This year Cynthia had two books out, BLESSED and TANTALIZE: KIEREN'S STORY, which are of course my favorites. My wife, however, insists that it is dorky for me to list them as such (as I have done in the past). So, this year, here is my list of favorites books that I have recommended over the course of 2011 that were not written by someone related to me. My rules are the same as in previous years, although I suppose I should be explicit that these are stand-alone titles.
MINE! by Shutta Crum, ill. by Patrice Barton. Nearly wordless, yet expressive.
NOODLE AND LOU, by Liz Garton Scanlon, ill. by Arthur Howard. A sweet tale of friendship.
NAAMAH AND THE ARK AT NIGHT, by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, ill. by Holly Meade. A lyrical lullaby, and who doesn't like the story of Noah's Ark?
THE THIRD GIFT, by Linda Sue Park, ill. by Bagram Ibatoulline. A lovely Christmas story.
LITTLE OWL'S NIGHT, by Divya Srinivasan. A great bedtime read.
WORDS IN THE DUST, by Trent Reedy. The dramatic and heartwarming story of a young Afghan girl.
THE GRAND PLAN TO FIX EVERYTHING, by Uma Krishnaswami. Hooray for Bollywood!
WILD LIFE, by Cynthia DeFelice. A survival story, of sorts, featuring a boy and his dog.
BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY, by Ruta Sepetys. A fifteen year-old and her family survive Stalin's gulag.
STRAW HOUSE, WOOD HOUSE, BRICK HOUSE, BLOW, by Daniel Nayeri. A collection of four quirky and compelling novellas. (Daniel's my editor, but I don't hold it against him :-)).