2012 Sonderbooks Stand-outs: Other Children’s Fiction

Tonight I’m posting about my 2012 Sonderbooks Stand-outs in the category of “other” Children’s Fiction — all except Fantasy and Science Fiction, which was the category I judged for the Cybils, so had a lot of books.

This category includes most of my Newbery hopefuls, though I didn’t choose them for award winners, but just ranked in terms of how much I enjoyed reading them. I’m posting this category tonight because it’s the only category where I have all the reviews already posted. I’m getting to this late tonight because today I went and looked at a townhome that I’m going to make an offer for! I found that the best way to make such a big decision was to take a nap!

Anyway, here are my 2012 Sonderbooks Stand-outs for Non-Fantasy Children’s Fiction:

1. Summer of the Gypsy Moths, by Sara Pennypacker
2. The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate
3. Wonder, by R. J. Palacio
4. Liar and Spy, by Rebecca Stead
5. Twelve Kinds of Ice, by Ellen Obed Bryan
6. The Lions of Little Rock, by Kristin Levine

You may have noticed that I don’t have the same number of stand-outs in each category. That’s because these are the books that stand out in my mind after a year of reading, and I try to hold the same standard to all categories. So some have more choices than others.

This list does have one book, The One and Only Ivan, that was on our Cybils shortlist for Middle Grade Fantasy and Science Fiction, by virtue of animals talking to each other. But I maintain that in spirit, it’s not a fantasy novel at all, so for my purposes, it’s on this list.

Come to think of it, all of these books are on our Mock Newbery Book Club shortlist for voting on January 14th at 4:30 pm at City of Fairfax Regional Library. I guess that makes sense, since I made the shortlist! Also on our shortlist are two other Sonderbooks Stand-outs: Palace of Stone and Starry River of the Sky, and two books I haven’t read yet: Bomb, by Steve Sheinkin, and Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage. If any of my readers live in the area, please come join us, even if you haven’t read all the books!

Tonight I’ll update the review pages for all these books to reflect their Stand-out status. If you haven’t caught these books yet, I recommend them all highly. And who knows, maybe you can beat the crowd for checking out some Newbery honorees!

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