Monthly Archives: January 2021

Henry’s Book List 2020 – Age 6 years 8 months to 7 years 7 months

Henry loves reading so much, and it makes this mama proud. He is rarely found without a book (or several) nearby as he has discovered that the time is always right for a good book. He definitely is most into graphic novels, but also enjoys adventurous chapter books. It’s difficult to find a sweet spot for a 7 year old reading at a higher grade level – he wants pictures to accompany the text. I don’t really deny him any books he wants to read due to content but some I make him read with me. His favorite series last year included The Bad Guys, The Last Kids on Earth, Minecraft Woodsword Chronicles, Dream Jumpers, Olga, InvestiGators, Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, Hilda, Super Sons, Big Nate and Max & the Midknights, Dog Man, Cleopatra in Space, Harry Potter, 5 Worlds, Wings of Fire, Baby-Sitters Club, Hilo, Secret Coders, and Science Comics.

Here’s the full list of what he read, in alphabetical order by author’s last name (I think it’s complete – it’s been hard to keep up with him!):

  • Giants Beware! (2012) by Jorge Aguirre [DID NOT LIKE]
  • Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot! (2019) by Cece Bell
    • El Deafo (2014) by Cece Bell
    • Wildheart: The Daring Adventures of John Muir (2019) by Julie Bertagna
    • The Bad Guys – Dawn of the Underlord (#11) (2020) by Aaron Blabey
    • The Bad Guys – The Baddest Day Ever (#10) (2019) by Aaron Blabey
    • The Bad Guys – The Big Bad Wold (#9) (2019) by Aaron Blabey
    • The Last Kids on Earth & the Midnight Blade (#5) (2019) by Max Braillier, Douglas Holgate
    • The Last Kids on Earth and the Cosmic Beyond (#4) (2018) by Max Brallier, Douglas Holgate
    • The Last Kids on Earth & the Nightmare King (#3) (2017) by Max Brallier
    • The Last Kids on Earth & the Zombie Parade (#2) (2016) by Max Brallier
    • The Last Kids on Earth (#1) (2015) by Max Brallier
    • Star Wars: Jedi Academy (#1) (2013) by Jeffrey Brown [DID NOT LIKE]
    • The Sign of the Black Rock (Three Thieves #2) (2011) by Scott Chantler
    • Tower of Treasure (Three Thieves #1) (2010) by Scott Chantler
    • The Last Firehawk – The Ember Stone (#1) by Katrina Charman [DID NOT LIKE]
    • The Weirn Books, Vol. 1: Be Wary of the Silent Woods (2020) by Svetlana Chmakova
    • Zantana & the House of Secrets (2020) by Matthew Cody
    • George’s Marvelous Medicine (1998 edition) by Roald Dahl
    • Minecraft Woodsword Chronicles – Dungeon Crawl (#5) (2019) by Nick Eliopulos
    • Minecraft Woodsword Chronicles – Ghast in the Machine! (#4) (2019) Nick Eliopulos
    • Minecraft Woodsword Chronicles – Deep Dive (#3) (2019) by Nick Eliopulos
    • Minecraft Woodsword Chronicles – Night of the Bats! (#2) (2019) by Nick Eliopulos
    • Minecraft Woodsword Chronicles – Into the Game (#1) (2019) by Nick Eliopulos
    • Glitch (2019) by Sarah Graley
    • Olga – Out of Control! (#3) (2019) by Elise Gravel
    • Olga – We’re Out of Here! (#2) (2018) by Elise Gravel
    • Olga & the Smelly Thing from Nowhere (#1) (2017) by Elise Gravel
    • InvestiGators (#1) (2020) by John Patrick Green
    • Dream Jumper – Curse of the Harvester (#2) (2017) by Greg Grunberg
    • Dream Jumper – Nightmare Escape (#1) (2016) by Greg Grunberg
    • Carmen Sandiego & The Fishy Treasure Caper (#2) (2020) by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    • Carmen Sandiego and the Sticky Rice Caper (#1) by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    • Mighty Jack & Zita the Spacegirl (#3) (2019) by Ben Hatke
    • Mighty Jack and the Goblin King (#2) (2017) by Ben Hatke
    • Mighty Jack (#1) (2016) by Ben Hatke
    • The Return of Zita the Spacegirl (#3) (2014) by Ben Hatke
    • Legends of Zita the Spacegirl (#2) (2012) by Ben Hatke
    • Zita the Space Girl (#1) (2011) by Ben Hatke
    • Sal & Gabi Break the Universe (#1) (2019) by Carlos Hernandez
    • Roller Girl (2015) by Victoria Jamieson [DID NOT LIKE]
    • Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker (#1) (2017) by Shelley Johannes [DID NOT LIKE]
    • The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1) (2008) by Kazu Kibuishi
    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid – The Deep End (#15) (2020) by Jeff Kinney
    • Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid – Rowley Jefferson’s Journal (2019) by Jeff Kinney
