How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature by Scott Sampson – In addition to becoming a parent in 2018, I also love nature and write for kids, so the topic of this book was really interesting to me. The science behind what happens to our bodies and minds when we spend time outdoors, and even in wild places, drives home the message of how important it is to help raise a generation that cares for this earth. Although this book strays farther into the realm of “hard” nonfiction than I usually go, I found it readable and interesting. The author does a great job of supporting his arguments and summarizing them with memorable statements. I highly recommend to parents, teachers, and anyone who works with kids.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – How long has this been on the bestseller list again? The National Book Award-winning debut is honest, heartwrenching, and real. Narrator Starr Carter is a teenager caught between the two worlds of her mostly-white private high school and her impoverished, gang-ridden hometown. When an old friend is shot and killed by a police officer while Starr looks on, she enters a struggle to fight for truth and justice while attempting to reconcile the actions and reactions she sees in two very different parts of her life. Her voice is captivating and her story is a must-read.
I also loved Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor.
The Shadow Cipher (York #1) by Laura Ruby – This book is the first in a new middle-grade series. National Treasure in an alternate timeline, the twists and turns of a city-wide, decades-old scavenger hunt are suspenseful and entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed the world-building and was continually (and pleasantly) caught off guard by the blending of American and New York City history with the creative changes and additions in this alternate world. You won’t want to put this down!
Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth by Nicola Davies – The illustrations alone make this book a stand out, but the message is a clear and important one, as well. The book takes it’s reader through an exploration of Earth’s many inhabitants and their various forms, before gently reminding us that it is our responsibility to preserve this diversity. The book ends on the slightly chilling note that we don’t want our many species to dwindle down to only one – humans. This ending would allow for wonderful follow-up discussions with individual children or classrooms.
What was your favorite book this year?