With all the publications putting out their best lists, and with the Newbery and Printz awards just around the corner, I thought I’d put together my top reads for 2014 too. A few years back, I had something of an epiphany, when I realized that my favorite books were never going to win the Newbery because I evaluate books on different criteria to the judges – sure, I like good writing, but what really works for me (and many kids) is the voice and the plot of a book. And I think this explains why I find so many Newbery winners to be such snoozers – because kid appeal just isn’t a consideration. Unlike the Cybils – where we look at books for both good writing and kid appeal!
Anyway, of the 77 books that I’ve read this year, here are the nine that I gave 5 stars to:
The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
Saving Lucas Biggs by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague
The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A. S. King
The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (I read this before I started blogging, so no review I’m afraid)
What I notice is that these are all, bar one, speculative fiction. It’s not that I don’t read other genres, it just seems to me to be the one that speaks to me more.
Happy Reading in 2015!