30 December 2010

The Best of 2010

As the year draws to a close, it's time to list my 5 star books for 2010. I should preface this by saying that this list chronicles only chapter books and graphic novels (of which I read 71 this year,) and does not include the numerous excellent picture books which I read (a situation I really should rectify for 2011.) Books with a * next to them indicate titles published in the United States in 2010. Some of the books are re-reads, revisited either for book club or for fun. There are even a few adult titles included. They are listed chronologically as I read them.

Drum roll please...........

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee
Living Hell by Catherine Jenks *
Alchemy and Meggy Swann by Karen Cushman *
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Gareth Stein
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia *
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins *
Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce *
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness *
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
Smile by Raina Telgemeier *

You know, the list of 4 star books is pretty good, too. They are:

Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Miller
The Cay by Theodore Taylor
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger *
Boom! by Mark Haddon *
11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
Yours Truly, Lucy B. Parker: Girl vs. Superstar by Robin Palmer *
The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye by Nancy Springer *
Doctor Who: The Forgotten by Tony Lee, Pia Guerra and Nick Roche
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins *
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White *
The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
When you Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
The Secret Life of Ms. Finkelman by Ben Winters *
The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman
Alvin Ho: Allergic to birthday parties, science projects and other man-made catastrophes by Lenore Look *
The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O'Brien
Numbers by Rachel Ward *

And there you have it--the best reading that 365 days had to offer. May 2011 be filled with just as many--if not more (a girl can be greedy)--great books. Happy New Year, folks!


Anonymous said...

I am surprised the Doctor Who book wasn't a 5-star, given your Twitter handle. :) I've actually heard of most of these books. I remember I loved the Rats of Nimh book as a kid, and I think I even recommended it at the library this past year.

Kara Schaff Dean said...

"Rats of NIMH" was read with the 4th grade book club this year and had mixed reviews. But I was so impressed with it yet again (read it as a child myself.) And of course, it's possibly the best book written about rats, ever!

CLM said...

One of the things I liked about your list was the mixture of old and new. I sometimes think it is a pity that many bloggers seem to focus exclusively on new books, forgetting that a) there are older treasures to find, b) backlist pays for publishers to take chances on new books, and c) one needs to be well read in order to fully appreciate what is being published now.

Kara Schaff Dean said...

We must never forget the old books! I'm lucky that in my line of work I get the opportunity to read plenty of classics, as well as the new stuff I am sent for review. Plus, well-read though I am, there are so many books that I missed first time around, for one reason or other.

Thanks for stopping by my blog :) And I should say that Betsy-Tacy gets five stars from me any day of the week!

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