105 Ways to Give a Book

Top Picks for 2006 (So Far): The Master List

It’s been hard to wait, but here it is. The Top Picks of 2006 (So Far): The Master List

Participating blogs include:

MotherReader (MR); Fuse#8; A Chair, A Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy (AChair); Jen Robinson’s Book Blog (Jen); Little Willow (LW); A Year of Reading (Year); Big A, little a (BigA); Chasing Ray (Ray); Kids Lit (KLit); Scholar’s Blog (Scholar); Literary Gas (LG); Jonathan Stephans (Jon); GraceAnne DeCandido (GA); Aaron Zenz (AZ); Book Buds (BB); Bookshelves of Doom (BoD); and Chicken Spaghetti (CS)

I made a few adjustments to placement when it seemed appropriate. The titles are listed in alphabetical order with the blogs that suggested them. Blogs are listed by when they submitted their suggestions.

High School

Alphabet of Dreams, by Susan Fletcher (Fuse#8)
An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green (BigA) (BoD)
Ask Me No Questions, by Marina Budhos (Fuse#8)
Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, by M.T. Anderson (BoD)
A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life, by Dana Reinhardt (AChair) (Jen) (LW)
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak (AChair) (Jen) (LW) (Jon)
Corbenic, by Catherine Fisher (Ray)
Crushed, by Laura McNeal and Tom McNeal (MR)
Dairy Queen, by Catherine Murdock (LG) (BoD)
Dead Connection, by Charlie Price (MR)
Diamond of Drury Lane, by Julia Golding (Scholar)
Enthusiasm, by Polly Shulman (LW)
Geography of Girlhood, by Kirsten Smith (MR)
Here There Be Dragons, by James Own (Ray)
It’s Kind of a Funny Story, by Ned Vizzini (Jen) (LG)
King Dork, by Frank Portman (MR) (AChair) (Jon) (Ray) (BoD)
Nailed, by Patrick Jones (MR)
New Moon, by Stephanie Meyer (Jen)
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Cohn/Levithan (AChair) (KLit) (GA) (BoD)
Nothing But The Truth, by Justina Chen Headley (LW) (BigA)
Over a Thousand Hills, by Hanna Jansen, Elizabeth D. Crawford (MR)
The Pursuit of Happiness, by Tara Altebrando (LW)
The Queen of Cool, by Cecil Castellucci (AChair) (Ray)
Rash, by Pete Hautman (KLit)
River Secrets, by Shannon Hale (GA)
Rules of Survival, by Nancy Werlin (BigA)
Star Dancer, by Beth Webb (Scholar)
Stay With Me, by Garret Freymann-Weyr (Jen) (GA)
Wait for Me, by An Na (KLit)
Wide Awake, by David Levithan (BigA)

Middle School

Anatopsis, by Chris Abouzeid (BigA) (KLit)
Bella at Midnight, by Diane Stanley (KLit)
Clay, by David Almond (Fuse#8) (KLit)
Corydon and the Island of Monsters, by Tobias Druitt (Fuse#8) (KLit)
Death of a Ghost, by Charles Butler (Scholar)
Endymion Spring, by Matthew Shelton (Scholar)
Firegirl, by Tony Abbott (BoD)
Happy Kid, by Gail Gauthier (MR) (BigA)
Hit the Road, by Caroline Cooney (MR)
Hugging the Rock, by Susan Taylor Brown (Jen) (BigA) (AChair)
I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You, by Ally Carter (AChair)
Ingo/The Tide Knot, by Helen Dunmore (BigA) (Scholar)
Kiki Strike, by Kirsten Miller (AChair) (Jen) (BoD)
The King of Attolia, by Megan Whalen Turner (AChair) (BoD)
Larklight, by Philip Reeve (BoD)
Monkey Town, by Ronald Kidd (Fuse#8)
Monster Blood Tattoo, by D. M. Cornish (KLit)
Ptolemy’s Gate, by Jonathan Stroud (KLit) (Scholar)
The New Police Man, by Kate Thompson (BigA)
Sex Kittens and Horn Dawgs Fall in Love, by Maryrose Wood (Jen)
Shug, by Jenny Han (MR) (LW)
Sir Thursday, by Garth Niz (AChair) (Scholar)
Sweet Thang, by Allison Whittenberg (KLit)
Two Steps Forward, by Rachel Cohn (LW)
Voices, by Ursula Le Guin (Scholar)
Wintersmith, by Terry Pratchett (Scholar)
The Wizard, The Witch, and Two Girls from Jersey, by Lisa Papademetriou (MR)