    • Diary of An Awesome Friendly Kid – Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure (2020) by Jeffrey Kinney
    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Wrecking Ball (#14) (2019) by Jeff Kinney
    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid – The Meltdown (#13) (2018) by Jeff Kinney
    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Double Down (#11) (2016) by Jeff Kinney
    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Old School (#10) (2015) by Jeff Kinney
    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid – The Long Haul (#9) (2014) by Jeff Kinney
    • Captain Awesome Takes Flight (#19) (2017) by Stan Kirby [DONE READING THIS SERIES]
    • Bug Boys (2020) by Laura Knetzger
    • Cleopatra in Space – Queen of the Nile (#6) (2020) by Mike Maihack
    • Cleopatra in Space – Fallen Empires (#5) (2019) by Mike Maihack
    • Cleopatra in Space – The Golden Lion (#4) (2017) by Mike Maihack
    • Cleopatra in Space – Secret of the Time Tablets (#3) (2016) by Mike Maihack
    • Cleopatra in Space – The Thief & the Sword (#2) (2015) by Mike Maihack
    • Cleopatra in Space – Target Practice (#1) (2014) by Mike Maihack
    • Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat – Enemies (#2) (2020) by Johnny Marciano, Emily Chenoweth [DONE READING THIS SERIES]
    • Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat (#1) (2019) by Johnny Marciano, Emily Chenoweth
    • Frank & Bean (2019) by Jamie Michalak [DID NOT LIKE]
    • Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth (2007) by Davis Miller
    • Olympians – Zeus: King of the Gods (#1) (2010) by George O’Connor [DID NOT LIKE]
    • Magic Tree House – Narwhal on a Sunny Night (#33) (2020) by Mary Pope Osborne
    • Magic Tree House Super Edition – World at War, 1944 (#1) (2017) by Mary Pope Osborne
    • Magic Tree House – Night of the Ninth Dragon (#55) (2016) by Mary Pope Osborne
    • Magic Tree House – Hurry Up, Houdini! (#50) (2013) by Mary Pope Osborne
    • Magic Tree House Merlin Missions – Summer of the Sea Serpent (#3) (2010) by Mary Pope Osborne
    • Magic Tree House – Monday with a Mad Genius (#38) (2007) by Mary Pope Osborne
    • Hilda & the Mountain King (#6) (2019) by Luke Pearson
    • Hilda & the Stone Forest (#5) (2016) by Luke Pearson
    • Hilda & the Black Hound (#4) 2014) by Luke Pearson
    • Hilda & the Bird Parade (#3) (2013) by Luke Pearson
    • Hilda & the Midnight Giant (#2) (2012) by Luke Pearson
    • Hildafolk (#1) (2010) by Luke Pearson
    • Super Sons – The Polarshield Project (2019) by Ridley Pearson
    • Super Sons – The Foxglove Mission (2019) by Ridley Pearson
    • Max and the Midknights (#1) (2019) by Lincoln Peirce
    • Big Nate Blasts Off (#8) (2016) by Lincoln Peirce
    • Big Nate Lives It UP (#7) (2015) by Lincoln Peirce
    • Big Nate: In the Zone (#6) (2014) by Lincoln Peirce
    • Big Nate Flips Out (#5) (2013) by Lincoln Peirce
    • Big Nate on a Roll (#3) (2011) by Lincoln Peirce
    • Big Nate Strikes Again (#2) (2010) by Lincoln Peirce
    • Big Nate: In a Class by Himself (#1) (2010) by Lincoln Peirce
    • The Postman from Space (#1) (2020) by Guillaume Perreault
    • Knights vs. The End (#3) (2020) by Matt Phelan
    • Knights vs. Monsters (#2) (2019) by Matt Phelan
    • Knights vs. Dinosaurs (#1) (2018) by Matt Phelan
    • Aster and the Accidental Magic (#1) (2020) by Thom Pico
    • Dog Man – Grime and Punishment (#9) (2020) by Dav Pilkey
    • Dog Man – Fetch-22 (#8) (2019) by Dav Pilkey
    • Captain Underpants & the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot (#12) (2015) by Dav Pilkey
    • Captain Underpants & the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000 (#11) (2014) by Dav Pilkey
    • Super Diaper Baby – The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers (#2) (2011) by Dav Pilkey
    • Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot vs. the Mecha Monkeys from Mars (2007) by Dav Pilkey
    • Captain Underpants & the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People (#8) (2006) by Dav Pilkey
    • Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot vs. the Voodoo Vultures from Venus (#3) (2001) by Dav Pilkey
    • Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot vs. the Mutant Mosquitos from Mercury (#2) (2000) by Dav Pilkey
    • Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot (#1) (1999) by Dav Pilkey
    • Anti/Hero (2020) by Kate Karyus Quinn
    • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003) by J.K. Rowling
    • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000) by J.K. Rowling
    • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999) by J.K. Rowling
    • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998) by J.K. Rowling
    • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1997) by J.K. Rowling
    • Sidekicks (2011) by Dan Santat
    • Frank Einstein & the Antimatter Motor (#1) (2014) by Jon Scieszka
    • Doodleville (#1) (2020) by Chad Sell
    • 5 Worlds – The Amber Anthem (#4) (2020) by Mark Siegel
    • 5 Worlds – The Red Maze (#3) (2019) by Mark Siegel
    • 5 Worlds The Cobalt Prince (#2) (2018) by Mark Siegel & Alexis Siegel
    • 5 Worlds The Sand Warrior (#1) (2017) by Mark Siegel & Alexis Siegel
    • Mr. Wolf’s Class Mystery Club (#2) (2019) by Aron Nels Steinke
    • Mr. Wolf’s Class (#1) (2018) by Aron Nels Steinke
    • Geronimo Stilton Graphic Novel – The Sewer Rat Stink (#1) (2020) by Geronimo Stilton
    • Wings of Fire Graphic Novel – The Hidden Kingdom (#3) (2019) by Tui T. Sutherland
    • Wings of Fire Graphic Novel – The Lost Heir (#2) (2019) by Tui T. Sutherland
    • Wings of Fire Graphic Novel – The Dragonet Prophecy (#1) (2018) by Tui T. Sutherland
    • Yorick & Bones (2020) by Jeremy Tankard
    • Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novel: The Truth About Stacy (#2) (2016) by Raina Telgemeier, Ann M. Martin
    • Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novel: Kristy’s Great Idea (#1) (2015) by Raina Telgemeier, Ann M. Martin
    • Ghosts (2016) by Raina Telgemeier
    • Guts (2019) by Raina Telgemeier
    • The Hobbit (1937) J.R.R. Tolkien
    • Action Presidents – Abraham Lincoln! (#2) (2018) by Fred Van Lente
    • Action Presidents – George Washington! (#1) (2020) by Fred Van Lente
    • Dragonbreath #1 (2009) by by Ursula Vernon (DID NOT LIKE)
    • The Boxcar Children – Journey on a Runaway Train (#1) (2017) by Gertrude Chandler Warner
    • Kerry & the Knight of the Forest (2020) by Andi Watson
    • Mia Mayhem Steals the Show! (#8) (2020) by Kara West
    • Mia Mayhem Gets X-Ray Specs (#7) by Kara West
    • Mia Mayhem vs. The Mighty Robot (#6) (2019) by Kara West
    • Dragon Masters – Fortress of the Stone Dragon (#17) (2020) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Call of the Sound Dragon (#16) (2020) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Future of the Time Dragon (#15) (2020) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Eye of the Earthquake Dragon (#13) (2019) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Treasure of the Gold Dragon (#12) (2018) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Shine of the Silver Dragon (#11) (2018) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Waking the Rainbow Dragon (#10) (2018) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Chill of the Ice Dragon (#9) (2018) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Roar of the Thunder Dragon (#8) (2017) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Search for the Lightning Dragon (#7) (2017) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Flight of the Moon Dragon (#6) (2016) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Song of the Poison Dragon (#5) (2016) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Power of the Fire Dragon (#4) (2015) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Secret of the Water Dragon (#3) (2015) by Tracey West
    • Hilo – All the Pieces Fit (#6) (2020) by Judd Winick
    • Hilo – Then Everything Went Wrong (#5) (2019) by Judd Winick
    • Hilo – Waking the Monsters (#4) (2018) by Judd Winick
    • Hilo – The Great Big Boom (#3) (2017) by Judd Winick
    • Hilo – Saving the Whole Wide World (#2) (2016) by Judd Winick
    • Hilo – The Boy Who Crashed to Earth (#1) (2015) by Judd Winick
    • Secret Coders – Monsters & Modules (#6) (2018) by Gene Luen Yang
    • Secret Coders – Potions & Parameters (#5) (2018) by Gene Luen Yang
    • Secret Coders – Robots & Repeats (#4) (2017) by Gene Luen Yang
    • Secret Coders – Secrets & Sequences (#3) (2017) by Gene Luen Yang
    • Secret Coders – Paths & Portals (#2) (2016) by Gene Luen Yang
    • Secret Coders (#1) (2015) by Gene Luen Yang
    • Science Comics – Cats: Nature and Nurture (2019) by Andy Hirsch
    • Science Comics – Dinosaurs: Fossils & Feathers (2016) by M.K. Reed
    • Science Comics – Volcanoes: Fire & Life (2016) by Jon Chad

