Friday, December 29, 2017

Best of 2017!!!

It's wrap-up time! If I counted right. . .and I'm pretty sure I did. . .there were over 220 books reviewed here on Bookworm for Kids during 2017. And what a row of diverse and fantastic reads they were! Trying to chose only five for each age group was hard. Extremely hard.

To make things simple, I'm going to scream out my favorite five for each of the three age group categories — Picture Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult. Click on the pictures to head back to the original posts and reviews.

And. . .

Here. . .

We. . .


Picture books came in oogles and gobs this year.

This pink and not-so-frilly book was so sweet! It hit my favorite list right away.
ages 4 and up
For all Not-so-Princessy Princesses.

Dragons are always a winner in this house, and this one. . .along with the baking knight. . .were declared instantly to one of the best reads this year by my kids.

ages 4 and up

Not only knight and dragon friends will like this one.

I received quite a few Christmas reads, but this was my favorite. It has just the right amount of calm fantasy and magic to draw in and leave the reader dreaming for days.

ages 3 and up

There are a couple windows and peek-a-boo holes to add to the fun.

Stories are great, but non-fiction has always been a huge runner with my kids. They can never soak up enough fun information, and this book has mountains of it. Not only are the animals fun to gaze at, every page holds peek-a-boo holes and places to find surprises. Plus, there are all sorts of tidbits, which will even surprise adults.

ages 7 and up

My daughter would be very disappointed if I didn't include this one in my list. It has a very simple concept but the execution is excellent. Definitely a smile bringer.

ages 3 and up

Of course, there are tons more which I can only recommend. You can find all of them here.


I've always had a huge soft-spot for middle grade reads. Possibly because these were the books which inspired me the most and drew me into the world of literature when I was a kid. The best ones, although written for ages 8 to 12, will even leave adults thinking.

This is a quirky concept with a fantastic play-out. My son devoured this story in one day—although it pushes 300 pages!

ages 9 and up

This one definitely hits the top of my list for 2017. Maddie's story is touching, heart-breaking and humorous all at the same time. It's hard not to love her and cheer for her the whole way through. The fact that it's based on a true story only makes it that much more wonderful to read.

I loved entering Pablo and Birdy's island life and all the adventure it holds. An exciting read with wit, mystery and a tad bit of magic. It's simply a great read.

This one is for all Harry Potter and magical adventure fans. There's mystery, there's intrigue and there's a boy, who has to somehow make everything right. It's well written, fast paced and carries an original, rich world.

Magic and mystery also play a major role in this tale, but with a more traditional feel. The stakes are high, the group of friends remind of the kids next door, and the tale is packed full of lovely imagination. It promises to be an amazing series.
I especially had a hard time picking my favorite middle grade tales out of the bunch. Go here to see some more awesome reads.

Young Adult

Books for this age group (12 to 18 years) come out in the tens of thousands each year. I wish I could have read more, but, alas, time is not endless. Still, here are my shout-outs from the ones reviewed on this blog.

I fell in love with the cover and, after the first pages, with the characters and world. This happens to take place during one of my favorite times in history—not exactly a often visited period in YA literature—and adds a good dose of magic to the mix. Loved it.

History got me here again. This time, without a dash of fantasy. These characters are grounded in the exciting prohibition world, where everything glistens—even the guns. I'd already read the three novellas leading to this first novel in the series and have loved the Canary Club from the very beginning.
Science Fiction has to be in the mix. This was probably the first genre I fell in love with as a kid. This one is packed with action and leaves tons of food for thought—as a good sci-fi should.

Fantasy is key in this book, where a rich world unfolds. This one holds magic, gods, kingdoms, demons and everything else a fantasy friend's heart could desire. The heroine packs a punch and promises to bring more in the future.

I loved this book. Absolutely. Completely. Loved it. Science fiction hits full-blown tension as teens fight to gain the main prize—one that holds more and more mysteries as the story unfolds. This book never leaves a second of boredom, grinds the characters into the reader's heart and promises tons of surprises and intrigue to come. 
Of course, there are more to discover, and those can be found here.


Otherwise known as 'honorable mentions'. Here is a list of books, which were simply fun to read. I enjoyed every page, every character and just found them easy, entertaining and refreshing. They don't all slide into a certain genre box and tend to explore slightly new directions. Which I love.

Gamers meet fantasy literature in this book. It was original and reminds of those wonderful battles, quests and learning to survive in a gaming world.

Beautiful and dark, yet with a pinch of fairy tale. I have always been a Phantom of the Opera fan, and this one carries that exact atmosphere with even a little more darkness in store. The plot follows more of a Swan Lake retelling, but only like a light dusting. A few pages in, and my reader's heart was captured in this tale.

Growing up is over-rated, and this Peter Pan retelling was exactly what the child in me needed to swoop into imagination's flight. The mixture of the 'real' world with Neverland is simply a treat and an exciting adventure.
Be still, my geek-heart! This is a picture book. There are peep-holes, gorgeous illustrations, and only few pages. But the information in this is a treasure chest! It's like walking through a museum and gazing at the oddest, historical gems. Different? Yes. But oh-so interesting!

Quirky describes this science fiction adventure. In many ways, it reminds of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. . .and this may be exactly why I keep thinking back to Holly long after I've laid the book down. There's childish goofiness, amazing fantasy and twists and turns which could only happen in the oddest corners of the universe. 

And that's my list!

At least, for 2017.
Hope you had an exciting year on the literature end, and if not, there's still a couple of days to dive into several awesome reads.

I'm excited about 2018, but then, I already have peeked at the pile of books building up on my desk. 
So many amazing books.
So many worlds waiting to be explored.
And I can't wait to share them with you.

Have a Happy New Year!!!

1 comment:

Sheena-kay Graham said...

This is a nice list of books Tonja. Happy holidays!