Books, Lists

The Next Ten Books I Need to Read Plus One

For the next ten books I need to read (plus one more), I decided to look at the Cybils nominees (across fiction/poetry/graphic novels). And since I want to read all of them, it took me a while to get to a list of ten (plus one) for this week’s theme of reads over at ThatArtsyReaderGirl

Note: All book covers are linked to Goodreads with the synopsis excerpted/paraphrased from Goodreads. The titles are linked to Amazon

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The Next Ten Books I Need to Read (+1)

The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams

The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams by Mindy Thompson | Middle Grade Fantasy (8 – 12 years, and up) | Viking Books for Young Readers (October 26, 2021)

Description: It’s 1944 Sutton, NY, and Poppy’s family owns and runs, Rhyme and Reason, a magical bookshop that caters to people from all different places and time periods. Though her family’s world is ravaged by World War II, their customers hail from their past and their future, infusing the shop with a delightful mix of ideas and experiences. The shop runs on a set of rules handed down from one generation of bookseller to the next, with their cardinal rule their most strict: shopkeepers must never use the magic for themselves.

Why: For this is a book about bookshops, magic, time-travel, a little bit of historical fiction, and family & friendships all in one!

The Last Mapmaker (8 – 12 years)

The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat | Children’s Fantasy (8 – 12 years, and up) | April 12, 2022 by Candlewick Press

Description: Christina Soontornvat explores a young woman’s struggle to unburden herself of the past and chart her own destiny in a world of secrets. Twelve-year-old Sai is assistant to Mangkon’s most celebrated mapmaker and plays the part of a well-bred young lady while in reality, her family’s truth could ruin her. She seizes the chance to join an expedition to chart the southern seas, but she isn’t the only one aboard with secrets. Vivid, suspenseful, and thought-provoking, this tale of identity and integrity is as beautiful and intricate as the maps of old.

My Why: Christina Soontornvat, of course!

Counting in Dog Years and Other Sassy Math Poems

Counting in Dog Years and Other Sassy Math Poems by Betsy Franco and illustrated by Priscilla Tey | Children’s Poetry (8 – 12 years) | Candlewick (October 11, 2022)

Description: Award-winning author Betsy Franco is back with another pitch-perfect performance that explores a range of math topics—from fractions and time measurements to geometry and graphs—in a way that relates math to the daily lives of children. Even the most mathematically disinclined will warm to these innovative poems, illustrated with game-changing wit and whimsy by Priscilla Tey, whose clever mechanical “Numbots” guide readers through a surreal playground of calculated delights. 

My Why: Poems, math, sass, and all that! Plus, I have read and enjoyed Franco’s books before, including Zero the Hero!

Worser (9 – 12 years)

Worser by Jennifer Ziegler | Children’s Fiction (9 – 12 years, and up) | Margaret Ferguson Books (March 15, 2022)

Description: William Wyatt Orser, a socially awkward middle schooler, is a wordsmith who, much to his annoyance, acquired the ironically ungrammatical nickname of “Worser” so long ago that few people at school know to call him anything else. And when life is turned outside down for him after his mother has a stroke, it is up to Worser to turn the page in his own story to make something that endures so that he is no longer seen as Worser and earns a new nickname, Worder.

My Why: Wordsmithing always catches my attention, and here it helps the protagonist in so many ways (based on the synopsis!)

Attack of the Black Rectangles

Attack of the Black Rectangles by Amy Sarig King | Children’s Fiction (9 – 12 years, and up) | Scholastic Press (September 6, 2022)

Description: Everyone in town knows and fears Ms. Laura Samuel Sett. She is the town watchdog, always on the lookout for unsavory words and the unsavory people who use them. Mac and his friends are outraged when they discovered that their class copies of Jane Yolen’s THE DEVIL’S ARITHMETIC have certain works blacked out. In ATTACK OF THE BLACK RECTANGLES, acclaimed author A.S. King shows all the ways truth can be hard… but still worth fighting for.

