Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Brainstorm Vol 33

In honor of the impending Christmas break (*pause for cheering*), this Biweekly Brainstorm will look a little different. I've decided to give you my top 10 of 2014 in each of the categories I usually highlight in the Brainstorm. This was really hard to narrow down, but here it is. To help myself narrow things down, the books in each category had to be published in 2014, be books we have in the Media Centers at ICS, and be things I've already read. Of course, being on this list is a recommendation. If you're looking for something to read this Christmas break with little ones or just by yourself, I heartily recommend anything below. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.


Top 10 Picture Books of 2014
(Most found in E at ICS)

1. Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems
2. Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light
3. Maple by Lori Nichols
4. Quest by Aaron Becker
5. Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light
6. Edward Hopper Paints His World by Robert Burleigh, ill. by Wendell Minor
7. Blizzard by John Rocco
8. The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee
9. Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, ill. by Jon Klassen
10. Horton and the Kwuggerbug and more lost stories by Dr. Seuss

(Two books I'm 100% sure would be on this list if I could get my hands on them are The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant, ill. by Melissa Sweet and Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle.)

Top 10 Middle Grade Fiction Books of 2014 
(Those found in JF at ICS)

1. A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
2. The Castle Behind Thorns by Merrie Haskell
3. The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw (League of Princes series, #3) by Christopher Healy
4. Fluff Dragon (Bad Unicorn series, #2) by Platte F. Clark
5. What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World by Henry Clark
6. The Shadow Throne (Ascendance trilogy, #3) by Jennifer A. Nielsen
7. Sky Raiders (Five Kingdoms series, #1) by Brandon Mull
8. How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes are Untied (My Life Is a Zoo series, #1) by Jess Keating
9. Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson
10. The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones, completed by Ursula Jones

Top 10 Middle Grade Nonfiction Books of 2013/2014
(I'm stretching the guidelines on this one, because I often have to specially order nonfiction books for this age group. 2014 nonfiction books for upper elem/middle school are not readily available in Bangkok, and we just got most of the top 2013 books this year. These are all books we purchased in the past year.)

1. Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood by Nathan Hale
2. Donner Dinner Party by Nathan Hale
3. The Gettysburg Address: a graphic adaptation by Jonathan Hennessey
4. Chasing Cheetahs: the Race to Save Africa's Fastest Cats by Sy Montgomery, photos by Nic Bishop
5. Go: a Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd
6. The Family Romanov by Candice Fleming
7. Stronger Than Steel: Spider Silk DNA and the Quest for Better Bulletproof Vests, Sutures and Parachute Rope by Bridget Heos, photos by Andy Comins
8. Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
9. The Tapir Scientist by Sy Montgomery, photos by Nic Bishop
10. The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown

Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2014

1. Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood by Nathan Hale
2. The Return of Zita the Spacegirl (Zita the Spacegirl, #3) by Ben Hatke
3. In Real Life by Cory Doctorow, ill. by Jen Wang
4. Sisters (Smile, #2) by Raina Telgemeier
5. Explorer: the Hidden Doors by Kazu Kibuishi, et al.
6. Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bartozzi
7. The Emerald City of Oz (Oz: Marvel, #6) adapted by Eric Shanower, ill. by Skottie Young
8. El Deafo by CeCe Bell
9. The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth adapted by Ian Lendler, ill. by Zack Giallongo
10. Escape from Lucien (Amulet, #6) by Kazu Kibuishi

Top 10 Young Adult Fiction Books of 2014

1. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
2. Landry Park by Bethany Hagen
3. Cress (Lunar Chronicles, #3) by Marissa Meyer
4. Rose under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
5. SYLO (SYLO, #1) by D.J. MacHale
6. Atlantia by Ally Condie
7. Love and other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan
8. A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
9. All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry
10. The Hangman's Revolution (W.A.R.P., #2) by Eoin Colfer 

Top 3 Adult Fiction Books of 2014
(My fiction reading stack is pretty well dominated by books for MG & YA. I don't get around to that much adult fiction, so that's why this list is so small.)

1. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
2. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
3. The Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg

Top 10 YA & Adult Nonfiction Books of 2013/2014
(Like the MG nonfiction, the top nonfiction for adults can take a while to get to Bangkok, especially Christian titles. Some of these are books that were published in 2013 but we got them in 2014.)

1. What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
2. Crazy Busy: a (mercifully) short book about a (really) big problem by Kevin DeYoung
3. The Case for the Psalms by N.T. Wright
4. Seeing Flowers by Teri Dunn Chace, photos by Robert Llewellyn
5. Folding Paper: the infinite possibilities of origami by Meher McArthur & Robert J. Lang
6. 50 Children: One Ordinary Couple's Extraordinary Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany by Steven Pressman
7. Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller with Susan Kelley
8. I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb
9. The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan
10. The Secret Lives of Puffins by Dominic Couzens, photos by Mark Sisson