Well I’m back from the New Year break and ready to enjoy 2013, the release of my debut children’s novel, and lots of awesome literary goodness. Below are my favourite reads of 2012; a selection of both new releases and backlist, because, let’s face it, who doesn’t have a backlist pile a mile high that they delve into all the time! It’s not really a ‘best of’ as such, just the reads that I loved and highly recommend. It was also fabulous last year to re-discover a lot of classic children’s books that I hadn’t read in a really long time. Never forget these and how important they are! They are still, and always will be, the inspiration for my own books.
BEST KIDS BOOK READ IN 2012:
Talina in the Tower, by Michelle Lovric & The Last Unicorn, by Peter S Beagle
The Last Unicorn becomes my favourite all over again every time I read it. Beagle’s skill with words is beyond brilliant and his imagination an absolute delight. We also had it in my bookstore a few times last year and it was a pleasure to hand-sell and introduce it to a new generation. Talina in the Tower was another ‘can’t put it down’ read by Lovric, who creates the kind of books that are beyond doubt new classics. For a mature children’s read, try her books.
BEST YA BOOK READ IN 2012:
Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman & Ship Kings 01 The Coming of the Whirlpool, by Andrew McGahan
Both Australia authors, fantastic! The fascinating complexities and bright, intelligent lead character in Seraphina thrilled me when reading. Can be enjoyed by both YA and fantasy readers. The Coming of the Whirlpool was a complex, difficult read, but I found myself completely won over by the time I’d finished reading. McGahan’s writing really creeps up on you and sucks you in.
BEST KIDS SERIES READ IN 2012:
Hooey Higgins, by Steve Voake
Hooey Higgins is a chapter-book series for kids, which follows the madcap adventures of Hooey and his crazy, creative schemes. Great illustrations, funny, and fun.
Ship Kings 01 The Coming of the Whirlpool, by Andrew McGahan & Pure by Andrew Miller
It was McGahan’s writing that sucked me into this series – the worlds, atmosphere and interest he creates with his writing is spot on. Pure is an adult literary read, but oh my god, I found the story and the writing breathtaking.
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
I can’t remember now why I picked up this book, but it enchanted me start to finish. Hartman is a talent to watch.
MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE:
Ghost Knight, by Cornelia Funke
I admit, I haven’t read any of Funke’s books until this one. Ghost Knight was a perfect spooky, funny adventure story for both boys and girls.
MOST EMOTIVE READ:
A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness
I saw it all coming, but I still cried along with Connor. The power here is in the simple, accessible way Ness shares Connor’s grief with his readers.
I CAN'T BELIEVE I DIDN'T READ UNTIL NOW:
The Scarecrows, by Robert Westall
The Monster in A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. A lovely, but badass, metaphor.
Ship Kings o1 The Coming of the Whirlpool (hardback), by Andrew McGahan & Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. For internal illustrations, Ghost Knight & A Monster Calls
MOST ANTICIPATED READING FOR 2013:Wildwood 02 Under Wildwood, by Colin Meloy & The Feathered Man by Jeremy de Quidt