Thursday, December 18, 2014

Counting Down to 2015: Lisa’s Top Ten for 2014

 Lisa wants to spread the love to the most possible number of books, so after her top ten you'll find a few more recommendations she couldn't leave off the list!

Passion and art pulse through the tale of Noah and Jude, twins who become strangers to themselves and each other after their mother's very untimely death. With luminous language Jandy sculpts the story of a family broken by grief and betrayal.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue / Maggie Stiefvater (see our review and our post from the author)
The Raven Boys cycle just gets better and better. If you haven’t read them yet, hurry and read The Raven Boys (see our review) and The Dream Thieves (see our review) so you can fall in love with the exquisite writing and characters in Blue Lily, Lily Blue. Will Patton’s narration in the audio just gives you one more thing to love about the series.

It doesn’t get timelier than this (unfortunately). Alternating characters tell us how it went down when a white man shot a black teen. Shades of gray abound in this story of black and white.

Tomboy : a graphic memoir / Liz Prince (see all our posts)
Liz Prince is a tomboy who doesn’t like dresses and other stereotypically “girly” things. This honest graphic novel memoir illustrates Prince’s journey of self-discovery and self-affirmation in the face of gender stereotypes.

One Man Guy / Michael Barakiva (see our full review)
The story of Armenian American Alek’s budding romance with skater dude Ethan is told with charm and humor. But Alek’s parents are not so charmed. How different is homophobia from ethnic hatred? Alek’s crossing of lines help blur the lines for his family.

Sheinkin shines a floodlight on institutional racism in this fascinating, well-researched book.  The African-American sailors who refused to continue working in unsafe conditions in 1944, after an explosion at a munitions loading dock killed over 300 people, were convicted of mutiny and their families are still awaiting justice. Prepare to be outraged.

Enter the world of sixteen-year-old Laureth as she flies from London to NY with her young brother in search of their missing father. The catch? Laureth is blind. This suspenseful tale will open your eyes to what it’s like to live in the world without sight.

Romeo and Juliet step aside! Benvolio takes the lead in this enthralling retelling of the old classic. (Will I be disbarred from librarianship if I confess to preferring Caine’s version to Shakespeare’s?)

Combine a horse falling off a bridge, a teen with epilepsy, a father who’s a cult figure in the sci-fi world, a sex-obsessed best friend, a first love, and a road trip and the world might just start moving sideways. Sound quirky? You have no idea!

Before she became a bard Siobhan was just your normal music-geek teen in a small Canadian town. Then Owen and his famous dragon slaying family arrived. If the cover and “fantasy dragon adventure” subject put you off (as they did me), try the first chapter, and you’ll be hooked on this smart, fun, alternative-reality tale.

Other great reads of 2014:
If you don’t know what went down in Mississippi in 1964, you HAVE to read this book. It shows institutional racism at its worst, but sadly, it’s part of our history. And you know what they say about history repeating itself….

Babe might not have been the easiest person in the world, but she sure was the best athlete who ever lived. Don’t believe me? Read the book!

Fascinating format!

Lost girl found / Leah Bassoff and Laura DeLuca
We’ve heard about the Lost Boys of Sudan, but what about the girls?

Emi, a film set designer, has the most fun job ever (other than librarian, of course). Add love and mystery and everything leads to this book.

Cartwheeling in thunderstorms / Katherine Rundell
One of my favorite books for young readers. Will’s delight in life and resiliency shine. (Sadly, the cover does not. Are there awards for worst covers?)

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