Each month we post an annotated bibliography of books that were rated ‘Outstanding’ at our previous month’s meeting and nominated for our year-end Distinguished List. Members can see full reviews of these books and many more in the December edition of BayViews. Not a member? Join, come to our (currently virtual) monthly meetings, and hear about these Outstanding books “in person”!
Blob, written and illustrated by Anne Appert, HarperCollins, 2021.
Bob is a blob, who can be anything it wants to be, though
being called blob and being what it wants is best of all. (Grades PreK-2).
A Snake Falls to Earth, written by Darcie Little Badger, Levine Querido, 2021.
Nina is a Lipan girl from Earth, trying to save her family’s stories
and uncover a family mystery. Oli is a cotton mouth kid from the
Reflecting World, taking a huge leap to Earth from his home in
an attempt to save a life. They work together to fight extinction
and to face evil. (Grades 6-12).
Little Thieves, written by Margaret Owen, Holt, 2021.
Little Thieves is a reimagined fairy story which examines theft,
privilege, worth and intention in an elaborately built world with
well-drawn characters. Narrator Vanja begins thieving to escape
from a terrible situation, but ends up understanding the power
of truth as she explores her past. (Grades 8-12)
Bluebird, written by Sharon Cameron, Scholastic, 2021.
Eva arrives in New York bent on justice. In alternate chapters
Inge, a Nazi’s daughter, discovers inconceivable horror hidden
in her past and present. A clever plot consistently surprises:
interweaving history with resonant details. Based on real
events, a substantial author’s note adds context. (Grades 8-12)
Jadie in Five Dimensions, written by Diane K. Salemi, Holiday House, 2021.
Jadie helps superintelligent beings from from the 4th dimension
adjust Earth’s present to produce a better future, until chance
reveals both Jadie’s birth-family and a conspiracy. A cracking
plot, engaging storyline, multi-racial cast and plenty of mind
bending physics make this a clear winner. (Grades 5-8).
A Life Electric: The Story of Nicola Tesla, written by Azadeh Westergaard, illustrated by Julia Sarda, Viking, 2021.
This well-researched picture book biography explores the
fascinating life of prolific inventor Nikola Tesla, father of the AC
induction motor that ushered in the modern electrical era.
Folksy woodblock-style illustrations with recurring motifs provide
a fitting accompaniment to the enchanting text. (Grades 2-5).
I Am an American: The Wong Kim Ark Story, written by Martha Brockenbrough, illustrated by Julia Kuo, Little, Brown, 2021.
A boy named Kim Ark is born in San Francisco, but has to sue
the government to reenter the U.S. after visiting China as a
young man. His case helped to verify that being born in the
U.S., no matter where one’s parents were born, is what makes one a citizen. (Grades 1-5).