At the end of the year I like to look back over my reading pile and think about all the books I've read. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to think "Wow! I really read a lot of books!" And I also like to think about which books stuck with me the most so I can add them to my growing list of lifetime favorite books. So here they are, the Best Books I've Read This Year (in the order I read them):
Graceling by Kristin Cashore (for ages 12 and up). I remember this time last year when I was reading everyone's best books of 2008, and Graceling kept showing up on every list. So it was the first book I read in 2009, and it is really really good. It's about a girl named Katsa who is a graceling. Gracelings are people who have a special power. It can be anything — like they are really good cooks, or dog trainers, or whatever. Katsa's grace is that she can kill anyone with her bare hands. Whoa! The prequel Fire is really good too (also for ages 12 and up).
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (for ages 12 and up). To be honest, I didn't like this book as much as The Hunger Games (also for ages 12 and up) which is the BEST BOOK EVER! Maybe that's only because I will never like another book as much as The Hunger Games for as long as I live. But Catching Fire is still one of my favorite books of the year for sure, and I can't wait for Book 3!
Escape Under the Forever Sky by Eve Yohalem. This is a fictional story about an American girl who was kidnapped in Ethiopia. In this book, she escaped from her captors and survived alone in the wild when anyone else probably would have been eaten by lions. The lions actually helped her! This is a heart-pounding African survival story, and the part about being helped by the lions is actually based on a true story!
Saving the Ghost of the Mountain by Sy Montgomery. This book is about snow leopards, possibly the coolest animal on earth. They are called ghosts of the mountain because you can be looking right at them (with binoculars) and still not see them. They blend so well into their environment. They only live in the very remote parts of the Himalayan Mountains, so very few people have ever seen one in the wild.
Unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech. I loved this book because it reminded me of The BFG by Roald Dahl. It's not about a big friendly giant, but it's about an angel who doesn't know what it's supposed to be doing. Then it meets a girl who starts telling it about problems in the town, and together they work to help. It's a really heartwarming story and also funny because the angel is pretty clueless and makes up words for stuff that it doesn't know the right word for (like the BFG). It's really cute.
Those were my favorites this year. I know I missed a lot, and there are still some books from 2009 on my To Be Read pile. What are your favorite books that you read over the past year? Tell me about them in the Comments.
— Sonja, STACKS Staffer