I really missed doing my favorite reads list last year (what was I doing? Oh that’s right, having a baby). Even though I rarely blog anymore, this is always one of my favorite posts, so here you go! I will not be reaching my goal of 100 books this year (something about the aforementioned baby sucking up my reading time) but I got respectably close. I still struggled to narrow my list down because there were so many good ones!
The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale. “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little SMASH!” The Princess in Black is here to save the day! No one would suspect that her alter-ego the fancy Princess Magnolia who always wears a pink dress is also a monster-fighting ninja! I adore this early chapter book that shows girls can save the day but they can also wear pretty pink dresses and both are okay. Even better news, The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party is out now and The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde comes out next year. Read them all!
Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. Kell is a Traveler. He can use magic move from his home in Red London to either Gray London or White London. I loved so much about this fantasy novel. The characters are great, there is a lot of action (but not too much), and I found the way magic worked in this universe to be really original and interesting. As I closed the book I was dying to get my hands on Book 2.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I was hesitant about the concept of this one, but I should have trusted Rainbow Rowell to execute it perfectly. Sort of a companion novel to Fangirl, sort of a semi-Harry Potter fanfiction, but really its own amazing thing, Carry On takes all the fantasy and Chosen One tropes and messes around with them in a really fabulous way. Once I got over my hesitations, I loved every minute of this audiobook. And I haven’t even told you what it is about. Simon Snow is the greatest mage, prophesied to save the magical world. It is his final year at Watford and he has his best friend Penny, his girlfriend Agatha, and his arch-enemy/roommate Baz (who may also be a vampire). There are ghosts and Numpties and dragons and lots of fun magic. Give this one a try, you’ll love it!
Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won. This is a charming picture book with lovely bright illustrations. Elephant wakes up in a very grumpy mood but cheers up when he discovers a marvelous hat on his doorstep. He goes out to share the hat and cheer up all his friends. I used this one in storytimes about feelings and sharing and I get lots of smiles every time.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. Nimona is a girl with mysterious shapeshifting abilities and she wants to be Lord Blackheart’s sidekick. Lord Blackheart is a supervillain with a grudge against the Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, who works for the Institute of Law Enforcement and Heroics. He and Nimon make plans to take down Goldenloin and the Institute. But this is not a simple good versus evil story. Things are not what they seem. Blackheart doesn’t want to kill anyone. Maybe he isn’t such an evil villain after all. What happened years ago between Blackheart and Goldenloin? What is The Institute really up to? And how did Nimona get her shapeshifting powers?? I highly recommend this fabulous graphic novel!