Our Favorite Reads of 2013

December 31st, 2013 by

You may have noticed various “Best of 2013” lists floating around the internets. Well, since it’s New Year’s Eve today, we’re going to jump on the bandwagon with our own list — but with a twist!

Unlike movies that are only in theaters for a limited time or songs that get played less and less on the radio, good books are a joy to discover even years after they’re originally published. So, we’re re-capping both our favorite books that came out in 2013 and also the best books that were published in the past but  were still new to us in 2013!

mister-max-book-of-lost-thingsKaren’s Favorite Book Published in 2013:
Mister Max #1: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt

This book is so delicious it deserves a review all its own — coming soon to a Kidsmomo near you! 🙂 For now, I’ll just say that this book somehow manages to find exactly the right balance between comforting and suspenseful, which must not have been easy for the author to do! Pick up this book and read about Max’s adventures after his parents go missing, and you’ll see what I mean.

okay-for-nowKaren’s Favorite Book She Discovered in 2013:
Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

This book also deserves its own full review, but I’m not sure I’m going to write one — because I don’t even think I can capture just how amazing this book is. It’s really truly that goodThe story is about Doug and how he deals with: a) moving to a town he hates, b) living with a father who’s lost his way and brother with a bad reputation, and c) rescuing famous illustrations of birds that have been taken out of their original book and sold. I know, that sounds kind of like, “Wha?!” Like I said, it’s hard to convey just how funny and real and moving and AWESOME this book is. Just take my word for it and READ IT! (And also read The Wednesday Warswhich is kind of like its prequel — you don’t need to read it first in order to understand Okay for Now, but it’s just also really really good!)

Jessica-Darlings-It-List_Megan-McCaffertyNancy’s Favorite Book Published in 2013:
Jessica Darling’s It List: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness & Perfection by Megan McCafferty

This was one of my most anticipated books of 2013 because I was already a fan of the author, and it did not (totally not) disappoint! Yes, you read that right. Reading about Jessica Darling and her real and faux-friends made me  miss junior high a little and laugh out loud a lot — the book is just plain flat out funny. Not convinced yet? Check out my original review!

the-secret-zoo_bryan-chickNancy’s Favorite Book She Discovered in 2013:
The Secret Zoo by Bryan Chick

The Secret Zoo has been on my to-read list ever since Karen recommended it in our “Animal House” Podcast — and I admit at the time of this recommendation I am only half-way through. So I’m going to cut this short so I can get back to it! But here’s what I’ve got so far: a group of kids, adventure, zoo, talking animals, adventure, should we be suspicious that the author’s last name is “Chick”?, other animals, mystery, yay! there are four more books in this series, ack! there are four more books in this series, okay gotta go.

Our Honorable Mentions:

What were YOUR favorite books of 2013? Tell us in the Comments!

— Happy New Year from Nancy and Karen!


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