The Mothers, by Brit Bennett – This was on so many people’s favorites for the year and I felt very meh about it. If you asked, I’d tell you it was good, and to read it if you thought you might be interested already. But I didn’t think the characters had much depth, and while I loved the idea of the church mothers as a chorus in the book, I didn’t think they were played up quite enough either.
Juniper, by Thomas and Kelley French – Oh my goodness gracious, this book. I loved it. I was nervous about reading it, having had Gooplet not too, too long ago, and indeed, I found myself SOBBING through parts of it. But in the good, cathartic sobbing kind of way. The story is gripping, and I was surprised that I found the father’s side of it far more endearing. Highly recommend for anyone, but especially for anyone with a child.
Saving Red, by Sonya Sones – I’ve been reading her since her first book came out. This one was neither her worst nor her best, but it was a quick, mostly enjoyable YA read.
Two Naomis, by Olugbemisola Rhuday Perkovich, and Audrey Vernick – It had been so long since I read middle grade fiction, and this one popped up on the Nerdy Book Club’s best of 2016* list. On my next trip to the library, it was front and center on the new arrivals shelf. I have impossibly high standards for middle grade fiction (seriously, impossible), and this one is good. I also love how it shows diverse characters without needing to be A BOOK ABOUT DIVERSE CHARACTERS.
Far From the Tree, by Andrew Solomon – I’ve seen this book mentioned in almost all of my favorite parenting and teaching reads (side note, those two genres of books almost always overlap), so I’ve always wanted to read it. But here’s the thing. It’s 706 pages! So, with any luck, you’ll see it in my “Just Read” post by the end of the year.
Want to Read
Wolf Hollow, by Lauren Wolk, because it got a ton of buzz this year, because it just picked up a Newbery Honor, and because it was originally intended as an adult book, and somehow ended up on middle grade shelves. All in.
*It should be noted that 2016, the year when it wasn’t my job to read middle grade fiction anymore, looks like the best year for middle grade fiction in a long, long time. I’m eager to read almost every book linked there.