I read a lot of books in 2020....over three hundred, that's almost one a day. I read fiction books, non-fiction books and picture books and I loved every minute of it.
Despite all the doom and gloom in 2020, I am here to tell you that it was an incredible year for children's literature. It is a golden time for children's books with so many fantastic titles regularly being released by established authors, debut authors and up and coming authors. There really has been no better time for children (and adults) to dive into a children's book.
It has been incredibly hard for me to select some of my favourite and most memorable reads of 2020 but I have given it a go and here is what I have come up with...
* Synopsis' and links to full reviews for titles can be found in the appropriate age range sections on the site.
My top fiction reads of 2020...
My adventures in fiction have seen me travel on a train around the UK (The Highland Falcon Thief), ridden an elephant in Serendib (The Girl Who Stole an Elephant) and made my way across the Welsh countryside (The Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates). I have visited far off lands that are accessed through a camp bed (Return to Roar), accidentally found myself stuck in the Stone Age (The Wild Way Home) and voyaged across dangerous seas to mythical islands (A Sprinkle of Sorcery). I flew to forbidden lands aboard an airship (Sky Pirates: Echo Quickthorn and the Great Beyond), flew in more traditional transport to the Atlantic Forest (Agents of the Wild: Operation Honeyhunt) and sailed to the lands of the Sahar Peninsula (Moonchild: Voyage of the Lost and Found).
I have been chased through the streets of Rome (Mark Anchovy: Pizza Detective) and have sipped chocolat chaud and eaten delicious pastries on the boulevards of Paris (The Pear Affair). I have holidayed by the sea but the town was anything but ordinary (Gargantis) and I have been whisked away to the last city in the world (Orphans of the Tide). I visited an incredible school for children who think differently (The Ten Riddles of Eartha Quicksmith) and then found out that having a superpower is not always super (Pizazz).
I faced terrifying creatures on a school residential (Crater Lake), found equally scary creatures in the town of Sticky Pines (The Bigwoof Conspiracy) and came face to face with a beast whose appetite could only be satisfied if it was fed a young girl (The Beast and the Bethany). I wasn’t even safe when I went to sleep as the ‘Heebie Jeebies’ loved to invade my dreams (Dream Team: Attack of the Heebie Jeebies).
I made some great friends along the way too including a delightful mouse named Stix who lives behind a washing machine (PESTS), a lovely young girl named Zola who let me tag along on a Monday (What Zola did on Monday), an incredibly loud llama named Levi (Llama Out Loud!) and met a wonderfully mischievous and marvellous witch called Notes (Scribble Witch: Notes in Class).
And I ended my year with the most magical of Christmas adventures with a visit to Ebenezer Street (The Miracle on Ebenezer Street).
It is fair to say, it has been quite the year…
My top non-fiction reads of 2020...
I really enjoy reading non-fiction and in 2020 I feel like I have been spoilt for choice. I have read a variety of books that have covered a range of topics. My eyes have been opened and my mind has been boggled by incredible statistics, incredible people and the incredible feats of the human body. I have been on a deep-sea dive and then examined the situation on earth to try and unravel the problems of climate change. And being a lover of travel and visiting new places I even found time to do a bit of book-travelling and learnt the language of world politics. Whether it be learning facts to impress family and friends with or just reading new and interesting information, all of these books have educated, entertained and enriched me in one way or another...
My top picture book reads of 2020...
Picture books are brilliant, and I'll say this right now...children and adults are never too old to enjoy all that a picture book has to offer. There are some truly incredible picture books out there and throughout 2020 I was lucky enough to read so many lovely and superbly illustrated books. I have chosen the following books because they have either provoked thoughts and wonderings, have moved me in some way, or have just really made me smile in what was a pretty challenging year for most of us...
2021 looks like a fabulous year for children's books and there are so many amazing titles that I am looking forward to reading. Already on my 'To Be Read Pile' are Crater Lake Evolution (Jennifer Killick), A Tangle of Spells (Michelle Harrison), The Last Bear (Hannah Gold) and The Incredible Record Smashers (Jenny Pearson). For now, happy reading and I'll be back soon with my first review of 2021.
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