The American Story, by Jennifer Armstrong (BigA) (CS)
BabyMouse: Beach Babe, by Jennifer L. Holm (MR) (AChair) (Jen) (Big A) (Year)
Dawn Undercover, by Anna Dale (BigA)
Desperate Journey, by Jim Murphy
Fairies of Nutfolk Wood, by Barb Bentler Ullman (Year)
Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Harper (MR)
Fly By Night, by Frances Hardinge (Fuse#8) (BoD)
Free Baseball, by Sue Corbett (Jen)
Gossamer, by Lois Lowry (MR) (Year) (KLit)
Gregor and the Marks of Secret, by Suzanne Collins (KLit)
The Legend of Bass Reeves, by Gary Paulsen (GA)
The Mailboxby Audrey Shafer (Fuse#8)
Penny from Heaven, by Jennifer L. Holm (Fuse#8) (AChair) (Year)
The Prophet of Yonwood, by Jeanne Duprau (Jen)
Rules, by Cynthia Lord (LW) (KLit)
The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan (Jen) (BigA)
Something Invisible, by Siobhan Parkinson (MR)
Star Jumper: Journal of a Cardboard Genius by Frank Asch (Jen)
Strange Happenings, by Avi (MR) (BigA)
The Strictest School in the World, by Howard Whitehouse (BigA)
Weedflower, by Cynthia Kadohata (Fuse#8)
Yellow Star, by Jennifer Roy (MR) (Fuse#8) (Jen) (Year)

Younger Elementary

Akimbo and the Crocodile Man, by Alexander McCall Smith (MR)
Araminta Spookie: My Haunted House, by Angie Sage (MR)
Circus Carnivore by Mark Svendsen (Ray)
Clementine, by Sara Pennypacker (Fuse#8)
Dear Fish, by Chris Gall (Ray)
Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, by Adam Rex (Fuse#8)
Henrietta, There’s No One Better, by Martine Murray (KLit)
Ivy and Bean, by Annie Barrows (Ray)
Junie B. First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha! by Barbara Park (CS)
Lose, Team, Lose, by R.L. Stine (Year)
Mia’s Story, by Michael Foreman (BBuds)
Phineas L. MacGuire Erupts, by Francis O’Roark Dowell (MR) (Fuse#8)
Shark and Lobster’s Amazing Undersea Adventure, by Viviane Schwarz (AZ)
Sound of Colors, by Jimmy Liao (BBuds)
Stella Brite and the Dark Matter Mystery, by Sara Latta (Ray)
The Terrible Hodag, by John Sandford (AZ)
Thelonius Monster’s Sky-High Fly Pie, by Judy Sierra (GA)
Toys Go Out, by Emily Jenkins (Fuse#8)
The True Story of Stellina, by M. Pericoli (GA)
The Year of the Dog, by Grace Lin (MR) (Fuse#8) (Year)
A Young Shepherd, by Cat Urbigkit (Ray)
Younguncle Comes to Town, by Vandana Singh (Fuse#8)

