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My Favorite Books of 2018

I always get nostalgic at the end of December, reflecting back on the past twelve months and planning for the new year ahead. 2018 held a surprising career change for me -- I was lucky enough to be able to stay in the school district that I love, but was given the chance to put my graduate degree to work by reviving our library program. I’ll admit that the new workflow has been more challenging than I anticipated, and I miss certain aspects of the classroom more than I realized. But my mind is already buzzing with ideas for both our elementary and middle school libraries for the second half of the year, and when next Monday rolls around, I know I’ll be ready to get back to it!

As my job description shifted from classroom teacher to full-time librarian, my responsibilities as a reader have expanded -- and 2018 was an incredible year for readers with all of the brilliant books recently published! And since I never turn down a chance to recommend my favorites to others, here are the titles I loved most from this year.


Square by Mac Barnett - A companion to Triangle by Barnett & Klassen, these books are dry and witty, and they are incredibly entertaining to read out loud with my kids. Circle comes out in March 2019 to complete the trilogy! Mixed: A Colorful Story by Arree Chung - Adorable story about primary colors mixing with an important and poignant message about diversity and acceptance if you a little dig deeper. Love by Matt de la Peña - A poetic look at the many different forms of love in our world. Goes much deeper than a typical children's book, as love isn't always pretty.

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins - Penelope Rex learns that the best way to make friends in her new school is not to eat them. Hilarious story with a positive message.

Cute as an Axolotl by Jess Keating - I love EVERYTHING by Jess Keating! This nonfiction picture books introduces us to adorable animals, and makes a great companion to Pink is For Blobfish and What Makes A Monster

Drawn Together by Minh Lê - How can a boy and his grandfather communicate when they don't speak the same language? This book has a beautiful solution. Dreamers by Yuyi Morales - This book is a stunning testament to what immigrants bring with them to a new country. Everything about it is just gorgeous. On the Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson - This sweet and powerful story examines the different ways we can all feel like we're outsiders, and how that can bring us closer together.


(Click on the links to read my full review of each title)

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier

The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden

The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown

Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

From You to Me by K.A. Holt

The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller

You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly

Breakout by Kate Messner

Sunny (Track #3) and Lu (Track #4) by Jason Reynolds

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

Front Desk by Kelly Yang


(Click on the links to read my full review of each title)

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram For Everyone by Jason Reynolds