105 Ways to Give a Book

Top Picks for 2006 (So Far)

Last year I helped select the books for our county’s summer reading program. And I loved doing it. There was no better validation for doing all that reading than seeing my choices featured for thousands of school children. Very cool. This fall, I did not join the committee, in an effort to share the wealth of that experience with the other librarians in the county. I would love to submit my suggestions, but I have to be selective about what I send.

Then I started thinking about all the summer reading committees forming all over the country — and yes, they are probably starting now — who could use some suggestions. Maybe there is a better validation then being part of my local — if large — summer reading list: If I can influence the lists across the country.

As this idea was pulling itself together in my head, I saw the Fuse#8 interview in Edge of the Forest, where she lists her top five books in a number of categories. What if, I thought, the kidlitosphere all posted their top picks for 2006 (so far), in contribution to the summer reading lists, and school librarians’ fall ordering, and just plain reading for people everywhere? Wow.

How about it? Post your “Top Picks for 2006 (So Far)” in any or all of the categories: Picture Books, Early Elementary, Elementary, Middle School, High School. Narrow it down to five choices per category (I know it will be tough). My ultimate plan is to pull together the posts into one big list at the end of next week. And thus we will take over the reading selections of the nation, and maybe Canada. (Insert maniacal laughter here.)
Category: 24 comments


fusenumber8 said...

I like due dates. Is there a specific day you'd like this info by?

Liz B said...

I have a sidebar of my Best Books for 2006 that is a mix of everything and almost up to date (I have to add The Book Thief.)

Liz B said...

I have a sidebar of my Best Books for 2006 that is a mix of everything and almost up to date (I have to add The Book Thief.)

oops, posted too soon:

What I have so far:
Best Books of 2006
a brief chapter in my impossible life by Dana Reinhardt (YA)
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter (YA)
Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller (YA)
King Dork by Frank Portman (YA)
The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (YA)
Learning To Fly by Sebastian Meschenmoser (picture book)
The Queen of Cool by Cecil Castellucci (YA)
Sir Thursday by Garth Niz (Middle School)

Liz B said...

oh, oh, and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, YA. Hhmm... I think I need to look over my reading; but I think the thing is the others I like are pre 06

Franki said...

Great idea!
We're in!
Franki, A Year of Reading

Kelly said...

Yep, I'll post too. I'm with Fuse, though, I need a due date.

And, I have to say, there are fewer "faves" this year than last for me. I may not be able to come up with 5 favorites in Middle Grade, my favorite category!

MotherReader said...

I'll probably edit my post later to reflect this, but for now, I'll say that the due date is Wednesday, Sept 20. I'll see if I can pull the recommendations into one list on Friday, Sept. 22nd. Allowing us to focus our attention on Banned Book week on Sept 23rd. Good planning, huh.

Fuse#8, you've done your duty with your list on Edge of the Forest - unless you want to modify it.

Liz, you are welcome to just do your top YA picks - though if you want to divide them into older and younger YA that would give you ten picks instead of five - and I'm sure would be much appreciated by the middle schools who can't have books with the f-bomb.

Kelly, I am also stuck on the Middle Grade list myself. But I think I've resolved it by throwing in some non-fiction.

Franki, thanks for playing along. Can't wait to see what you've got so far in your Year of Reading.

Little Willow said...

Picture Books
Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems
Duck and Goose by Tad Hills

Middle Readers
May Bird and the Ever After by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Two Steps Forward by Rachel Cohn
Shug by Jenny Han
Rules by Cynthia Lord

Young Adult
Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
The Pursuit of Happiness by Tara Altebrando
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies) by Justina Chen Headley
A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life by Dana Reinhardt

Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent by Anthony Rapp
The Art of Darkness: Staging the Philip Pullman Trilogy by Robert Butler

I assume that you are only accepting books FIRST RELEASED in 2006 - no 2006 paperbacks with 2004/2005 hardcovers or reprints or so on.

I also refrained from listing anything that is coming out later this year but is not out yet.


Anonymous said...

What a great idea! My list is up. I've actually been thinking about this informally as I go along, but hadn't posted anything until now. Like Little Willow, I kept my list to things first published in 2006 (mostly hardcovers, except that I snuck in a Babymouse book). I had a little trouble with the elementary school books, too, simply because I haven't read as many books in that age range, but I did like the books that I listed. I also included one book that I haven't finished yet, but I'm pretty confident about it (Kiki Strike).

Of course, now that I've posted the list, I'm bound to slap my head later, and think of something else that I should have included. But thanks for thinking this, MR, it was fun!

fusenumber8 said...

Cool! I'm in the clear! Wheeeee.....

Liz B said...

MR, I'll advise accordingly. And looking at other lists.... I'm thinking of adding some titles to my own. (Go check Jen R's blog for some of my rambling).

