Jenny's Library

Here is the breakdown of the massive list I posted on Monday:

I read a total of 207 books last year.

bar graph of types of books read in 2013

Nearly a third (68) were young adult books, and another third were board books and picture books (25 and 45, respectively).  Middle grade novels (28) and adult novels and stories (35) each made up another sixth of what I read last year.  I also read a handful of easy readers and non-fiction books (4 each).

80%  (169) of the books I read last year were written by women, but only 14% (29) were written by writers of color.

genderrace

I’m not terribly concerned that only 20% of the books I read were written by men; there are plenty of people with much more influence than I do that seem to read and talk about only male writers, so it can’t possibly hurt for me to read and talk up female writers.  In fact, it’s clearly still needed. Also, I’m probably still balancing out what I read when I was younger.

That 14% does concern me though, especially considering what I do.  My reading and talking about that low a percentage of authors of color doesn’t just impact my circle of friends and what they read, it means that when I do reader’s advisory, when I create book lists and displays, and when I order books for the library, the vast majority of the books that come to mind will be by white writers.  Even if I try to do searches and peruse recommended lists in order to make these all more balanced, the titles I find that way are not going to take emotional priority or stay in my head the way that the books I’ve actually read will. Which means that I’m not doing my job and that I’m failing the children I’m supposed to serve.

So my goal for this year is to double that percentage, for at least one third of the books I read this year to be by a writer of color.

I hope to eventually increase that number to an even larger percentage, to better match the demographics among children in the US.  But I also know that only 10% of the children’s books published in the United States are written by an author of color, and I don’t know at what point (if ever) that reality will begin to make such goals difficult.  And for this year (because of my time and budget) I wanted to start with a goal that I know is easily doable.

Board Books

Hello, Animals! by Smriti Prasdam

You Are My Cupcake by Joyce Wan

All Creatures Great and Small by Naoko Stoop

Rokko by Paola Opal

Everyone Eats by Julia Kuo

Goodnight by Benoît Marchon

Surprise! by Liesbet Slegers

Up Close by Gay Wegerif

Colors by Xavier Deneux

Mommy! Mommy! by Taro Gomi

Peekaboo! by Taro Gomi

Picture Books

Machines at Work by Byron Barton

Good Luck Bear by Greg Foley

Thank You Bear by Greg Foley

I Miss You Mouse by Greg Foley

This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

Big Frog Can’t Fit In! by Mo Willems

Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett

Wolves by Emily Gravett

Dogs by Emily Gravett

Tumble Bumble by Felicia Bond

Quick as a Cricket by Don and Audrey Wood

Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Olivia and the Fairy Princess by Ian Falconer

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle

How to Be a Cat by Niki McClure

There are NO Cats in This Book by Viviane Schwarz

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears by Emily Gravett

Here I Am by Patti Kim

Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

Easy Readers

Let’s Go for a Drive by Mo Willems

A Big Guy Took My Ball by Mo Willems

I’m a Frog! by Mo Willems

Middle Grade Novels

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

The Giver by Lois Lowry

A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Hope Larson

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Below by Meg McKinlay

The Garden of My Imaan by Zia Farhana

Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne

My Basmati Bat Mitzvah by Paula J. Freedman

Young Adult Novels (and stories)

The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Real Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart

The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe

Huntress by Malinda Lo

The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson

Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina

Fat Angie by E. E. Charlton-Trujillo

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Adaptation by Malinda Lo

Emilie and the Hollow World by Martha Wells

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

grl2grl by Julie Anne Peters

Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Chasing Shadows by Swati Avasthi

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

 

Adult Novels (and stories)

The Crowded Shadows by Celine Kiernan

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

Inda by Sherwood Smith

Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Fox by Sherwood Smith

The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold

Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold

Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Warrior’s Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold

Ethan of Athos by Lois McMaster Bujold

Labyrinth by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold

Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Mountains of Mourning by Lois McMaster Bujold

