Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Best Children's Books of 2009

Publisher's Weekly has released their top 30 list of best children's books that came out this year, ranging from picture books to YA.

With the addition of Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor, it just makes me want to read it more. I first heard about it at the YA Buzz panel at BEA back in May and I've heard nothing but good about it since. I must get my hands on this one.

It's really not a surprise that Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins made the list. I mean, that book was one giant win. The thing is, I've seen people either really like the cyclical plot it made or they didn't at all. I haven't seen anyone in between. I wasn't a fan at first but it grew on me quick and then I realized it had to be that way. Of course! But Collins is a gritty, unabashedly sadistic writer that doesn't let her characters get away with anything. What's not to love there?

Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick is also on there and for good reason. This book is right up there with The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien for me. It's all about the perception of reality and how different people interpret different things. That's one of the best ways to tell a war story and McCormick hit it so squarely on the head that the pitch is still ringing. If you haven't read this book, do it. It won't take long and I'm sure you'll love it as much as I did. It'll tear your heart out, open your eyes and make you look at war in an entirely different light. Truly amazing.

I haven't read any of the others on the list but I think The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo should have been on there if for nothing more than pure storytelling. How I love that book. Such depth swilling in such simplicity is a sign of a truly talented author. This is a kick-ass Christmas gift for any reader this year, I'm telling you.

I'd also want to add Tricks by Ellen Hopkins just for its sharp, poignant and unafraid reality. These are the kinds of lessons kids should be reading about. It can happen to you if you don't stop yourself. Look what it'll do. Don't do it. Such gripping, unapologetic storytelling and to think that 3 of those stories are based on real people . . . it hurts to even thing about. Hopkins has real poetic talent and I hope she sticks around for a while! I know I'll keep reading her work.

What would you add (or remove) from this list?


Rhiannon Hart said...

The Ask and the Answer is there. I'm happy with that!

Nikki @ Bookizzle said...

I agree, The Magician's Elephant should have been on there! Such an amazing book.

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