What is it with librarians and loving these types of lists?

Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems. Agreed! I need to blog this one and add it to my list.
I read NONE Of your middle grade books. How can I have read over 240 books so far and still feel that I've read nothing?

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak; just finished this. Loved, loved, loved, loved, loved it.
A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life by Dana Reinhardt. agreed.

Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent by Anthony Rapp; didn't read it, didn't know about it, will ILL it.

Little Willow said...

Liz B:

A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life is one of those rare books that is a double delight: a fantastic debut novel and a fantastic novel, PERIOD.

Without You is so honest and so genuine. AMAZING. I am watching the SVU episode with Anthony Rapp and Jane Krakowski now. Oh, yay.

Little Willow said...

Liz, postscript:

May Bird and the Ever After by Jodi Lynn Anderson is the first in a trilogy. The second, May Bird Among the Stars, comes out this fall. It is splendid and moves the story well along. I want the third book now, yet I do not want the story to end. The world of Ever After is part Beetlejuice, part Oz, all fun. May Bird is bright, independent and imaginative, and Somber Kitty is loyal, adorable and meowvelous.

Two Steps Forward by Rachel Cohn is a sequel to The Steps. Read them in order and you'll appreciate the character growth and family stories even more.

Shug by Jenny Han is SO SWEET and SO TRUE. I seriously haven't read a book like that - a coming-of-age middle-grade story that is just-right porridge, not too heavy, not too light - in years. Read it. Read it now.

Rules by Cynthia Lord - Fantastic. Right up there with Tru Confessions by Janet Tashjian and A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass in the category of Special Books that Just So Happen to Be About Special Needs and Conditions.

Anonymous said...

OK, off the top of my head - and struggling a bit because as usual, I've read more books NOT published in 2006 than otherwise (and bear in mind I'm a Brit - so publication dates vary !): The Tide Knot - Helen Dunmore, Shakespeare's Secret - Elise Broach, Shade's Children - Garth Nix (I know this came out years ago in Aus and the US, but it's only just been published here !), Sir Thursday - Garth Nix, Star Dancer - Beth Webb, Wintersmith - Terry Pratchett, The Extraordinary and Unusual Adventures of Horatio Lyle - Catherine Webb, Voices - Ursula Le Guin, The Diamond of Drury Lane - Julia Golding, Ptolemy's Gate - Jonathan Stroud, Firestar - Chris d'Lacey, Endymion Spring - Matthew Skelton, Death of a Ghost - Charles Butler...

That's all I can think of - I may think of some more later (once I've had breakfast !)

Anonymous said...

My favorites are on my web page, so noted.

However, I see I have to update stuff: the pigeon, The King, and a few others ...

Franki said...

Mine are posted to our blog. But, here they are if you are collecting. Thanks for doing this:-)

Top 5 Fiction for Middle Readers
(Novels that COULD Win the Newbery Award)

YELLOW STAR by Jennifer Roy
PENNY FROM HEAVEN by Jennifer Holm
YEAR OF THE DOG by Grace Lin
FAIRIES OF NUTFOLK WOOD by Barb Bentler Ullman

Fiction Picture Books

LAST DAY OF SCHOOL by Louise Borden
HIPPO! NO, RHINO! by Jeff Newman

MotherReader said...

I actually don't get preview copies, so all my reading is from my library. It takes until now for us to get some of the spring releases. I always feel a step behind.

Anonymous said...


1. Tree Ring Circus
- Adam Rex

2. Augustus and His Smile
- Catherine Rayner

3. Belinda and the Glass Slipper
- Amy Young

4. The Terrible Hodag
- John Sandford

5. Shark and Lobster's Amazing Undersea Adventure
- Viviane Schwarz

Anonymous said...

Is there a deadline?

Thom B

Anonymous said...

Oh how I LOVE a list!

Here are my fave titles for Picture Books. Will add MG and YA later.

Picture Books:

Cha Cha Chimps - Julia Durango illustrated by Eleanor Taylor. A fun rhythmic rhyming bedtime book! Dancing Chimps. What could be better?

When Giants Come to Play - Andrea Beaty, Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. Magical. Lovely and Lyrical. (And funny, too.) Brand-spanking new.

Library Lion - Michelle Knudsen, Also illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. Beautifully illustrated and a fun story. Makes you want to take this lion home with you.

My Cat, The Silliest Cat in the World - Gilles Bachelet. Would you believe it's silly?

Castaway Cats - Lisa Wheeler, Illustrated by Ponder Gambel. Best rhyming text of the year.


P. Mathis

Colleen said...

I just posted my list to my site - here you go:


Colleen said...

Aagh! Stupid thing won't copy! Okay, my list is at Chasingray.com - I posted it today!!!

Little Willow said...

Ta da!


Anonymous said...

MR, I'm in.