Book recommendations

As an unpublished author of picture books and middle grade fiction, I don't feel right using my blog to criticize the writing of published authors.  If you don't see a book listed here, it's either because I simply haven't read it yet or because I read it and didn't consider it a four or five star book. 


The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher by Jessica Lawson
A Diamond in the Desert by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Al Capone Does My Homework by Gennifer Choldenko
All Four Stars by Tara Dairman
Auggie & Me by R.J. Palacio


The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan
Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco
The Big Book of Superheroes by Bart King
Bigger Than a Breadbox by Laurel Snyder
Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly
Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose
Boom! by Mark Haddon
By the Grace of Todd by Louise Galveston


The Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbet
Centaur's Daughter by Ellen Jensen Abbott
Chains and Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson 
Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver
Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Cracked by K.M. Walton
Curiosity by Gary Blackwood

Dairy Queen trilogy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk
Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr
Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
Dear America The Diary of Lydia Amelia Pierce by Lois Lowry
Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series) by Jeff Kinney
Divergent by Veronica Roth
A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans by Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder

11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
The Eighth Day by Dianne Salerni
Every Day After by Laura Golden
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Everybody Sees the Ants by A. S. King


Falcon in the Glass by Susan Fletcher
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve
Finally by Wendy Mass
The Flame in the Mist by Kit Grindstaff
The Fledgling by Jane Langton
Flip by Martyn Bedford
Flying the Dragon by Natalie Dias Lorenzi
The Fourteen Fibs of Gregory K. by Greg Pincus
The Fortune of Carmen Navarro by Jen Bryant
The Friendship Doll by Kirby Larson

Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities by Mike Jung
Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper
Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski
Glass Heart by Amy Garvey
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Gold Medal Winter by Donna Freitas
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
The Great Hamster Massacre by Katie Davies
The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson
Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace by Nan Marino
Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli
Hope is a Ferris Wheel by Robin Herrera
Hound Dog True by Linda Urban
How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O'Connor


The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood
In Search of Goliathus Hercules by Jennifer Angus
Island's End by Padma Venkatraman

Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass
Jump Into the Sky by Shelley Pearsall

Kaspar the Titanic Cat by Michael Morpurgo
Keeping Safe the Stars by Sheila O'Connor

Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
The Lemonade Crime by Jacqueline Davies
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
The Life of Glass by Jillian Cantor
Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard
Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai
Loki's Wolves by K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr
The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham
Lug, Dawn of the Ice Age by David Zeltser
Lulu and the Dog From the Sea by Hilary McKay
Lulu and the Duck in the Park by Hilary McKay


The Magic Half by Annie Barrows
Malcolm at Midnight by W.H. Beck
Manhunt by Kate Messner
May B. by Caroline Starr Rose
The Mennyms by Sylvia Waugh
The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
The Monster in the Mudball by S.P. Gates
The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick
Mudshark by Gary Paulsen
My Life as a Book by Janet Tashjian
My Near-Death Adventures (99% True!) by Alison DeCamp
My Not-So-Still Life by Liz Gallagher 
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Nightbird by Alice Hoffman
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Nightshade City  by Hilary Wagner
No Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko

Odessa Again by Dana Reinhardt
Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall
Pie by Sarah Weeks
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow
P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia


The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
Remarkable by Lizzie K. Foley
The Resisters by Eric Nylund
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
The Runaway King by Jennifer Nielsen
The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

Samantha Sutton and the Labyrinth of Lies - Jordan Jacobs
Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
Screaming at the Ump by Audrey Vernick
Season of Gifts by Richard Peck
Secrets at Sea by Richard Peck
The Secret Underground by Natalie Bahm
Second Fiddle by Rosanne Parry
Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine
See What I See by Gloria Whelan
Seven Tales of Trinket by Shelley Moore Thomas
The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall
Shadow Children Sequence by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska
The Shakespeare Stealer and Shakespeare's Scribe by Gary Blackwood
Sharks and Boys by Kristen Tracy
The Shifter by Janice Hardy
The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox
Small As An Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd
Sounder by William H. Armstrong
The Sound of Life and Everything by Krista Van Dolzer
Sparrow Road by Sheila O'Connor
The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan
Strings Attached by Judy Blundell
The Summer I Learned to Fly by Dana Reinhardt


A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine
Tending to Grace by Kimberly Newton Fusco
There's a Girl in My Hammerlock by Jerry Spinelli
13 Gifts by Wendy Mass
A Thunderous Whisper by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis
Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini
True Colors by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock
The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois
Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm


Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Ungifted by Gordon Korman
The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones by Will Mabbitt


The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: X Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson


Wake Up Missing by Kate Messner
Wanderville by Wendy McClure
Warp Speed by Lisa Yee
We Hear the Dead by Dianne K. Salerni
What Came From the Stars by Gary D. Schmidt
What the Dog Said by Randi Reisfeld
The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher
Will Sparrow's Road by Karen Cushman
Winterling by Sarah Prineas
The Witches by Roald Dahl
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
The Wonder of Charlie Anne by Kimberly Newton Fusco
Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy
Written in Stone by Rosanne Parry


 You'll Like It Here (Everybody Does) by Ruth White