Thursday, December 31, 2020

Best books of 2020


I had a great year of reading - thanks to a world-wide pandemic that kept us home more than usual.  I read more children's literature because I was teaching from home in March reading to students through the magic of Google Classroom. I read 24 adult fiction books this year and nine were five star amazing and one romance book, Wrong Guy, Right Room written by a friend that was very good. At 848 pages, TheWay the Crow Flies by Anne-Marie Macdonald was one of my favorites and I started a ring of other readers from my book club in reading it as well. The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne, also quite long, was well worth the time I put into it. With so many great titles if I had to pick a number one title it would be Richard Powers' The Overstory which blew me away and gave me a greater understanding of the close relationship between the natural world and how humans are mere leaves in the winds of time. 

As a school librarian I usually do quite a bit of reading but this year I was on a quest to read more books written by POC authors to add to our school collection.  I found so many great titles and enriched my own knowledge as well as the joy of recommending them to my students.  From the desk of Zoe Washington, Ways to make sunshine, and New Kid are the most popular with students.  Stargazing and New Kid are my top two graphic novels for elementary. All of these stories act as a windows for students to see into another person's life. Two more titles that surprised me were Efren, Divided and Accidental Trouble Magnet: Planet Omar, both cover the immigrant experience in the U.S. at a dangerous time in our history.  I also really loved Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park, who writes a pioneer story with an an Asian main character.  This story should be read instead of or in addition to Laura Ingalls Wilder. 

I read two fantastic YA books that have been on my reading list for ages and after reading one more rave review over the summer I ordered both from and waited for them to arrive. Both stories were excellent as they showcased a unique look at Black history through zombies in the U.S. -yes, it makes perfect sense, (Dread Nation) and a West African fantasy world (Children of Blood and Bone) I easily immersed myself in both worlds. And now I have the second in each series on loan from the library. If you are looking for great titles for 2021 encourage you to give any of these a try. I'd be happy to book talk with you.  While 2020 was hard in many ways there are always positives to be found.

1 comment:

Penelope @ The Reading Devil said...

76 books is fantastic! If it's your goal, I hope you surpass this number in 2021! Happy reading!