Childrens book reviews by StorySnoops, judge a book by more than its cover, serving fresh scoops of new books for you every day
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Tiff’s 2010 Wrap Up

Like my fellow Snoops, I had a really hard time choosing my favorites of 2010. What a fantastic problem to have–to have read so many exceptional books this last year that I could not narrow it down to 5. In fact, my original list included 13!!  The true marks of a great book for me are whether it stays with me for a while, if I have a hard time wanting to pick up another book and whether I want to read it again and again. These 5 made the cut and I recommend them highly. Hats off to the incredibly talented writers who gave us such moving stories and memorable characters!

Green Witch was written by one of my favorite adult lit authors, Alice Hoffman. This book is a sequel to Green Angel. I collected so many beautiful quotes from this book, such as, “This is how much love weighs. Nothing if you don’t take it when it’s offered. Everything if you accept what’s given to you,” and “In the end, every path you choose takes you closer to what you’ve been searching for all along.” The main character Green is strong, resourceful and heroic and provides a powerful role model for young girls. Confession: I actually read this one twice : )

The Sky is Everywhere was on many Best of 2010 lists and for very good reason. Beautifully written, this story tackles tragic loss, grief and healing. Music and poetry are woven throughout a beautiful and hopeful love story. I recommend this book often to teen girls and they have all thoroughly enjoyed it. Again, I found one of my favorite quotes in the pages of this book, “It’s such a colossal effort not to be haunted by what’s lost, but to be enchanted by what was.” Sigh.

If I had to choose only one book to call my favorite of the year, it would be Sorta Like a Rock Star. I can’t say enough good things about this one and can’t recommend it highly enough. I chose this book for my adult book club, and everyone loved it. Amber is a unique, strong and beautiful character. This story is tragic, though also funny, smart and incredibly moving. I had checked this out from the library to read for the website, and I loved it so much I wished it was one that I had purchased to own. I couldn’t have been more touched when I received it as a Christmas gift from someone who knew how important it was to me.  I love this book!

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin was a pleasant surprise. I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would and I applaud Josh Berk for creating such an original voice in the deaf character Will Halpin. This mystery is sarcastic, intelligent and fascinating. I had to look at the author’s info to see if he was deaf as everything about Will seemed so authentic. I love a great read for teen boys, as it sometimes seems there are so many more out there for girls. This is definitely a noteworthy one that I hope more people read.

Last but certainly not least I chose Last Night I Sang to the Monster. This book moved me to tears numerous times. It reminded me a great deal of A Million Little Pieces, which (I don’t care what anyone says) was a fantastic read. This journey through rehab and pain to a place of healing and hope is a heartbreaking but beautiful one. Only a truly great book can make you feel so deeply and care so much about a character that you share their grief and their joy and you cry like a baby while doing so. Zach’s story is one I will remember for a very long time.

So, those are my top 5 – I encourage you to pick up any one of them, you won’t be sorry! In case you are wondering what I had to leave off my list, here are a few of my other favorites: Before I Fall, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, Chasing Brooklyn, Please Ignore Vera Dietz, As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth, Payback Time and Gimme A Call. Happy Reading!

-Tiffany, StorySnoop

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