Picture Books

Adele and Simon, by Barbara McClintock (Fuse#8)
Augustine, by Melanie Watt (BigA)
Augustus and His Smile, by Catherine Rayner (AZ)
Bats at the Beach, by Brian Lies (CS)
Belinda and the Glass Slipper, by Amy Young (AZ)
Big Sister, Little Sister, by LeUyen Pham (Year)
Bringing Asha Home, by Uma Krishnaswami (BigA)
Castaway Cats, by Lisa Wheeler (PMathis)
Dizzy, by Jonah Winter (KLit)
Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late, by Mo Willems (AChair) (LW)
Duck and Goose, by Tad Hills (MR) (LW) (BigA)
Edwina, The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct, by Mo Willems (MR)
An Egg is Quiet, by Dianna Aston (KLit)
For You Are a Kenyan Child, by Kelly Cunnane (Fuse#8) (KLit)
George and the Dragon, by Chris Wormell (BBuds)
Hippo! No, Rhino!, by Jeff Newman (Year)
I Am Not Cute by Jonathan Allen (Fuse#8)
I’m a Pill Bug, by Yukihisa Tokuda (CS)
Last Day of School, by Louise Borden (Year)
Learning to Fly, by Sebastian Meschenmoser (AChair) (BigA) (BBuds)
Library Lion, by Michelle Knudsen (PMathis)
Lilly’s Big Day, by Kevin Henkes (MR)
Meow Ruff, by Joyce Sidman (KLit)
Mommy? by Maurice Sendak (Fuse#8)
Museum Trip, by Barbara Lehman (BBuds)
My Cat, The Silliest Cat in the World, by Gilles Bachelet (PMathis)
Nutmeg, by David Lucus (CS)
One White Wishing Stone: A Beach Day Counting Book, by Doris Gayzagian
Scaredy Squirrel, by Melanie Watt (Year)
Sleepy Boy, by Polly Kanevsky (GA)
Summer is Summer, by Phillis and David Gershator (KLit)
Pecorino Plays Ball, by Alan Madison (MR)
The Princess and the Pea, by Lauren Child (A Year) (BBuds)
Tree Ring Circus, by Adam Rex (AZ)
Waiting for Gregory, by Kimberly Holt (BBuds)
When Giants Come to Play, by Andrea Beaty (PMathis)
When You Were Small, by Sara O’Leary (Fuse#8) (GA)
Wow! It Sure Is Good to Be You, by Cynthia Jabar (MR)


Aliens Are Coming! by Megan McCarthy (Fuse#8)
Chew on This by Eric Schlosser (MR)
Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Sharks and Other Sea Monsters, by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart (BBuds)
Freedom Walkers: Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, by R. Freeman (Fuse#8)
Giants of Science: Isaac Newton, by Kathleen Krull (Fuse#8)
Owen and Mzee, by Craig Hatkoff
A Pair of Polar Bears , by Joanne Ryder (MR)
Quiet Hero: The Ira Hayes Story, by S.D. Nelson (CS)
Oh, Rats! The Story of Rats and People, by Albert Marrin (Fuse#8)
Team Moon, by Catherine Thimmesh (Fuse#8) (BBuds)
Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss and the Musical Rent, by A.Rapp (LW)

Thanks to everyone who made suggestions. It was amazing how many different books were put forward, with very little overlap. The clearest winners with four or five votes each are The Book Thief, King Dork, Nick & Norah, Yellow Star, and BabyMouse: Beach Babe. With an even 150 great reading choices, I think we’ll all have a lot of reading to do.
Category: 12 comments


Anonymous said...

Wow! What a great list! Thanks for having the idea, and putting so much work into assembling it. I definitely feel like a have a lot of reading to do!

Anonymous said...


I actually edited my original list, when I learned that I had errer - Pond Scum was published in October of 2005. I replaced it with Happy Kid!, which is already on the master list, but do feel compelled to point out that Pond Scum doesn't quite make the criteria. Sorry for the error on my list!!

MotherReader said...

Thanks. I just caught it myself and was going to take it off. No problem.

Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for doing all my work for me. Now can you arrange a link that I can click and have them all put on hold for me at my public library?

What, you mean I have to do it myself?


Little Willow said...

Thank you for compiling all of these. Interesting to see the overlap. :)

Blue Rose Girls said...

thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Yow. We're all going to be so busy reading! Thanks again for the inspiration and the assembling.

Anonymous said...

MR, thanks for putting the list together. Lotsa work here.

Julie said...

what a great resource. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

D'oh! Eisha and I didn't make it in time. Thanks for putting the work into this great list. I've got lots more reading to do. -- jules who misses 'Five for a Little One' on the picture book list, but, hey, I didn't vote in time

Anonymous said...

Prophets of Yonwood by DuPrau as a top book for 2006? Did anyone actually read this disappointing, poorly written and very unsatisfying prequel to City of Ember? Though kids are asking for it because of the stellar and well deserved reputation of Ember and Sparks, this book is not worth reading.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for compiling the list, MR ! I can see I'll be pestering the library a lot *next* year for those books on this list that aren't yet out here in the UK !

However, I've got a copy of The Book Thief and Happy Kid! on my TBR thanks to the generosity of Kelly and Jen R respectively - and I shall shuffle them up towards the top of the pile now !