Back in March, I wrote about catching up on some worthy middle grade gems from 2012 and 2013.
Well, there are plenty more books on my TBR list clamoring for my attention. Like toddlers. And this is what they're shouting:
"Pick me up."
"No, no, me! Pick me up instead."
"Don't listen to them. Over here. Me me me!"
Which one do you listen to? How do you decide to read Book A before Book B or Book C? Sometimes, of course, it's a question of finding them in the library. Or if you're lucky, you win a copy. :)
Sometimes, you just have to buy the book that's pestering you. But unless you've won the lottery, you can't afford to buy them all. Times like this I miss working in a bookstore, where I had thousands of ARCs vying for my attention. I still couldn't read them all, though I certainly tried. Back then, I read quickly, and I read as a bookseller.
Now, I go to the library and I try to read as a writer.
Here are three more worthy novels from 2013 you should add to your TBR list (yes, I'm evil that way!). Bonus: they're all historical fiction, about different time periods in American history.
Synopses: from the publishers (edited slightly for brevity).
Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine (for ages 9 to 12, Scholastic, Sept 2013)
It's 1972 and life will never be the same for Red Porter. He's growing up around black car grease, white fence paint, and the backward attitudes of the folks who live in his hometown, Stony Gap, Virginia.
Red's daddy, his idol, has just died, leaving Red and Mama with some hard decisions and a whole lot of doubt. Should they sell the Porter family business, a gas station, repair shop, and convenience store rolled into one?
When Red discovers the injustices that have been happening in Stony Gap since before he was born, he's faced with unsettling questions about his family's legacy.
Why I recommend it: I loved Red; he's a realistic, flawed and yet likable character. Writers, read this one to learn about character growth.
Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper (ages 10 and up, Margaret K. McElderry Books, August 2013)
On the winter day Little Hawk is sent into the woods alone, he can only take a bow and arrows, his tomahawk and the metal knife his father traded for with the new white settlers. If Little Hawk survives three moons by himself, he will be a man.
John Wakely is ten when his father dies, but he knows the friendship of the nearby tribes. Yet his fellow colonists aren't as accepting. John's friendship with Little Hawk will put both boys in grave danger.
Why I recommend it: Ghost Hawk is a unique look at our nation's early history. Writers, read this one for her mastery of description! (Note: Because this is the real history you don't often hear about, there is some shocking violence.)
Every Day After by Laura Golden (for ages 9 to 12, Delacorte Books for Young Readers, June 2013)
It's been two months since Lizzie's daddy disappeared due to the awful Depression. Lizzie's praying he'll return to Bittersweet, Alabama for her birthday. It won't feel special without him, what with Lizzie's Mama being so sad she won't even talk and the bank nipping at their heels for the mortgage payment.
As time passes, Lizzie can only picture her daddy's face by opening her locket. If others can get by, why did her daddy leave? If he doesn't return, how can she overcome the same obstacles that drove him away?
Why I recommend it: For some reason, I can't get enough of books about the Depression (Moon Over Manifest being a favorite). Writers, read this touching and inspiring novel for the voice.
How do you handle your TBR list?