LJ Best Books 2016

A jury of our peers discussed, debated, disagreed, and finally declared LJ’s annual Top Ten Best Books of the year, selected by our editors, as well as Top Five lists for genre fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels, and SELF-e titles. VISIT THE WEBSITE

Pandas, Spies, and Planes| Audio in Advance April 2017 | Middle Grade

Becker, Lindsey. The Star Thief. Blackstone. ISBN 9781478919520. Reader TBA.
Gr 3-7—Honorine’s life as a maid at the Vidalia mansion is rather dull, dusting treasures from faraway places and daydreaming in front of maps of the world. But everything changes when she catches two brutish sailors ransacking Lord Vidalia’s study, and then follows a mysterious girl with wings out into the night.

Lucky BrokenBehar, Ruth. Lucky Broken Girl. Listening Library. ISBN 9781524755072. Read by Ruth Behar.
Gr 3-7—In this story based on the author’s childhood in the 1960s, Ruthie, a Cuban Jewish immigrant girl, is finally beginning to gain confidence in her mastery of English—and enjoying her reign as her neighborhood’s hopscotch queen—when a horrific car accident leaves her in a body cast and confined her to her bed for a long recovery. As Ruthie’s world shrinks because of her inability to move, her powers of observation and her heart grow larger and she comes to understand how fragile life is, how vulnerable we all are as human beings, and how friends, neighbors, and the power of the arts can sweeten even the worst of times.

Dilloway, Margaret. Momotaro Xander and the Dream Thief. Dreamscape. ISBN 9781520068213. Reader TBA.
Gr 3-7—On his second quest, Xander Miyamoto should be feeling great. It’s the beginning of summer vacation, his mother has returned from a long absence, and he has learned that he is Momotaro, a warrior with special powers. But instead of reveling in it all, Xander is plagued by questions and nightmares. To chase the nightmares away, Xander’s grandmother gives him a special baku charm, but he must not to rely on it too much. If he does, the baku will take the dreams of everyone in the house away forever. And, if that happens, there will be no hope, no imagination, and no Momotaro—which would make it far too easy for Ozuno, the king of the monstrous and chaotic oni, to wreak havoc on the world.

Gibbs, Stuart. Panda-monium (A FunJungle Book). Simon & Schuster Audio.  ISBN 9781508234623. Reader TBA.
Gr 3-7—FunJungle awaits the arrival of its most thrilling animal yet—Li Ping—a rare and expensive giant panda that the zoo went to great lengths to get. But when the truck transporting Li Ping shows up, its precious cargo has vanished. The FBI steps in to investigate, and Teddy is happy to leave the job in their (supposedly) capable hands. After all, FunJungle has never encountered a crime this serious. But when someone threatens to blackmail Teddy’s girlfriend, Summer, if he doesn’t solve the crime, his involvement in this mystery is no longer black and white.

Gibbs, Stuart. Spy School (A Spy School Book). Simon & Schuster Audio. ISBN 9781508234562. Read by Gibson Frazier.
Gr 3-7—Because of his innate nerdiness, Ben is not surprised when he is recruited for a magnet school with a focus on science—but he’s entirely shocked to discover that the school is actually a front for a junior CIA academy. Could the CIA really want him? Or is this a crazy case of mistaken identity?

Goldstone, Lawrence. Higher, Steeper, Faster: The Daredevils Who Conquered the Skies.
Blackstone. ISBN 9781478919568. Reader TBA. digital download.
Gr 3-7—The daring aviation pioneers who made the dream of powered flight a reality, changed the course of history. Aviator Lincoln Beachey broke countless records: he looped-the-loop, flew upside down and in corkscrews, and was the first to pull his aircraft out of what was a typically fatal tailspin. As Beachey and other aviators took to the skies in death-defying acts in the early 20th century, these innovative daredevils not only wowed crowds, but also redefined the frontiers of powered flight.

HorizonKress, Adrienne. The Explorers: The Door in the Alley. (The Explorers Series: Bk. 1). Listening Library. ISBN 9781524709952. Reader TBA.
Gr 3-7—This pig-in-a-teeny-hat story starts when a very uninquisitive boy stumbles upon a very mysterious society. After that, there is danger and adventure; there are missing persons, hired thugs, a hidden box, a lost map, and famous explorers; and there is a girl looking for help that only uninquisitive boys can offer.

Westerfeld, Scott. Horizon. (Horizon: Bk. 1). Scholastic. ISBN 9781338119190. Read by Johnathan McClain.
Gr 3-7—The first book in this new series reveals a plane that crash-lands in the arctic, with eight young survivors. When they step from the wreckage expecting to see nothing but ice and snow, they instead find themselves lost in a strange jungle with no way to get home and little hope of rescue. Food is running out. Water is scarce. And the jungle is full of threats unlike anything the survivors have ever seen before. As rivalries threaten to tear them apart, not everyone will make it out of the jungle alive.

Papademetriou, Lisa. Apartment 1986. HarperAudio. ISBN 9780062661791.
Read by Tara Sands.
Gr 3-7—Callie never meant to let it go this far. Sure, she may have accidentally-on-purpose skipped a day at her fancy New York City prep school, but she never thought she’d skip the day after that! And the one after that . . . and . . . uh . . . the one after that. But when everything in your real life is going wrong, skipping school starts to look like a valid mental-health strategy. And when Callie runs into Cassius, a mysterious and prickly “unschooled” kid doing research at museums all across the city, it seems only natural for her to join him. Because museums are educational, which means they’re as good as going to class. Right?

Warman, Janice. The World Beneath. Dreamscape Media. ISBN 9781520070193.
Reader TBA.
Gr 6-9—South Africa, 1976: Joshua lives with his mother in the maid’s room located in the backyard of their wealthy white employers’ house in a city by the sea. While he initially doesn’t quite understand the anti-apartheid struggle going on around him, his rescue of a stranger and the riots that begin to sweep the country put him face-to-face with it. As he discovers the despair weighing down the world beneath him, he must make heartbreaking decisions that will change his life forever.

 

 

 

 

 

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