    2020 in Picture Books

    As a future librarian, I spent the last year branching out from genres I love to read to ones that challenge me. Further, as a parent of two littles my boys and I read together A LOT and I’m gaining confidence in the kinds of books I know they will love plus ones that can help them grow up to be good humans (which they often love, too).

    Our Favorite Picture Books of 2020

    Last spring semester, I took a course in multicultural literature for children and young adults, and it helped me discern whose voice should be speaking when it comes to children’s literature, especially when the majority of books continue to be about white children’s experiences. See this blog post from the Cooperative Children’s BookCenter (CCBC) for more details about recent multicultural statistics in publishing.

    I am no expert, but I have made it a point to include books written by and about people of color, LGBTQ+, religious groups, and persons with disabilities to help them understand that their own experiences, though valid, are not the only ones in existence and they should value these differences.

    We also read extremely silly books about butts. You know, for balance.

    Anyway, here’s the list of picture books we read in 2020. Enjoy!

    *****

    • Can You Hear the Trees Talking?: Discovering the Hidden Life of the Forest (2019) by Peter Wohlleben
    • Unstoppable (2020) by Adam Rex, Laura Park (Ill.)
    • The Couch Potato (2020) by Jory John, Pete Oswald (ill.)
    • The Barnabus Project (2020) by The Fan Brothers
    • American Ballet Theatre presents Boys Dance! (2020) by John Robert Allman, Luciano Lozano (Ill.)
    • Teatime Around the World (2020) by Denise Waissbluth, Chelsea O’Byrne (Ill.)
    • The Oboe Goes Boom Boom Boom (2020) by Colleen A.F. Veneble, Lian Cho (Ill.)
    • Fight the Night (1968) by Tomie dePaola
    • If You Want to See a Whale (2013) by Julie Fogliano, Erin E. Stead (Ill.)
    • All Because You Matter (2020) by Tami Charles, Bryan Collier (Ill.)
    • We Are Water Protectors (2020) by Carole Lindstrom, Michaela Goade (Ill.)
    • Ida, Always (2016) by Caron Levis, Charles Santoso (Ill.)
    • Lubna and Pebble (2019) by Wendy Meddour, Daniel Egneus (Ill.)
    • Vote for Our Future! (2020) by Margaret McNamara, Micah Player (Ill.)
    • The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt (2020) by Riel Nason, Byron Eggenschwiler (Ill.)
    • How to Solve a Problem: The Rise (and Falls) of a Rock-Climbing Champion (2020) by Ashima Shiraishi, Yao Xiao (Ill.)
    • High Five (2019) by Adam Rubin, Daniel Salmieri (Ill.)
    • Crossings: Extraordinary Structures for Extraordinary Animals (2020) by Katy S. Duffield, Mike Orodan (Ill.)
    • The Blue House (2020) by Phoebe Wahl
    • The Stone Giant (2020) by Anna Hoglund
    • Buttercup the Bigfoot (2020) by Douglas Rees, Isabel Muñoz (Ill.)
    • Julián at the Wedding (2020) by Jessica Love
    • Howl Like a Wolf!: Learn to Think, Move, and Act Like 15 Amazing Animals (2018) by Kathleen Yale, Kaley McKean (Ill.)
    • Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao (2019) by Kat Zhang, Charlene Chua (Ill.)
    • Sometimes People March (2020) by Tessa Allen
    • I Am Every Good Thing (2020) by Derrick Barnes, Gordon C. James (Ill.)
    • Stop that Yawn! (2018) by Caron Levis, LeUyen Pham (Ill.)
    • The Darkest Dark (2016) by Chris Hadfield, Kate Fillion, Terry Fan (Ill.)
    • The Night Gardener (2016) by Terry Fan, Eric Fan
    • Jabari Jumps (2017) by Gaia Cornwall
    • The Remember Balloons (2018) by Jessie Oliveros, Dana Wulfekotte (Ill.)
    • My Heart (2019) by Corinna Luyken
    • The Boy Who Grew a Forest: The True Story of Jadav Payeng (2019) by Sophia Gholz, Kayla Harren (Ill.)
    • I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark (2016) by Debbie Levy, Elizabeth Baddeley (Ill.)
    • The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab & Family (2019) by Ibtihaj Muhammad, S.K. Ali, Hatem Aly (Ill.)
    • A New Kind of Wild (2020) by Zara Gonzalez Hoang
    • The Moose of Ewenki (2019) by Gerelchimeg Blackcrane, Jiu Er. (Ill.), Helen Mixter (Translator)
    • Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker (2014) by Patricia Hruby Powell, Christian Robinson (Ill.)
    • Freedom, We Sing (2020) by Amyra Leon, Molly Mendoza (Ill.)
    • Llama Destroys the World (2019) by Jonathan Stutzman, Heather Fox (Ill.)
    • Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas (2015) by Aaron Blabey
    • Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness (2018) by Anastasia Higginbotham
    • The Panda Problem (2019) by Deborah Underwood, Hannah Marks (Ill.)
    • Hair Love (2019) by Matthew A. Cherry, Vashti Harrison (Ill.)
    • Snail Crossing (2020) by Corey R. Tabor
    • When Aidan Became a Brother (2019) by Kyle Lukoff
    • Niño Wrestles the World (2013) by Yuyi Morales
    • The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon: The True Story of Alan Bean (2019) by Dean Robbins
    • Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré (2019) by Anika Aldamuy Denise, Paola Escobar (Ill.)
    • Dreamers (2018) by Yuyi Morales
    • At the Mountain’s Base (2019) by Traci Sorell, Weshoyot Alvitre (Ill.)
    • The Cool Bean (2019) by Jory John, Pete Oswald (Ill.)
    • Bilal Cooks Daal (2019) by Aisha Saeed, Anoosha Syed (Ill.)
    • My Papi Has a Motorcycle (2019) by Isabel Quintero, Zeke Peña (Ill.)
    • Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story (2019) by Kevin Noble Maillard, Juana Martinez-Neal
    • Sulwe (2019) by Lupita Nyong’o, Vashti Harrison (Ill.)
    • Saturday (2019) by Oge Mora
    • Because (2019) by Mo Willems, Amber Ren (Ill.)
    • The Undefeated (2019) by Kwame Alexander, Kadir Nelson (Ill.)
    • Bear Came Along (2019) by Richard T. Morris, LeUyen Pham (Ill.)
    • A Stone Sat Still (2019) by Brendan Wenzel