Brothers in Arms by Lois McMaster Bujold

Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold

Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold

Komar by Lois McMaster Bujold

King’s Shield by Sherwood Smith

Treason’s Shore by Sherwood Smith

Cold Steel by Kate Elliot

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Jaran by Kate Elliot

Razor’s Edge by Martha Wells

The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal by Kate Elliot, illustrated by Julie Dillon

Nonfiction

Writing the Other by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward

Sticks and Stones by Emily Bazelon

Three Observations and a Dialogue: Round and About SF by Sylvia Kelso

Total Books: 207

.

Board Books: 25

Hello, Animals! by Smriti Prasdam

You Are My Cupcake by Joyce Wan

Baby Loves to Rock by Wednesday Kirwan

Are You My Baby? by Kathleen Rizzi

All Creatures Great and Small by Naoko Stoop

1, 2 at the Zoo by Sue DiCicco

Rokko by Paola Opal

Everyone Eats by Julia Kuo

Who’s Hiding? by Scholastic

How Does Baby Feel? by Karen Katz

Little, Big! by Amanda Wood

Goodnight by Benoît Marchon

Spoonful by Benoît Marchon

Surprise! by Liesbet Slegers

I Say, You Say Animal Sounds! by Tad Carpenter

Let’s Get Dressed! by Caroline Jayne Church

Baby Be Kind by Jane Fletcher-Cowen

Go! Go! Go! by Francie Alexander

Up Close by Gay Wegerif

Colors by Xavier Deneux

Mommy! Mommy! by Taro Gomi

Baby Giggles by Rachael Hale

Hello Winter! by Sanrio Company

Five Silly Turkeys by Salina Yoon

Peekaboo! by Taro Gomi

 

Picture Books: 45

Peek-a-Moo! by Marie Torres Cimarusti

Machines at Work by Byron Barton

Otto the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson

Bear Has a Story to Tell by Phillip C. Stead

Make a Wish Bear by Greg Foley

Good Luck Bear by Greg Foley

Thank You Bear by Greg Foley

I Miss You Mouse by Greg Foley

This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

Pet Show by Ezra Jack Keats

Big Frog Can’t Fit In! by Mo Willems

Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett

Wolves by Emily Gravett

Dogs by Emily Gravett

Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett

This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers

Jump, Frog, Jump! by Robert Kalan

Red-eyed Tree Frog by Joy Cowley

Creature Count: A Prehistoric Rhyme by Brenda Huante

A Kiss Like This by Mary Murphy

The Big Bad Wolf Goes on Vacation by Delphine Perret

I Need My Own Country! by Rick Walton

How Do You Feel? by Anthony Browne

Tumble Bumble by Felicia Bond

Quick as a Cricket by Don and Audrey Wood

A Good Night Walk by Elisha Cooper

Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Sam’s Sandwich by David Pehlham

Olivia and the Fairy Princess by Ian Falconer

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle

Shark and Lobster’s Amazing Undersea Adventure by Viviane Schwarz

How to Be a Cat by Niki McClure

All in a Day by Niki McClure

There are NO Cats in This Book by Viviane Schwarz

Meerkat Mail by Emily Gravett

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears by Emily Gravett

Here I Am by Patti Kim

Click, Clack, Boo! by Doreen Cronin

Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving by Kimberly and James Dean

Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

Hocus Pocus Takes the Train by Sylvie Desrosiers

Kami and the Yaks by Andrea Stenn Stryer

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

 

Easy Readers: 4

Snorkeling With Sea-Bots by Amy J. Lemke

Let’s Go for a Drive by Mo Willems

A Big Guy Took My Ball by Mo Willems

I’m a Frog! by Mo Willems

 

Chapter Books: 0

.

