Here is my contribution to today's FIVE: My Top FIVE Kids Books of 2008:
5. Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie by Norton Juster and Chris Raschka
This one is on my list even though it is a picture book. I love the bitter-sweet story, and I LOVE that Norton Juster wrote it. Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth was and is one of my favorite stories — it definitely appealed to my linguistic/mathematical brain.
4. Brava, Strega Nona! by Tomie dePaola, Robert Sabuda, and Matthew Reinhart
The story is a great one about a grandma who makes me think fondly of my own grandma. This book is another great pop-up by Sabuda and Reinhart, who created some excellent books like Star Wars: A Pop-up Guide to the Galaxy, Mommy?, and Castles.
3. Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls Book 1: Moving Day by Meg Cabot
Okay, so I'm a boy and this book clearly says in the title that Allie Finkle writes her rules for girls . . . BUT I still like the book. I like that Allie doesn't just accept rules set by her parents or friends or her teachers, but instead takes her experiences and comes up with her own rules. I sort of do the same thing in my own life. I read this book so that I could help develop the website, and I was definitely skeptical at first. I thought that I wouldn't like it at all; I mean what is a 20-something guy going to relate to in a story about a 9-year-old girl? After I started reading it, though, I definitely got into the story. I like Allie's attitude and the way that she is an independent spirit — that, I could relate to.
2. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling
I fell in love with the Harry Potter series, and this was just what I needed to fan the flames of my love for the wizard world masterfully created by Rowling.
1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Ages 12 and up)
This is my favorite book this year, period. Out of all the books I've read (and I've read quite a few this year), this one left me most excited and wanting more. Plus, I have considered Suzanne Collins a fantastic author since The Underland Chronicles, and I was so happy to see her branch out into the young adult arena. I also have a bit of a vested interest in this one because I helped create The Hunger Games website.
— Nick, STACKS Staffer