian story makes me laugh each time I reread it and look at the perfect illustrations.

The Poet’s Dogby Patricia MacLachlan

Whenever we have our first snow day every year, my secretary rereads Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter. I think I’ll make The Poet’s Dog my go-to snow day read, since once is not enough for this gem.

The Singing Bones by Shaun TanThe Singing Bones, by Shaun Tan

Our book-club teens loved this unique presentation of Grimm folktales, too. One was even inspired to read The Brothers Grimm: Two Lives, One Legacy (2001) by Donald Hettinga— with a little nudge from Lynn and me.

They All Saw a Catby Brendan Wenzel

Who can’t benefit from the gentle reminder that we need to consider others’ perspectives? Brilliant concept and execution. Wenzel’s use of a wide range of media is fab, too.

The Tragic Tale of the Great Aukby Jan Thornhill

Gorgeous artwork, combined with engaging scientific storytelling, creates a special book that imprinted itself on my heart. Do take a look.

When Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie FoglianoWhen Green Becomes Tomatoes, by Julie Fogliano

We all need more
poetry in our lives. Here’s a beautifully illustrated year’s worth in this calendar of child-centered poems.

When Mischief Came to Town, by Katrina Nannestad

My Scandinavian roots were tickled by this indomitable new heroine, Inge Maria Jensen. She is a kindred spirit, to be sure.



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.

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