    ****

    • Thesaurus Has a Secret (2020) by Anya Glazer
    • Wherever I Go (2020) by Mary Wagley Copp, Munir Mohammed (Ill.)
    • Bo the Brave (2020) by Bethan Woollvin
    • A Church for All (2018) by Gayle E. Pitman, Laure Fournier (Ill.)
    • Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood (2016) by F. Isabel Campoy, Theresa Howell, Rafael López (ill.)
    • Butts are Everywhere (2020) by Jonathon Stutzman, Heather Fox (Ill.)
    • Trombone Shorty (2015) by Troy Andrews, Bryan Collier (Ill.)
    • Attack of the Underwear Dragon (2020) by Scott Rothman, Pete Oswald (Ill.)
    • Poesy the Monster Slayer (2020) by Cory Doctorow, Matt Rockefeller (Ill.)
    • The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story (2020) by Tina Cho, Jess X. Snow (Ill.)
    • Mae Among the Stars (2018) by Roda Ahmed, Stasia Burrington (Ill.)
    • I Need a Hug (2015) by Aaron Blabey
    • What Is a Refugee? (2019) By Elise Gravel
    • Llama Unleashes the Alpacalypse (2020) by Jonathan Stutzman, Heather Fox (Ill.)
    • Swing (2020) by Michael Hall
    • Truman (2019) by Jean Reidy, Lucy Ruth Cummins (Ill.)
    • The Stuff of Stars (2018) by Marion Dane Bauer, Ekua Holmes (Ill.)
    • The Very Last Castle (2018) by Travis Jonker, Mark Pett (Ill.)
    • Superbuns! (2019) by Diane Kredensor
    • Don’t Feed the Coos! (2020) by Jonathan Stutzman, Heather Fox (Ill.)
    • Dirt Cheap (2020) by Mark Hoffmann
    • Night Job (2018) by Karen Hesse, G. Brian Karas (Ill.)
    • The Key from Spain (2019) by Debbie Levy, Sonja Wimmer
    • Overground Railroad (2020) by Lesa Cline-Ransome, James E. Ransome (Ill.)
    • Read the Book, Lemmings! (2017) by Ame Dyckman, Zachariah O’Hora (Ill.)
    • Alfie (2017) by Thyra Heder
    • The Watermelon Seed (2013) by Greg Pizzoli
    • Dandy (2019) by Ame Dyckman, Charles Santoso (Ill.)
    • The Ocean in Your Bathtub (2020) by Seth Fishman, Isabel Greenberg (Ill.)
    • Fraidyzoo (2013) by Thyra Heder
    • When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree (2019) by Jamie L.B. Deenihan, Lorraine Rocha (Ill.)
    • Ella McKeen, Kickball Queen (2019) by Beth Mills
    • What Is Given from the Heart by Patricia C. McKissack
    • Nesting (2020) by Henry Cole
    • My Hair is a Garden (2018) by Cozbi A. Cabrera
    • Sewing the Rainbow: The Story of Gilbert Baker and the Rainbow Flag (2018) by Gayle E. Pitman, Holly Clifton-Brown (Ill.)
    • Henry and Bea (2019) by Jessixa Bagley
    • Across the Bay (2019) by Carlos Aponte
    • Pluto Gets the Call (2019) by Adam Rex, Laurie Keller (Ill.)
    • The Shortest Day (2019) by Susan Cooper, Carson Ellis (Ill.)
    • Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market (2019) by Raúl the Third
    • Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment (2019) by Parker Curry, Jessica Curry, Brittany Jackson (Ill.)
    • Bowwow Powwow: Bagosenjige-niimi-idim (2018) by Brenda J. Child, Jonathan Thunder (Ill.), Gordon Jourdain (Translator)
    • A Friend for Henry (2019) by Jenn Bailey, Mika Song (Ill.)
    • Our House is on Fire: Greta Thunberg’s Call to Save the Planet (2019) by Jeanette Winter
    • The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore (2015) by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, R. Gregory Christie (Ill.)
    • Thank You, Omu! (2018) by Oge Mora
    • We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga (2018) by Traci Sorell, Frané Lessac (Ill.)
    • The Good Egg (2019) by Jory John, Pete Oswald (Ill.)
    • The Hike (2019) by Alison Farrell
    • Don’t Call Me Bear (2016) by Aaron Blabey

