The #1 Titles of 2017


We have loved sharing our favorites of 2017 with you!  Hopefully you have found some amazing reads in these lists!  What books did you fall in love with this year?  Leave titles in the comments!  Without further ado… Here were our favorite favorites!


Miss Christina


Joplin Wishing by Diane Stanley

Joplin had never known her famous grandfather, but that didn’t stop her from taking a tin filled with pieces from a broken platter that had belonged to him. When the platter was repaired and placed over her bed, she was thrilled as she felt  she could relate to the girl in the picture. It turns she could do even more than that! Soon, Joplin realizes that the wishes she makes become true. This isn’t your usual wishes come true story. It contains many intricate plot twists and turns that keep you guessing.  What I liked about the book is that it had a very realistic feel to it. The magical and mysterious parts blended in so well as to seem believable, and the happy ending is bittersweet.


Miss Sarah


The Bad Seed by Jory John

Don’t let labels define you!



Miss Teresa

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of RBG vs. Inequality by Jonah Winter

In this clever biography, told as if it were a jury trial, the author presents the story of how Ruth Bader Ginsburg overcame obstacle after obstacle to become the first female Jewish Supreme Court Justice; no small feat for a girl born in an era when women were not encouraged to go to college or work outside the home!  The “trial” ends with just one verdict.  Because she did not let others define her, Ruth Bader Ginsburg herself has become a symbol of justice in America.



Miss Marta


The Bad Mood and The Stick by Lemony Snicket

It’s baaa-aaack (which is funnier if you have read this book)!  As much as we avoid duplicate titles, this one definitely is worth mentioning twice.  Don’t let the fact this is a social story scare you away.  This is one of the most relatable, funny, simple-yet-brilliant stories you will come across to talk to kids about moods and feelings and how negative energy can spread, but so can positive energy.  I read this in a few preschools and had some awesome conversations.  The story starts with Curly, who has a bad mood cloud hanging over her.  She does something naughty, which makes her feel better, but then makes her mom feel unhappy.  The story goes round about through the characters passing the bad mood around (it even has stopped at YOUR house a few times I bet), but it also shows how when you let the bad mood skip over you, good things can happen.  The illustrations capture this so beautifully that even three and four year olds understand and relate.  Between its humor and its purpose it definitely earned top honors on my shelf.



Miss Janna


The Book of Dust (La Belle Sauvage) by Philip Pullman

In this novel, Philip Pullman returns to the world of his earlier Dark Materials Trilogy with a new twist.  Fans of Pullman will recognize his communication of adult concepts in a children’s story setting.

#2 of 2017

Only 2 spots left in our countdown for the top 10 new titles in the children’s department!  Get caught up here if you have been missing out on our countdown.


Miss Christina


The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Jerry Pinkney

I love folk tales. I love Jerry Pinkney. This book does not disappoint. This version is simple enough for its target audience, has lots of sounds to incorporate, simple and beautifully rendered pictures and an ending that teaches a lesson. If you are not familiar with Jerry Pinkney’s books, I hope this one will encourage you to look for more. You will find this book in the folk tale/fairy tale non-fiction section, J 398.2 Bil.


Miss Sarah


You Don’t Want A Unicorn by Ame Dyckman

A lesson in being careful what you wish for.


Miss Teresa


The Bad Mood and the Stick by Lemony Snicket

The bad mood is portrayed by a multi-colored, frowning cloud that follows Curly, prompting her to pick up a stick and poke her little brother.  While this makes Curly happy, the nad mood transfers to her mother.  Snicket’s amusing tale continues as the bad mood and the stick travel throughout the town, ultimately setting things right.


Miss Marta


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This Young Adult read is so timely and important, not to mention just darn good! Starr is the only witness to the shooting of her best friend, Khalil (who is unarmed), at the hands of a police officer.  She is getting pressure from opposing sides, both police and people from her neighborhood, as people take to the streets bringing national attention to an unjust killing.  Everyone is asking what happened and only Starr is left to answer the questions.  Inspired by the “Black Lives Matter” movement, the social and political messages that pour out of this book hit readers hard.  It made me personally think about white privilege in ways I hadn’t before. This book is awesome for starting some good converstions about what racial biases there are in our country and community and how we are handling them.  I don’t want to stand on the soapbox too long about the political and social elements of this book because the writing itself is so amazing and the main character Starr is so well developed.  The mixed emotions and raw truth of what she is dealing with is beautifully brought to light.  I have yet to meet a teen or adult who read this book and didn’t love it.



