What the Bookworm Heart Loves
It seems like there are certain trends in Bookstagram and Book Blogging accounts, so of course at the end of the year, there are many great lists of books that came out in 2016. I'm going to do my 2016 list a little differently. These books aren't the best of 2016, but are my favorite reads of 2016. Come check them out if you missed them!
Favorite YA novel: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
I admit I haven't read that many YA novels this year. And there's good reason for that. I can't read many of them--some start to drag and then I flounce. I guess, like with any book, you really need to hold the reader's attention. (Except in picture books because I have to finish a book no matter what if I'm reading out loud to Little Lion Bookworm.) However, for Everything, Everything, I couldn't read it fast enough. In fact, I originally borrowed the e-book from the library but as soon as I finished reading, I bought the book because I had to have my own copy. And I can't wait for the movie to come out. For more info about Maddy and Olly, check out my full review here.
Favorite Picture Book: Penguin Problems by Jory John and Lane Smith versus Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers
I admit that sometimes I'm like the penguin in Penguin Problems--only complaining and looking at the down side. On the other hand, sometimes I'm sickeningly the opposite and overly optimistic. (I wonder which one Mr. Bookworm would agree upon.) But, either way, I related and bonded with this little penguin and the delightful drawings by Lane Smith, especially when the Walrus gives him the large speech. Plus, somewhere out there on Instagram, there's a small video clip of Jory John with a crowd of children walking like penguins in circles around him. I fully approve of the silliness. Full review here.
It was a toss up between Penguin Problems and Once Upon An Alphabet for my favorite picture book I've read this year but since next week I'm doing a review of alphabet books, I'll leave my review for Once Upon An Alphabet until then.
Please note that I don't have a favorite early chapter book or middle grade book for 2016 because I don't feel like I read enough of them this year to claim one.
Mr. Bookworm's Favorite Book: Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke
Per Mr. Bookworm: We were all very excited about the release of Ben Hatke's latest, Mighty Jack.
Quickly (on page 19) we find out that it's set in the same universe as the
brilliant Zita the Spacegirl -- which means any kind of magic/giant robot/alien
awesomeness can happen. But Mighty Jack has its own spin on things, like fantastic
alien plants that might evil or might be just far from home and a home-schooled
basement-lab-brewing sword-wielding neighbor.
I love Hatke's visual style and the garden theme lets him play with some
Giant carnivorous tentacled pumpkins? Sinister onion-babies? Yes! But
the story is as emotionally and ethically complex as it is visual rich.
Two thumbs up from me.
Full review from Dr. Bookworm here.
Little Lion's Favorite Book: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown
Per Little Lion: Roan wants to go to Pilot Academy but ends up having to go to to Jedi Academy. The book is all about Roan and the stuff he does at Jedi Academy. I like this book the most because it was basically made for making people laugh. It's a really good Star Wars book and you can still like the book even if you're not a fan of Star Wars because it's not the story of it.
Mini Me's Favorite Book: Septimus Heap: Magyk by Angie Sage
Per Mini Me: I am an enormous fan of the fantasy genre, but I have noticed that a lot of fantasy novels, particularly for middle-grade age level children, are way too similar. The same plot (hero saves damsel in distress), the same general idea (main character is "chosen one" or has great power), sometimes even the same world (usually medieval Europe-like castle). I think that Magyk is breaking this rule. It's far from traditional fantasy, but it still has all the magic (or Magyk) and world-building options. The author was really creative when she wrote the book, which a series opener. (Note: The other books in the series are also good, but the first one is my favorite.) I also liked the quirky, innovative idea of putting any Spell, Magykal object, or mention of Magyk at all in bold lettering.
I almost chose The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill or When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin, both really imaginative fantasy books, but chose Magyk as I wanted to write about the Spells in bold.
There you have it--the Bookworm family favorites for 2016. Thank you for joining us this year in our new book blogging adventure. I can't wait to see what 2017 brings us!