The BEST BOOKS of 2012 have already been covered extensively. Mr. Schu has a great roundup of Best of 2012 lists if you’d like to peruse the bulk of them. ERMAHGERD BERKS!!!
All I can really add to the conversation is to humbly provide recommendations for books I connected with this year. I’ve tried to filter out some of the great books you probably know about (Wonder, Green, etc.), unless they particularly resonated with me. Some months have more books than others, because some months I read more than others. You can tell when I was finishing my National Boards.
I didn’t consciously chose to include more nonfiction than most lists I’ve seen, but I do want to point out how important I think it is to highlight more traditional expository writing. YES, lyrical nonfiction books are fantastic, but we do a disservice to our kids when we aren’t seeking out good books of the type they’ll encounter when they’re doing research, even if they’re not as thrilling for us to read.
I owe a lot to the book recommendations from Nerdy Book Club folks who I’ve given shout-outs below.
I’ve included children’s books and adult books, and not all of them were published this year. Images were either created by me or swiped from GoodReads.
- I.M. Pei: Architect of Time, Place, and Purpose, Jill Rubalcaba
- Bone Dog, Eric Rohmann
- Vintage Fashion: Collecting and Wearing Designer Classics, 1900-1990, Emma Baxter-Wright
- Tiger Math: Learning to Graph from a Baby Tiger, Ann Whitehead Nagda
- The One and Only Ivan, Katherine Applegate
- Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Grace Lin
- C. R. Mudgeon, Leslie Muir
TRUTH TIME. I actually like the trailer for C. R. Mudgeon better than the book itself. Do yourself a favor and watch (or rewatch) Julian Hector’s work:
- Look Back in Anger, John Osborne
- The Fault in Our Stars, John Greene
- Forgive Me, I Meant To Do It: False Apology Poems, Gail Carson Levine
- An Awesome Book, Dallas Clayton
- Here Come the Girl Scouts!, Shana Corey
- See You at Harry’s, Jo Knowles
- Captain Disaster, Jenni Holm
- Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic, Ginnie Lo
- Infinity and Me, Kate Hosford
- American Hip Hop: Rappers, DJs, and Hard Beats, Nathan Sacks
- The Mysterious Howling, Maryrose Wood
- Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas, Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm
- A Leaf Can Be…, Laura Purdie Salas
Watch me pimp out The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place on Mr. Sharp’s Nerdbery video:
- Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper, Ann Malaspina
- Buckyworks: Buckminster Fuller’s Ideas for Today, J. Baldwin
- Chuck Close: Face Book, Chuck Close
- Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom, Lisa Delpit
- Close to the Machine: Technophilia and Its Discontents, Ellen Ullman. Recommended by Robin Sloan.
- Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure, Jim Murphy & Alison Blank
- The Haitian Earthquake of 2010, Peter Benoit
- Creep and Flutter: The Secret World of Insects and Spiders, Jim Arnosky
- Liberty Rising: The Story of the Statue of Liberty, Pegi Deitz Shea
- Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom, Ursula Nordstrom. Recommended by Laurel Snyder.
- Sacre Bleu: a Comedy d’Art, Christopher Moore. Recommended by Tom Morse.
- Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, Mo Willems
- One for the Murphys, Lynda Mullaly Hunt
- The Gentleman Bug, Julian Hector
- Bitterblue, Kristin Cashore
- This Is Not My Hat, Jon Klassen
- Child of the Mountains, Marilyn Sue Shank
- Cowboys Count, Monkeys Measure, and Princesses Problem Solve, Jane Wilburne
- Annie and Helen, Deborah Hopkinson
- Howl’s Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones. Discovered because Paul O. Zelinsky illustrated her recent book.
- The Mystery of the Blue Ring, Patricia Reilly Giff
- The Seven Tales of Trinket, Shelley Moore Thomas
Phew! What a year! I eagerly await your input on these selections.