Favourites of 2017

Which books stand out from an entire year or reading? Titles that didn’t leave me. Books I have wanted to share. To reread. That I have particular plans for. Books that I have read to multiple audiences. Books full of the beautiful and the hopeful. Wonder. Inspiration. Humanity. Sorrow and hope. Books I recommend highly. Books I am pleased to celebrate here.

The 17 books that made the final cut? I chose everything from picture books to young adult novels. Middle grade novels. Transitional chapter books. All of it. (except for nonfiction titles – they got a list all their own)

17 books and no more than 17 words of raving. This was my challenge last year with my Favourites of 2016 (16 books, 16 words) Each year it has been the same: Favourites of 2015 (15 books, 15 words), Favourites of 2014 (14 books, 14 words), Favourites of 2013 (13 books, 13 words) and (12 books, 12 words) with my 2012 Favourites. Each year, I get one more book and one more word to play with!

Favourites of 2017 There's a Book for That

17 favourites of 2017

Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

Nearly wordless. All about important things. Kindness. Trust. Simplicity.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Town is by the Sea written by Joanne Schwartz and illustrated by Sydney Smith

Daily life in a Cape Breton mining town. Illustrations that literally freeze place and time. 

The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin

Our voices cannot be silenced. Timely and timeless.

the-rooster-who-would-not-be-quiet Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Little Fox in the Forest by Stephanie Graegin

Wordless and wonderful. Rich with kindness and longing for how we connect.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for ThatMy Beautiful Birds by Suzanne Del Rizzo

How can we leave one life to begin another? A refugee experience full of sadness and hope.


The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken

A creative and inspiring journey that celebrates how what goes wrong is equally exactly right.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Now by Antoinette Portis

Being in the moment has never been celebrated with such lovely wonder and beauty.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Out of Wonder Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjorie Wentworth illustrations by Ekua Holmes

Oh this book of poems and art. Kind of speechless.

Charlie & Mouse & Grumpy (Charlie & Mouse, #2) written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Emily Hughes

Endearing and lovely. Sibling antics. Silly stories. Hilarious illustrations. Reading gold.

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold 

Bat, his family and a little orphaned skunk make up a cast of characters that you must meet.

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia

So I kind of love everything about Clayton Byrd.

Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King (A.S. King) 

I can’t get Obe and Marvin Gardens out of my head.

Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder

Suspend belief. Be uncertain. Allow yourself to get lost in this story. Incredible writing.

See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

I adore Alex Petroski. His journey to capture the essence of Earth reveals his vulnerable,  complicated existence.

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

An isolated setting. Unique characters. Mystery and intrigue and simplicity that makes a can’t put down story.

Refugee by Alan Gratz.

You will cry. Shake your head. Fret. Dream terrible things. Read this book. Hand it to everyone.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Necessary reading for anyone who happens to currently be human. Deserving of all the hype.

Please share your own favourites of the year . . .

Wishing everyone a 2018 full of new favourites and lots of reading!


Monday May 15th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week.  It’s been a few weeks since I have posted so here are a few . . .

A student brushing up on the original fairy tale as she begins the story of Rump by Liesl Shurtliff

Some serious Scaredy Squirrel fans read together during buddy reading!

Here are a few #classroombookaday photos to share

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.


Books I enjoyed:

Town is by the Sea written by Joanne Schwartz and illustrated by Sydney Smith

I am not sure if it is humanly possible to illustrate this book more beautifully. I almost couldn’t breathe looking at these pages. The story is lyrical and full of vivid images. The beauty of the seaside is a sharp contrast to the reality of the daily life in a mining town.

The Fog written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Kenard Pak

Well. Where to begin with this book? There is so much that is clever and charming but there are heavier themes to explore for each reader to discover. I can’t wait to kid test this one and see what the reactions will be. Very worth getting your hands on this title!

Caring for Your Lion written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Troy Cummings

A wonderful mentor text for the primary grades. Often the text and the pictures don’t completely match and this is hilarious and scary all at the same time as we follow the step by step instructions of how to look after a mail order lion. I shared this with a group of Grade 1 students who were thrilled to share what animal they might like to order in the mail!

The Good for Nothing Button by Charise Mericle Harper

Another wonderful Elephant & Piggie recommended title. I loved this book and then I read this post by Travis Jonker and loved it more. (If fidget spinners have taken over your school – read the link for a smile)

Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton

We LOVE Super Narwhal in my classroom! Love, love, love. It is the perfect blend of amusing, informative and just plain cute.

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold 

I read this in one sitting. An ideal read aloud for a Grade 2 or 3 classroom. There is so much here. Bat, his family and a little orphaned skunk make up a cast of characters that you must meet.

Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham

This book is flying through my Grade 4/5 classroom. Friendship issues, fitting in, sibling stressors and growing up. The perfect middle school title. A graphic novel.

Moon Shadow by Erin Downing

Some fantastic elements that middle grade readers will love. For me personally, too much magic. But I can see young readers devouring this book. Recommended for Grade 6 and older because of the romance themes and nasty friendship dynamics.

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

This YA novel is hard to put down. Fabiola Toussaint joins her aunt and female cousins in Detroit. Newly arrived from Haiti without her mother who has been detained by immigration, Fabiola has much to navigate in this new world full of dangers and threats and uncertain security. Highly recommended.

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 25/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 123/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 10 books behind schedule

#MustReadin2017: 14/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 18/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 18/50 books read

Up next? I have a few titles on the go including Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel by Kimberly Willis Holt