As I’ve done in previous years, I’ll be posting my favorites in different categories for the next several days, then taking a vacation for the first few weeks of January. It’s hard for me to believe I’m wrapping up the fourth year of doing this blog. Thank you to everyone who reads the reviews, whether you’re a daily subscriber someone who checks in every once in a while. I always love to hear feedback at this time of year, so please post a comment if you have something to say about A Kids Book A Day this year!
Published by Calkins Creek
Summary: Growing up in Sharon, Massachusetts, Pete Siebert taught himself to ski on an old pair of wooden skis he found in his parents’ barn. As he got older, his parents took him and his sister to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where he became a proficient racer and vowed to one day open his own ski resort. After graduating high school, he enlisted in the army, the 10th Mountain Division of soldiers on skis. After training in the Colorado Rockies, the division was shipped overseas to Italy, where they took part in a daring nighttime attack on Germans in the Apennines Mountains. Pete was wounded so severely doctors weren’t sure he would walk again, but he was determined to ski. He persevered and recovered enough to make the 1950 U.S. men’s ski team. And in 1962, his boyhood dream came true when he opened the Vail Ski Resort in Colorado. Includes additional information about Pete Seibert and the 10th Mountain Division, as well as a list of sources. 176 pages; grades 4-8.
Pros: Told in verse, with plenty of photos, this story will appeal to skiers and World War II buffs. It’s a quick read, but the story is engaging, and readers will learn a lot about Pete and an unusual chapter in military history.
Cons: The cover makes the book look kind of old.
I’ve been reviewing books on this blog for over three years now. What have I learned? Find out on today’s Nerdy Book Club post.
The ALA awards have been announced, and Kids Book A Day predicted…drum roll, please…zero. Here’s the list. Okay, I’m a little disappointed I didn’t pick either one, but come on, Newbery committee! The three honor books are a picture book and two YA books. Believe me, I’m the last one to begrudge Jason Reynolds a Newbery honor, but Long Way Down features a 15-year-old protagonist contemplating whether or not to murder the guy who killed his brother. And the protagonist of Renee Watson’s Piecing Me Together is a high school junior. The Printz award was created for books like these! Tell me what you think in the comments!
In case you haven’t been keeping track, for the last two years I’ve predicted the Newbery honor books, but the actual medalist has not made my list. I have a funny feeling I’m not getting it right at all this year. It just didn’t seem like there was a lot of Newbery caliber, and some of the authors I’ve picked already have a medal of some color.
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. Published by Feiwel and Friends.
Feels like a bit of a long shot to me, but it’s a beautiful story with a timely message, and it has a lot of younger kid appeal, which, as an elementary librarian, I appreciate. Link to Amazon
The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. Published by Dial Books.
One of my two favorite middle grade novels of the year. But will the committee give an award to a sequel of an honor book? Link to Amazon.
Patina by Jason Reynolds. Published by Atheneum.
Last year, I was hoping Ghost would win. This year, I am hoping Patina will win. Next year, I may be hoping Sunny will win (due out in April, 2018). Link to Amazon.
Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder. Published by Walden Pond Press.
A beautifully written, mysterious story of orphan children living on an mist-shrouded island. I am still hoping there is a sequel that answers some of my questions. Link to Amazon.
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk.
My other favorite middle grade novel of 2017. Lauren Wolk was just honored last year for the equally good Wolf Hollow. Will she do it again? All will be revealed on the morning of February 12. Link to Amazon.
This is how I feel at this time of year: after reviewing six books a week for the last year, I keep seeing lists of “the best of 2017” and realizing how many books I DIDN’T get to read this year. I’m resisting the urge to hole up all week and try to fit in as many of those books as I can! This week I’ll be posting my own “best of” lists; then I’m going to take a few weeks off in January to catch up on some non-blog reading and let the 2018 books start to pile up.
As always, I’d love to hear from any followers about how Kids Book a Day has helped you this year, what you’d like to see here in 2018, or just a general hello. I look forward to another year of reading and sharing books, and I wish each one of you the best in the year ahead!
I just learned that Feedspot named this blog one of their top 100 Children’s Book blogs for the year (I’m #64). They gave me a shiny gold badge to put on the sidebar of the blog– check it out! You can click on it to see the full list of all 100 blogs. I have no idea what Feedspot is…please leave a comment or email me if you know!