Miss Janna


History’s Mysteries: Curious Clues, Cold Cases and Puzzles From the Past by Kitson Jazynka

When this book came across my desk, I had to stop and read it from cover to cover in one sitting.  National Geographic has written some of my very favorite books for kids, and this was no exception.  Highlighting vanished cities, lost tribes, history’s most infamous heroes and villains, mystifying legends and other fascinating stories, this book is riveting!

#3 of 2017

You made it to our top 3 of 2017!  Check out our previous posts to see what other titles we loved this year.  In the meantime, the countdown goes on!


Miss Christina


Cubetto Playset

This Coding kit is just darn cute. It is also very easy to use. There is a mat you place on the floor for the Cubetto Robot to travel on and an interface board you put different directional arrows on to command the square wooden robot to move. The instruction guide, written like a story, introduces you to the different parts of the kit.  There is another book called Cubetto’s First Day. This book contains a travel story, directions to for moving the Cubetto, information and questions to ask.  It’s a fun introduction to coding!


Miss Sarah


Triangle by Mac Barnett

When you have a devious friend…


Miss Teresa


A Greyhound, A Groundhog by Emily Jenkins

Not only a tongue twister in words, but visually as well, as the greyhound and groundhog whirl and twirl around each other until they’re all tuckered out.  A great read-aloud!


Miss Marta


Charlie and Mouse by Laurel Snyder

This early reader book (which kicks off a series) took me back to my childhood.  Remember how you felt the first time you chuckled at the antics of Frog and Toad?  That feeling comes right back as Charlie and Mouse take you on adventures around their home and neighborhood.  From mysterious lumps under blankets and selling rocks to bedtime bananas, these two will have your little reader giggling.  Big pro to this book?  Just like some of the classic early readers it is broken down into 4 smaller stories for the reader so it won’t overwhelm beginning readers or toddlers just learning to sit through stories.


Miss Janna


Breathe, Mama, Breathe by Shonda Moralis

Bite-sized mindfulness for busy moms.  Each chapter is a page or two, bringing cheerful encouragement and food for thought.




#4 of 2017



Miss Christina



The Flashback Four: The Lincoln Project by Dan Gutman

Imagine you travel back in time  to have the adventure of your life. Would you do it?

Eccentric, rich Miss Z, proposed to 4 twelve year olds to do just that. As a test, one boy was sent back in time to see a basketball game—one where Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points. It was so engrossing that even though I’m not a sports person I had to look it up to see if it really happened. It did! (Not the time travel part, of course).  This book brought history to life in  the details that do not make it into the history books. Ranging from the more obvious of no electric outlets to charge smart phones that don’t function without the internet, and chamber pots and out houses in use instead of bathrooms to how dead horses were dealt with after a battle. The time travel story is full of adventure and mishaps that keep you reading to the end—an end that leaves you wondering what will happen next. I guess we will all just have to wait for the next book in the series to come out. A nice addition are the included photographs that help bring the history alive to the reader.


Miss Sarah



I Want To Be In A Scary Story by Sean Taylor


Little Monster wants to be in a scary story, but he doesn’t like how scary the reader makes it until he finds a way to do some scaring himself!


Miss Teresa



A Different Pond by Bao Phi

This is a beautiful tale of a father/son fishing trip that integrates the present family history and might just open your eyes about the immigrant experience.


Miss Marta


Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli

Beautifully illustrated collective biography book about amazing women who may inspire your little rebel.  The bios are only a page a piece and provides a quote they are known for.  My own spirited seven-year old is in love with this book and it served as a great spring board into reading full biographies for pleasure.


Miss Janna



100 Backyard Activities by Colleen Kessler

Each page of this fun-filled book offers great experiments and explorations to get kids off the couch and outside.


Want to know which books made the #5 spot?  Click here.


