Today's suggested topic for Armchair BEA is Best of 2011: favorite books we've read so far this year. In no particular order- because I love them all- here are my top five:
Okay for Now, by Gary D. Schmidt
It sounds like a simple story-- a kid gets transplanted to a new town, hates it, and eventually finds his place there... but I'm still in awe of the range of emotions this book takes the reader through. Newbery, please!
Starcrossed, by Josephine Angelini
If I had time to re-read anything these days, I would choose this book, no question. I got completely immersed in it! I can't stop raving about it, honestly. It's going to be my new go-to recommendation when someone asks me for a good read.
Orchards, by Holly Thompson
A gorgeous novel in verse that explores a couple of my favorite themes-- healing from grief and finding a sense of belonging. And the beautifully-depicted setting of rural Japan makes me love this book all the more.
Entwined, by Heather Dixon
This retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses is so delightfully cozy... it's a book I want to curl up and read on a cloudy day, in front of a fireplace, wrapped in a blanket, with a mug of hot cocoa.
Art and Life in Rural Japan: Toho Village Through the Eyes of its Youth, edited by Cyrus Rolbin
The young people of a tiny Japanese village introduce their hometown through their own words and photographs. Addressing the issue of Japan's rural depopulation while highlighting the beauty of one community's heritage and history, this book is a treasure.