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Shorter Musings: Realistic MG

Here are some musings on some recent realistic MG reads.

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds
This is an excellent MG book to give students who love realistic stories of friendship, family, and school. It is also a good selection for those who have more trouble concentrating on long form novels. The stories in here are all interconnected because the characters featured all go to the same school. However, each is its own separate story with a different characters. Each plot focuses on the walk home from school but in different ways.

My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi
This is an interesting story about family troubles, friend troubles, and finding your place in community. It is quintessentially middle grade. It is a good book to have on hand for voracious readers of this story type. It takes place in the mid 1980s and is about an African American girl whose grandfather was one of the first African American NASA engineers. From him she has inherited a love for science-fiction and fan…
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Future Favorite Friday January 20

I take the 2nd Friday of every month to highlight some upcoming releases I am looking forward to that I hope are Future Favorites. Feel free to do your own post, just please link back to my blog and tell me about your post in the comments.

Frances Hardinge has a new book coming out this year!!!!!

The gods are dead. Decades ago, they turned on one another and tore each other apart. Nobody knows why. But are they really gone forever? When 15-year-old Hark finds the still-beating heart of a terrifying deity, he risks everything to keep it out of the hands of smugglers, military scientists, and a secret fanatical cult so that he can use it to save the life of his best friend, Jelt. But with the heart, Jelt gradually and eerily transforms. How long should Hark stay loyal to his friend when he’s becoming a monster—and what is Hark willing to sacrifice to save him?

Release Date: April 14, 2020 from Amulet Books

I've been waiting for this ever since I read There's Something Abo…

December 19 Stats

Here are my reading stats for the last month of 2019. Look at all those new reads! (See what three weeks off of school with nowhere to go can do!)

December Favorites:

Total Reads: 8 (7 new, 1 reread)

MG: 2
YA: 2
Adult: 4

Contemporary: 5
Historical: 1
Fantasy: 2

Looking forward to January, here are the releases I'm most anticipating:

How was everyone else's reading month? What are you looking forward to reading in January?

Favorite Books of 2019

The Top Ten No Matter Age Category:

Begone the Raggedy Witches by Celine Keirnan

The Faithful Spy  by John Hendrix

The Lost Girl by Anne Ursu

Lovely War by Julie Berry

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

The Princess Who Flew with Dragonsby Stephanie Burgis

Speak Easy, Speak Loveby McKelle George

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

There's Something about Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind them All by Laura Ruby

Top MG:

Top YA:

Top Adult:

Top Non-Fiction:

2019 in Books

Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner
hosts this great survey every year that is a fun way of looking back at my year in books.

Number of Books Read: 131
Number of Rereads: 47
Most Read Genre: Adult Contemporary
Most Read Age Category: Tie Between MG and YA

Favorite Adult Novel

Favorite YA  Novel

Favorite MG Novel 

Favorite Non-Fiction
Book I Was Excited For But Ended Up Not Loving As Much As Expected: A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge 
Most Surprising (In a Good Way-I wasn't expecting to love it but I did!):Beyond the Pointby Claire Gibson
Best Series Started: The Wild Magic Trilogy by Celine Kiernan
Best Series Ender:The Princess Who Flew with Dragonsby Stephanie Burgis (I don't want it to be over. 😩)
Best Out of My Comfort Zone Book: Educated by Tara Westover (I usually dislike memoirs, but I couldn't put this one down.)
Most Unputdownable Book: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Book That Made Me Angriest: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Shortest Book: A Grie…

Quarterly Review and Round-Up

This is a look back on my reading of the past three months: the best of the best, the books I couldn't finish, and the non-fiction and adult books I don't review on the blog. These only cover new-to-me books and not rereads.

The Non-Fiction: The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by John Hendrix

The Adult Fiction:  Evvie Drake Starts Overby Linda Holmes (contemporary)
The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary (contemporary) The Gaucho's Lady by Genevieve Turner (historical romance)
Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra (contemporary)
Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev (contemporary)

The Best of the Best: 

Favorite Characters of 2019

It is time for my Favorite Characters of the Year post. As I've said many times before, I am a character reader. I read for character arcs and development and the messy wonder of human relationships. Every year I like to do a post that covers some of the characters I fell in love with over the course of my reading year. (If I read a book from a series that I've already mentioned in a previous year, you can assume I still love the characters. This is for brand new characters I encountered.)

Links are to my reviews. Descriptions are (for the most part) snippets from my reviews.

Mup and Crow from Begone the Raggedy Witchesby Celine Kiernan
Mup is such a delightful heroine. She begins her begins the book as a sheltered, rule-following, and seemingly meek little girl. As danger upon danger meets her, Mup discovers a core of strength and defiance in herself that serves her well. She has strong convictions about what is right and what is wrong. Crow is Mup's catalyst for defiance a…