Cynsational Books of 2010
Thank you to everyone who discussed and debated and cheered and championed this year's books!
Just for fun, here are a few of my favorites.
(a) to varying degrees, I know or have met some (but not most) of the authors/illustrators--if I discounted everyone I knew, potential picks would be so significantly reduced in number as to be meaningless;
(b) I will continue to read and feature 2010 titles in 2011 and beyond;
(c) these are highlights, not predictions, not an all-inclusive list of my favorites.
The Beatitudes: From Slavery to Civil Rights by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Tim Ladwig (Eerdmans, 2010)
Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows, illustrated by Kurt Cyrus (Simon & Schuster, 2010)
Librarian on the Roof! A True Story by M. G. King, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin (Albert Whitman, 2010)
Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Scott Magoon (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster, 2010)
Out of the Way! Out of the Way! by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Uma Krishnaswamy (Tulika, 2010)
Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light by Tim Tingle, illustrated by Karen Clarkson (Cinco Puntos, 2010)
Shades of People by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly (Holiday House, 2010)
Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton, illustrated by Tom Lichtenfeld (Little, Brown, 2010)
She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Don Tate (HarperCollins, 2010)
Soar Elinor by Tami Lewis Brown, illustrated by François Roca (FSG, 2010)
Time to Pray by Maha Adassi, illustrated by Ned Gannon (Boyds Mills, 2010)
Goddess Girls series by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams (Aladdin, 2010-)
Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off by Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Miguel Benitez (Whitman, 2010)
Continuing Series: Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm, illustrated by Matthew Holm (Random House); Joey Fly, Private by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Neil Numberman (Henry Holt); Piper Reed by Kimberly Willis Holt (Henry Holt).
Middle Grade Realistic Fiction
Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins (Charlesbridge, 2010)
The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester by Barbara O'Connor (FSG, 2010)
The Healing Spell by Kimberley Griffiths Little (Scholastic, 2010)
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (HarperCollins, 2010)
The Other Half of My Heart by Sundee T. Frazier (Delacorte, 2010)
The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez (Knopf, 2010)
Selling Hope by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb (Feiwel & Friends, 2010)
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger (Amulet, 2010)
Truth with a Capital T by Bethany Hegedus (Delacorte, 2010)
Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm (Random House, 2010).
Middle Grade Fantasy
Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch (Abrams, 2010)(graphic format).
The Dark Deeps (The Hunchback Assignments #2) by Arthur Slade (Wendy Lamb, 2010)
The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone (Random House, 2010)
The Suburb Beyond the Stars by M.T. Anderson (Scholastic, 2010)
Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus by R.L. LaFevers (Houghton Mifflin 2010)(series website)
Thomas and the Dragon Queen by Shutta Crum (Knopf, 2010)
Middle Grade Nonfiction
Spilling Ink: A Young Writers Handbook by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter, illustrated by Matt Phelan (Flashpoint, 2010)
YA Realistic Fiction
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (Dutton, 2010)
Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson (Delacorte, 2010)
The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard (Viking, 2010)
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (Dial, 2010)
Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala (HarperTeen, 2010)
The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride (Egmont, 2010)
Queen of Secrets by Jenny Meyerhoff (FSG, 2010)
Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri, illustrated by Randy duBurke (Lee & Low, 2010)
The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee (Candlewick, 2010)
The Agency: The Body at the Tower by Y.S. Lee (Candlewick, 2010)
Girl, Stolen by April Henry (Henry Holt, 2010)
The Less-Dead by April Lurie (Delacorte, 2010)
Speculative YA Fiction
Alien Invasion and Other Inconveniences by Brian Yansky (Candlewick, 2010)
Another Pan by Daniel and Dina Nayeri (Candlewick, 2010)
Black Hole Sun by David Macinnis Gill (Greenwillow, 2010)
Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson (Simon Pulse, 2010)
The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle (Henry Holt, 2010)
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (Philomel, 2010)
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White (HarperTeen, 2010)
Young Adult Nonfiction
The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie: A Doll's History and Her Impact on Us by Tanya Lee Stone (Viking, 2010)
Janis Joplin, Rise Up Singing by Ann Angel (Amulet, 2010)
Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos (Clarion, 2010)
They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (Houghton Mifflin, 2010)
The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan, illustrated by Peter Sis (Scholastic, 2010)
Keeper by Kathi Appelt (Atheneum, 2010)
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park (Clarion, 2010)
Virginia Hamilton: Speeches, Essays, & Conversations, co-edited by Arnold Adoff (Hamilton’s husband) and Kacy Cook (Scholastic/Blue Sky Press, 2010)
Brains For Lunch: A Zombie Novel in Haiku?! by K.A. Holt, illustrated by Gahan Wilson (Roaring Brook, 2010). Trailer by K.A. Holt. Note: bonus points for being low budget; an inspiration in tough economic times.
Favorite New Blogs
Anita Silvey's Children's Book-A-Day Almanac: "Daily children's book recommendations from Anita Silvey. Discover the stories behind children’s book classics and the new books good enough to become classics."
Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels: Writing for Kids from the Heart of Texas AKA Jessica Lee Anderson, P.J. Hoover, Jo Whittemore, K.A. Holt, Jeanette Larson, Don Tate, and Emma Virjan.
My 2010 release was an original tall tale picture book, Holler Loudly, illustrated by Barry Gott (Dutton)(see sidebar for teachers guides by Shannon Morgan). Trailer by P.J. Hoover with voice-over by Tim Crow.
I also celebrated the paperback release of Eternal (Candlewick, 2010), which debuted at #5 on The New York Times bestseller list and #13 on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list. Trailer by Shayne Leighton.
"Fireworks" by Anna Cervova from PublicDomainPictures.net.
Thanks to Debbie Gonzales, Carmen Oliver, and Mark G. Mitchell at Austin SCBWI.
Thanks to Lisa Firke of Hit Those Keys, the designer and webmaster of www.cynthialeitichsmith.com.