Thursday, December 20, 2018

Brainstorm 163: Top 10s of 2018, Part 3

In this third installment of the Top 10s of 2018 we’ll look at some of my favorite biographies, juvenile nonfiction, graphic novels for MG and LG, and a new category this year, top creators of Asian descent.
The school I work at is in Asia and the elementary librarian and I are constantly on the lookout for books which feature authors, illustrators, settings, and characters that will resonate with our students from Thai, Indian, Korean, Taiwanese, Singaporean, etc backgrounds. I’m sure we aren’t the only ones on such a hunt. So this year I thought it would be great to share my favorite reads of the year featuring creators and characters of Asian descent. The new top 10s in this week’s lists are for creators of Asian descent organized with the students’ absolute favorite ones on top. Next week we’ll look at my top 10 characters of Asian descent from this year.
The books that appear in these lists may have been published in any year unless I needed to narrow down my choice. In that case, I stated the limiters I used by the heading (and the publication year indicates 1st English publication anywhere in the world). My favorite choices (or mine and the students’) are listed first and then it kinda sorta trickles down in descending order, but many of them I'd have trouble choosing between so it is more like some absolute favorites at the top and a 6-8 place tie for runners up. Click on the titles of the books to read my reviews and see any content notes. Enjoy!

Brainstorm 161: Top Adult Fiction, Top YA & Adult Nonfiction, Top YA & Adult Graphic Novels, Top Picture Book Biographies, Top Leveled Readers, Top Christian Nonfiction
Brainstorm 162: Guest Post: Ms Sarah Foit’s Top 10s of 2018
This Week: Top Biographies, Top LG/MG Nonfiction, Top LG/MG Graphic Novels, Top LG Fiction, Top Creators of Asian Descent
Dec 28 (Postponed to Jan 4): Top YA Fiction, Top MG Fiction, Top Fiction Picture Books, Top Asian Characters

Clarification of terms: Lower Grade (LG) refers to Kindergarten-2nd Grade interest level books typically but I'm including Preschool in this division too, Middle Grade (MG) refers to 3rd-8th grade interest level books, and Young Adult (YA) refers to teenage interest level books. Some books will appeal to multiple divisions. For those books I picked the age division I felt it most appealed to.

Top Juvenile, YA & Adult Biography, Autobiography, Memoirs 
(limited to those published in 2016-2018)

The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by John Hendrix

MI5 and Me: a Coronet among the Spooks by Charlotte Bingham

Short & Skinny by Mark Tatulli

House of Dreams: the Life of L.M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg, ill. by Julie Morstad

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

Lafayette!: a Revolutionary War Tale (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, #8) by Nathan Hale

Maria Sibylla Merian: Artist, Scientist, Adventurer by Sarah B. Pomeroy & Jeyaraney Kathirithamby

Hidden Figures: the Untold True Story of Four African-American Women Who Helped Launch Our Nation into Space by Margot Lee Shetterly

Photographic: the Life of Graciela Iturbide by Isabela Quintero, ill. by Zeke Peña

The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century by Sarah Miller

Top Juvenile (LG & MG) Nonfiction 
(limited to those published in 2017 & 2018)

Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers, ill. by Shawn Harris

Trash Revolution: Breaking the Waste Cycle by Erica Fyvie, ill. by Bill Slavin

Cute as an Axolotl: Discovering the World’s Most Adorable Animals by Jess Keating, ill. by David DeGrand

Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs by Melissa Stewart, ill. by Stephanie Laberis

I Know Numbers! by Taro Gomi

A House in the Sky by Steve Jenkins, ill. by Robbin Gourley

This Bridge Will Not Be Gray by Dave Eggers, ill. by Tucker Nichols

On Our Street: Our First Talk about Poverty by Jillian Roberts and Jaime Casap, ill. by Jane Heinrichs

The Search for Olinguito: Discovering a New Species by Sandra Markle

The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid by Dylan Thuras & Rosemary Mosco, ill. by Joy Ang

Top Middle Grade Fictional Graphic Novels, Comics, & Manga 
(limited to those published in 2018, and only 1 book per series allowed)

Ozy and Millie by Dana Simpson

The Time Museum (The Time Museum, #1) by Matthew Loux

The Divided Earth (The Nameless City, #3) by Erin Faith Hicks

Unicorn of Many Hats (Phoebe and Her Unicorn, #7) by Dana Simpson

The City on the Other Side by Mairghread Scott, ill. by Robin Robinson

Monsters Beware! (Chronicles of Claudette, #3) by Jorge Aguirre, ill. by Rafael Rosado

The League of Lasers (Star Scouts, #2) by Mike Lawrence

Monsters & Modules (Secret Coders, #6) by Gene Luen Yang, ill. by Mike Holmes

Friends and Foes (Red’s Planet, #2) by Eddie Pittman

Gordon: Bark to the Future (P.U.R.S.T., #2) by Ashley Spires

Top Lower Grade Graphic Novels 
(limited to 1 per series)

Where’s Halmoni? by Julie Kim

Kitten Construction Company: Meet the House Kittens (Kitten Construction Company, #1) by John Patrick Green

Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick and David Serlin

Tiger vs. Nightmare by Emily Tetri

Brobots and the Mecha Melarkey! (Brobots, #2) by J. Torres, ill. by Sean Dove

Marcy and the Riddle of the Sphinx (Brownstone’s Mythical Collection, #2) by Joe Todd-Stanton

