Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (see all our posts)
Flirty emails from a secret sender lead to blackmail, Simon’s forced (but not surprising) coming out, and a tender love story. Who can resist this funny and fun debut novel?
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten
Adam Spencer Harris is one of my favorite characters of the year. He won my heart with his deep sensitivity. While struggling to control his OCD, Adam has to deal with a hoarder mom who’s receiving threatening letters, an anxious, needy little brother, AND a new love life.
Boys Don't Knit: (in public) by T. S. Easton
Ben’s accidental encounter with the law leads to a new-found (but hidden) passion for knitting. When Ben’s loyal but delinquent friends and his knitting world collide, hilarity ensues.
The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett
It was such a treat to be back in the rollicking world of the Tiffany Aching books by the late Sir Terry Pratchett. And so sad that it’s the last. If you’re not already familiar with Tiffany and her faithful, fighting Mac Nac Feegle friends, they’d provide a brilliant start to your new year!
When is it right to publish secret government documents? Daniel Ellsberg decided it was when the government is outright lying to the public. Prepare to be shocked when your read his story.
The timeliest book I read this year. In addition to dealing with racism and police brutality, it poses the question, “When do you stand up for what you know is right, especially if doing so hurts your closest friends?
A Prince Without a Kingdom by Timothée de Fombelle
An action-packed read filled with intrigue, romance, mystery and adventure. This sequel to Between Sky and Earthis equally fabulous.
The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz
Joan Skaggs is another of my favorite characters of the year. Her diary tells of Joan’s escape from an abusive father and her experience becoming a maid for a Jewish family in Baltimore in the early 1900s. Joan’s fresh-faced innocence and forth-rightness are endearing, as is her life-changing love for the artist son of the family!
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
A girl’s struggle with social anxiety after a monstrous bullying episode doesn’t sound very fun, but the crazy dynamics of Sophie’s family and her gradual healing (and romance) made this a seriously entertaining listen.
The Boys in the Boat: the True Story of an American Team's Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics by Daniel James Brown; adapted for young readers by Gregory Mone
Listening to this inspiring account of the incredible young rowers who won the gold in Berlin in 1936 had me transfixed. I felt like I was in the boat with the men, heart racing, blood pumping, fingers freezing, as they beat the Germans under the gaze of Adolph Hitler.