Celebrating 20 Years of Sonderbooks: Favorites from 2012

This month, I’m celebrating 20 years of writing Sonderbooks!

My main way of celebrating is more posts! I’m posting about outstanding books I read for the first time each year of Sonderbooks. Today let’s look at Sonderbooks Stand-outs from 2012.

For Grown-Ups

Midnight in Austenland, by Shannon Hale

I love this book so much! It’s a tribute to Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, but as if that weren’t enough, it features a divorced heroine whose husband cheated on her. This heroine has a scene where she tells off her ex — or at least a man who treated her like her ex did — in a thoroughly satisfying and wonderful way.

The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared, by Alice Ozma

Alice’s father read to her every night from a day when she was in third grade until the day she left for college. This book tells that wonderful story.

Victory Over Verbal Abuse: A Healing Guide to Renewing Your Spirit and Reclaiming Your Life, by Patricia Evans

All Patricia Evans’ books are good for learning to recognize verbal abuse. This book is especially good for healing your spirit after you’re out of the situation and feeling much better about yourself.

For Teens

Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein

This book is astonishingly good. It tells a tale of women spying during World War II — told by one who is being held by the Nazis. And it’s a story of friendship. And it’s the kind of story that you will want to read over and over again to catch the details right in front of you that you didn’t realize were significant.

For Darkness Shows the Stars, by Diana Peterfreund

A science fiction retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. So good!

Grave Mercy, by Robin LaFevers

This is the first book of Robin LaFevers’ amazing historical fantasy novels about assassin nuns, the daughters of the god of death.

For Children

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling, by Maryrose Wood

This is the beginning of a delightfully silly historical fiction series about a proper and earnest governess taking care of children raised by wolves.

Summer of the Gypsy Moths, by Sara Pennypacker

This book begins with two 12-year-old girls deciding to hide a dead body. It continues with the consequences of that choice. So good!

The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate

Recalling Charlotte’s Web, this Newbery-winning book tells the story of a captive gorilla who decides he must act to save a baby elephant.

How Many Jelly Beans? A Giant Book of Giant Numbers, by Andrea Menotti, illustrated by Yancey Labat

It goes to one million!

Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar, by Masaichiro and Mitsumasa Anno

A picture book that explains factorials!

Penny and Her Song, by Kevin Henkes

The first beginning reader about Penny, and I just love the way she makes up a song and wants to find someone who will listen.

Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten!, by Hyewon Yum

This picture book is fun, because it’s the kid who has to reassure his mom that everything’s going to be okay.

So many good books! The trouble with doing these posts is they make me want to spend the next year rereading books. If you missed these, check them out!

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