#5 of 2017


Miss Christina



The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner

Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong? Alice Mayfair knows exactly how that feels. She has been shipped off to seven different schools in seven years, never finding a friend.

She’s not the only one who doesn’t fit in. There is also Millie, she so badly wants to be a part of the No-Fur world to pursue her dreams but she can’t because she is a Bigfoot. Each strive to fit into the world they belong until they meet. There’s also Jeremy who also doesn’t fit in. He is determined to prove that Bigfoot really exists which threatens Millie’s world. This is an enchanting story that addresses a need to belong, and understanding others. It also leaves you wondering what the next  book will bring.


Miss Sarah



Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

Adorable story about being yourself.


Miss Teresa



We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio

Palacio’s previous novel Wonder (now a major motion picture) inspired the “Choose Kind” anti-bullying movement.  Now, in her picture book debut, the author presents Auggie’s story to the younger crowd and inspires all of us to see that each of us is a wonder.


Miss Marta



The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore

Lolly and his mom don’t have much to celebrate this Christmas.  His brother was killed in a gang-related shooting and things are pretty bleak.  Until… Lolly is gifted two bags of Lego.  Lolly loves Lego, but he always uses the building instructions, so he faces a challenge of free building and using his imagination.  Now, using his own ideas to construct a Lego creation at the local community center is his safe zone as he fights against pressure to join a crew and find happiness after his loss.


Miss Janna



The Littlest Learners by Dawn Roginski

With two preschoolers at home, this book was a treat!  Showing how you can easily teach and incorporate core concepts in your toddler’s daily routine, this book offers the science on how children learn throughout their early childhood.


If you missed our last post featuring our #6 favorites of 2017, check it out!

#6 of 2017


Miss Christina


The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange

Twelve year old Henry—short for Henrietta has just moved to a new house. Hope House is supposed to be a new beginning for the family but instead things begin to fall apart. The father goes to another country for work, and the mother is locked in a room attended by a strange doctor. The book appears to be filled with ghosts, secret rooms and threats of insanity. This reads like a wonderful gothic story, but when you think of the time period and situation afterwards, you realize just how scary this really is. Fortunately this book has a happy, yet realistic ending. Beautifully and compellingly written. Set  in England after the 1st world war. This is Lucy Strange’s first book but I certainly look forward to her next!


Miss Sarah


Shelter by Celine Claire

Through a snowstorm kindness shines.


Miss Teresa


Why Am I Me? by Paige Britt

In this debut picture book, two children traveling home at the end of the day find themselves wondering the same questions about each other — why am I me and why are you you?  Why is everyone who they are…? And not someone else entirely?  Why Am I Me? is a lovely invitation to imagine a world where the is only one WE.  Beautifully illustrated by husband and wife team Sean QUalls and Selina Alko, this book is a must read.


Miss Marta


The Uncommoners: The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell

This book was by far one of the best fantasy books I have read in a long time.  It filled a spot left by series like Harry Potter where there is rich, unique worldbuilding going on.  Ivy and her brother Seb are pulled into city beneath London to save their grandma and discover the magical powers very common objects possess… IF you are uncommon.  Candles make you invisible, Bells serve as sentinels, Belts make you fly, and toilet plungers… well… you don’t want to be on the wrong end of one.  You can read my full review of this book here OR you can take the chance that this just might be your new favorite series and grab it up on your next visit!


Miss Janna


The Wolf, The Duck, and the Mouse by Mac Barnett

Never judge a book by it’s cover!  The drab colors are completely opposite this lively tale of a mouse and duck who find themselves “safe” in the belly of the wolf.  To keep their safe home they must defend the wolf who has eaten them with comedic results.  Jon Klassen’s art paired with the perfectly timed words of Mac Barnett are sure to make any kid in elementary school laugh out loud.

#7 of 2017


Miss Christina


You Must Bring a Hat! by Simon Philip

This is a silly book with great pictures. It all starts with an invitation to a party that requests the invitee to bring a hat. A simple request but he doesn’t have a hat and so begins an adventure in finding a hat and obeying the other surprising and unusual rules that pop up.  The craziness keeps building until the very end when he finally gets to join Nigel’s birthday party.  I love the silliness of this, the pictures, and if you look hard, you discover how the entire situation could have been avoided. However, if you did then you would miss the fun.