    ***

    • One Girl (2020) by Andrea Beaty, Dow Phumiruk (Ill.)
    • Pink is for Boys (2018) by Robb Pearlman, Eda Kaban (Ill.)
    • Tiny T-Rex & the Impossible Hug (2019) by Jonathan Stutzman, Jay Fleck (Ill.)
    • A Dragon on the Roof: A Children’s Book Inspired by Antoni Gaudí (2019) by Cécile Alix, Fred Sochard (Ill.)
    • Imagine! (2018) by Raúl Colón
    • Stop Following Me, Moon! (2016) by Darren Farrell
    • Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great (2013) by Bob Shea
    • Bunheads (2020) by Misty Copeland, Setor Fiadzigbey (Ill.)
    • The Night is for Darkness (2020) by Jonathan Stutzman, Joseph Kuefler (Ill.)
    • Hey, Wall: A Story of Art and Community (2018) by Susan Verde, John Parra (Ill.)
    • The Perfect Seat (2019) by Minh Lê, Gus Gordon (Ill.)
    • Enough!: 20 Protestors Who Changed America (2018) by Emily Easton, Ziyue Chen (Ill.)
    • Double Bass Blues (2019) by Andrea J. Loney, Rudy Guitierrez (Ill.)
    • Stop! Bot! (2019) by James Yang
    • Little Tigers (2019) by Jo Weaver
    • T-Bone the Drone (2019) by Shanda McCloskey
    • The Thank You Letter (2019) by Jane Cabrera
    • The Whisper (2015) by Pamela Zagarenski
    • The World Needs More Purple People (2020) by Kristen Bell, Benjamin Hart, Daniel Wiseman (Ill.)
    • Coral (2020) by Molly Idle
    • Your Alien (2015) by Tammi Sauer, Gorõ Futita (Ill.)
    • Birdsong (2019) by Julie Flett
    • Chapter Two is Missing! (2019) by Josh Lieb

    **

    • Thelma the Unicorn (2015) by Aaron Blabey
    • Construction Site on Christmas Night (2018) by Sherri Duskey Rinker, A.G. Ford (ill.)
    • The Great Paper Caper (2009) by Oliver Jeffers
    • We Will Rock Our Classmates (2020) by Ryan T. Higgins
    • Wild Symphony (2020) by Dan Brown
    • Turtle Walk (2020) by Matt Phelan
    • The Fish Who Found the Sea (2020) by Alan W. Watts
    • Pencil: A Story with a Point (2019) by Ann Ingalis, Dean Griffiths (Ill.)
    • Bruce’s Big Storm (2019) by Ryan T. Higgins
    • The Trouble with Time Travel (2019) by Stephen W. Martin
    • The Little Gardener (2015) by Emily Hughes
    • The Scarecrow (2019) by Beth Ferry, Terry Fan (Ill.), Eric Fan (Ill.)
    • Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party (2019) by Kimberly Dean, James Dean

    *

    • A Most Mizerable Christmas (2012) by Mick Foley, Jerry Lawler (Ill.)
    • Froggy for President! (2020) by Jonathan London, Frank Remkiewicz (Ill.)

    My 2020 Book List

    Being home for most of the year allowed me to read many more books than I usually do. My prime reading time is found while the boys run free at playgrounds. Once those reopened during the pandemic I found myself with daily free time to escape into hidden worlds and go on adventures in reading.

    I read 111 books this year, not including the picture books I read with Elliot and Henry (see the next post for those). In 2020, my favorite books were either fantasies or those that helped me delve into the human condition – what makes us contradictory individuals who dream and hope and grieve and fight. So I guess I really used reading to try to figure myself out, and I’m still not there.

