Every year, I like to take a look back at my favorites before the announcement of the ALA Youth Media Awards. Since those are just a little more than a week away (where did January go?), I'd better hop to it! This year I've been having a hard time gathering my thoughts about my favorite books. I've decided I'm not going to even attempt a Young Adult roundup -- my YA reading has just been too scattered, and I haven't been trying to read noteworthy YA books at all. And, while I'll post about some favorite picture books and chapter books, I don't have one standout title in either field. Some years are like that, I guess . . .
So, favorite chapter books:
Greenglass House by Kate Milford (my review) -- This may be my personal favorite of the year. I loved the world-building, the mystery, the characters. Do I really think this will win? Nah, probably not. But it's one I know I will often revisit.
Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire (my review) -- Russia! Fairy tales! Feisty heroines! I ate this one up. It's maybe a little ponderous and self-conscious at times, but it's also just so good.
West of the Moon by Margi Preus (my review) -- Another story with fairy tales interwoven and elements of historical fiction, this one also has a really complex and intriguing main character.
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (my review) -- This is the one I think will actually win, and I know a lot of people will be disappointed if it doesn't. Actually, I think this will take an honor, and the medal winner will be something that nobody's talked about very much, probably something that I haven't even read. Guess we'll find out!
El Deafo by Cece Bell (my review) -- So, the last title I mentioned was a verse memoir, and this one is a graphic memoir. It's been an interesting year for the middle-grade memoir. Do I really think this will win? Well, I'm not sure a graphic novel ever can win the Newbery, given the criteria, but if one did, I think this just might be it.
That's where I'll stop with this post. I've read a few others that might be contenders, but I'm just not completely sold on any of them. I really feel like I'm missing something this year. Care to fill in the blanks? What are your picks for this year's Newbery?