Reviewing the Year

Holly Johnson, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

The Cardboard KingdomAs 2019 comes to an end, taking a second look at the books members of the WoW community recommended over the past year is a good way to see where we’ve been, and perhaps take a look at where we are going. WoW Recommends is a monthly book recommendation a member of the WoW community believes others should not only know about, but READ! Typically, the recommended books are published within the last two years, and are considered a must for global readers.

There were 11 books recommended this year, (no book in July), and many were books for young people in middle and secondary schools. What an interesting turn for 2019, but when I think about all the fabulous books published for teens in the last couple of years, I should not be all that surprised.

The three additional books were picturebooks that included a terrific informational text on the evolution of the peppered moth, a wonderful book about the beauty of the hijab by U.S. Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad, and an engaging story for toddlers highlighting a little girl’s journey with the letter “B” while negotiating the market with her older brother.

Our list of books:
January: The Cardboard Kingdom, a middle school graphic novel from the USA by Chad Sell.
February: The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle, a middle grade realistic novel from the USA by Leslie Connor.
March: Merci Suárez Changes Gears, a Newbery winner for middle grades by Meg Medina from the USA.
April: Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, a YA novel from Nigeria by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani (afterword by Vivianna Mazza).
May: The Casket of Time, a middle grade fantasy from Iceland by Andri Snær Magnason (translated by Björg Arnadóttir and Andrew Cauthery).
June: The Turnaway Girls, a middle grade fantasy by Hayley Chewins from South Africa.
August: Moth, an Evolution Story, an informational picturebook from the UK by Isabel Thomas (illustrated by Daniel Egnéus).
September: B is for Baby, a picturebook by Atinuke from Nigeria by Atinuke (illustrated by Angela Brooksbank).
October: The Bridge Home, a middle school realistic novel placed in India by Padma Venkatraman.
November: The Proudest Blue: A story of Hijab and Family, a picturebook by Ibtihaj Muhammad from the USA (illustrated by Hatem Aly and with contributions from S.K.Ali).
December: The Disasters, a YA science fiction novel by M.K. England from the USA.

Take a look at these wonderful books from across the globe. I guarantee there is something for everybody in the 2019 list, and I will tell you all about then and their possibilities in the weeks to come. And better yet, go out and grab a couple for your winter reading!

Journey through Worlds of Words during our open reading hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To view our complete offerings of WOW Currents, please visit archival stream.

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