Each and every year, the Bank Street College of Education puts out a listing of the best books for that year. Not long ago, their 2010 list came out. You can find it here, organized into these divisions:
I haven’t had the time to comb through the entire list just yet. I’m looking forward to discovering some new treasures, but some sections weren’t loading when I wrote this up. Still here are some of the great books that I found:
The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer’s Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors by Chris Barton, illustrated by Tony Persiani. When people ask me if I like biographies, I always say no unless I know they are also talking about kids books. Why? Because I adore this bio. Pick it up and see what a biography could and should be.
Into the Deep: The Life of Naturalist and Explorer William Beebe written and illustrated by David Sheldon. This was another biography that hooked me from the start. Seriously, writers for adults could learn a thing or two from the picture book set.
Houndsley and Catina: Plink and Plunk by James Howe, illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay. I adore this series for their gentle stories and was pleasantly surprised to find my son curled up reading this one. “Good book,” says Mr. Eleven-year-old.
Runaway Twin by Peg Kehret. I haven’t read this one but she is one of my son’s favorite authors. He has read every one of her books that is owned by his school library.
Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Brett Helquist. Not only did this one hold me from start to finish, it made me delve into Norse mythology, a topic I’ve never been more than vaguely curious about.
Bull Rider by Suzanne Morgan Williams. I remember talking to Suzie when she was writing it. Pick it up for a great read!
Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner. I’m not really into dark fantasy (I say although I seem to read quite a bit) but this one pulled me in and kept me up late reading. My poor room mate didn’t mind too much — fellow writers tend to understand.
Gateway by Sharon Shinn. Sharon is one of those authors whose characterization is simply amazing. She makes me feel that I know these characters, what they look like, what they would eat for lunch. But when I go back to find out how she weaves the details together, I’m always surprised by how sparse they are. She pulls the reader in and lets them fill things in from their own experience.
Take a look at the lists. I’m sure you’ll find something you can’t wait to read.