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Kidsreads Reviewers Pick Their Favorite Books of 2015!

Reviewer Picks

Kidsreads Reviewers Pick Their Favorite Books of 2015!

There's no better way to start an argument with self-proclaimed book nerds than to ask "what is the best children's book of 2015?" We decided to get our lovely reviewers and Teen Board members involved in the debate by asking them to tell us a few of their favorites. See below for their picks, and a few fun quotes. Do you agree with their choices? 


Hasnah Farraj
  • TERRIBLE TYPHOID MARY: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
    It was very informative and interesting to finally learn the true story behind Mary Mallon rather than just the folklore surrounding her. The author was able ot clearly explain who Mary was, how the US reacted to her and how she impacted history while still making readers want to keep turning the pages.
  • THE FALL by James Preller
    I read this book in one sitting because I wanted to know how Sam Proctor would cope with the death of his friend and classmate, Morgan. The characters in this book seemed so real and I would highly recommend it to show that bullying should be taken seriously.
    Vrabel shows that individuals shouldn't let their disabilities stop them from achieving their goals, and that just because someone may have a condition, they should not feel sorry for themselves or expect things to be handed to them. I think this is a very good message and its one of the reasons why I enjoyed this novel.      

  • The DISAPPEARANCE OF EMILY H. by Barrie Summy
    While I found it interesting that Raine, the protagonist, could see the past, I thought her method was even more intriguing --- she could see "sparkles" on people. Additionally, Summy did an excellent job incorporating themes like bullying, growth and mother-daughter relationships into this mystery novel.
  • THE ROSEMARY SPELL by Virginia Zimmerman
    The details and descriptions in THE ROSEMARY SPELL allowed me to clearly picture what was happening. I also desperately hoped that Shelby, one of the main characters' older sister, would be saved before it was too late. I believe that even readers who don't usually read fantasy should make an exception for this one.      
Corinne Fox
    This is the most fun I've had reading in quite a while. All of the characters were so vivacious and alive and they were also relatable and likeable. Serafina herself is both an amazing protagonist and a fabulous role model for young girls to look up to --- she can teach them great lessons about being proud of who you are and never apologizing for being different. The atmosphere was deliciously gloomy and foreboding, and I could always see everything in my mind, from the great descriptions and lyrical language. I never once found myself bored while reading this book, and I think readers young and old would enjoy it very much!
  • THE LIGHTNING QUEEN by Laura Resau
    This was one of the most unique books I read this year, and it also contained marvelous characters who drew you in instantly to root for their struggle. This book also had a standout female character in the eponymous queen. I've never felt such energy sparkling from the pages as when Esma was in a scene. I also was very excited to read about two cultures I do not often see in literature: the Romani and the Mixteco natives. The story was symphonic, weaving intricately back and forth, past to present. There was such melodious sound from both the words on the page and from the song of the story. This book was a delight to read and a wonderful emotional ride.

Christine Irvin

  • THE COTTAGE IN THE WOODS by Katherine Coville
    Apparently, there was much more to the story of GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS that was never told until now, in Katherine Coville's THE COTTAGE IN THE WOODS. A story of love, hope, prejudice, jealousy and faith, this book left a lasting impression on me. This book was written with witty humor and a healthy dose of truth, with enough twists and turns to satisfy just about anyone. They'll also delight in the characters from many well-known children’s fairy tales and nursery rhymes, such as Old Mother Hubbard, Mrs. Shoe (she lived in a shoe), and Edgar Pig (the only surviving sibling from the story).  As the blurb on the back of the book describes it: “Filled with bold twists and turns, this is a beautiful coming-of-age story wrapped in a tale both well-loved and wholly unexpected.”
  • IT'S YOUR WORLD: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going! by Chelsea Clinton
    Although this book was written by the daughter of both a former president and Secretary of State, this is not a fluff piece. Chelsea Clinton does an excellent job of explaining some of the major issues our planet is facing, as well as some of the people and organizations who are working to alleviate them. Lastly, she lets the reader know how they can get informed, get inspired and get going.
  • WHY'D THEY WEAR THAT? Fashion as the Mirror of History by Sarah Albee
    If you’ve ever wondered about the history of fashion, wonder no more. Author Sarah Albee takes you through the changes in fashions from 10,000 BC to the present. She not only shows the changes in fashions, she explains the changes in the context of the times, showing the reader why they changed when they did. Albee writes with a wonderfully witty sense of humor. She takes what could be a very boring subject and turns it into interesting and fun reading.

Emma Kantor

  • THE WOLF WILDER by Katherine Rundell
    Once again, Rundell delivers a fast-paced adventure with an irrepressible and irresistible heroine.  
  • ECHO by Pam Muñoz Ryan
    Epic yet intimate, Ryan's multi-layered novel imbues history with magic and heart.
  • THE WHISPER (The Riverman Trilogy #2) by Aaron Starmer
    Book Two in the Riverman Trilogy is every bit as weird and wonderful as the first, taking us inside Aquavania, where stories are born.
  • LOST IN THE SUN by Lisa Graff
    This one had me in tears. A beautiful story of grief, guilt and friendship.
  • GOODBYE STRANGER by Rebecca Stead
    Stead poignantly captures the intricacies of young relationships, both online and off. 

Anita Lock

Kat Szabo

  • MAGNUS CHASE AND THE GODS OF ASGARD, BOOK 1: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
    Rick Riordan and Norse gods. How can you go wrong? In this new series from Riordan (which features a familiar face or two), Magnus joins up with a diverse cast of characters and has some exciting and hilarious adventures. 
  • GEORGE by Alex Gino
    A sweet, unassuming story about a transgender youth that deals with the struggles and hardships of being a transperson. A quick, moving story that everyone should read. 
  • HUNTERS OF CHAOS by Crystal Velasquez
    A group of diverse girls who can turn into powerful cats to fight evil? Yes, please. This story has great characters and a fun, unique plot that sets the stage for a promising new series. Bonus points for the inclusion of various histories and archaeology.