Monday, January 6, 2014

MMGM: My Top Three MG books of 2013

Below is a list of all the books I read this past year. I highlighted my top three favorites for the middle grade books, and my favorite YA and adult book. Unfortunately I had an apparent least favorite middle grade and adult book, but it wouldn't be in the spirit of this post to mention those. At least (as writers) we can learn from what we don't like in books we read and make sure it doesn't show up in our own writing!

Favorite middle grade books:

1. Rump: The True Story of Rumplestiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff. I just thought this book was a lot of fun in the creative way she retold this story. Instead of a mean little old man, Rump was a young boy who needed to unravel the mystery of his name. I enjoyed learning the story right along with him.

2. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. I had only read one verse novel prior to this, and it was a good one (Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai) but with Out of the Dust I really understood the power verse can have. I connected more with the format and knew I had to try to write in verse myself. Any book which inspires me to go write is a winner in my mind!

3. Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary (Fablehaven Book 4) by Brandon Mull. I have really enjoyed each book in this series. With every new installment there comes a new adventure (it does take a stretch of the imagination to believe that humans could come out from any of them alive - but it is fantasy after all) and what I liked about this one is a major character twist I didn't see coming. Like "whoa... no way!" Maybe other readers had this figured out, but not me. I have enjoyed the creativity of the world Brandon Mull has created and that he keeps us guessing how it will all turn out in the end.

What was your favorite middle grade (or other) book that you read in 2013?

Happy reading in 2014!

Middle Grade Books 2013
  1. The Boy on the Porch Sharon Creech
  2. Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
  3. The Dead Boys by Royce Buckingham
  4. Smile by Raina Telgemeier
  5. A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff
  6. Kepler's Dream by Juliet Bell
  7. Doll Bones by Holly Black
  8. Judy Moody and the Bad Luck Charm by Megan McDonald
  9. Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
  10. Crunch by Leslie Connor
  11. Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
  12. Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood
  13. May B by Caroline Starr Rose
  14. The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd 
  15. Better Than Weird by Anna Kerz
  16. Geenie Wishes by Elisabeth Dahl
  17. Frindle by Andrew Clements
  18. Pie by Sarah Weeks
  19. The Humming Room by Ellen Potter
  20. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
  21. Rump: The True Story of Rumplestiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff
  22. The Last Song by Eva Wiseman
  23. SLOB by Ellen Potter
  24. Katerina's Wish by Jeannie Mobley
  25. Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry
  26. Faith, Hope, and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  27. I, Emma Freke by Elizabeth Atkinson
  28. The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech
  29. Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
  30. The Magic Half by Annie Barrows
  31. Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary (Fablehaven Book 4) by Brandon Mull
  32. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
  33. Geeks, Girls and Secret Identities by Mike Jung
  34. Fairytale Detectives by Michael Buckley
  35. Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead
  36. Grip of the Shadow Plague (Fablehaven Book 3) by Brandon Mull
Young Adult Books 2013
  1. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  2. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  3. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  4. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
  5. I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder 
  6. Deadline by Chris Crutcher
  7. Butter by Erin Jade Lange
  8. This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
  9. The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington
Adult Books 2013
  1. Down the Darkest Road by Tami Hoag
  2. The 9th Girl by Tami Hoag
  3. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
  4. Look Again by Lisa Scottoline
  5. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  6. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
  7. Six Years by Harlan Coben
  8. Drop Shot by Harlan Coben
  9. The Shack by William Paul Young
  10. You Don't Know Me by Susan May Warren

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday (MMGM) was created by Shannon Messenger. To find other bloggers participating in MMGM go to her blog for a list of links.


  1. Loved seeing all the books you're reading. I loved Rump too. Other favorites were Plastic Polly, Sky Jumpers, and The Runaway King.

    1. I haven't read any of those Natalie, will have to check them out. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. That's the beauty of books -- there's something for everyone. What one person loves, the next does not. It's how it should be.

    1. Yes, I know that... but I always feel a little bad when I don't connect with a book someone poured out their heart to create!

  3. Happy New Year, Julie! That's a great list. And Barbara's right: not every book is meant for every reader.

    I read 119 books this past year, but I haven't broken it down by category, plus some of them were re-reads (like From the Mixed-up Files). You may have read a few more adult books than I did.

    As for my favorite MG that I read in 2013; gosh, it's always hard for me to narrow it down to one. Definitely in the running: Counting by 7s, The Runaway King, and an arc of The Eighth Day by Dianne Salerni, which comes out in April (which you will love!).

    1. Hi Joanne! WOW... that's a lot of books. And again, I haven't read any of your favorites. I will have to keep my eyes open for them at the library!

  4. I really enjoyed the Fablehaven series. I read them for the first time this year, too. And I loved, loved, The Snow Child

    1. Glad to hear you enjoyed The Snow Child... now can we please talk about the ending? :-)

  5. My Dad has wanted me to read The Shack for a while but I've been hesitant for some reason. I'd love to hear what you though of that book. Great reading list by the way, I wish I could have read that many books last year!