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Best Children's Books of the Year So Far

At last summer is in full swing (though Seattle weather has a little catching up to do) and the first half of the year is almost behind us, which means it's time for one of my favorite annual activities: looking back over six months of books and putting together our Best of the Year So Far lists.

Our top 10 list of the best picture books is topped by The Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, William Joyce's latest picture book extravaganza, the animated short film version of which won Joyce an Academy Award® earlier this year.  I had the chance to sit down with this delightful author a couple weeks ago at Book Expo America in New York and we talked about how Hurricane Katrina helped inspire the book (Joyce is a Louisianan) and what it was like to take home an Oscar®--it's a great story, you can watch it in the video at the end of this post.

A debut novel was our number one for middle grade, Wonder captured our hearts and the hearts of readers everywhere.  This touching story is bigger than a book about bullying or making superficial judgements and feels like an instant classic.  I sincerely hope we see it on the Newbery list in January.

There are other books that I really wanted to squeeze in somehow, but #10.1 (.2, .3...) didn't fly.   What children's books would you add to this list, and did some of ours make your best of 2012 picks?

Best Books of the Year So Far: Picture Books

  1. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce, co-illustrated by Joe Bluhm
  2. The Cloud Spinner written by Michael Catchpool, illustrated by Alison Jay
  3. Extra Yarn written by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
  4. Z Is for Moose written by Kelly Bingham, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky
  5. Gem by Holly Hobbie
  6. Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons written by James Dean, illustrated by Eric Litwin
  7. The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems
  8. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
  9. Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton
  10. Crafty Chloe written by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Heather Ross

Best Books of the Year So Far: Middle Grade Books

  1. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  2. See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles
  3. Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood
  4. The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan
  5. Chomp by Carl Hiaasen
  6. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  7. The Case of the Deadly Desperados: Western Mysteries, Book One by Caroline Lawrence
  8. The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
  9. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  10. Deadweather and Sunrise: The Chronicles of Egg, Book 1 by Geoff Rodkey

 

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Best Children's Books of the Year So Far

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