In the continuing spirit of making endless lists to sum up the year that is now almost over, I want to share with you my favorite books that I read over the past twelve months. I actually read quite a bit this year, finishing around 40 novels. Though I still don't quite seem to be able to read the newest books, I was better at reading more contemporary fiction than in years past. As you will see when going through the list, Middle Grade fiction was a big hit with me. I find there is a lot of room in that format for creating imaginative worlds, something that has always attracted me. I've decided to give the summary of each book that appears on Goodreads.com rather than my personal reviews, simply because I've reviewed all of these books on my blog already. However, I've also included a link to my review in case you're interested. Hopefully some of these will be new to you. Enjoy.
The Search for WondLa by Tony Diterlizzi (2010): Eva Nine is a curious and sensitive twelve-year-old who has existed only in a subterranean home called Sanctuary, cared for by a robot named Muthr. Eva's great desire is to go aboveground, and her wish comes true, though not as she had imagined. On the surface, Eva goes in search of other humans--she has never met one--and soon meets both friend and foe. MY REVIEW
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (2009): Calpurnia Virginia Tate is eleven years old in 1899 when she wonders why the yellow grasshoppers in her Texas backyard are so much bigger than the green ones.With a little help from her notoriously cantankerous grandfather, an avid naturalist, she figures out that the green grasshoppers are easier to see against the yellow grass, so they are eaten before they can get any larger. As Callie explores the natural world around her, she develops a close relationship with her grandfather, navigates the dangers of living with six brothers, and comes up against just what it means to be a girl at the turn of the century. MY REVIEW
Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer (1969): It is Charlotte's first night at boarding school. But when she wakes up, the girl in the next bed is not the person who was sleeping there the evening before. And the new building outside her window seems to have metamorphosed into a huge, dark cedar tree! Somehow, Charlotte has slipped back forty years. MY REVIEW
Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff (2002): Hollis Woods has been in so many foster homes she can hardly remember them all. She even runs away from the Regans, the one family who offers her a home. When Hollis is sent to Josie, an elderly artist who is quirky and affectionate, she wants to stay. But Josie is growing more forgetful every day. If Social Services finds out, they’ll take Hollis away and move Josie into a home. Well, Hollis Woods won’t let anyone separate them. She’s escaped the system before; this time, she plans to take Josie with her. Yet behind all her plans, Hollis longs for her life with the Regans, fixing each moment of her time with them in pictures she’ll never forget. MY REVIEW
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (1996): When Richard Mayhew stops one day to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London pavement, his life is forever altered, for he finds himself propelled into an alternative reality that exists in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere. MY REVIEW
The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane by Laird Koenig (1973): Award-winning and international best-selling novel by Laird Koenig. Some little girls can be murder! Thirteen-year-old Rynn is a gifted prodigy who lives in a big old house with her reclusive father...all alone. Or does she? When Rynn's nosy landlady and a lecherous neighbor begin to suspect that this little girl is hiding a dark and dangerous secret, Rynn is determined to preserve her isolated existence at any cost - and stop those vicious rumors dead in their tracks! MY REVIEW
The White Mountains by John Christopher (1970): On an Earth where the Tripods -- huge, three -- legged machines -- have ruled for as long as anyone can remember, thirteen-year-old Will harbors fears about the Capping ceremony he will soon undergo. Capping marks the transition from childhood into adulthood, but it also has a more sinister meaning: It is the Tripods who attach the metal headpieces to people's skulls, and once Capped, a person is forever a slave to them. As Will learns the truth, he realizes that he must escape while his mind is still his own. With two companions, he begins a journey across Europe to find the stronghold of the last free people in the world -- in the White Mountains of Switzerland. MY REVIEW