Miss Sarah


I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde

Beautiful!  This is how I wish to be.


Miss Teresa


You Can Read by Helaine Becker and Mark Hoffmann

“You can read in the classroom, you can read in the park”… indeed!  Kids will discover that reading is an adventure that can take them anywhere!  I love this quote on the back of the book: “Books are awesome, and so are the people who read them.”


Miss Marta


Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World by Reshma Saujani

This book has a great mix of basic explanations of coding and real-life stories of woman who have gone into exciting careers that use coding.  The illustrations are awesome AND if your kiddo likes this, there is also a chapter book series about girls that like coding that is getting a lot of great reviews!


Miss Janna


The Strength Switch: How the New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish by Lea Waters


Using positive psychology to strengthen and encourage and grow young minds in positive directions, this book not only shows the benefits of such mindsets but the practical how-to’s.


If you missed #8 in the Top 10 of 2017, click here to catch up!

#8 of 2017


On down the countdown we go!  If you missed yesterday’s post, go check it out!


Miss Christina


The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

The drawings of this book will draw you into this book before you even begin with one word from the author of How to Train Your Dragon. Set in an unknown ancient time, there are two groups. Xar is a Wizard and Wish is a Warrior.  There were once bad Witches, but they were made extinct by the Warriors. Now the Warriors want to get rid of every last bit of magic. Xar is a Wizard who cannot do a single spell and Wish has a magical spoon and enchanted sword that no one knows about. They are both headstrong and determined—and instantly distrust each other when they meet. The danger and adventures instantly begin. Cowell has created an incredible world filled with delightful creatures and names and fascinating pictures and side notes that add to the story.


Miss Sarah


The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do by Ashley Spires

Lou learns to face her fear.


Miss Teresa


Ben Franklin’s In My Bathroom by Candace Fleming

In this hilarious middle grade novel, Ben Franklin accidently time travels to 10 year-old Nolan’s home, where Nolan shows Ben around the world he helped form.


Miss Marta


Real Friends by Shannon Hale

Fabulous middle grade graphic with beautiful art work by LeUyen Pham (Princess in Black series).  This graphic memoir follows Shannon as she is finding her footing in the world of friendships and being true to herself.  Good friendships aren’t easy, but they are worth it and this book reaffirms this.


Miss Janna


100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids by Amanda Boyarshinov & Kim Vij

Filled with fun learning activities for a rainy afternoon.


#9 of 2017

On to our 9th favorite books for the year!  If you missed yesterday, click here to see what we put in the 10 spot.



Miss Christina



The Treasure Box by Margaret Wild


We don’t know what war, we don’t know when. However, when their town in bombed and everything has burned, including the library, Peter and his father leave their home. They take with them a special treasure, a box that contained a library book. Perhaps this book will appeal to adults more than children. What I like about it is the importance placed not only on books, but on the ability of people to rebuild their lives after tragedy. The collage pictures are beautifully done and the text  tells the story simply, warmly, showing the strength of characters and their determination.


Miss Sarah



You Don’t Want A Unicorn! by Ame Dyckman


A humorous lesson in being careful what you wish for.


Miss Teresa



The World Is Not A Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid by Jeanette Winter

A wonderful picture-book biography, this book details the life of Zaha Hadid, who, at the time of her death in 2016, was the only woman t have received both the Pritzker Prize and the Royal Gold Medal for her inventive sense of design.  Hadid means iron in Arabic and Zaha was as strong as iron; she never stopped working or believing in her designs.


Miss Marta



Bunnybear by Andrea J. Loney

A bear who feels more like a bunny on the inside and a bunny who feels more like a bear become fast friends and find their voice.  This book is a sweet introduction to identity acceptance.


Miss Janna



Bob, Not Bob! by Liz Garton Scanlon

A humorous tale which MUST be read as if you have a stuffy nose.  This book is a must for read-alouds.  Kids will laugh and laugh as the protagonist calls for his mom, but with a stuffy nose sounds a lot like Bob, who just so happens to be the family dog.  Humorous illustrations do an excellent job drawing out the humor of the situation.