Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Favourite Reads of 2009 Part VIII. . .

Today it's back to Ottawa Public Library where their Youth Collection Development has put together a great list of favourite children's reads. There are tons of great suggestions from picture books up to YA. Lots of Canadian authors as well!

Elizabeth's Picks:

Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas
Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion by Jane Barclay
Alphabeasties and Other Amazing Types by Sharon Werner

Walking Backward by Catherine Austen

Elizabeth Thornley is a children’s librarian and youth selector at Ottawa Public Library. She has worked for the library for over 20 years.

Xiao's Picks:

Sleep Big Bear, Sleep! by Maureen Wright
This book is just the right length to hold the attention of preschool children. It has a simple plot and easy to read style, and captivating illustrations. It’s a great picture book to read along at story time, and is perfect for the coming winter season, with its theme of bears and hibernation.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
This is the first book in a series called Percy Jackson and the Olympians and is scheduled to come out as a movie in February 2010. This is a great story combining Greek mythology, fantasy, and adventure, and addresses an increasing problem among teenagers - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). 12-year-old Percy Jackson, who’s living with ADHD, learns that he’s actually the son of a human and a Greek god. He sets out retrieve Zeus's thunderbolt and to prevent a war between gods.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Miranda becomes alarmed when she finds mysterious notes tucked into her personal belongings that foretell a coming death. She starts to believe that they are from someone who knows what will happen in the future. This is a fast- paced, unusual, and thought-provoking mystery will appeal to mysterious fans.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
In the valley of a mountain, a young girl named Minli spends her days working hard in the fields. At night, she listens to her father who tells fantastic tales about the Jade Dragon and the Old Man of the Moon. Minli believes these magical stories and goes on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man of the Moon. She wants to ask him how her family can change their fortune. This is a fantasy story combined with traditional Chinese folklore. The picture illustrations are amazing.

How Oliver Olson Changed the World by Claudia Mills
This is the story about nine year old Oliver who has extremely overprotective parents. He’s afraid that he will always be treated like an outsider, or just like the ex-planet Pluto. Oliver finally shows his overprotective parents that he is capable of doing great things without their help while his class is studying the solar system. This is a great book for family reading.

Xiao Feng Xing is a Children's Librarian at Beaverbrook Branch, Ottawa Public Library. She was born and raised in China and immigrated to Canada ten years ago. She lives with her husband Patrick and a beautiful 18-month-old son William in Ottawa.

Jean's Picks:

Rex Zero, The Great Pretender by Tim Wynne-Jones
Word Nerd by Susin Nielson
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney
The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
Masterpiece by Elise Broach
Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko
The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
Scat by Carl Hiaasen
A Coyote Solstice Tale by Thomas King

Jean McCarthy has worked for the Ottawa Public Library for over 20 years. She is currently the children’s supervising librarian at the Nepean Centrepointe Branch and also works as a youth selector for the Ottawa Public Library system.

Laura's Picks:

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Andersen
This was one of the first books I read this year, and it resonates with me still. This book explores the themes of anorexia, friendship, and family dynamics; I found the story horrific and intensely gripping…couldn’t put it down.

All We Know of Heaven by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Two teenagers – best friends, have a terrible car accident, leaving one dead, the other in a coma, barely alive. But everyone misidentifies the survivor until eventually the mistake is finally caught. Based on a true incident, this book looks at death, grief, and picking up the pieces after a tragedy. I couldn’t put this down. It would make a great choice for a class book talk or book club pick.

The Cuckoo’s Haiku and Other Birding Poems by Michael J. Rosen
From the moment I looked at the front cover, to when I turned the last page, I loved this book. It is very special – and probably not going to attract a lot of attention. But this book makes wonderfully lyrical connections amongst all its parts – the exploration of a year with birds and nature through the delicate, detailed art, and the thought-provoking, delicate haikus. We learn about birdcalls, their nesting and eating habits and much more. The entire package is like opening up a jewel box of colour and words. A real treasure.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tait by Jacquelyn KellyI love reading historical fiction – for children, teens, or adults. And this one was one of my favourites this year. Eleven-year old Callie Tait is truly a memorable character – a girl who wants to explore the magic of science and books, rather than be pigeon-holed into the usual activities of cooking and sewing. Her relationships with her brothers, and especially with her grandfather, are a treat to read.

Laura Cordukes has worked for more than 20 years as librarian at the Ottawa Public Library. She is currently Coordinator of Youth Collections at the Ottawa Public Library.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Hello, all, and especially Laura,
I'm so honored to have your review of THE CUCKOO'S HAIKU. It really is a special creation. Of all the books I've done for kids—or adults—the artwork, poetry, notes, trim size, art direction: it all just makes for a beautiful book. I had dreamed of having a book that would "read" as both a kids' book and a birder's sketchbook. And, well, voila! Thanks again for including it in your favorites. Michael J. Rosen