Celebrating 20 Years of Sonderbooks: Favorites from 2008

I’ve been writing Sonderbooks for 20 years!

This month I’m celebrating by revisiting old favorites from each year I wrote reviews. Today, let’s look at 2008. That was the year I began working full-time as a librarian, the first I’d worked full time since 1990. It cut into my reading time! But at least working at a library, I was still around books.

Highlighting some favorites:

Chalice, by Robin McKinley

A new Robin McKinley book is always a treat! (And this is reminding me, it’s time for a rereading of this one.)

The Arrival, by Shaun Tan

This graphic novel helps you understand what it would feel like to be a stranger in a strange land. By using strange symbols for the language on signs and strange creatures for pets, everything seems alien.

The Prophecy, by Hilari Bell

A delightful fantasy story about a misfit prince who takes on a quest.

The Wednesday Wars, by Gary D. Schmidt

Here’s when I became a fan of Gary Schmidt. The Newbery-Honor-winning story of Holling Hoodhood and his adventures with Shakespeare.

Mozart’s Ghost, by Julia Cameron

A light-hearted story about a romance being interfered with by the ghost of Mozart.

Italian Lessons, by Peter Pezzelli

A warm and wonderful novel about going to Italy.

Stardust, by Neil Gaiman

An original fairy tale by Neil Gaiman! Need I say more?

Timothy and the Strong Pajamas, by Viviane Schwarz

This picture book still delights my heart. Timothy’s mended pajamas make him super strong!

Millie Waits for the Mail, by Alexander Steffensmeier

Looks like 2008 was a stellar year for picture books! This one, too, is one of my all-time favorites — about a cow who loves to hide and ambush the letter carrier. It’s from Germany, too!

A Visitor for Bear, by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton

This is one of the best read-alouds ever, working well for audiences from a broad age range. Bear does not allow visitors — but he reckoned without small, grey, and bright-eyed Mouse.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

This is one of my favorites for Baby Storytimes, made by two of my favorite picture book creators. Delighting in sweet babies in an almost musical text.

Are You Ready to Play Outside?, by Mo Willems

This is one of my favorite Elephant & Piggie books — it’s a brilliant sermon on contentment in a picture book. Be sure to read my blog post about what really brought it home for me.

Stay Connected to Your Teenager: How to Keep Them Talking to You and How to Hear What They’re Really Saying, by Michael Riera

I’m glad I read this book toward the beginning of the time when it was just my teen and me in our home. The book helped remind me that what I want is connection, and reminded me we’re on the same side.

This Is Not the Life I Ordered: 50 Ways to Keep Your Head Above Water when Life Keeps Dragging You Down, by Deborah Collins Stephens, Jackie Speier, Michealene Cristini Risley, and Jan Yanehiro

This is another book about coping when life doesn’t go as you expect and coming through with joy.

We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, by Kadir Nelson

This came as I was beginning to be familiar with Kadir Nelson’s work and his amazing paintings. A beautiful and informative book.

Knucklehead: Tall Tales & Mostly True Stories About Growing Up Scieszka, by Jon Scieszka

Jon Scieszka’s hilarious memoir for kids. He tells about life as a mischievous boy growing up with five brothers.

Greater Estimations, by Bruce Goldstone

I always like the math books! This photo-illustrated book gives tips and techniques for making good estimations of large groups of objects.

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