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The Best Middle-Grade and Chapter Books of 2012

While I have made four "Best of" picture books list now, this is only my second "Best of" list for middle-grade and chapter books and I am still refining it. As I was compiling and winnowing my list for this year, I noticed some themes. So, this year the list is categorized! And, like a stripy shirt or the right pair of jeans, I am hoping the categories will hide the true heft of the list(s). I'll start with a genre that has existed for a very long time, (John Bellairs, an author from my childhood, is a great example and I really need to review his books here) mysteries with a bit of magic but I just sort of noticed it this year. Interestingly enough, three of the four books in this category could also be termed Historical Fantasy, mysteries with a touch of magic set in the past, my favorite! And, please excuse the size of the graphic novel list. It was too hard to narrow it down...


The Best MYSTERIES with MAGIC of 2012






The Apothecary by Maile Meloy




The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell




Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans





13 Hangmen by Art Corriveau






The Best HISTORICAL FICTION of 2012










Tracks by Diane Lee Wilson



The BEST ANIMAL STORIES of 2012





Tua and the Elephant by RP Harris, illustrated by Taeun Yoo




The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate











Neversink by Barry Wolverton






The best REALISTIC FICTION of 2012



Wonder by RJ Palacio






Libby of High Hopes by Elise Primavera



Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani





Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker







The Best FANTASY of 2012



The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver












Cold Cereal by Adam Rex






The BEST GHOST STORIES of 2012




The Whispering House by Rebecca Wade





A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle





The Best GRAPHIC NOVELS of 2012









DRAMA by Raina Telgemeier



A Wrinkle In Time adapted and illustrated by Hope Larson




The Stone Frog by David Nytra



Earthling! by Mark Fearing




Fangbone! Third-Grade Barbarian by Michael Rex




Explorer : The Mystery Boxes edited by Kazu Kibuishi




Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks


Best CHAPTER BOOKS of 2012




The Great Cake Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith





Mrs Noodlekugel by Daniel Pinkwater




Sadie and Ratz by Sonya Hartnett




And, of course, these brilliant graphic-novel-beginnning-to-read books from TOON BOOKS that came out in 2012!









The BEST ADULT BOOK THAT IS GREAT FOR TEENS of 2012





Comments

Jeremy said…
Thanks so much for this tour de force recap of the year's best books -- a treasure trove! And a happy new year to you as well. We so appreciate your work here.
Tanya said…
Thank you, and thank you! Hopefully there are a few books on the list your kids haven't read yet! Wishing your family a fantastic 2013!!

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