Each month we post an annotated bibliography of books that were rated ‘Outstanding’ and nominated for our Distinguished List at our previous month’s meeting. Members can see full reviews of these books and many more in the October edition of BayViews. Not a member? Join, come to our monthly meetings, and hear about these outstanding books in person!
A Different Pond written by Phi, Bao and illustrated by Bui, Thi; Capstone, 2017.
A boy describes a pre-dawn fishing trip with his father, who goes out before work to fish for food for dinner, not for recreation. This succeeds as both a universal immigrant story as well as a story specifically about a Vietnamese-American family. The illustrations fit the tone of the narrative perfectly, with some full-page spreads and some paneled art, using dark colors and ink outlines. (Grades K-3.)
The First Rule of Punk written by Pérez, Celia C.; Viking/Penguin Random House, 2017.
Twelve year old, Mexican American, zine-creating Malú must move to Chicago with her mother temporarily, leaving her punk father and his record store behind, and eventually begins to appreciate the value of her Mexican heritage through its music. The singularly-focused and uncluttered narrative is briskly-paced and thoroughly engaging. (4-7.)
Jane, Unlimited written by Cashore, Kristin; Kathy Dawson/Penguin Random House, 2017.
Grieving her Aunt Magnolia, recent college dropout Jane travels to a mansion on a private island and takes five different paths, each resulting in a story told in a different genre. Despite the mashup of high concepts, Cashore’s signature warmth, intricately developed characters, and understated humor shine through, and Jane’s grieving process remains the emotional core of the book. (9-Adult.)
Warcross written by Lu, Marie; G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Random House, 2017.
Emika Chen, a computer genius and former amateur bounty hunter, suddenly finds herself competing in the Warcross championship and tasked with uncovering the trail of a mysterious hacker. Warcross is a fantastic science fiction adventure that is filled with edge-0f-your-seat action, and also touches on privacy ethics, loss, and grief. (9-Adult.)
Her Right Foot written by Eggers, Dave and illustrated by Harris, Shawn; Chronicle, 2017.
An observation about a tiny detail around the Statue of Liberty is teased into some of the most compelling narrative non-fiction published for children on the market. Debut picture book artist Harris uses collage and Indiant ink to illuminate a remarkable body of facts surrounding the United States’ largest statue. (K-3.)