My Why: Books about censorship and about fighting for what is right are always great reads; and I love the unique take on this issue here.

Daughter of the Deep

Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan | Children’s Science Fiction/Fantasy (9 years and up) | Disney-Hyperion (October 26, 2021)

Description: New York Times #1 best-selling author Rick Riordan pays homage to Jules Verne in his exciting modern take on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.. 

My Why: Rick Riordan and the reference to 20,000 Leagues.


Thirst by Varsha Bajaj | Children’s Realistic Fiction (10 – 12 years, and up) | Nancy Paulsen Books (July 19, 2022)

Description: Minni lives in the poorest part of Mumbai, where access to water is limited to a few hours a day and the communal taps have long lines. Lately, though, even that access is threatened by severe water shortages and thieves who are stealing this precious commodity—an act that Minni accidentally witnesses one night. Meanwhile, in the high-rise building where she just started to work, she discovers that water streams out of every faucet and there’s even a rooftop swimming pool. What Minni also discovers there is one of the water mafia bosses. Now she must decide whether to expose him and risk her job and maybe her life. How did something as simple as access to water get so complicated?

My Why: The setting – Mumbai, India; that cover; and the story.

Alias Anna: A True Story of Outwitting the Nazis

Alias Anna: A True Story of Outwitting the Nazis by Susan Hood with Greg Dawson | Children’s Historical Fiction (10 years and up) | HarperCollins (March 22, 2022)

Description: The moving true story of how young Ukrainian Jewish piano prodigies Zhanna (alias “Anna”) and her sister Frina outplayed their pursuers while hiding in plain sight during the Holocaust. A middle grade nonfiction novel-in-verse by award-winning author Susan Hood with Greg Dawson (Zhanna’s son).

My Why: A novel-in-verse; a Holocaust true story; and well, just about everything I read about it.

If Anything Happens, I Love You

If Anything Happens I Love You by Will McCormack and Michael Govier, and illustrated by Youngran Nho | Teen & YA / Social & Emotional Issues (12 years and up) | Andrews McMeel Publishing (September 27, 2022)

Description: Unimaginable loss yields to the power of human connection in this simple, moving story from the filmmakers of the eponymous Oscar-winning film.  Based on the Academy Award-winning animated short by the same name, If Anything Happens I Love You is a young adult graphic novel that follows two parents as they reckon with the loss of their young daughter, Rose, in a school shooting

My Why: Need I say anything else.

Walking Gentry Home: A Memoir of My Foremothers in Verse

Walking Gentry Home: A Memoir of My Foremothers in Verse by Alora Young | Teen & YA/ Memoirs (14 – 18 years, and up) | Hogarth (August 2, 2022)

Description: Walking Gentry Home tells the story of Alora Young’s ancestors, from the unnamed women forgotten by the historical record but brought to life through Young’s imagination; to Amy, the first of Young’s foremothers to arrive in Tennessee, buried in an unmarked grave, unlike the white man who enslaved her and fathered her child; through Young’s great-grandmother Gentry, unhappily married at fourteen; to her own mother, the teenage beauty queen rejected by her white neighbors; down to Young in the present day as she leaves childhood behind and becomes a young woman.

My Why: Novel-in-verse; memoir; exploring family roots; African-American histories and stories.

Little Thieves

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen | Teen & YA Fantasy (14 – 18 years, and up) | Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (October 19, 2021)

Description: Margaret Owen, author of The Merciful Crow series, crafts a delightfully irreverent retelling of “The Goose Girl” about stolen lives, thorny truths, and the wicked girls at the heart of both. A scrappy maid must outsmart both palace nobles and Low Gods in this book

My Why: A retelling; that cover; and I do want to try reading Margaret Owen.

Related Reads

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts on the ones you have read? If not, which one would you like to read first? What are the books currently on the top of your TBR list?

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