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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Sick Day for the One and Only Scorpio Races I kind of mashed of the titles of the three books I am going to recommend today--and it just makes it seem all weird.  My apologies to the authors.

But I wanted to recommend some great books I've read recently.  One picture book, one middle grade and one teen (or young adult).

These three books each have two things in common:

Unique idea and unique execution of the idea.

First up:


This book won the Caldecottt medal last year (for best illustrated picture book) and I only read it a few weeks ago.  I hate when I wait so long to read something so good, but at least I finally got to read it!  It is so adorable!
Do you suppose they would deal me in?

Such a lovely idea, the animals coming to make Amos feel better, since he is always there for them.  And look at the trailer:

What a lovely way of illustrating such a sweet book.  (And I love that the video has the real voice of the illustrator.  I would have loved to see her at work on the book!)

Great, great book.  Well done, Philip and Erin.

My middle grade selection is:
The cover is great, but the story inside is even better.

This tale, about a gorilla that looks after a baby elephant, is such a great idea (and based on a true story, no less).  But what makes it even more special is the telling....from the gorilla's point of view.  Wow.  I just loved this book (I might have cried a time or two...okay, it was three times).  Katherine Applegate, you are my hero.

And check out its trailer:

Yes.  Just awesome.  

My young adult pick is:

Why did I wait so long to read this??

This book is so good.  It is based on Celtic folklore, but  Maggie Stiefvater does her own take with the mythology of the water horse, which makes it unusual and thrilling.  And the dual narration--I swear I could hear Sean and Puck's voice in my head so, so clearly.  My only regret it that I waited until the Spring to read it.  How I would have loved to curl up with it in front of an Autumn fire.

And check out the trailer for this one.  Maggie did the  art and the music...and I think the cinematography, too.  It makes more sense if you know what happens in the book, but it certainly makes a person curious to know what that shell means and all.

What I love about the three of these books is that each of the authors (and artists) did things their own way.  They didn't follow a trend, the told a story that needed telling--a story that had yet to be told.

And folks, I loved these books.

Well worth your time.


Any other book recs?


Shannon O'Donnell said...

GREAT picks, Shelley! I am DYING to read The One and Only Ivan, and my son absolutely loved The Scorpio Races. I can't wait to read that one, too. :-)

Julie Dao said...

These all look amazing, especially The One and Only Ivan. Just reading your description of it, I know I will cry buckets when I read it.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

The Scorpio Races is only TBR list. I've heard only great things about it. :D

Joanne Fritz said...

Well, you've raved about three of MY favorites, there! Nicely done.

I absolutely adored ONE AND ONLY IVAN. It reads like a modern-day fable, and one that should become an instant classic.

And I loved SCORPIO RACES. So glad it got a Printz honor. It's a thrilling ride of a story.

Sherrie Petersen said...

I hadn't seen that trailer for Scorpio Races. Thanks for posting it. Such a good book. Maggie is seriously brilliant.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I still get goose bumps watching and listening to Maggie Stiefvater's art and music. As for The Scorpio Races itself, it was my favorite read last year. Riveting and beautiful.
Your rave and that trailer for The One and Only Ivan have convinced me that is a must-read, too. Thanks for the rec.

Kelly Polark said...

Thanks for the great book recommendations, Shelley! I love how you have a pb, mg and a ya!

Shelby Bach said...

*lobs THE SCORPIO RACES in my way-too-tall TBR pile*

But I just finished THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN too!! And it was amazing!!!! I totally agree about it breaking the normal storytelling rules - both with the gorilla POV and with the short titled segments (they're too short to really call chapters). It's almost like half the story is in the text and the other half is in the parts which Applegate decided to leave out.... So masterful!