Best of 2016 #8

Sharing our #8 spot picks today and there are some really exciting selections on this list!  We love variety around here!  If you missed our #9 picks, check them out here!  Now on with the show…



What Do You Do With A Problem? by Kobi Yamada

A child learns that problems are not as bad if you face them.


This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

This YA read was definitely a stand out for me.  I love books that are told from varying perspectives and this story is told through the voices of different students during a school shooting.  The topic is intense as is, but then as you discover each character, what brought them to where they are and how they are all intertwined in an explosive moment, you end up completely emotionally-invested in the story and characters.  This story is one you can’t walk away from.


Booked by Kwame Alexander

In this follow-up to the Newbery winning novel, The Crossover, 12 year old Nick learns about the power of words as he simultaneously struggles with problems at home, dealing with a bully and trying to impress the girl of his dreams.  This novel-told-in-verse by poet Alexander captured me – maybe because it features a librarian named “The Mac” who gives Nick inspiring books to read!


Rad Women Worldwide by Kate Schatz

Thoroughly inspiring, this amazing book chronicles the lives and impact of women around the world from artists to political activists.  It also features a further reading list in the back featuring women from every country on the globe.

Best of 2016 #9

If you missed our faves in the #10 spot yesterday, check them out here!  In the mean time, on to…


My Friend Maggie by Hannah E. Harrison

A story of true friendship and an understanding soul.


Quit Calling Me Monster by Jory Johns

Monster is very offended when people keep calling him… a monster!  He doesn’t want to fit the stereotype… or does he?  This book and the illustrations make for a hilarious read-aloud with preK on up.


Pug Meets Pig by Sue Lowell Gallion

Will Pug and Pig ever learn to get along?  This darling story celebrates embracing change, being kind to others and finding friendship in unlikely places.


Hey, That’s MY Monster by Amanda Noll

A silly read-aloud tale of finding the perfect bedtime monster for you!  Parents and kids will both get a kick out of this one and laugh along with Ethan and Emma (and their monsters)!

Best of 2016


Making a top 10 list when you are constantly bombarded with great children’s book all year long is no joke!  As library staff, these are the types of lists we agonize over.  It is always amazing to me the painstaking efforts we make to come up with our end of year favorites here at MPL.  We create our lists, then critique them and do it again.   There are so many great choices and things can change quickly depending on how a book goes reading it to yourself versus reading it out loud to a group of kids and giving it a “test drive,” so to speak goes.  If it weren’t so stressful, it would almost be comical!

The end result though, is always my favorite part.  All that stress turns into a fun and amazing project!  I love hearing which books were standouts for my coworkers and how they used them in programming or with their own little people at home.  These lists have definitely stimulated some fun conversations in our department.  Hopefully they will spark you to check out some of these titles or even make your own list!  Be sure and check back tomorrow to see what made the number nine spot on our list.  Without further ado… our top 10!




Cry, Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved

Life wouldn’t be the same without death.  Death explains how he is needed.


A Unicorn Named Sparkle by Amy Young

Charming story of a girl who orders a Unicorn, but when Sparkle arrives, it isn’t quite what she had in mind.  This story has an excellent mix of humor and heart.  Sparkle may be a misfit, but by the end you and your little one will be rooting for him.


Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

Raymie wants to win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition; if she does, in her mind, maybe, just maybe, her father will come home.  Two-time Newbery medalist Kate DiCamillo shines again with the story of an unlikely summer friendship.


You Belong Here by M.H. Clark

Beautiful watercolor illustrations grace the gently rhyming text of this sweet read-aloud. A snuggle-worthy bedtime read for parents and kiddos.

MPL Closing

MPL Closing


Reading by the Genre


A most commonly asked question here in the library is recommendations on horror books. It has been a genre that continues to grow more and more each year it seems. Whether it’s because of the shock factor or the suspense they carry-it’s a genre worth noting! A horror kids book that I really enjoy myself is Coraline. I remember really wanting to read this book shortly after seeing the movie, and I legitimately thought it was very spooky. What this book does rather well is that it does not give off the vibe of being scary at all. It isn’t until halfway through the book it begins to transcend into the horror genre. Not to mention, this was the book that made me an absolute fan of the author, Neil Gaiman.

Typically, horror goes hand and hand with this other equally popular genre-mystery! These two genres are basically like peanut butter and jelly, or should I say, Sherlock Holmes and his esteem sidekick, Dr. Watson. This was an especially interesting genre to me since I typically, but Lois Lowry does it again with another novel that I love: The Willoughbys. With its quirky characters and compelling story line, this book was a quick read. I adored every single moment of it.

I have compiled a list that is half horror and half mystery, to create one ultimate suspense lover’s recommendation list. These are all fantastic titles that I’ve either read, heard others enjoy, or that I have stumbled across recently.

Which one of these books would you read to shock yourself?

The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trent Lee Stewart

The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Flunke

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Dangerous Girls by R.L. Stine

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

Scary Stories Series by Alvin Schwartz

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman