Soon, my granddaughter will arrive for the Annual New Year's Eve Doesn't-This-Girl-Ever-Fall-Asleep-a-thon. That means that this is the very last Books of December of 2016.
So what books stayed with me this year? Well, to be absolutely honest, that question always stymies me. But here goes.
The Best Man by Richard Peck was a love of a book. The main character makes it from kindergarten to sixth grade with the same group of kids and his loving parents and his fabulous uncle. When a student teacher arrives in his Guard uniform, our narrator has a new favorite person. And so does his uncle. How our hero helps these two men get - and stay - together is told in a matter-of-fact and affectionate manner. Peck manages to hit some of the key memes for middle grade fiction - acceptance, bullying, tattling, family problems - and love. Yep. I loved this book.
The Extraordinary Journey of Clockwork Charlie: The Kidnap Plot by Dave Butler. This one sticks in the brain. The reader can figure out Charlie's secret as he searches for his kidnapped father. The steam punk setting, the evil villains, the action and Charlie's faithful band of friends add up to a great adventure.
The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman. This one buzzed around my head for several days after I read it. I liked the Maine setting, the "captured" runaway, and the oddly similar villagers. Then, the wolves showed up and things got a little hairy. (See what I did there?)
All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor. Perry was born in a prison and that prison is his home. But when the new DA decides that Perry needs a "real" family, Perry has to leave the only family he knows. The move gives him a chance to solve the mystery of how his mother ended up in jail in the first place. L-O-V-E-D this book.
Framed! (T.O.A.S.T Mystery #1) by James Ponti. This mildly unbelievable romp has a 12 year old boy and his new neighbor -(he's new in town. She's been there awhile.) - helping the FBI thwart art thieves by using the Theory Of All Small Things. The mystery is well-plotted and the sleuthing is fun. I am looking forward to the next T.O.A.S.T. mystery.
BTW, she DOES fall asleep - just in time for me to finish my last Books of December post in December.