Must Read in 2016 Update #1

This is the first update of the year of the Must Read in 2016 challenge hosted by Carrie Gelson at There’s a Book for That.

In the first three month and one week of 2016, I have made good progress on my list. I have read 28 of the 73 books on my list and have started one more. Here are the books I have read so far in the order that I read them.

Wolfie the Bunny, Sparky!, and Winnie: The True Story of the Bear that Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh. Three great picture books to go through with my library groups.

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, Goodbye Stranger, Absolutely Almost, and The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher. Four really great middle school novels.

Roller Girl, Book Scavenger, Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla, Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer. The last three were books I shared with my eight year old. She gave me the novels and I gave her Ivan. Roller Girl might be my favourite graphic novel (I am a late convert to graphic novels, not drawn to them).

Waiting, The Knife of Never Letting Go. Could you find two more different books? You would have to work pretty hard.

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up, Rapunzel’s Revenge, and The Perilous Princess Plot. I loved this last one. A family read aloud that caused tears of laughter.

Shadows of Sherwood, The Wolf Wilder, Crenshaw, The Mark of the Thief, Chasing Secrets, Pax, Zeroes, Circus Mirandus. This is my potential lit circle list for next year. I have about ten other books that I plan to read for the same reason. My district is running a Battle of the Books with six titles that I picked this year (The Nest, The Blackthorn Key, A Night Divided, Rain Reign, How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes are Untied and The Night Gardener) and I am trying to get teachers to read some of these and help me choose books for next year. Our participants are grades 5-7 for the most part and I most moved to choose The Wolf Wilder, Chasing Secrets and Pax so far, and the fact that my class has already discovered The Mark of the Thief might rule it out for that purpose.

Jack, and Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party. Two great read alouds with my children. Both my girls (8 and 5) love Liesl Shurtliff, but I thought I would only have one reading Princess in Black with me because my oldest is drawn to many of my lit circle books more than early chapter readers (she doesn’t often get them). I was wrong. They both enjoy that series as well.

I Crawl Through It, and The Whisper. A couple of books that will keep you up thinking.

What would I recommend the most in this list of titles? Impossible to say, it really depends on who is asking and what they like. But the five that I probably have the fondest memories of reading are: Chasing Secrets, Jack, The Perilous Princess Plot, The Wolf Wilder, and Goodbye Stranger. I think this is likely the case because I had one or more people that I either shared the book with or could anticipate sharing it with while reading.

Overall, I was pretty pleased to finish 28 of the original 73 books. That is about 38% of the books in the first quarter of the year. I am ahead of schedule and I really don’t expect to read all of the books. However, if I posted the whole list you would notice that I finished of all the picture books and none of the “adult” books. So, I am not likely to duplicate 28 in the next quarter.

When we got started with this, I made a list of about four books that were going to be read first and I know that I did not read all of them yet. So, I know that kind of exercise is futile, and even though I know that I am listing four more: Orbiting Jupiter, The War that Saved My Life, Masterminds, and Sunny Side Up. Not sure when the next update is, I think around the end of the school year, so I anticipate slowing down a little from the 28 I did. I would settle for half that. I hope to be in the mid 40s before the beginning of summer. Happy reading everyone!


Here are the covers of my remaining books:

5 thoughts on “Must Read in 2016 Update #1

  1. If I could recommend must reads on your still to read must read list (that’s a mouth full!) I would suggest: Winger, The War that Saved my Life, Princess Academy and everything Gary D. Schmidt! Awesome progress on your list!


  2. Yes, Winger kind of keeps calling to me. I have been really trying to focus on books that might be good for a Lit Circle/Battle of the Books at the 5/6/7 level and it strikes me as being for slightly older kids. Same for Gary Schmidt. If you tell me I am wrong, I will read them sooner. If not, they will still be read this year. The War That Saved My Life is coming quite soon as it fits what I am trying to do right now. My wife wants me to read it too. No bad choices here, I was thinking of getting two copies of Princess Academy and reading it with my oldest in the summer. She will be 9 by then. Thanks for the recommendations, I look forward to getting to these five.


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