Whatever. If anything, I'm doing it for myself. So there. Here's my totally and completely biased, I-don't-care-if-they're-award-winners-or-not-I-just-love-them book list--my favorites from 2015!
And maybe if you trust my opinion, you'll like these, too.
(978-1627792127, Henry Holt & Co)
"It's like Ocean's Eleven in a kick-butt fantasy world. But SO MUCH better....It's just brilliant. There, it's all summed up in three words. Go and read." (See the rest of my original review here)
This book caught me by surprise and fought for its place as my favorite of the year. It was a close fight between this, An Ember in the Ashes, and Firefight. But I do not regret it. This book is jaw-droppingly well-done. (I know, I know, my beloved Throne of Glass series is not a contender this year—shocker.)
Middle Grade Favorite
"This books was positively terrifying from the first scene and the whole book was action-packed.... Basically, I still love all of the characters (I especially appreciated the new understanding we gain of Lockwood) and yet, I still was scared out of my wits. So fantastically done. What else would you expect from Stroud?" (See the rest of my original review here)
Book 3 of the Lockwood & Co series did not disappoint. In fact, it wowed. It was terrifying. It was wonderful. I'm so in love! Though, yes, this did have some serious contenders, including Most Dangerous and Roller Girl, it still is my favorite of the year and I am DYING for the next one. Pun not intended.
Chapter Book Favorite
Jory John & Mac Barnett
(978-1419714917, Harry N. Abrams)
"So I knew that Mac Barnett and Jory John were hilarious, and I knew the premise for this book, but I was still surprised. I laughed out loud repeatedly. Like, people-looking-at-me-weird, awkward-snorting-noises book laughing. I loved it!" (See the rest of my original review here)
It's true, I did not have a lot of favorites in the chapter book category this year. I'm pretty picky. I feel like it's the awkward step between I'm-learning-to-read and Give-me-a-NOVEL. There's just such a variety. But count on Barnett and John to give those awkward in-between-ers something hilarious and well written. Just beware the temptation for pranks after reading.
Early Reader Favorite
Emma J. Virján
"I'm on the verge of saying that this is book is the perfect beginning reader. It has simple text with rhymes and word families, helping to build vocabulary through phonetics and repetition. But it also has the emotion and humor of a good Elephant & Piggie book (which are my usual go-to, favorite easy readers). I would say it's as though Dr. Seuss and Mo Willems had a love child. And it was the combination of the good parts of both." (See the rest of my original review here)
I love witty early readers. Learning to read does not have to be boring. Thank goodness for authors, like Virján, who punch some humor into mundane phonetics. Pig in a Wig just may be a new favorite early reader series for me. Though it is finding competition with Bob Shea's new Ballet Cat books. Since *sniffle* Elephant & Piggie are on their last book, I'm on to find the next best thing...
Picture Book Favorite
(978-0062298898, Balzer + Bray)
"This is a fantastic book. I love it. Love, love it. It's the epitome of what a picture book should be."(See the rest of my original review here)
Now I know that this whole favorites list is not based on awards or other people's opinions, but...I'm still bitter this did not get a Caldecott nod. What the heck Caldecott committee?? Ahem. Moving on. I still absolutely love this book and think that every page is a work of art. Beautiful. Though it was closely followed by Float—genius wordless book. And of course, the humor of Mother Bruce made for some tight competition as well.
And now we're already into a new year with even more exciting books. *Contentsigh* I love my job. What were your favorites this year?