Middle Grade Novels: 28

Ten by Lauren Myracle

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Half Magic by Edward Eager

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano

Hold Fast by Blue Balliett

Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill by Maud Hart Lovelace

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown by Maud Hart Lovelace

A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Hope Larson

Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

The Changeling by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Zebra Forest by Adina Rishe Gewitz

Below by Meg McKinlay

The Garden of My Imaan by Zia Farhana

Data Runner by Sam A. Patel

Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne

A Big Year for Lily by Suzanne Woods Fisher and Mary Ann Kinsinger

The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan

Star War: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown

Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt

My Basmati Bat Mitzvah by Paula J. Freedman

The Spy Princess by Sherwood Smith

Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman? by Eleanor Updale

My Little Pony: Pony Tales Vol. 1 by Thomas Zahler, Ryan K. Lindsay, Katie Cook, Barbara Randall Kesel, and Ted Anderson

The Icing on the Cake by Sheryl and Carrie Berk

 

Young Adult Novels (and stories): 65

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

Foiled by Jane Yolen

Briar’s Book by Tamora Pierce

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Curses! Foiled Again! by Jane Yolen

Dragon’s Blood by Jane Yolen

The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart.

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

What We Saw At Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Also Known As by Robin Benway

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Real Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart

The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe

Offside by M. G. Higgins

The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney

Ash by Malinda Lo

The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door by Karen Finneyfrock

Huntress by Malinda Lo

The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson

Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina

Fat Angie by E. E. Charlton-Trujillo

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Underneath by Sarah Jamila Stevenson

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Adaptation by Malinda Lo

Emilie and the Hollow World by Martha Wells

A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Define “Normal” by Julie Anne Peters

Far From Xanadu by Julie Anne Peters

It’s Our Prom (So Deal With It) by Julie Anne Peters

By the Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters

She Loves You, She Loves You Not… by Julie Anne Peters

Luna by Julie Anne Peters

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

grl2grl by Julie Anne Peters

Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

Magic Steps by Tamora Pierce

Paper Daughter by Jeanette Ingold

Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

The Clearing by Heather Davis

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

This is How I Find Her by Sara Polsky

Living With Jackie Chan by Jo Knowles

Street Magic by Tamora Pierce

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Marie Antionette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

Chasing Shadows by Swati Avasthi

Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters

The Rule of Thirds by Chantel Guertin

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

 

Adult Novels (and stories): 36 

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

The Crowded Shadows by Celine Kiernan

The Rebel Prince by Celine Kiernan

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

Inda by Sherwood Smith

Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Fox by Sherwood Smith

The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold

Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold

Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Warrior’s Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold

Ceteganda by Lois McMaster Bujold

Ethan of Athos by Lois McMaster Bujold

Labyrinth by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold

Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Mountains of Mourning by Lois McMaster Bujold

Brothers in Arms by Lois McMaster Bujold

Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold

Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold

Komar by Lois McMaster Bujold

Winterfair Gifts by Lois McMaster Bujold

A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold

Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold

Diplomatic Immunity by Lois McMaster Bujold

CryoBurn by Lois McMaster Bujold

King’s Shield by Sherwood Smith

Treason’s Shore by Sherwood Smith

Cold Steel by Kate Elliot

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Fledgling by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

Sister Emily’s Lightship by Jane Yolen

Jaran by Kate Elliot

Saltation by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

Bandette by Paul Tobin

Razor’s Edge by Martha Wells

The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal by Kate Elliot, illustrated by Julie Dillon

 

Nonfiction: 4

Writing the Other by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward

Sticks and Stones by Emily Bazelon

The Letter Q Edited by Sarah Moon and James Lecesne

Three Observations and a Dialogue: Round and About SF by Sylvia Kelso

cover image for The Dream ThievesThe Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

 Gansey, Adam, Ronan, Noah, and Blue have managed to awaken the ley lines around Cabeswater, but their search for Glendower continues, and not without frustrations and setbacks. To further complicate matters, strangers have come to Henrietta looking for them and Ronan has been keeping secrets – and going off the rails (even more than usual).

