Books I Actually Finished: the Best of October Nominations?
Just in time to turn in my November nominations (due by the end of the day tomorrow if you haven’t submitted two yet) I finished all the titles I haven’t read from October nominations. Some I had not gotten to yet (THE BEATRYCE PROPHECY, HARRY AND THE FIRST 100 DAYS OF SCHOOL), others I didn’t finish the first time around (JUST LIKE THAT, AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS, RACONTEUR’S COMMONPLACE BOOK) and others I wasn’t going to read, but nominations convinced/ forced me otherwise (HEALER OF THE WATER MONSTER, THE TROUBLED GIRLS OF DRAGOMIR ACADEMY).
Here’s the list of books I had not read before nomination (in a loosely ranked order, because why not) and some of my observations.
HARRY VS. THE FIRST 100 DAYS OF SCHOOL Emily Jenkins Yes this deserved all the hype. The setting, the tone, the characters., so well done!
FRANKIE AND BUG Gayle Forman
I want to read this three more times and recommend it to everyone.
THE BEATRYCE PROPHECY Kate Dicamillo. DiCamillo does it again? But can it stand against everything else?
RACONTEUR’S COMMONPLACE BOOK Kate Milford
Fine Steven that presentation and setting were pretty amazing, I still think it’s a little to dependent on others in Milford’s world.
PONY R.J. Palacio
Maybe I should rank this higher, I’m still thinking about it. The setting, the characters, the theme, and the plot… The balance of everything was extremely well done.
THE TROUBLED GIRLS OF DRAGOMIR ACADEMY Anne Ursu
The plot and characters stood out of everything I’ve read before.
JUST LIKE THAT Gary Schmidt
The themes and friendship were very compelling.
FALLOUT Steve Sheinkin Solid all around.
A PLACE TO HANG THE MOON by Kate Albus I’m still deciding if I liked how Albus addressed the readers or if it distracted from the overall book. Thoughts?
WHILE I WAS AWAY by Waka T. Brown
Well done, but I keep comparing to FINDING JUNIE KIM, which I loved.
365 DAYS TO ALASKA Cathy Carr The characters and setting appealed to me, but I wasn’t finding the distinguished aspect.
AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS by B.B. Alston.
Like Steven said, ANOTHEr ordinary kid powers book? Also compared closely to DRAGOMIR and it didn’t hold up for me.
KALEIDOSCOPE Brian Selznick
I even reread this a second time and just was not feeling connected at all.
FLIGHT OF THE PUFFIN Ann Braden I think we have better bully based books this year (cough PITY PARTY, cough).
BEING CLEM Lesa Cline- Ransome Loving the overall writing and development, but think it’s way too dependent on the first books.
HEALER OF THE WATER MONSTER Brian Young
OK this one I couldn’t get through, though I know I promised. I did not feel the quality stood against everything else. Convince me otherwise?
What surprised you about October nominations? Any book that seemed better (or worse) the second time around.
Also be sure to read and comment on Steven’s nomination catch up post if you haven’t yet! AND if you haven’t responded to our SLJ mini-poll do so NOW! They’re giving us the mic, let’s make the most of it!
Filed under: Book Discussion
About Emily Mroczek-Bayci
Emily Mroczek (Bayci) is a freelance children’s librarian in the Chicago suburbs. She served on the 2019 Newbery committee. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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