Pick of the Month: January 2012

I have a confession to make…this post is almost a month late.  My oh-so-wonderful-plan was to choose my favorite books I’ve read, as part of the 75 Book Challenge, and write a lovely post about them each month.  I still love the idea and intend on following through with it.  So, without further ado, here are my top picks for January 2012.  It was a hard decision, as I read a number of ‘curl up with a cup of cocoa and eagerly read me’ kind of stories last month.  Wait — that’s every month!

Picture Book: Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton

Sharks and Trains! I think I hear those words at least once or twice a day at work.  Kids loves sharks and trains! What a great idea to pair the two in a picture book!  In Shark vs. Train the two characters challenge each other in the ultimate competition to see who can ‘out-do’ the other.

In some cases Train has the advantage, like marshmallow roasting.
In others it’s Shark, like trick-or-treating.
Who will win? Check out this fun book to find out!

Novel – Middle Grade: The Giver by Lois Lowry


How did I get this far in life without having read this beautifully written dystopian novel, which also happens to be a Newberry Honor Book?  Looking back at my teen years it was probably because I was too busy reading Sweet Valley High Books, while also sneaking Dean Koontz and Stephen King books from my mother’s bookshelves.  I also remember having a habit of ‘judging a book by its cover’. I probably glanced at it and decided not to give it a chance (silly me!)

What I loved about the book most was Jonah’s voice throughout the story.  Lowry pulled you in his world so quickly and seamlessly that you literally lived and experienced Jonas’s world as he did.  I suspected from the beginning that the utopian society he was living in was in fact a dystopian one, but nonetheless delighted in how Jonas discovered it.  It was like slowly unwrapping a candy wrapped in several layers of foil, only to find that the once you reach the center it has melted.

If you are a fan of Dystopian fiction and have not read The Giver I highly, highly recommend it.

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