In the efforts of getting my favorite books of 2015 posted this month, I’m going to quote myself from last year:
“I have never liked doing a public scale rating of books – the librarian in me would rather describe what’s in the book and let you decide if it sounds good for you. But this year, for the first time since high school, I gave books number ratings on my own private spreadsheet. I shamelessly borrowed the Book Smuggler’s 10-point rating system for this, where 0 is “I want my time and my money back”, 5 is “meh” and so on. For my purposes, 7 is a book I enjoyed, 8 is one I loved and 9 is one I really, really loved. 10 only gets given out retrospectively to books I find myself re-reading and thinking about a lot – a true personal classic.”
Here are my 9 and above rated books from 2015.
The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock and Mary Granpre
I was less rigorous about tracking picture books last year, it seems – I know we also really enjoyed Last Stop on Market Street, Sunday Shopping, and Drum Dream Girl.
Early Chapter Books
Lulu and the Cat in the Bag by Hilary McKay
Clementine series by Sara Pennypacker
I was looking at all of my top-rated middle grade books and realizing that very large numbers of them were duplicates from the Cybils Middle Grade Speculative Fiction finalists and my post of favorite books that didn’t make that list. So go read that list, and then add the following:
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
The Detective’s Assistant by Kate Hannigan
Dragons Beware! by Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado
One Crazy Summer and P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Death Sworn by Leah Cypess
Halcyon Bird by Kat Beyer
Hostage by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson et al.
Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older
Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones
Uprooted by Naomi Novik – I know. I loved this so hard and so many other people were so eloquent about it that I didn’t actually review it. But it’s just about perfect and you should go read it.
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua
I used to reread books all the time, but now that I’m flooded with new books all the time, it’s much rarer. I still reread books for myself from time to time, and also introduce my children to older favorites. In any case, I reserve my private rating of 10 for books that I do or would reread. (I started listening to Carry On over again as soon as I finished it the first time, though I’m being slow on the re-listen.) Here are my much-beloved rereads from 2015:
The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
El Deafo by Cece Bell – Not only do I love this book, but both my kids have reread it over the year. I’ve found my daughter curled up in bed with it both awake and asleep on multiple occasions, and a chapter or two is a frequent bedtime request.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (the first two, on audio)
The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin