Friday, December 31, 2021

My Kids' Favorite Books of 2021

We got busy last year and forgot to write about our favorite books of the year, but with an unexpected extra week of Christmas break because their teacher is home sick, I actually remembered to get the kids to write about their favorite books of 2021. 

Haylee has had a kindle for several years now, which she bought herself with chores and birthday money. Taylah and JJ's reading lives were changed earlier this year when we made a plan with them to do a certain amount of chores to earn kindles for themselves as well. They completed all of the required chores, and got new kindles when some guests came to visit. We have kindle unlimited, and I also subscribe to Bookbub, which sends emails every day with kindle deals for books in the genres you choose. Those two things help us to do a lot of reading around here without spending a lot of money.

Below are each kid's favorite books they read this year, typed up themselves in their own words.

Haylee, will be 14 years old in 2 weeks:

Summary: In their (Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger) sixth year at their school, Hogwarts, they learn about the enemy (who is an evil, power-wanting, murderous wizard...and has no nose) and his past and the only way to conquer him, which they then attempt to do. (It is all much more interesting than what I have meekly described here, so just read it).

What I like (very important): The themes of friendship, love, pain, betrayal, and death combined in a 542-page book is a large part of it. 
In a more minor sense, I particularly enjoy the humor (#fredandgeorge), Ron and Hermione’s fights, and the super twisty, sometimes heartbreaking, thoroughly planned out, UNPREDICTABLE plot.

Summary: Everything. Norse. Explained. Bliss.
From the major and minor gods and the major and minor foes to the gods’ backstories and the creation of their earth. AND STILL MORE! (And it may include a couple detailed punishments inflicted on the lesser gods BUT don’t let that teeny detail deter you, dear nerd.) Read it and grieve with me over the unfairness of Loki’s punishment. 

What I like (still important): Mr. Russo explains everything nerdily Norsey with neat nerdiness organization, thoroughness, AND SO MUCH FUNNESS! You won’t regret reading this book, I promise! Especially if you’re a Thor and Loki Marvel fan like myself. :)

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

Nota Bene: Oxford School Shakespeare is by far the best. On the side of EVERY page, there are definitions and clarification for every word and phrase that is said in Shakespeare’s beautiful yet difficult language. There is even a synopsis about the play, a list of the leading characters, an about the play, a short biography of Shakespeare, and pictures from the actual play performed in the 90’s! Don’t be intimidated. 

Summary: Unhappy lovers, some magic flowers, revived love! Sounds thrilling! Actual outcome: Read to find out! 

What I like (yes, very much so): It’s utterly amazing and I love it. The language is beautiful, the plot is...something out of this world, and the characters are well thought out and beautifully displayed. Well done, Shakes! 

Summary: Sophie Foster, already a telepath at 12 years old. Let’s add being an elf from a whole other dimension onto that, shall we? 

What I like (incredibly important): It is pretty humorous, full of adventure, and a confusing plot, which I also admire. There are also some tears, which tops if off nicely. Read it!

Nota Bene: This book is FUN, not just chapters of lecture-y words telling you to step your teen game up. 

Summary: The title may sound cringy to you, but the book truly is not. Seven better-than-tips to lift your spirit, help you with family and friend bonds, have school sufficiency, and to live life to its fullest, with you at your fullest. I suggest you take a look!

What I like (hehe): All Mr. Covey writes is relatable, actually helpful, uplifting, and fun to read. There are small sections from other teens telling their stories which is very encouraging. Again, there is humor. I honestly could not read a book with no humor. 
Thanks, Mr. Covey. :)

Taylah, just turned 12 years old 2 weeks ago:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter thinks that he is completely normal. That is, until his eleventh birthday, when he discovers that he is a wizard. For the whole year, Harry works to save both his friends and himself, find and keep safe a weapon, while trying to defeat the greatest, most evil Dark Wizard of all time. I've read the first 5 Harry Potter books this year, and I loved them all. They are funny and have a lot of action in them.

When two teenagers, Grace and Boone (otherwise known as “Jack”) meet and become best friends, they discover something that they didn’t know to be humanly possible. I love all of the Miller's Island Mysteries books because they're mysteries and they're adventurous.

13-year-old Penelope Gilbert was a legit normal girl, until she wasn’t, with the fact that she turned into a stapler one day during class, which resulted in the rest of the year being full of adventure, death, love, and discovery. I like that they're traveling a lot of places and there's a lot of action.

Firegirl by Tony Abbott

A story about a girl named Jessica who has been badly burned. She is bullied and made fun of by everyone, except one special person. It made me feel sad for her, but then happy for her that he wanted to be her friend. This book teaches people not to judge others by their outward appearances.

Just Believe by Tarina Marcinkowski

Just Believe is a heartbreaking story about a little boy with cancer, and his brave parents who fought for his life. This book made me cry several times as I read about this family's struggles. I don't agree with all of the things this family believes, for example: they think people become angels when they die, and the mom talks about praying to Mary. But even so, it's a great story that I really enjoyed reading.

JJ, 9 years old, will be 10 in March:

Summary: Nicholas Herriman was a normal boy until he found a trunk that contains magical objects. 

I like the book because:
1. I love books about super heroes.
2. Because I like powers that come from objects, not powers that come from people.

The Boy Who Painted the World by Melody J. Bremen

Summary: A boy was abandoned on the street when a girl named Jade comes and takes him in.  Choosing the name Indigo, he leads on to be a famous artist.

I like the book because: 
I like art and THIS boy named Indigo is ten but becomes a famous artist.
And I am kind of thinking about becoming an artist myself.
And it’s a really good book!

 The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas

Summary: A boy named Nestor Lopez who can understand and communicate with animals moves to New Haven. With an animal army he has to defeat a tule veija.

I like the book because: 
I like animals.
And Nestor Lopez can understand them.
And there’s lots of animals in this book

Dr Snow Has Got To GO! by Dan Gutman

Summary: A new science teacher starts teaching the school. With A.J. at the lead, the kids get him to show his true colors.

I like the book because:
I also like science. 
I also like surprising stuff.
And this book is very surprising.

Little Witch by Anna Elizabeth Bennett

Summary: A small girl named Minikin is a witch. But she wishes she wasn’t because no one likes her.  

I like the book because: 
I like little witch because it’s such a magical book.
And I love magic. It’s as if you’re in another world.

And Abraham, 5 years old, will be 6 in April, wanted to share a couple of his favorites as well. I have typed what he told me about each book:

Yeti Spaghetti by Samantha Hay

(We've read this one to him a million times.) I like it because there are yetis and they're trying to steal food, and then the yeti makes spaghetti for the food contest.

Cock-a-Doodle Moo

(This is a lift-the-flap educational book featuring lots of things from a farm, which he's had for a few years now.) I like that there's a lot of food in it that I want you to buy me. 

Looking back, we apparently also forgot to do this in 2019. But if you're interested in seeing their favorite books at younger ages, you can see their lists for 2018, 20172016, and 2015.

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