Bad Kitty Camp Daze (Bad Kitty, #11) by Nick Bruel

I’m Silly (My First Comics) by Jennifer L. Holm, ill. by Matthew Holm

Andrew the Seeker (Game for Adventure) by Lee Nordling & Scott Roberts

Intergalactic Gas (The Bad Guys, #5) by Aaron Blabey

Top Lower Grade Fiction 
(only 1 book per series)

Jasmine Toguchi, Drummer Girl (Jasmine Toguchi, #3) by Debbi Michiko Florence, ill. by Elizabet Vukovic

Charlie & Mouse & Grumpy (Charlie & Mouse, #2) by Laurel Snyder, ill. by Emily Hughes

Something Wonky This Way Comes (Mercy Watson, #6) by Kate DiCamillo, ill. by Chris Van Dusen

Hello, Nebulon! (Galaxy Zack, #1) by Ray O’Ryan, ill. by Colin Jack

The Princess in Black and the Science Fair Scare by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale, ill. by LeUyen Pham

Claude on the Slopes (Claude, #6) by Alex T. Smith

Tapir All at Sea (Mango & Bambang, #2) by Polly Faber, ill. by Clara Vulliamy

Eugenia Lincoln and the Unexplained Package (Tales from Deckawoo Drive, #4) by Kate DiCamillo, ill. by Chris Van Dusen

Charge of the Lightning Bugs (The Notebook of Doom, #8) by Troy Cummings

A Boy Called Bat (A Boy Called Bat, #1) by Elana K. Arnold, ill. by Charles Santoso

Top Authors/Illustrators of Asian Heritage Who Create for Middle Grades on up 
(limited to creators who have books published in 2017 & 2018, 
the creator of Asian descent being highlighted will be in bold)

Supernova (Amulet, #8) by Kazu Kibuishi
Kibuishi is fantastic at creating books kids cannot get enough of.

Chi’s Sweet Adventures, Vol. 1 created by Kanata Konami, adapted by Kinoko Natsume
This Japanese illustrator has created one of the most popular characters among the students I work with.

Giant Spider & Me, Vol. 2 by Kikori Morino
Kikori Morino's books have enticed several kids to read who don't normally pick up books.

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
This memoir is one of our most checked out books. (Note: I have used a sharpie on our copy to make some of the pages a little cleaner for MG eyes.)

Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava Quartet, #1) by Roshani Chokshi
Chokshi has introduced classic Hindu mythology into both YA and MG.

Monsters & Modules (Secret Coders, #6) by Gene Luen Yang, ill. by Mike Holmes
Yang has created so many books our students love, but Secret Coders is by far the most popular.

Loading Penguin Hugs: Heartwarming Comics from Chibird by Jacqueline Chen
This book is still on order, but I know Chen's adorable and encouraging comics will find a fast fanbase here.

The Serpent’s Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond, #1) by Sayantani DasGupta
DasGupta has created a very fun fantasy adventure with Indian folklore that our students are eating up.

From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon
Menon writes the oh so popular contemporary fiction romance with main characters of Indian descent.

Rebel Seoul (Rebel Seoul, #1) by Axie Oh
Oh writes a high octane futuristic thriller that contains an infusing of Korean culture.

Top Authors/Illustrators of Asian Heritage Who Create for Lower Grades 
(limited to creators who have books published in 2017 & 2018, 
the creator of Asian descent being highlighted will be in bold)

Drawn Together by Minh Lê, ill. by Dan Santat
I'm cheating with this one and featuring 2 creators of Asian descent who have made some of our students' favorite books. I highly recommend their article about making this book and how it echoes their own experiences with family, language, and culture.

The Itchy Book by LeUyen Pham & Mo Willems
Pham is a prolific and amazing illustrator; most will recognize her best as the illustrator for the amazingly popular Princess in Black books.

Jasmine Toguchi, Super Sleuth by Debbi Mochiko Florence, ill. by Elizabet Vukovic
Debbi Mochiko Florence writes fantastic contemporary fiction stories about a little Japanese American girl who has quickly won many fans at our school.

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin
Grace Lin is an amazing author and illustrator who has contributed so many great books featuring Asian traditions, characters, and settings. This is her latest.

Where’s Halmoni? by Julie Kim
Julie Kim's work will satisfy a craving for a nice little dose of Korean culture.

Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen by Deborah Hopkinson, ill. by Qin Leng
Qin Leng is an illustrator on the rise this year with several books in her adorable style.

I Know Numbers! by Taro Gomi
Gomi is a prolific Japanese author and his latest book that's been translated into English is a fascinating look at something we often tend to overlook.

The First Journey by Phùng Nguyên Quang & Huỳnh Kim Liên
I'm cheating again. Quang and Liên have created one of the most beautiful books I've seen this year, and it is about a Southeast Asian boy too. I'm keeping a lookout for more from these two.

Lines by Suzy Lee
This Korean artist is so creative and able to do so much with just illustrations.

How to Fly Like an Elephant by Kyoko Nemoto
Kyoko Nemoto is a newcomer who has created a great STEAM story featuring enchanting, persevering elephants.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Polite and respectful comments are welcome.