Top 10 of 2018: #9




Aru Shah and the End of Time

by Roshani Chokshi

Aru has a tendency to tell lies at school about how glamorous her life is.  However, during a school break her classmates go to her home at the Museum of Ancient Indian Arts and Culture to catch her in a lie.  Not only is Aru NOT in Paris, she is standing in the doorway wearing her Spider-Man pajamas.  To get herself out of this mess, she lights the museum’s Lamp of Bharata to prove to the kids her claim the lamp is cursed.  Aru knows she is not supposed to light the lamp but she doesn’t realize that in doing so she sets into motion the destruction of the world.  Everyone is frozen in time and there is only Aru to undo it all before it is too late.

WHat and exciting introduction to Hindu mythology!  RIck Riordan fans will love this book.



There’s a Dragon in Your Book

by Tom Fletcher

I really enjoyed this title that allows the listener to engage with the book!  Mischief happens when you have a dragon in your book.  And Dragon is quick to assist in fixing the problems coming from having a dragon in your book.  This story brings out the giggles in any listener!



Black Bird Yellow Sun

by Steve Light

Simple text describes the colors of the things in Black Bird’s world.  Bold, colorful illustrations made this an instant top ten pick for me.



The Day You Begin

by Jacqueline Woodson

“There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you.”

Beautiful poetic book about the difficulty of being different but finding the courage to express yourself to open the door to friendship.  I love the way Woodson shows how difficult it is to be different, and shows the bravery it takes to be new, but also talks about the eventual process of making connections.



Dread Nation: Rise Up

by Justina Ireland

“It’s a cruel, cruel world. And the people are the worst part.”- Justina Ireland

Antebellum era zombies?  Yes please!  Imagine the Battle of Gettysburg where the dead rise from the fields.  With the War Between the States derailed, the north and south are both fighting the walking dead instead of each other.  Laws are still very unfair to Native Americans and African Americans, such as the Reeducation Act where they must attend combat schools to learn how to kill the “shamblers.”  Jane McKeene is a biracial zombie hunter, training at one of the best schools.  She has a fierce spirit and doesn’t want to become just an attendant like the other girls from school.  Rather than defending some well-to-do white lady,  Jane wants to go see what happened to her mother and her home.   She is assuming the worst- that her home was overrun by the walking dead and she has no family left.  Jane’s brave and adventurous spirit can’t be tamed with any amount of training and etiquette courses and this gets her into trouble when she starts snooping around to find out why some families around Baltimore are disappearing.   Caught up in some deep conspiracies, Jane is shipped out to the western frontier where she must not only fight off the dead and fear the shambler’s bite, but must also deal with a racist Sheriff and a corrupt Mayor who are just as dangerous.


This book is solidly in the Young Adult/Teen Read category for ages 13 and up.  Though there is some violence in this book (killing zombies can be a messy affair, after all), Jane is a very positive role model.  The adventure and twists and turns this story takes makes it tough to put down.  This is book one in the Dread Nation series.