One of my favorite things to do at year’s end is look back on all the reading I’ve done and decide which books were my very favorite. It’s both impossible to choose favorites and impossible not to love doing it!
I keep track of everything I read in a simple reading journal which makes it really easy to remember what I read even a year ago. It turns out I’ve read nearly 100 books this year (!!!).
If you’re curious about how I found time to read so much, you’ll find my best tips for reading more (even when you’re super busy) in episode 70 of the Read-Aloud Revival podcast. If reading more is high on your priority list for 2018, give it a listen.
Over the next couple of weeks… I’m going to be posting some other favorites (like “best cover” AND “a book that made me laugh out loud” over on Instagram. Wanna join me? Make sure you’re following the Read-Aloud Revival on Instagram so you don’t miss the posts, and then you can play along!)
Without further ado…
My favorite reads in 2017
(in no particular order)
The first in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series will surprise and delight you at every turn. You see, the children of Ashton Place aren't ordinary children. They were found in the forest, and it appears they have been raised by wolves... (The audio version of the book is especially delightful.)More info →
Abilene Tucker's father sends her ot hte immigrant town of Manifest in rural Kansas with little explanation, and Abilene feels abandoned and alone. In her room, she discovers a a hidden cigar box full of memories... memories that will change Abilene's experience forever. Gorgeous language, a compelling plot, and characters who will stay with you long after you close the pages.More info →
This is easily one of my "most recommended" books of the year. I found this book impossible to put down-- and so did my kids! If you have a child who hasn't fallen head-over-heels for reading yet, start here. I loved the second book (Code Name Flood) every bit as much as the first!More info →
I know this book is out of print, but if you stumble on *any* essays by Katherine Paterson, I have this advice for you: snatch it up! This is my very favorite collection of thoughts about reading and writing books for kids. You can hear my interview with Katherine Paterson on episode 81 of the Read-Aloud Revival podcast.More info →
I want to give this book to every teenager I know. It's a book that will make you want to hug a mean kid, stare at Audubon paintings, thank a veteran, read Jane Eyre, and get an orchid. Even if you ignore every other book I recommend, read this one. Highly, highly recommended. Meet author Gary Schmidt in the Author Access replay in RAR Premium.More info →
This is the book that made me a Chris Van Dusen fan. When a circus ship runs aground off the coast of Maine, the poor animals are left on their own to swim the chilly waters. What will happen next? Your kids can meet author/illustrator Chris Van Dusen at his Author Access video replay in RAR Premium.More info →
I'm a fan of everything written by Caroline Starr Rose, but this one is my favorite yet! Follow Jasper and his brother on their search for gold during the Klondike Gold Rush. It's a page-turning mystery your kids don't want to miss! I think it's fine for 10+ but probably will be appreciated best by 12 year olds.More info →
On a moonlit night in the segregated south, Stella and her little brother see something they’re never supposed to see, something that is the first flicker of change to come— unwelcome change. This story will leave you and your kids with an inspired sense of hope and wonder. (Make sure your kids are ready to hear about the Ku Klux Klan before starting this one. There's nothing graphic, but it's intense.)More info →
I'm a new fan of Kyo Maclear's, and this book is one of the reasons why! My kids love hearing it read aloud before bedtime, and I'm always happy to oblige. The magic of winter is told through beautiful text and illustrations that make you want to stare a little longer than necessary.More info →
The whole Wilderking Trilogy is one you don't want your kids to miss. Start here, with The Bark of the Bog Owl. Ideal for kids 8-14, though you'll enjoy it every bit as much as your kids will. The less you know before reading it, the better, so try to skip reading reviews ahead of time, if you can!More info →
Keep up with what I’m reading on Instagram. Follow me: @readaloudrevival
We’ve also got a list of the books kids told us were their favorite read-alouds in 2017.