Judy Freeman and I Agree – 10 of the Best Books Published in 2015

Recently I attended an excellent workshop by Judy Freeman called What’s New In Children’s Literature and Strategies for Using It in Your Program.  It includes a workbook with an list of the 150 Best Children’s Books published in 2015.  I was excited to see some of the books I featured on the blog on the list.  There were several that I started entries about last year; but wasn’t able to polish and publish the posts.  Truthfully, some of the posts just have a title and author.  Here are 10 books that Judy Freeman loved which I meant to share with you in 2015.

I love what Judy said on how to determine if a book is great.  “Did the book leave you Surprised? Startled? Satisfied?  Each of these books left me that way.

Mesmerized

Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Iacopo Bruno

Ketzel

Ketzel, the Cat who Composed by Leslea Newman and illustrated by Amy June Bates

lillians

Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Shane W. Evans

Mama Seeton

Mama Seeton’s Whistle by Jerry Spinelli and illustrated LeUyen Pham

mango]

Mango, Abuela and Me by Meg Medina and illustrated by Angela Dominguez

three best friends

My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay by Cari Best and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Billys Boogers

Billy’s Booger: A Memoir by William Joyce

Stick and Stone

Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry and illustrated Tom Lichtenheld

Imagiinary Fred

Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

The Nest

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel and illustrated by Jon Klassen

Red Butterfly – A Middle Grades Book

Red Butterfly

Red Butterfly by A. L. Sonnichsen and illustrated by Amy June Bass – You would not anticipate the beauty of this book from the summary provided by the Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication data.  “In China, a foundling girl with a deformed hand raised in secret by an American woman must navigate China’s strict adoption system when she is torn away from the only family she has ever known.”

The Library of Congress CIP provides “a brief, non-critical, one-sentence annotation (commonly referred to as the summary) that describes the content of the work being cataloged without making any judgmental statements. The general rule of thumb about length is twenty-five to thirty words.”

Here’s my long, run on sentence about this book which I feel captures the essence of the book more than the CIP summary. . . A lyrical novel in verse which delicately navigates the implications of China’s strict one child policy realistically and with compassion using the poetry of a young girl, Kara, who was abandoned by her birth mother and cared for by an American woman living in China for many years, until she is taken away from her “adoptive mother.”

The black and white sketches throughout the book enhance this heartbreaking yet uplifting book.  After reading this book, look closely at the cover.  It will touch you in a way it didn’t when you first opened the book.