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 September edition of BayViews. Not a member? Join, come to our monthly meetings, and hear about these outstanding books in person!
Lines written and illustrated by Lee, Suzy; Chronicle, 2017.
In this transcendent wordless picture book, a lone ice skater glides confidently across a frozen pond while an artist sketches her turns, spirals, spins, and jumps. A simple yet profoundly moving work of art that will appeal to audiences of all ages, especially preschoolers through grade 2. (Grades Preschool-2.)
Charlie & Mouse & Grumpy written by Snyder, Laurel and illustrated by Hughes, Emily; Chronicle, 2017.
Four brief chapters take new readers on a series of adventures between two young boys and their grandfather in a delightful addition to the small pool of excellent easy readers. (P-2.)
Genuine Fraud written by Lockhart, E.; Delacorte/Penguin Random House, 2017.
Jule West Williams is the enigma at the heart of this riveting thriller which moves backward to peel away the layers of who Jule really is and what she has done. Ideal for teen readers who appreciate a young woman who has no hesitation in being the center of the story. (9-12.)
Refugee written by Gratz, Alan; Scholastic, 2017.
This powerful novel tells the story of three young refugees, one escaping Nazi Germany in 1939, one leaving Castro’s Cuba in 1995, and the last fleeing the Syrian civil war in 2015. The clear and honest narrative successfully humanizes the plight of people forced to risk their lives to survive. (6-10.)
The Someday Suitcase written by Haydu, Corey Ann; Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins, 2017.
Fifth graders Clover and Danny are completely in tune best friends, so when Danny becomes mysteriously ill and unable to see Clover as much, Clover starts to question who she is without her symbiotic other. Haydu doesn’t pull punches here when it comes to heavy emotional situations, but, rather, embraces them with a visceral, kick-in-the-gut reality. (3-7.)
Afar written by Del Duca, Leila and illustrated by Seaton, Kit; Image Comics, 2017.
Afar, a graphic novel produced by an all-female creative team, tells the fantasy adventure of Boetema and Inotu as they struggle with real and other-worldly challenges. The book exclusively features people of color, includes North African and Middle Eastern references, and showcases a strong, independent female character, but the complex story can appear choppy at times. (7-12.)
The 57 Bus written by Slater, Dashka; Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2017.
Part true crime and part social critique, The 57 Bus is an accessible non-fiction read about an unsettling hate crime and the surrounding society. Rather than assign blame, author Dashka Slater writes an illuminating, informative text that shows the struggles of both parties and the impact of the surrounding world. (8-Adult.)
Maya Lin: Thinking With Her Hands written by Rubin, Susan Goldman; Chronicle, 2017.
In the new middle and high school biography of architect and memorial designer, Maya Lin, author Susan Goldman Rubin and the design team at Chronicle Books have created a superb example of children’s non-fiction. Every textual and design choice adds meaning and echoes the subject, Lin, and her process of creation. (6-10.)