 Full of the unexpected, The Dream Thieves stays focused on the tangled friendships and class conflicts that made that The Raven Boys so great, but it also  adds in even more magic and “BOOM!”  What makes this book so incredibly wonderful isn’t just the fantastic, or even how the fantastic and the realism blend together so seamlessly, it’s above all the emotional and moral weight that Stiefvater gives to the power and choices presented to her characters.

The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi BarahalThe Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal by Kate Elliot, illustrated by Julie Dillon

A companion story to Elliot’s Spiritwalker trilogy, this slim volume recounts the events in those novels from the point of view of Cat’s cousin, Beatrice.  As Bea is an artist, the volume includes quite a few wonderful illustrations, which are well integrated into the story.

The journal is definitely meant to be read after the other three books, as it’s not so much a complete story, but a counterpoint.  Fans will love it (I certainly did) and appreciate Bea’s point of view, the bickering between the two cousins, and finally getting to see Bea’s much talked about sketches.

sketch of Cat from The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal

cover image for Razor's EdgeRazor’s Edge by Martha Wells

When a deal to obtain supplies for a new Rebel base goes awry, Leia and Han – and crew – find themselves attempting to rescue a merchant ship from pirates.  While the rebels fight and scheme for their lives, Leia also attempts to convince one particular band of pirates, refugees from Alderaan, to give up their mercenary ways and join the Alliance instead.

Can Wells write more Star Wars novels? please? pretty please?

I’m not going to pretend that this is a Hugo worthy novel, but it was fun. And managed to have a bit of depth in addition to being tons of fun.  Best of all, Wells’ take on the characters must be very close to my own, because everything about them – Leia and Han in particular – was just spot on.

I’ve tried a few Star Wars novels before, and bounced off all but Zahn’s.  But this is one of the rare titles that I’ve gotten through Netgalley that I’ve not only finished but immediately put on my list of books to buy.

cover image for Kami and the YaksKami and the Yaks written by Andrea Stenn Stryer and illustrated by Bert Dodson

Early one morning, Kami watches as his father and older brother prepare for the day. The climbers are coming soon, and Norgay and father have been hired act as their guides.  But the family’s yaks are nowhere to be found.  Can Kami find the yaks and save the day before it’s too late?

The story was nice and the illustrations were gorgeous, but unfortunately I was extremely distracted by the badly designed layout on some of the pages, which left a significant amount of the text hard to read.

cover image for Street MagicStreet Magic by Tamora Pierce

Briar Moss’s life is nothing like he’d thought it would be, back when he lived on the streets of Sotat.  Now a powerful mage in his own right, Briar is also far away from any home he’s ever known, traveling with Rosethorn in order to learn from others and observe plants in their native environment.  He’s also still only fourteen, making older mages difficult to deal with at times.  And younger ones too, as Briar finds out when he discovers a young girl with ambient magic and no training – and is tasked with remedying the latter.

I liked the characters and I found the plot to be interesting, but it was also little heavy handed with the Lessons at times – and I didn’t always agree with them.  Once again we have a country located in a hot, dry land, in which the government is brutal and strange.  By the end of the book Briar and Rosethorn want to do nothing more than leave and never come back.  As another reviewer wrote:

“The moral of the story apparently is that Islamic countries suck, and you should do everything within your power to escape them before you are trapped forever in this scorching, corrupt cesspit with no redeeming features.
So… kind of an interesting stance for a children’s book.”

Briar’s discussions with Evvy, his new pupil, about gangs, and the way gangs are portrayed in the book, are also a bit simplistic – even for a middle grade novel.  It’s not that the arguments were incorrect so much as that they were incomplete.  For a novel that had so much gang violence and government corruption, there was a distinct lack of demonstrating how they interact with each other.

I really liked Rosethorn, Briar, and Evvy – I just wish the plot had happened in a more balanced setting.

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