Sonderbooks     Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Young Adult Fiction
Children's Nonfiction
Children's Fiction
Picture Books

2005 Stand-outs
2004 Stand-outs
2003 Stand-outs
*2002 Stand-outs*
    YA Fantasy
    YA Historical Fiction
    YA Contemporary
    YA Classic
    Children's Nonfiction
    Biographical Nonfiction
    Other Nonfiction
    New Picture Books
2001 Stand-outs

Five-Star Books
Four-Star Books
Old Favorites
Back Issues
List of Reviews by Title
List of Reviews by Author

Why Read?
Children and Books
Links For Book Lovers

About Me
Contact Me

I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


Sonderbooks Special Edition

Best of 2002

January 1, 2003

It's that time of year again:  Time to look over the books I've read and decide which were my favorites to read.  Although I enjoy giving my immediate reaction to a book, the test of a truly good book is whether it's memorable after time has passed.

I divided the books into categories, then ranked the books in each category according to how much I enjoyed them.  It didn't seem fair to compare old favorites with books I'd only read once, so I separated books I'd reread into their own division.

Since I love Young Adult Fantasy, I'll start with that category.  I made the categories quirky, making them fit the books I selected.  Enjoy these lists!  I hope you find some books that you will love as much as I do!

Young Adult and Children's Fantasy and Science Fiction:

1.  This Star Shall Abide, by Sylvia Louise Engdahl
2.  The Ropemaker, by Peter Dickinson
3.  Water, by Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson
4.  Heir Apparent, by Vivian Vande Velde
5.  The Fairy's Return, by Gail Carson Levine
6.  For Biddle's Sake, by Gail Carson Levine
7.  The Hunting of the Last Dragon, by Sherryl Jordan
8.  Rat Boys, by Thom Eberhardt
9.  Goddess of Yesterday, by Caroline B. Cooney

Young Adult and Children's Fantasy Rereads:

1.  The Blue Sword, by Robin McKinley
2.  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J. K. Rowling
3.  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J. K. Rowling
4.  Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine

Young Adult Historical Fiction:

1.  The King's Swift Rider, by Mollie Hunter
2.  Crispin, by Avi
3.  Shylock's Daughter, by Mirjam Pressler

Young Adult Historical Rereads:

1.  The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, by Avi
2.  Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Young Adult Contemporary Novels:

1.  All-American Girl, by Meg Cabot
2.  The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, by Ann Brashares

Young Adult and Children's Classic Rereads:

1.  Anne of the Island, by L. M. Montgomery
2.  Anne's House of Dreams, by L. M. Montgomery
3.  Winnie-the-Pooh, by A. A. Milne
4.  Thunderhead, by Mary O'Hara
5.  Anne of Windy Poplars, by L. M. Montgomery

Children's Nonfiction:

The Best of Times, by Greg Tang


Fiction for Grown-ups:

1.  Cleopatra's Heir, by Gillian Bradshaw
2.  Quentins, by Maeve Binchy
3.  The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
4.  Five Quarters of the Orange, by Joanne Harris
5.  Crocodile on the Sandbank, by Elizabeth Peters
6.  China Run, by David Ball
7.  Learning To Fly, by April Henry

Fiction Rereads:

1.  Caravan, by Dorothy Gilman
2.  Watership Down, by Richard Adams
3.  Rebecca, by Daphne DuMaurier
4.  The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy

Biographical Nonfiction:

1.  Angles of Reflection, by Joan Richards
2.  In Code, by Sarah Flannery
3.  Love, Greg and Lauren, by Greg Manning
4.  The Christmas Box Miracle, by Richard Paul Evans
5.  The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, by T. E. Carhart
6.  Walking the Bible, by Bruce Feiler
7.  Bringing Down the House, by Ben Mezrich

Biographical Reread:

Life Among the Savages, by Shirley Jackson

Other Nonfiction:

1.  Small Wonder, by Barbara Kingsolver
2.  A Mind at a Time, by Mel Levine
3.  Storybook Travels, by Colleen Dunn Bates and Susan LaTempa

Other Nonfiction Rereads:

1.  Knowing the Heart of God, by George MacDonald, edited by Michael Phillips
2.  Walking on Water, by Madeleine L'Engle
3.  Of Other Worlds, by C. S. Lewis

New Picture Books:

1.  The Princess and the Pizza, by Mary Jane and Herm Auch
2.  Christmas Tapestry, by Patricia Polacco
3.  Hungry Hen, by Richard Waring
4.  Elephant elephant, by Pittau & Gervais
5.  The Teddy Bear, by David McPhail

Sonder is a German prefix meaning "special."

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved. 

-top of page-