Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Children's Books I read in 2020 during the Pandemic

 Well, it's time to consider what books will get awards. The Newbery and Caldecott awards will not be announced until Next Year but readers are considering which books published this year qualify.  However, I realized that I had not posted the books that I read during the first year of the pandemic - 2020.  So here goes.

The list of children's books I read last year with some comments:

Picture Books

 Bailey, Jenn. A friend for Henry. Illus Mika Song.  San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2019.

Harrison, David and Jane Yolen. Rum Pum Pum. Illus Anjan Sarkar. NY: Holiday House, 2020.

Loney, Andrea. Double Bass Blues. Illus Rudy Gutierrez. NY: Alfred A knopf, 2019.

Maillard, Kevin Noble. Fry Bread – a Native American family story. Illus. Juana Martinex=Neal.

             NY: Roaring Brook Press, 2019.

            (Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational

             book for children. It was also a Picture Book Honor choice for the American

            Indian Youth Literature award.) 

McKissack, Patrica C. What is given from the heart. Illus. April Harrison. NY: Schwartz &

             Wade books, 2019.  (Coretta Scott King New Illustrator Award)

Morris, Richard. Bear Came Along.  Illus: LeUyen Pham. NY: Little, brown and Co., 2019.

            (2020 Caldecott winner)

Nyong’o, Lupita. Sulwe. Illus. Vashti Harrison. NY: Simon & Schuster Books for young readers,

             2019. (2020 Corretta Scott King illustrator honor) (author was warrior in Black Panther)

Pizzoli, Greg. The Book Hog. NY: Hyperion, 2019.  

            (Geisel award winner- even tho in picture book format, not ICR format.)

Portis, Antonette. Hey Water.  NY:  Neal Porter Books/ Holiday House, 2019.

            (Backmatter – Water Forms, The Water Cycle, Conserving Water, Books to Explore.

             This is classified as NF by Library of Congress, but San Diego Library has it in 

             picture books)

Ransome, James. The Bell Rang. NY: Atheneum books for young children, 2019.

            (2020 Corretta Scott King illustrator honor)

Roth, Susan. Birds of a Feather- bowerbirds and me.  NY: Neal Porter Books/ Holiday House,

             2019.  (both bowerbirds and Susan are artists creating collages)

Theule, Larissa. Born to ride, a story about bicycle face.   Illus. Kelsey Garrity-Riley. 

            NY: Abrams books for Young Readers, 2019. 

            (Illustrations show the fight for women’s right to vote)

Yang, James. Stop! Bot!  NY: Viking, 2019. (book is taller than wide because - tall building)


I Can Read

 Morris, J.E.  Flubby is Not a good pet! NY: Penguin Workshop, 2019.  (Jennifer Morris)

            (2020 Geisel honor book)



 Applegate, Katherine. The One and Only Bob. NY: Harper, 2020.

            (Sequel to The One and Only Ivan)

Coville, Bruce. Aliens stole my body.  (v. 4 of Rod Allbright and the Galactic Patrol)

            NY: Aladdin paperbacks, 1998.  (The series is now being made into a movie)

Messner, Kate. Chirp.  NY: Bloomsbury, 2020.

            (Mystery. Who is sabotaging grandmother’s crickets for food business, plus what is

             Mia’s hidden secret. I had trouble even thinking about crickets for food. Yuck.)

Mlynowski, Sarah, Lauren Myracle, Emily Jenkins. Upside Down Magic. NY: Scholastic, 2015.

                 (now made into a Disney Movie.  The movie was OK but the books were better.)

    ….   Upside Down Magic – Sticks & Stones. v. 2.   NY: Scholastic, 2016.

    ….   Upside Down Magic – Showing Off. v. 3.   NY: Scholastic, 2017.

    ….   Upside Down Magic – Dragon Overnight. v. 4.   NY: Scholastic, 2018.

    ….   Upside Down Magic – Weather or not.  v. 5.   NY: Scholastic, 2018.

    ….   Upside Down Magic – The big shrink.  v. 6.   NY: Scholastic, 2019.

    ….   Upside Down Magic – Hide and Seek.  v. 7.   NY: Scholastic, 2020.

Noel, Kaela.  Coo. Illus. Celia Krampien. NY: Greenwillow/ HarperCollins books, 2020.

            (I didn’t believe the first chapters and feel they were tacked on to create backstory, but 

            the bulk of the story – a girl who can talk to pigeons – is well done. Raised by pigeons

             from infant to 10 years old – not so much. Where would pigeons get milk for a baby?)

Park, Linda Sue.  Prairie Lotus. NY: Clarion Books, 2020.

                 (2021 Asian/Pacific American award. Maybe more.)

Schmidt, Gary D.  Pay Attention, Carter Jones.  NY: Clarion Books/ HMH, 2019.

                 (Dad has disappeared. An English Butler appears, organizing and supporting the 

            distraught family.  Also, much about the game of Cricket & how Carter applies it to life.)

Shurtiff, Liesl.  Time Castaways #1, the Mona Lisa Key. NY: Katherine Tegan Books/ 

            HarperCollins, 2018.

   ….    Time Castaways #2, the Obsidian Compass. NY: Katherine Tegan Books/ 

            HarperCollins, 2019.

