Monday, December 5, 2016

My Heart-full, Hope-full, True and Honest Favorite Books of 2016

Today’s post begins our annual TeachingAuthors series in which my fellow bloggers and I share our favorite book(s) of the year – children’s and otherwise.

My Shelf of Favorites boasts books of varying formats, genres and audience appeal.
Each, in some way, re-sounded in my reader’s and/or writer’s heart, filled me with hope and spoke to my humanity in true and honest ways.  Some brought tears; some brought laughter; one or two left me fist-pumping! All modeled superb craft in storytelling.
As this crazy-crazy year began winding down, and I kept wondering “what condition my condition was in,” I became enormously thankful for these noteworthy books and the authors who created them.
The Reader in me, the Writer, the Teacher, the Human Being – we all want you to know and love these books too.
Read the flap copy I’ve shared and you’ll understand why.

THE  JOURNEY by Francesca Sanna, Flying Eye Books               “What is it like to have to leave everything behind and travel many miles to somewhere unfamiliar and strange? A mother and her two children set out on such a journey, one filled with fear of the unknown, but also great hope.  Based on her own interactions with people forced to seek a new home, and told from the perspective of a young child, Francesca Sanna has created a beautiful and sensitive book that is full of significance for our time.”

WE ARE GROWING! By Laurie Keller, Hyperion, An Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! Book
“Walt and his friends are growing up fast!  Everyone is the something-est.  But…what about Walt?  He is not the tallest, or the curliest, or the silliest.  He is not the anything-est.”

THE POET’S DOG, Patricia MacLachlan, Katherine Tegen Books/Harper Collins
In a fierce winter storm
Nickel and Flora are brave
But afraid
A dog finds them
Speaks words
And brings them to shelter
The Poet’s cabin
Has light and food
And love
But where is the Poet?
Teddy will tell the story
Of how words make poems
And connect those who hear
Each other”

RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE, Kate DiCamillo, Candlewick
“Have you ever in your life come to
realize that everything, absolutely
everything, depends on you?
Raymie Clarke has a plan.
Two days ago, her father left home with a dental hygienist.  If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father will see Raymie’s picture in the paper and (maybe) come home.
a rich story of three girls, one summer and a friendship that changed their lives.”

THE  BEST MAN, Richard Peck, Dial
“Archer Magill has spent a lively five years of grade school with one
eye out in search of grown-up role models.  Three of the best are his
grandpa, the great architect; his dad, the great vintage car customizer;
and his uncle Paul, who is just plain great.  These are the three he wants to be. Then along comes a fourth – Mr. McLeod, a teacher, in fact, the first male teacher in the history of the school.  Then one of them wants to marry another one. In pages that ripple with laughter, there’s a teardrop here and there. and more than a few insights about the bewildering world of adults, made by a boy on his way to being the best man he can be.”

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR, Nicola Yoon, Delacorte,  
The story of a girl, a boy, and the universe.
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts.  Not fate. Not destiny.  Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him.
Daniel:  I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ expectations. Never the poet.  Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment.  A million futures lie before us.  Which one will come true?

SOMEWRITER!, Melissa Sweet, HMH                                                 
“I feel that a writer has an obligation to transmit, as best he can, his love of life, his appreciation for the world.” – E.B. White
“Like my grandfather, Melissa Sweet has somehow kept that child-like sense of wonder at the world and (thankfully) found an avenue to share it with the rest of us...Here, in these pages, you will find the grandfather I remember so well…Now, thanks to Melissa Sweet, you can know him too.” – Martha White

HUNGRY HEART, Jennifer Weiner, Atria Books
“Jennifer Weiner is many things: a bestselling author, a Twitter
phenomenon, and an ‘unlikely feminist enforcer.’ She’s also a mom,
a daughter and a sister, a former rower and current clumsy yogini, a
wife, a friend, a realityTV devotee.  In her first essay collection,
she takes the raw stuff of her life and spins it into a collection of tales
of modern-day womanhood as uproariously funny and moving as the
best of Nora Epheron and Tina Fey.”


Here’s to a heart-full, hope-full 2017!

With true and honest thanks to our Readers for their support.

Esther Hershenhorn

Congratulations, Danielle H., winner of the Sandy Brehl 2-book giveaway!

Don’t forget to enter our Book Giveaway of Jeannine Atkins’ FINDING WONDERS – THREE GIRLS WHO CHANGED SCIENCE!


Linda B said...

There are many of my favorites here, too. No surprise that Melissa Sweet's book Some Writer! is there. What a treasure it is. And I recently read The Poet's Dog, loved it, too. Thanks for telling about the Weiner book, will put that on my list! Happy Reading!

Esther Hershenhorn said...

I'm glad we're on the same wave length, Linda B.!
Jennifer Weiner's autobiography is subtitled LIFE, LOVE AND WRITING.
Her authenticity is 4-star.

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Oh, thank you for the recommendations, Esther--I recognize a few, & I can't wait to read the rest!

Danielle H. said...

I just read We are Growing yesterday and really liked it. I also read The Best Man and enjoyed it too. I'm really hoping to read The Sun is Also a Star this year.

Linda said...

Thank you for sharing these great books. Some of them are already on my wish list!

Rosi said...

I also loved The Poet's Dog and The Best Man. I haven't read the others but will check them out. If you haven't read All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, you might want to add that to your list. It's a great one. Thanks for the post.

Esther Hershenhorn said...

Thanks, JoAnn, Linda, Danielle H. and Rosi for taking the time to respond.
Thanks, too, Rosi, for suggesting a title for me to check out.
I love how we share titles and look forward to reading my fellow TeachAuthors bloggers' picks.

Amanda Sincavage said...

Some good ones here and a few I need to get my hands on! I'll have to pass on the World Series one - my Cleveland born hubby would not approve (hehe)!

Unknown said...

Great books Esther. Thank you. They are on my list now. I have 'Some Writer' and it's excellent.