Wednesday, December 19, 2018

#libfaves18: Abby's Favorites of 2018

For the past ten days, librarians around the world have been Tweeting their top 10 books of 2018 with the hashtag #libfaves18. Check out this hashtag for a snapshot of what books are popular with librarians this year. This is a great tool for collection development and reader's advisory and the books run the gamut from adult to children's and covering all kinds of genres.

Head over to RA for All where Becky has a great post about how to use #libfaves18 and past LibFaves lists in your reader's advisory. While the official #libfaves18 posting ends today, starting tomorrow librarians can chime in with honorable mentions, using the hashtag #libfaves18HM, so keep an eye out for that, too.

And here's what was on my #libfaves18 list:

All the Names They Used for God by Anjali Sachdeva (Spiegel & Grau). This stellar short story collection is so rich with strange and striking imagery that the stories have stuck with me since I read this book early in 2018.

Educated by Tara Westover (Random House). I actually read this book twice this year because I read it as a galley before it came out and I reread it for my book club. I hand this riveting memoir to anyone who asks me for a good read.

The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King (Abrams). This biography of Fred Rogers is a great read for anyone who watched Mr. Rogers growing up or who has an interest in early childhood education and media. The audiobook, read by LeVar Burton, is super.

Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick). I love this teen novel about a Muscogee teen trying to find her way and not accepting crap from anyone. I love how strong Louise is as a protagonist and how she stands up against the racial microaggressions (and aggressions!) that happen to her as she navigates love, school, and family.

If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim (William Morrow). This is an unforgettable family saga set in Korea during and after the Korean War. Choices made by the characters will affect their family for generations. I just couldn't put it down this summer.

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani (Dial). Nisha, half-Muslim and half-Hindu, must leave her home when India is partitioned into two states and Pakistan is created. This moving story would be a great read for young folks who like Diary of a Young Girl or Malala.

Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist by Sylvia Acevedo (Clarion). This book made me wish I had been a Girl Scout! This memoir from Girl Scouts CEO Sylvia Acevedo talks about her childhood growing up in New Mexico and the skills she learned from Girl Scouts that she wouldn't have had the opportunity to learn otherwise. Hand this to kids interested in life 50 years ago and especially any devoted Scouts or former Scouts.

The Sun Does Shone: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton (St. Martin's Press). This is another book that I found myself telling everyone about, a riveting memoir about a man on death row for a crime he didn't commit. 

Sunny by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum). I am a big fan of the entire Track series, but I think Sunny's my favorite. This story of a weird kid, a kid who really sees the world differently and struggles to find his place within it, just struck a chord with me. Don't miss this entire series. 

There There by Tommy Orange (Knopf). I loved Tommy Orange's debut novel featuring a diverse cast of urban Native Americans brought together by a powwow in Oakland. A great choice for readers of character-driven fiction or books in urban settings. I can't wait for more from Tommy Orange.