Favorites of 2012

Now that the hustle and bustle of Christmas is past (and I look forward to lots of lazy yet productive days at home), I’ve started doing my annual sorting and cleaning throughout the house.  And somehow, that always includes looking back at my year in books.  Below are a few favorite kidlit history books of 2012.  For my complete list of books, feel free to find me on goodreads.

Past Perfect by Leila Sales.  (read in February 2012)  Technically, it’s not kidlit history.  But it’s set at a living history museum, and it is absolutely hysterical.  I wrote about it in more depth here.

Dandelion Cottage by Carroll Watson Rankin.  (read in March 2012).  I admit it–I have  weakness for books about kids fixing up houses.  From Laurie and the Yellow Curtains to Jane of Lantern Hill to Gone-Away Lake to Andrew Henry’s MeadowDandelion Cottage is another great example of youngsters given a space to call their own.  This one made the blog as well.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.  (read in August 2012).  Probably my favorite book of 2012.  Tight plot, believable characters, twists that will leave you gasping for air.  And it’s all about a somewhat forgotten area of history–women serving as pilots and spies during WWII.  And if all this makes you want to learn more, be sure to check out Flygirl by Sherri Smith (which I read in 2011).

Bicycle Madness by Jane Kurtz.  (read in September 2012).  A quite little book of historical fiction that will capture your heart.  More on it here.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. (read in October 2012).  I first read Little Women when I was probably 8 or 9.  I only made it through the first half–things got too mushy for my tastes when Meg married.  And though I’ve returned to it several times over the years, have visited Orchard House twice, read all sorts of things about the Alcott family, and explored several of Louisa’s lesser known works, it’s been a very long time since I’ve read Little Women.  It’s a classic for a reason, and if you haven’t read it in a while, I highly encourage you to.  One of the very few kidlit history books about the Civil War, in many ways, the book could be set in any time and any place–it’s so much about the struggle to grow up and become a woman.  More on it here.

The River Between Us by Richard Peck.  (read in November 2012) Yet again, Peck proves himself to be a master of historical fiction.  A Civil War tale, but as much about the unique racial situation in New Orleans.  And it’s got a stellar love story as well.  One of these days, I just need to sit down and read all of Peck’s books, because I don’t think he’s ever disappointed me.

What were some of your favorites in 2012?

I’ve felt like I neglected my blog this year, and yet, I see that I’ve written about almost all of my favorite kidlit history books of 2012.  That being said, I’ve already decided that my resolution for 2013 will be to write more.  That writing won’t just be here, but I definitely need to get back in that writing habit.

Here’s to more great reads in 2013!

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