    I probably won’t ever understand my self and my selfish motivations. But I keep trying, and here’s what I’ve puzzled out so far.

    I am a lot to handle. And that is okay. I don’t like everyone, so it’s okay if not everyone likes me (I definitely need to work on being fine with that second part). Even though I don’t like everyone, I can be kind.

    And that begins with being kind to myself.

    I guess what I’m trying to say in my yearly review of books is that I plan to seek kindness through reading to find new ways to let it burst through my being and extend outward to others.

    If you’ve made it this far through my ramblings, your reward is seeing my top 9 fictional books, top 6 young adult reads, and top 6 non-fiction books of 2020, followed by a list of everything I read this year.

    I know the books I love aren’t for everyone, but if I ever come up to you and tell you that you NEED to read something, I recommend you do it. I’m rarely wrong (ask Keith if you don’t believe me).

    My Favorite Reads This Year & Published in 2020

    1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
    2. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
    3. The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
    4. Writers and Lovers by Lily King
    5. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
    6. Long Bright River by Liz Moore
    7. The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi
    8. Anxious People by Frederik Backman
    9. Apeirogon by Colum McCann

    Young Adult

    1. You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
    2. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
    3. Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel by Jason Reynolds, Danica Novgorodoff (Ill.)
    4. The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane by Kate O’Shaughnessy
    5. Dear Justyce by Nic Stone
    6. Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

    Nonfiction

    1. Untamed by Glennon Doyle
    2. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, & You by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
    3. Please Like Me [But Keep Away] by Mindy Kaling
    4. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
    5. Humans by Brandon Stanton
    6. Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob

    Books Read in 2020

    *****

    • Anxious People (2020) by Fredrik Backman (12/20)
    • The House in the Cerulean Sea (2020) by TJ Klune (12/20)
    • Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel (2020) by Jason Reynolds (12/20)
    • You Should See Me in a Crown (2020) by Leah Johnson (11/20)
    • Dear Justyce (2020) by Nic Stone (11/20)
    • Before the Ever After (2020) by Jacqueline Woodson (11/20)
    • Humans (2020) by Brandon Stanton (11/20)
    • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (2020) by V.E. Schwab (10/20)
    • The Once and Future Witches (2020) by Alix E. Harrow (10/20)
    • Kind of Hindu (2020) by Mindy Kaling (10/20)
    • Searching for Coach Taylor (2020) by Mindy Kaling (10/20)
    • Please Like Me [But Keep Away] (2020) by Mindy Kaling (10/20)
    • Once Upon a Time in Silver Lake (2020) by Mindy Kaling (10/20)
    • Help is on the Way (2020) by Mindy Kaling (10/20)
    • Big Shot (2020) by Mindy Kaling (10/20)
    • Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics, 1954-1981 (2010) by Stephen Sondheim (10/20)
    • The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane (2020) by Kate O’Shaughnessy (10/20)
    • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (10/20)
    • The Vanishing Half (2020) by Brit Bennett (9/20)
    • The Henna Artist (2020) by Alka Joshi (9/20)
    • Nothing to See Here (2019) by Kevin Wilson (9/20)
    • The Comeback (2020) by Ella Berman (9/20)
    • The Death of Vivek Oji (2020) by Akwaeke Emezi (8/20)
    • The Song of Achilles (2011) by Madeline Miller (8/20)
    • This Tender Land (2020) by William Kent Krueger (8/20)
    • How We Fight for Our Lives (2019) by Saeed Jones (8/20)
    • Dear Edward (2020) by Anne Napolitano (7/20)
    • Wonderstruck (2011) by Brian Selznick (7/20)
    • Summer Sisters (1998) by Judy Bloom (7/20)
    • Writers and Lovers (2020) by Lily King (7/20)
    • Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations (2020) by Mira Jacob (7/20)
    • Station Eleven (2014) by Emily St. John Mandel (7/20)
    • Ghosts (2016) by Raina Telgemeier (6/20)
    • The Public Library: A Photographic Essay (2014) by Robert Dawson (6/20)
    • Dear Martin (2017) by Nic Stone (6/20)
    • Pet (2019) by Akwaeke Emezi (6/20)
    • All American Boys (2015) by Jason Reynolds (6/20)
    • A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (2019) by Holly Jackson (6/20)
    • Clap When You Land (2020) by Elizabeth Acevedo (6/20)
    • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (2020) by Jason Reynolds (6/20)
    • Circe (2018) by Madeline Miller (4/20)
    • They Called Us Enemy (2019) by George Takei (4/20)
    • Apeirogon (2020) by Colum McCann (4/20)
    • Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (2012) by Benjamin Alire Saenz (4/20)
    • Untamed (2020) by Glennon Doyle (3/20)
    • Other Words for Home (2019) by Jasmine Warga (3/20)
    • The Turtle of Oman (2009) by Naomi Shihab Nye (2/20)
    • Long Bright River (2020) by Liz Moore (2/20)
    • The Ten Thousand Doors of January (2019) by Alix E. Harrow (2/20)
    • Esparanza Rising (2000) by Pam Muñoz Ryan (2/20)
    • The Other Half of Happy (2019) by Rebecca Balcarcel (2/20)
    • The Poet X (2018) by Elizabeth Acevedo (2/20)

