Thanks to my new obsession with audiobooks, I read quite a bit this month!
1. Only the Good Spy Young – Ally Carter
2. Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life (new hardcover color edition) – Bryan Lee O’Malley
3. The Austere Academy (Series of Unfortunate Events #5) (audio) – Lemony Snicket
4. Bomb – Steve Sheinkin
5. The Ersatz Elevator (Series of Unfortunate Events #6) (audio) – Lemony Snicket
6. The Vile Village (Series of Unfortunate Events #7) (audio) – Lemony Snicket
7. Out of Sight, Out of Time – Ally Carter
8. Liar & Spy (audio) – Rebecca Stead
9. The Brides of Rollrock Island – Margo Lanagan
10. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – Bryan Lee O’Malley
11. The Hostile Hospital (Series of Unfortunate Events #8) (audio) – Lemony Snicket
12. The Carnivorous Carnival (Series of Unfortunate Events #9) (audio) – Lemony Snicket
13. Jepp, Who Defied the Stars – Katherine Marsh
My top recommendation from this crop is Bomb by Steve Sheinkin, which chronicles the development of the atomic bomb during World War II. Sheinkin is a master of narrative nonfiction. Even though I knew how the story would end, it still had me on the edge of my seat for the last 50 pages or so! This book cleaned up at the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards earlier this week, winning YALSA’s Nonfiction award, a Caldecott Honor, and the Sibert award. Way to go, Steve! Bomb really is…the bomb! (yeah, I went there!)
My runner up has to be The Brides of Rollrock Island. As you know, I’m not a huge fantasy fan, but I ADORE Margo Lanagan. I read Tender Morsels for class a few years ago, a fantasy that includes tough subjects like rape and incest. It’s a book I never would have picked up on my own. I absolutely loved it though, so I knew I needed to read Brides. Miskaella, a girl with magical powers is made an outcast by the people of Rollrock Island. She seeks revenge by making the most beautiful selkie brides for the men that live there, forcing the women to leave. The men are happy, but their happiness comes at a high cost, and it’s up to one little boy to make things right. This was one of the most well-crafted books I’ve read in awhile. The structure and prose are just perfect. It’s one of those books that takes seemingly separate narrative arcs and weaves them together expertly.
Next month I’ve decided to take part in the Young Adult Library Services Association’s 2013 reading challenge. Librarians are encouraged to read as many of the ALA award winning titles for teens as possible before June and are entered to win prizes if they can read 25 titles. Wish me luck!