    ….   Time Castaways #3, The forbidden lock. NY: Katherine Tegan Books/ 

            HarperCollins, 2020.

Slade, Arthur.  Jolted – Newton Starker’s rules for survival. NY: Random House, 2009.

            (boy from family who attracts and dies by lightning strike – will he survive?)

Springer, Nancy. The case of the Missing Marquess, an Enola Holmes mystery. NY: Philomel/

             Penguin Books for Young Readers, 2006. 

    ….   The case of the left-handed lady, an Enola Holmes mystery. NY: Philomel/ Penguin

             Books for Young readers, 2007.

    ….   The case of the bizarre bouquets, an Enola Holmes mystery. NY: Philomel/ Penguin

             Books for Young Readers, 2008. 

    ….   The case of the peculiar pink fan, an Enola Holmes mystery. NY: Philomel/ Penguin

             Books for Young Readers, 2008. 

    ….   The Case of the Cryptic crinoline, an Enola Holmes mystery. NY: Philomel/ Penguin

             Books for Young Readers, 2009. 

    ….   The case of the gypsy good-bye.  an Enola Holmes mystery. NY: Philomel/ Penguin

             Books for Young Readers, 2010. 

                        (now a movie)

Timberlake, Amy.  One came home – a sister lost, a body found, the truth buried. NY: Knopf,


Reedy, Trent.  Stealing Air. NY: Arthur A. Levine/ Scholastic, 2012. (skateboarding)

Young, Karen Romano.  A girl, a raccoon, and the midnight moon.  Illus. Jesixa Bagley. 

            San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2019.  (Saving a library branch)


YA Fiction:

 Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. The boy who dared, a novel based on the true story of a Hitler 

            youth.  NY: Scholastic Press, 2008.

Jones, Diana Wynne.  Dark Lord of Derkholm. NY: Greenwillow/ HarperTrophy, 1998.

            (The title sounds scary, but it’s actually a funny fantasy.)

McCaffrey, Anne.  Dragonsong.  NY: Atheneum, 1976.

    ….   Dragonsinger. NY: Atheneum, 1977.

    ….   Dragondrums. NY: Atheneum, 1979.

                        (These three are stories of young Harpers and their craft view of the major events

                  happening in the upper Dragon Weyrs as told in her Adult books about PERN.)

Reeve, Philip.  Mortal Engines, the Hungry City Chronicles.  NY: HarperCollins, 2001

    ….   Predator’s Gold, book 2 of the Hungry City Chronicles.  NY: Scholastic, 2003

    ….   Night Flights, a Mortal Engines Collection. NY: Scholastic, 2018. 

            (short stories about the aviatrix, Anna Fang who saved the Mortal Engines protagonists)

    ….   Infernal Devices, book 3 of the Hungry City Chronicles.  NY: Scholastic, 2005.

    ….   A darkling plainbook 4 of the Hungry City Chronicles.  NY: Scholastic, 2006.

    ….   A web of air, book 2 of the Fever Crumb series.  NY: Scholastic, 2010.

                        (prequel to the Hungry City Chronicles)

    Riggs, Ransom. Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children.  Philadelphis, PA: Quirk Books,


    ….   Hollow City, the second novel of Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children. Philadelphis, PA: 

            Quirk Books, 2014. 




 J Blondin.        Bowman, Donna Janell. King of the Tightrope, when the Great Blondin ruled 

            Niagara.  GA: Peachtree, 2019.



J Bryan.           Bryan, Ashley. Infinite Hope, a black artist’s journey from World War II to

             Peace. NY: Caitiyn Diouhy/ Atheneum Books, 2019. 

            (illustrated with Photographs plus his artistic renderings)

J Leeuwwenhoek        Alexander, Lori. All in a drop, how Antony van Leeuenhoek discovered an

             invisible world. Ill. Vivien Mildenberger. NY:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019. 

            (2020 Robert Sibert honor award)  (Chapter book illustrated biography)

YA Lindbergh             Fleming, Candace. The rise and fall of Charles Lindbergh. NY: Schwartz

             & Wade books, 2020.                        (I never knew he was a NAZI and American First leader)

            (2021 -ALA YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults.)



 YA 323           Brimner, Larry Dane. Blacklisted! Hollywood, the cold war, and the first 

            amendment.  Honesdale, PA: Calkins Creek, 2018.  (excellent coverage of the damage

             the House Un-American Activities Committee did to life in the USA. And warnings

             about it possibly beginning to happen again under Trump, except flipped.)

J 595.492        Schnell, Lisa Kahn. High Tide for horseshoe crabs. Illus. Alan Marks. 

            MA: Charlesbridge, 2015. 

J 811.6            Alexander, Kwame. The Undefeated. Illus. Kadir Nelson. NY: Houghton Mifflin

             Harcourt, 2019.  (Caldecott honor, Golden Kite award) 

J 940.54          Heiligman, Deborah.  Torpedoed – the true story of the World War II sinking of

             the children’s ship. NY: Henry Holt, 2019.

            (2020 Winner of SCBWI’s Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction for Older Readers)

YA 943.086    Bartoletti, Susan Campbell.  Hitler Youth, growing up in Hitler’s shadow

            NY: Scholastic, 2005.  (wonderfully researched)

No comments: