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)


Favorites from 2017
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book I: The Mysterious Howling

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book I: The Mysterious Howling

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.)

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Moon Over Manifest

Moon Over Manifest

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.

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Edge of Extinction #1: The Ark Plan

Edge of Extinction #1: The Ark Plan

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!

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Echo

Echo

This book is positively exquisite, but I must insist that you listen to the audio version. You won't regret it! This has got to be one of the best audio books I've ever heard. I recommend it for anyone age 10+.

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The Circus Ship

The Circus Ship

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.

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The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place

Corrie Ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker who survived Hitler's concentration camps and became a heroine of the Resistance. A touching story worthy of many re-reads, I recommend this one for high schoolers and up.

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A Sense of Wonder: On Reading and Writing Books for Children

A Sense of Wonder: On Reading and Writing Books for Children

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.

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Okay for Now

Okay for Now

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.

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Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine

Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine

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! Best for 10+, though younger kids can certainly listen in.

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The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life

This one probably isn't for your kids-- just for you. I've lost track of how many times I've read it, but every time I get it out, I feel re-inspired to live my creative best. Highly recommended.

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Stella by Starlight

Stella by Starlight

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.)

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Nobody Likes a Goblin

Nobody Likes a Goblin

Author:
Series: Episodes, 086
Tag: Episode 86

I'm just going to say it: I have no idea why my kids and I love this book so much, but we do. It's a favorite every time I read it aloud, and we usually get to the end and then start it all over again. Ben Hatke's illustrations are hilarious!

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Life

Life

This one has my vote for the 2017 Caldecott. A work of art, and a picture book that will leave you with fresh hope and eyes wide open to the beauty that surrounds you everyday.

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The Wish Tree

The Wish Tree

Author:
Series: Episodes, 086
Tag: Episode 86

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.

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The Bark of the Bog Owl (Wilderking Trilogy)

The Bark of the Bog Owl (Wilderking Trilogy)

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!

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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.