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#KidLitFaves: Recent Children's and YA Books that Bloggers Love: Feb. 16

KidLitFavesLogoResizeAs I travel about the kidlitosphere, encountering reviews by other bloggers, I take note of those reviews in which it is clear to me that the reviewer quite likes the book. I share links to those reviews on Twitter (with hashtag #KidLitFaves) and Facebook and round them up here. Hopefully over time this will become a useful resource. I welcome your feedback! 

Picture Books:

Stacey Loscalzo calls A Fine Dessert by Emily Jenkins and Sophie Blackall (which I intend to review myself at some point) "The Best Picture Book Ever." She says:

"This book is quiet and probably will not catch the eye of a child walking by but it is a keeper. Any book that teaches a lot of history in a small space and brings two siblings together in conversation is worth a space on our shelves for sure." 

Jennifer Wharton at Jean Little Library looks at Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels have Changed the Earth by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm. Her verdict:

"This is the best explanation of fossil fuels for young listeners and readers that I've seen - it even made sense to me! The text is clear and interesting and the inspired illustrations richly complement the text. A definite must-have for your collection."

Catherine Friess from Story Snug and her family are quite enamored of Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Thief. Catherine says:

"We love Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar. It’s a great story which celebrates reading, books and libraries in a very humorous way."

Amy Broadmoore from Delightful Children's Books is a big fan of Emmanuel's Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson and Sean Qualls. She says:

"There are very few books that feature characters with disabilities, and this is a good one.Emmanuel’s Dream will captivate children and broaden their view of the world."

Mary Kinser always keeps an eye out for diverse books at Spout's Bookshelf. She particularly likes Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson, saying.

"This title is brimming with spirit and distinctiveness, in its depiction of a young boy, his nana, and the world of their city... What de la Peña and Robinson have created is a fresh classic, a book that keeps giving with each subsequent read - and believe me, it's one you'll read time and time again." 

Susan Murray at From Tots to Teens adores Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award and Caldecott Honor winner Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales. She says:

"There are so many layers to the art included here, so many things to discuss in the words and pictures I could go on and on.  It is so lucky for all of us that Yuyi Morales chose Frida Kahlo new life here.  It is magic you'll never forget." 

Middle Grade:

Tasha Saecker's reviews at Waking Brain Cells are generally pretty positive. But it's not often that she says things like "I adored this novel." Her rave review for The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley says:

"Bradley’s writing is exceptional. It reads easily and beautifully. She captures Ada perfectly ... Brilliant characters shine on the page as this book looks at war, abuse, and love in a complex and heroic way.  Appropriate for ages 10-13."

At Random Musing of a Bibliophile, Brandy likes Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai even better than she liked the author's previous National Book Award / Newbery Honor winning title. She concludes:

Going with Mai and her grandmother on their journeys of discovery and closure is a privilege every reader will enjoy. I laughed and cried with them, and felt like I was a part of their family when I finished.

Charlotte Taylor from Charlotte's Library tends toward understatement. So I pay attention when she says: "One Witch at a Time, by Stacy DeKeyser (Margaret K. McElderry Books ,February 10, 2015) is an extremely satisfying middle grade reimagining of Jack and the Beanstalk". She adds this:

"What sets DeKeyser's books apart is that they are the only younger middle grade fairytale retellings (9 to 10 year olds) I can think of that have a boy as the central protagonist (feel free to let me know I'm wrong!)."

Young Adult:

Karen Yingling at Ms. Yingling Reads also tends to be relatively understated in her reviews (and she's excellent about pointing out weaknesses, not just strengths). Karen seemed to like Inherit Midnight by Kate Kae Myers, though, saying:

"This was one of the better books I have read in a while. Lots of action and adventure, a nice touch of romance, fun family history, and traveling. Nothing was pat, and the ending had some very nice twists."

Reviewing Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, Brandy from Random Musings of a Bibliophile says:

"This book is one that needs to be read. It begs to be read. Nothing I say in this review is going to do this book justice. It's one of those books you simply have to experience... This is my favorite read of 2015 so far and I've really liked all the books I've read this year so that's saying something." 

Closing Thoughts:

I'm grateful to all of the bloggers listed above, and to many others who I follow, for reviewing a breadth of children's and young adult literature that I could never / would never cover on my own. 

Two other notes about these review excerpts:

  1. If I have quoted from one of your reviews, and you prefer that I not do so in the future, just let me know. No worries.
  2. The book covers that I have included beside each blurb include my personal Amazon affiliate ID. If you don't want your reviews to be included in future because of this, just let me know. 

© 2015 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).