December 2012 Reading Theme Wrap-Up

3 01 2013

For December my reading goal was to catch up on some of the “best” books of the year.  I turned to all those handy-dandy lists put together by journals, newspapers, librarians, etc., to come up with some titles.  I was not disappointed with any of the suggestions.

I finally had the chance to read J.K. Rowling’s first adult title, The Casual Vacancy, and even though I wasn’t sure what to expect since it was such a departure from the Harry Potter series, I was pleasantly surprised.  As I was reading it I could see it becoming a great television miniseries, because she did such a thorough job of creating a whole community full of interesting characters, and it would be fun to see them all on screen.  And sure enough, the BBC has now announced that they will be adapting it.  I’m looking forward to it!

Throughout the course of the year, I’ve definitely been reading some excellent children’s fiction titles, but I still had some gaps to fill in.  From various lists I found available, I chose to tackle these, many of which have been coming up in Newbery discussions: Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead, The Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker, The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer, and Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood.  I also fit in a couple of nonfiction children’s titles – Bomb by Steve Sheinkin and Island by Jason Chin – both of which achieved the combination of being both informative and entertaining.  I also highly recommend the two children’s graphic novels I read – The Secret of the Stone Frog by David Nytra and Cardboard by Doug TenNapel.

I was probably most impressed by the two teen novels I had the chance to read last month: Every Day by David Levithan and Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.  Every Day starts with such a unique concept – the narrator is a soul that “takes over” a different body each day – and tells such a lovely story about what it means to love and be alive.  Code Name Verity is a fantastic historical fiction novel set in Europe during World War II that explores the themes of friendship, loyalty, bravery, and truth.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least one, if not both, of these titles on the Printz list this year.

What a great month and year of reading I’ve had!