Best of 2013 So Far

Mom,

I thought I had a lot to say about your memoirs post, but when I started to try to compose a response, it all boiled down to, “yeah, what you said.”  So, I’m not going to do that.  Instead, with the year almost half over, I thought I’d make a list of my favorite books of the year so far–the ones that may very well be making their way onto our Mock Printz list–in roughly descending order. 

  • 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma–I continue to think that this is the best YA book I’ve read this year.  Emotionally and psychologically complex, gorgeously written, and haunting.
  • Yellowcake by Margo Lanagan–Lanagan returns to short stories. Nuff said.
  • Pieces by Chris Lynch
  • Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas by Jim Ottiviani, illustrated by Maris Wicks–I haven’t officially posted anything about this book, though I’ve mentioned it here and there. It’s definitely the best graphic novel for teens I’ve read this year, and my five-year-old daughter loves it.  It takes us through the lives of three of the great primatologists of the 20th century, all tied together by the great Louis Leakey.  The art is fantastic–approachable and distinct, with bold, rich colors.  And the text has just the right balance of humor, biography, science, and adventure.
  • Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty–I have serious doubts as to whether this book will last until the end of the year, but it remains one of my great pleasures of the first half.
  • Lincoln’s Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin–this one seems to be taking a lot of heat for not being Bomb (as we both assumed it would), but I haven’t read a better nonfiction teen book yet.  Hope to get to more NF in the second half though.

What about . . . ?

I’m taking a pass on such acclaimed titles as Midwinterblood (as you know), Alex Flinn’s Towering, Kiersten White’s Mind Games, and Megan Miranda’s Hysteria.  And I’m still mulling over my reactions to Matthew Quick’s Forgive Me Leonard Peacock, and AS King’s Reality Boy.  I could be convinced that either of those latter two are among the year’s best, but it would take a good argument.

What about you?  Do you have a best of the year so far list?

– Mark

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5 Comments

Filed under Teens

5 responses to “Best of 2013 So Far

  1. Jonathan Hunt

    I’ve put a hold on 17 & GONE, but I’m number 4 so it will be awhile. It has a single starred review from Bulletin, but the other reviews have been very positive.

    I’m curious if you’ve read MORTAL FIRE (or indeed either of Elizabeth Knox’s previous books, DREAMHUNTER and DREAMQUAKE)? To my mind, she writes literary fantasy just as well as Margo Lanagan, but is more accessible to the genre fantasy reader.

    • Mark Flowers

      I haven’t read Knox, but will definitely try my hand at her before I get to Printz 2008. Printz honor? Lanagan comparisons? Yes, please!

  2. Pingback: Best of 2013 So Far, Sarah’s Take | crossreferencing

  3. TeenReader

    Is Yellowcake eligible for the Printz, considering most of the material has been previously published?

  4. Pingback: End of the Year | crossreferencing

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