While January 1st is all about looking ahead to a new year, it is also a day to gaze back. I am celebrating a year of reading that was not as vast as usual but full of quality and meaningful reads.
Which books stand out? Which titles still enter my thoughts? Which books would I consider rereading? Which books have I read to multiple audiences? What are the books that spoke to me the loudest? Books full of wonder. Inspiration. Humanity. Sorrow and hope. Books I recommend highly. Books I am pleased to celebrate here.
The 18 books that made the final cut? I chose across multiple genres.
18 books and no more than 18 words of raving. This was my challenge last year with my Favourites of 2017. Each year it has been the same: Favourites of 2016 (16 books, 16 words) 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!
Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
“Where did your name come from?” A wonderful way to learn so much.
A House That Once Was written by Julie Fogliano with illustrations by Lane Smith
No longer a home but definitely a house full of secrets, stories and imagined memories.
I Walk with Vanessa: A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoët
Witness what it is to be an upstander. There are all kinds of ways to respond.
Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
Be who you are. Find your community. Feel loved. All the feels.
The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
Sometimes it is all about being heard.
Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Julie Morstad
A fantastic biography of a wonderfully creative individual and how she perceived the world.
Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World written by Susan Hood and illustrated by 13 extraordinary female illustrators
Nonfiction perfection – inspired poetry, additional information and incredible illustrations. Introducing readers to inspiring female role models.
The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor
Root for Mason Buttle as every kind of grief soaked kind of bad luck gets thrown at him.
The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
Just a beautiful, heart wrenching title. Written as a diary to a mother that died in childbirth.
Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh
Find hope, courage and an important reminder of what it is to be a citizen of the world. Outstanding.
Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Immigration. The sacrifices of immigrant parents. Poverty. Discrimination. And the will and spirit of a one young girl.
Lousiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo
Take an emotional walk alongside Louisiana Elefante as she tells her story. Served with chocolate marble cake please.
Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake
Ivy’s family survives a hurricane but that’s just the beginning. Family. Loss. New love. Amazing!
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
A testament to a racist & troubled history. Family ties. Beginning friendships. Modern day mystery is woven through history.
Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Chaya is a courier in the Jewish ghettos. Everything is about danger, life and death and unthinkable choices.
No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen
Such a story of friendship and family dynamics is told while exploring aspects of poverty, mental health & homelessness.
In Sight of Stars by Gae Polisner
Beautiful writing takes us through the hard and heartbreak of the grieving process – sometimes overwhelmingly muddled.
A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi
When first love is complicated by the rest of the world and their racist and stereoptypical perspectives.
Please share your own favourites of the year . . .
Wishing everyone a 2019 full of new favourites and lots of reading!