Mindy’s Top 10 of 2011

Narrowing my favorite books down to just ten titles is a daunting task.  In an attempt to represent the wide variety of book I’ve read this year, I’ve broken my picks into categories.

Books I’ve enjoyed with my preschool age daughter:


  • Monday is One Day by Arthur Levine – As a working mom, I appreciated this book for its countdown of the days until the parent and child could spend the day together, but it is also a great book for talking about diversity in family structure.
  • Shoe-la-la by Karen Beaumont – This one has also been on the blog before, in Read-alouds for Your Littlest Listeners.  It came out in January, and it is still in regular rotation at my house.
  • Red Sled by Lita Judge – Kristin included this one in her recent post featuring Wintery Picture Books, and it is my choice for celebrating the magic of winter here in Minnesota.  My kiddo’s delighted gasp at the end of the book was enough for it to earn a place on my year-end favorite list.  🙂

Fascinating nonfiction:

 Raggin' Jazzin' Rockin'

My favorite fiction:


  • Sparrow Road by Sheila O’Connor – Lindsey reviewed this title, and I mentioned it in this post about connecting fiction to the curriculum. I can’t recommend it enough!
  • Summer Before Boys by Nora Raleigh Baskin – I’ve been recommending this book to my adult friends as well as to tween girls for its authentic portrayal of the complexities of female friendship.  I mentioned it in my post about connecting fiction to the curriculum along with Sparrow Road.
  • Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin – I have a review of this middle grade novel all written and ready to post in January, but don’t wait til then to read this small but powerful novel.
  • Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O’Roark Dowell – I wrote about how I was bound to love this book in my review last March, and here it is on my Top 10 list.  🙂
  • How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr – Sara Zarr is certainly proving herself as an author to watch in teen contemporary realistic fiction.  This novel authentically explores the emotional territory of family.  It is one of many books  I’ve read recently that made me cry on my bus commute home from Mackin.

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