The end of December causes us to look back on everything we did (or read) during the past year. Here are my picks for the best YA and middle grade books of 2012 (limited to what I actually read, so I’m sure I’m missing more than a few good ones!)
I don’t know about you, but when I’m reading a book that is all the way at one end of the spectrum (either amazing or horrible) I tend to flip to the author’s photo many times as I read. If it’s a great book, I’m in awe, thinking “How could you have written this?” (If it’s bad, I’m thinking the same thing, but more along the lines of “How could you have written this???“) Anyway, for this wrap up of the year, I thought I’d feature the books with their creators.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This book came out all the way back in January, but I still think about it a lot. In fact, I read it twice. Once on vacation, and I listened to the audiobook several months later. If I could find the audiobook version with John Green as the narrator, I’d love to hear that story again.
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
A coworker recommended this book to me, and I’m glad she did. It’s one of those books that makes you invest in the characters, to the point where what happens to them seems like it’s happening to you. This is another book that I think about often, and the fate of the characters at the end is still up for debate!
Every Day by David Leviathan
I read this on NetGalley, and it was the first time that I willingly read a book on a computer screen. David Leviathan is capable of writing from many different perspectives (the main character in this book switches bodies every day) while giving each one complexity and depth.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
This book broke my heart (in a good way). I felt for August as he tried to make it through the jungle of middle school with a facial deformity. This book has been embraced by librarians who realize that middle grade students need stories about what they’re really going through: bullying, prejudice, cliques, and discrimination. It’s not always easy to read about, but books like these can be a lifesaver to a kid in need.
Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
Rebecca Stead mixes quirky characters with an intriguing mystery. I can’t think of a kid who wouldn’t get caught up in this book.
What was your favorite middle grade/YA book for 2012? Tomorrow: my favorite adult fiction from 2012.
- The Y.A./Middle-Grade Book Awards, 2012 Edition (theatlanticwire.com)
- 25 of the Most Wonderful Book Covers of the Year (theatlanticwire.com)