2018-11-01 / BookBag

So Many Books, So Little Time

Paula Bannon | Schlow Centre Region Library

Let’s be honest — I read a lot. According to Goodreads, I’ve finished 106 books so far in 2018, which, I suppose, is a little more than the typical reader.  But some of the books that have come out this year have been so good I couldn’t put them down!  Here are just a few of my best books from 2018.

One of my favorites this year features a girl named Ami who lives with her mother on an island near the Philippines. The island is home to many people who have leprosy (Ami’s mother) and those who do not (Ami). The island’s inhabitants live a quiet existence until the day a man named Mr. Zamora comes to the island and announces that their home will become a colony for lepers and all those not infected must leave. Ami soon finds herself in an orphanage far away from her home and family. Fortunately, Ami soon finds a friend who helps her plan a dangerous journey back across the sea to her mother. Follow Ami’s adventures in The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave.

The most beautiful and moving picture book I read this year was an autobiographical story of a young mother named Yuyi Morales. She left her home in Xalapa, Mexico, and brought her baby to the United States. Speaking little English, Yuyi found living in the States to be very difficult. But one day she discovered a public library. Here was a place where they were welcomed and had access to books for free. A whole new world opened up to them. Using these books, Yuyi was able to learn a new language and eventually was able to make a home in her new country. Read about her journey in this very timely picture book, Dreamers, by Yuyi Morales.

Those who love fantasy and adventure will get drawn into the world of Arlo Finch. When Arlo’s family moves to the sleepy little town of Pine Mountain, Colorado, he discovers that not everything is what it seems. Local Ranger groups teach him how to master basics like creating snaplights and thunderclaps and even how to identify supernatural creatures — necessary knowledge when your town is situated near the mysterious Long Woods. But even the locals aren’t prepared for the magic that seems to seep out of the woods in search of Arlo. Check out Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire by John August to follow Arlo’s fantastic adventure.

Mason Buttle has the distinction of being the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade. He’s also the target of neighborhood bullies who make the walk from the bus to his house miserable. But Mason’s troubles don’t end there. A year ago, Mason’s best friend was found dead in the Buttle family orchard. A local detective is convinced that Mason hasn’t told him the whole story of that day and is determined to find the truth. Follow Mason as he struggles to understand what happened to his friend and races to save a new friend who has also disappeared. Beautifully written by Leslie Connor, The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle might just be a Newbery Medal contender!

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