January 12, 2017

Read in 2016: Children's Books, Comics, & Memoirs

Today is the second part in a series of posts about all of the books I read in 2016. This post highlights the 8 children's books, 6 comics/graphic novels, and 13 memoirs I read last year, organized by genre but otherwise in somewhat random order.

Children's Books

by Roald Dahl

A childhood favorite full of deliciously ridiculous made-up words. Read my full review.

by Gary Paulsen
Along with My Side of the Mountain and The Long Winter, The Hatchet held a strong place within my child imagination of outdoor survival. Has anyone read the whole series?

Demon Dentist
by David Walliams
A funny middle-grade novel very reminiscent of Roald Dahl.

The River
by Gary Paulsen

More of Brian trying to survive in the middle of nowhere.

by Sara Pennypacker

Has a great, poetic outcome.

by Katherine Applegate

The messages about trauma are great for child audiences.

The Lightning Thief
by Rick Riordan

I liked the use of mythology and the premise is fun.

The Jungle Book
by Rudyard Kipling
The first two stories in the collection (the ones featuring Mowgli, Baloo, Shere Khan, Kaa, and company) are particularly great.


Heart and Brain: An Awkward Yeti Collection
by Nick Seluk

Definitely one of my favorite current cartoonists. I love Heart and Brain and got the calendar for Christmas.

Adulthood is a Myth
by Sarah Andersen
Very funny and accurate.

Roller Girl
by Victoria Jamieson

A great YA graphic novel, especially if you love roller derby as I do.
Awkward Family Photos
by Mike Bender

I liked the section "Strange not Awkward."

The Worrier's Guide to Life
by Gemma Correll

Some of these frames are simply perfection.

Charlie Brown and Friends: A Peanuts Collection
by Charles M. Schwartz
80% baseball comics about the Peanuts gang.


Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between
by Lauren Graham


12 Years a Slave
by Solomon Northup

Solomon Northup was a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. After twelve years of horror, he was finally rescued. This is his autobiographical slave narrative, published in 1853. Along with Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and many others, these accounts are crucial to read, remember, and share. As you'd expect, the scene of his rescue is particularly emotional.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
by Cheryl Strayed

Follow Strayed on her journey as she mourns the loss of her mother and spends time on the trail.

The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey
by Rinker Buck

Part memoir of his relationship with his father, part expedition to travel the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon. Interesting.

When Breath Becomes Air
Paul Kalanithi

Powerful, poignant, and sad as the author's cancer spreads and he bares his fears and vulnerability. You'll need some Kleenex at the ready.

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person
by Shonda Rhimes

A strong anthem for love and support.

Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

A powerful love story from a father to his son about racism, finding strength, and finding identity and place in an unfair world.

My Story
by Elizabeth Smart

I admire Elizabeth Smart's survival.

Scrappy Little Nobody
by Anna Kendrick

Sassy and funny. 

Life Among the Savages
by Shirley Jackson

Signature Jackson style as she uses her dry humor to paint a portrait of her life and marriage raising four young children. The funniest stand-alone excerpt is her puzzled reflections on her family's sleep patterns and a missing blanket.

Where Am I Now?
by Mara Wilson 
Engaging as she writes about her childhood celebrity and her relationships with both the actors and characters that informed her youth.

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology
by Leah Remini

Details her childhood and professional career alongside personal heartache.
by Drew Barrymore

Drew is funny and charming.

 Do you have any children's, comic, or memoir recommendations?

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