Yup, I’m not posting this until well into 2018. In 2017 I reviewed 98 books (plus 10 board books) and so many of them were so good. It took me a month just to narrow it down this far… I just love all the books!
Here’s my 21 favorites out of all the fiction I reviewed in 2017.
Picture Book Fiction Top 3
The Answer, written by Rebecca Sugar, illustrated by Elle Michalka and Tiffany Ford. A uniquely formatted narrative on the importance of love and not accepting what everyone else tells you to do with your life.
Pizza Party by Grace Maccarone, illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully. A diverse home where children make a pizza with loving direction from a black man, told in easy reader rhyme.
Visiting Day, by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by James E. Ransome. The story of the best day in one girl’s month – when she and her grandmother take the bus to visit her father in prison.
Elementary Chapter Book Fiction Top 3
Gloria Rising by Ann Cameron, illustrated by Lis Toft. A young African-American girl struggles with an unfairly harsh teacher, but receives support from other caring adults.
Anna Hibiscus by Antinuke. Short stories about a jubilant African girl and her extended family.
George by Alex Gino. The story of a transgender girl internally accepting her identity and coming out.
MG Fantasy and Science Fiction Top 4
The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste. A dark modern Caribbean fairytale for kids.
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones, illustrated by Katie Kath. Realistic epistolary fiction with superpowered poultry.
A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic by Lisa Papademetriou. Realistic fiction with a magical pen pal twist.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. A fantasy novel you have to read.
MG Chapter Book Fiction Best 4
Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan. The story of a Muslim girl learning to face her fears, embrace her talents, and navigate newly complex friendships.
The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. Ojibwe historical fiction follows a young girl through one year of her life in 1847.
The Buried Bones Mystery (Clubhouse Mysteries #1) by Sharon M. Draper, illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson. The first adventure of a group of four black boys, with a bit of knowledge thrown in.
A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman. The best novel in verse I’ve ever read.
YA Chapter Book Fiction Top 5
The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork. An intensely beautiful novel about the aftermath of one Latina teen’s suicide attempt.
Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith. Fantastic historical fiction about a light-skinned girl passing for white in order to pursue her dream of flying during WWII.
On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis. The most diverse book I’ve ever read and a great science fiction novel too.
Saints and Misfits: a novel by S.K. Ali. A realistic look at sexual harassment in one conservative teen’s life.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. The most adorable arranged marriage romance story, without the insta-love.
Adult Chapter Book Fiction
Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo. A searing exploration of family, health, love, relationships, and more.
Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan. Gripping realistic fiction, this collection of short stories explores the lives of children in various African countries.
Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of this series!
What were your favorite fiction reads in 2017?