Two new reviewers have been on the kidlit scene and Kid Lit Reviews is pleased to have them here today. Olivia, age 12, is here from Kid Reviewers. She is a remarkable reviewer, with good insights into books and the kid scene. She is here today with the Best Middle Grade Books from a kid’s perspective.
The Most Noted Book This Year, According to Kids
by Kid Book Reviewers, Olivia and Oscar
Every year, there is that one book – the book that every kid is reading, every kid is talking about, and most importantly, every kid loves. Two years ago, it was Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief. Last year, it appeared to be Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. So, the big question is: what is the most noted book of 2016, according to kids?
The answer, inevitably, varies from place to place, but our school usually holds pretty steady with the overall population of kids.
After talking to a lot of students, we observed that the same few books were mentioned: The Imaginary, Lost in the Sun, and The Marvels (another Brian Selznick book).
The Imaginary, by A.F. Harrold and Emily Gravett (Illustrator), is a riveting tale about the so-called Imaginaries – the imaginary friends of kids. Rudger is an Imaginary, and together with his real friend, Amanda, he goes on make-believe adventures all over the world. One day, though, a frightening man named Mr. Bunting shows up at Amanda’s door. From then on, Rudger’s whole world is thrown upside down. And when Amanda is hit by a car, and Rudger begins fading away, he knows he must do everything he can to save her – and himself.
Lost in the Sun, by Lisa Graff, hits the other end of the spectrum – a heartbreaking realistic fiction about a boy named Trent. Trent’s parents are divorced, and the situation doesn’t improve when, on one fateful day, he’s playing hockey and happens to hit the puck into a kid’s chest. The kid dies instantly, since he has a heart disease nobody knew about. Trent is then consumed by hatred and anger – towards himself, his two brothers, his father… everyone around him. Then one day, he meets a girl named Fallon, one who slowly begins to help bring him back to the boy he was before the whole hockey incident.
The Marvels, by Brian Selznick, is still completely different – an intriguing mystery novel not unlike some of Brian Selznick’s other amazing work. Two stories, able to stand alone. One composed of 400 pictures and the other all prose.
To us, it is fascinating how three utterly different books could all be so noted in one year… but one book shone above the rest.
When Lost in the Sun became known to my school, it completely rocked the world of our fellow peers. It appealed to both girls and boys, prodded at tears while still having a good sense of humor and character, and had an overall satisfying, heartwarming ending. Trent’s voice is one of the best we’ve seen, and you can really feel his emotion and turmoil throughout the entire book. Fallon is also one of our all-time favorite supporting characters – intriguing, a little awkward, incredibly kind, funny, intelligent… what more could we ask for? Watching Fallon and Trent’s relationship (as friends) grow was so endearing, too.
To be honest, Lost in the Sun was more well-received by other kids than by us. One of our teachers suggested that this might be because it is, as you might guess, a darker, angrier book, but we quickly dismissed that, since the anger is outweighed, in the end, by the joy and the beauty of Fallon and Trent’s blossoming friendship. It is a heavy book, but again, the author skillfully adds in humor and quirky characters to lighten up the mood.
Nevertheless, Lost in the Sun WAS a fantastic, worthwhile read, one that our peers (as well as us) could literally not stop talking about.
So, to answer our question: what was the most noted read of the year? Without a doubt, Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff.
Olivia, 12, and Oscar, 9, are Kid Book Reviewer. These two middle school students are true bibliophiles. The number of books each reads is astounding. As proof, here is one week: Books Read
Kid Nook Reviewer Reviews of above books.
The Lightning Thief
And finally, the kids’ choice for best book of the year
Lost in the Sun
Follow Olivia and Oscar at their review blog: http://www.kidbookreviewer.com/
Happy New Year, Sue! Glad to see that you continue to bring the best book reviews and guest reviewers to your blog.
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Olivia is another Erik, when he was twelve. Smart, good writing skills, and thoughtful (book-wise, but I’m sure in general, too). It is SO NICE TO “SEE” YOU again. I hope this year is the best for you. Maybe Lobo will find a new story or bring you a new character. Take care, CL.
As a writer I found it informative to read their choice of books and to note how different each one is, proving that in the world of Kidlit anything goes.
I agree. It is also interesting that all three books, most popular in 2016,are from 2015. Not one of the books mentioned is from this year though the guest post is about the best books of t his year. I was genuinely surprised.