    ****

    • Plain Bad Heroines (2020) by Emily M. Danforth (12/20)
    • Fifty Words for Rain (2020) by Asha Lemmie (12/20)
    • Hamnet (2020) by Maggie O’Farrell (12/20)
    • When No One is Watching (2020) by Alyssa Cole (12/20)
    • Catherine House (2020) by Elisabeth Thomas (11/20)
    • The Last Story of Mina Lee (2020) by Nancy Jooyoun Kim (11/20)
    • Mexican Gothic (2020) by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (10/20)
    • The Mall (2020) by Megan McCafferty (10/20)
    • The Book of Second Chances (2020) by Katherine Slee (10/20)
    • Her Last Flight (2020) by Beatriz Williams (10/20)
    • Red, White & Royal Blue (2019) by Casey McQuiston (10/20)
    • Piranesi (2020) by Susanna Clarke (10/20)
    • Beach Read (2020) by Emily Henry (9/20)
    • The Lions of Fifth Avenue (2020) by Fiona Davis (9/20)
    • The Underground Railroad (2016) by Colson Whitehead (9/20)
    • Girl, Serpent, Thorn (2020) by Melissa Bashardoust (8/20)
    • The Pull of the Stars (2020) by Emma Donaghue (8/20)
    • The Lost and Found Bookshop (2020) by Susan Wiggs (8/20)
    • The Jane Austen Society (2020) by Natalie Jenner (8/20)
    • 28 Summers (2020) by Elin Hilderbrand (7/20)
    • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (2019) by Ocean Vuong (7/20)
    • The Lies that Bind (2020) by Emily Giffin (7/20)
    • Weather (2020) by Jenny Offill (6/20)
    • The Grace Year (2019) by Kim Liggett (6/20)
    • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020) by Suzanne Collins (5/20)
    • The Night Watchman (2020) by Louise Erdrich (5/20)
    • The Glass Hotel (2020) by Emily St. John Mandel (5/20)
    • A Wizard of Earthsea (1968) by Ursula K. LeGuin (5/20)
    • There There (2018) by Tommy Orange (4/20)
    • Yes No Maybe So (2020) by Becky Albertalli (4/20)
    • Such a Fun Age (2020) by Kiley Reid (3/20)
    • Chain of Gold (2020) by Cassandra Clare (3/20)
    • The Birchbark House (1999) by Louise Erdrich (3/20)
    • New Kid (2019) by Jerry Craft (3/20)
    • All the Real Indians Died Off: And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans (2016) by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (3/20)
    • The Sun is Also a Star (2016) by Nicola Yoon (3/20)
    • With the Fire on High (2019) by Elizabeth Acevedo (2/20)
    • Children of Blood and Bone (2018) by Tomi Adeyemi (2/20)
    • Maybe You Should Talk to Someone (2019) by Lori Gottlieb (1/20)
    • The Family Upstairs (2019) by Lisa Jewell (1/20)

    ***

    • The Near Witch (2019) by V.E. Schwab (12/20)
    • The Midnight Library (2020) by Matt Haig (11/20)
    • The Guest List (2020) by Lucy Foley (10/20)
    • Friends and Strangers (2020) by J. Courtney Sullivan (8/20)
    • In Five Years (2020) by Rebecca Serle (8/20)
    • Sex & Vanity (2020) by Kevin Kwan (8/20)
    • The Holdout (2020) by Graham Moore (6/20)
    • Chosen Ones (2020) by Veronica Roth (6/20)
    • The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise (2019) by Dan Gemeinhart (6/20)
    • Ember Queen (2020) by Laura Sebastian (5/20)
    • Olive Kitteridge (2008) by Elizabeth Strout (4/20)
    • Twisted Twenty-Six (2019) by Janet Evanovich (3/20)
    • The Martian (2011) by Andy Weir (1/20)
    • Stardust (1997) by Neil Gaiman (1/20)

    **

    • White Ivy (2020) by Susie Yang (12/20)
    • Big Summer (2020) by Jennifer Weiner (9/20)
    • A Good Neighborhood (2020) by Therese Anne Fowler (5/20)
    • The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires (2020) by Grady Hendrix (5/20)
    • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill (2019) by Abbi Waxman (4/20)