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Year in Books

2013 was a crazy year for me in my book life!

 In January I finished up my term on the 2013 Printz Committee. It was an amazing experience and I loved every minute of it. It was a ton of work, exhausting, and so much fun!

I loved celebrating with our authors at annual and it was so amazing to listen to their speeches and know that I was part of the committee that honored their books!

After Printz, I was an Audies judge which was a great way to take a break from committee work and listen to audiobooks. 

I fell into the after committee reading slump but at the same time I started reviewing for Booklist and AudioFile, which kept me reading. And at the end of the year (unless I finish some books on New Year's Eve, which is highly possible!) even with a reading slump, I read 125 (chapter and audio) books and 155 picture books this year, so I guess it wasn't much of a reading slump after all!

Even though there were a lot of books I missed that I wanted to read because most of my reading this year consisted of committee or review reading, I still read some great titles that I fell in love with. Here are some of my favorite reads from 2013, in no particular order:

That Is Not A Good Idea! by Mo Willems-I called this one my favorite of the year in January and it's stuck with me! I love the illustration style and how Willems mimics old talking pictures. There's also a fantastic twist and it's a blast to read once you know the end and discover the small nuances that tell the truth. It's a ton of fun to read to older audiences who get a kick out of the story.

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown-This one is becoming another favorite of the year. The story of a tiger who wants to be a bit different is fantastic. I love how the illustrations feel like a nod to a old style of picture books while also adding a modern graphic design element.  

The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Jon Klassen-A fantastic story about a child's fear of the dark and the illustrations are great at showing shadows and light. The tone of the book is perfect-just enough scare to match and understand a child's fear, but a nice understanding and comfort to it as well to help a child come to terms with their fear of the dark. 

Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci and Sara Varon-Such a fun, charming book that's a great intro to graphic novels for young readers.

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt-I loved the premise of a girl going vintage because life was simpler-and I adored the love interest in this book.

Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle-Mr. Federle won me over with his audiobook narration of Nate and Nate charmed his way into my broadway loving heart. I can't wait to find out what happens in Nate's sequel! A fantastic debut of 2013. 

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell-While it took me awhile to catch up to everyone else and finally read this one, once I did, I loved it. One of my favorites of the year. 

Reality Boy by A.S. King-I've said for awhile that I think A.S. King gets better with each book and she proved me right with Reality Boy. Boy does she know how to tug at my heartstrings!

Star Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown-The Wimpy Kid-esque field is becoming a crowded one, but Jeff Brown managed to make it his own with this Star Wars graphic novel that had me laughing out loud. 

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley-I discovered this one via audiobook and I was introduced to a new author and series that I've really enjoy! Check it out if you enjoy romance!

The start of the new year comes with more reading-both for Audies and Cybils and still more reviewing. I'm hoping to catch up on some of the books still sitting in my TBR pile from this year and I'm looking forward to all the great releases coming in 2014. 

Do you have any favorite reads of 2013?


  1. Loved seeing your list. Some of my favorites are All Our Yesterdays, Taken, Scarlet, and Crown of Midnight. Happy New Year and thanks for all you do!

  2. I have Going Vintage, Eleanor and Park, and Star Wars: Jedi Academy on my TBR list! I really want to try them! :)


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Hello! My name is Sarah and I am a Youth Services Manager who works with kids, tweens and teens. I love being asked about great books to read! I started my blog in 2008 as a way to keep track of what I've been reading and to use a reference tool for reader's advisory and it's grown into much more than I could have ever anticipated. In addition to book reviews, I also enjoy posting audiobook reviews, booklists and my adventures in being a librarian. 2017 Library Journal Mover and Shaker Committees: 2021 Newbery Committee 2018 Odyssey Committee 2016 Caldecott Award 2013 Michael L. Printz Committee- Fabulous Films Committee I have also served on the Cybils, Missouri State Library Association Readers Selection Lists, and as an Audies judge. Presentations :  I have offered various presentations at local, state and national libraries and conferences. Topics have included:  What's New in Children's & Teen Literature Engaging Teens in Reader's Advisory Gee