2012 was a good year to be a reader! Ask me my favorite book and I’ll probably hem and haw before making a decision—but if I have to choose, I’ll choose from this list.
(Instead of giving you a long discussion of the merits of each book, I’m limiting myself to a Twitter-style 140-character summary for each. Here goes!)
This discussion of author/illustrator collaboration hilariously breaks the fourth wall. Lots to look at, lots of laughs. Top Caldecott pick.
A little fish steals a big fish’s bowler hat. Text follows little fish, art follows big fish. Mayhem ensues. Klassen is a comic genius.
Poignant generational story about mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers. Just the right length, great emotional impact.
This novel about an unlikely friendship is also a novel about two kinds of family: the kind we’re born into, and the kind we choose.
A Dickensian orphan story with a magical twist. Hilarity abounds. Schlitz is the queen of engaging, descriptive prose. Top Newbery pick.
A young court dwarf in the Spanish Netherlands journeys on a quest to find his fate. Fantastic storytelling. Marsh is a DC author!
A story of unlikely friendship without the usual cliches. A fresh voice that is hysterical and engaging. You will laugh and cry.
Part spy thriller, part friendship story, with twists you’ll never see coming. Begs to be reread. Top Printz pick. Best book of the year.