RTW – What were your top five favorite books of 2011?

This week YA Highway’s Road Trip Wednesday asks, What were your top five favorite books of 2011? I’m not very good at favorites lists, but I’m willing to give it a go. Most of mine aren’t brand new in 2011 because I’m still exploring the children’s literature field. But these are the ones that stuck with me, not in any particular order.

Rules by Cynthia Lord

This is one of the few books I read in paperback, because I met the author at an SCBWI conference. Her talk was incredible, heartwarming and heartbreaking. Cynthia had me in tears. So did Rules.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

This is one that I keep recommending whenever the subject of must-read books comes up. It has the most horrifying scene I’ve ever read. It’s also thought-provoking and riveting, with marvelous characters.

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

Another one that had me in tears. I knew Caitlin, the main character. My heart ached for her. The ending was uplifting and joyful without being saccharine.

Room by Emma Donoghue

I saw this on a “best” list, then heard the author on NPR. She did a reading from the book and I was hooked. It can be a frightening read at times, and it’s difficult to see a child in peril. But it develops to a wonderful ending.

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

I heard about this book via the #racefail controversy. I knew nothing about the story, which was pretty nice because I was unwittingly pulled along as it kept turning and twisting in (for me) unexpected ways. The main character is great, the story fascinating, and the end left me wondering if I’d ever really heard the truth.

So there you go. Those of you who read widely in children’s literature have probably already read them. But if you haven’t, I highly recommend you check them out.

About karensandler

Lover of chocolate. A couple felines short of full-fledged Cat Lady. Author of the YA Tankborn Trilogy (TANKBORN, AWAKENING, and REBELLION), from Tu Books. Founding team member of We Need Diverse Books. Opinions expressed here are my own.
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6 Responses to RTW – What were your top five favorite books of 2011?

  1. I read Room this year too! Loved it!

  2. Haven’t read those. Gonna check them out! Thanks for sharing πŸ˜‰

  3. I haven’t read any of these, but I’ll definitely check them out! I have heard such amazing things about ROOM, especially. Oh, and your cat is too adorable! πŸ™‚

    • karensandler says:

      Yeah, Zak is adorable, but boy is he mischievous. He likes to carry stuff around the house and hide them. He manages to find little worm snakes in the garage and brings them into the house. Fun.

  4. Robin Moran says:

    You have me intrigued by Unwind! I’m interested to see what makes it horrifying!

  5. Tarah Dunn says:

    I’ve been meaning to read Liar. Thanks for the reminder! I’m beginning to be daunted by all these lists of books I haven’t read, but I know they’ll come in handy when I have no idea what to read next.

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