While I still have a lot to do, I love considering all of the books I have read this year. I made my end of year picks a tiny bit early. I was lucky enough to give a couple of presentations last Saturday at a Clark County School District event for middle and secondary literacy educators. The day's keynote speaker was Ernest Morrell. He was fabulous and I always learn something that helps me when I listen to his scholarship.
When I started making picks in 2016 I thought I would pick 5. Well, I couldn't do it. Instead, I focus on the books that I can’t stop thinking about or talking about during the course of the year. It always seems to be more that 5. I admit I am a bit narrow in my focus. I tend to read realistic fiction with a focus on race class and gender, that are written for older adolescents. I also find myself reading more and more nonfiction.
I readily admit that excellent books are abundant in middle grades, science fiction, in fantasy and other genres. It is hard to read everything. I rely on others to guide me. It is worth reviewing the weekend picks that others have selected during 2018. Another place to look is at the recommendations suggested by others through other blogs. I recently had my attention drawn to Dr. Michael Macaluso’s blog post. He points to his top 10 resources for finding multicultural books. His suggestions provide excellent advice.
As you prepare for the holidays and look for gifts I hope you consider some of the books listed below. Without a doubt these are powerful texts. If you only read these 7 books in the course of a year, you would have plenty to think about. I love that The Poet X won the National Book Award, but I am a little bit proud of myself that it was on my list of my best books before the award. Many of these books received high praise during the year, and they deserve it. The one book that is under represented on this list is Too Shattered for Mending. It is Peter Brown Hoffmeister’s second YA novel and it is fantastic. It might be the one I would select above all of the others if I was forced to do so. I don’t have to so it will have to remain a tie among them all. I just think that not enough people have been exposed to this book yet. Maybe this post will help remedy this situation. Please read it. Read everything on the list, you won’t regret it. In fact, I think that after reading you will be looking to share these titles with others.