On average, I read about 2-3 books per week. Most are chapter books, a few young adult novels and a smattering of picture books and early readers. Since my own writing is geared toward the 8-12 year old crowd (my peers, basically), I sifted through all the chapter books I've read that were published this year and came up with a solid list of top ten. (A few are in that gray area—lurching toward YA.)
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There are other worthy books, of course, but these are the ones I would recommend to any reader or parent/grandparent without a second thought. I have no doubt that some of these will be on the Newbery shortlist.
For picture books, I have to put in a plug for Bonny Becker's A BEDTIME FOR BEAR. And it's not just because I know her. This follow-up book to the E.B. White Read Aloud award winner, A BEDTIME FOR BEAR, is the season's best gift for little ones. Another great picture book gift for the holiday season is Jesse Joshua Watson's HOPE FOR HAITI.
And let's not forget Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee's BINK & GOLLIE for the year's most smashing early reader chapter book.
The books listed in the Top Ten Books of 2010 slideshow are (in alphabetical order):
Alchemy and Meggy Swann, by Karen Cushman
The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester, by Barbara O'Connor
The Fences Between Us, by Kirby Larson
Forge, by Laurie Halse Anderson
Guinea Dog, by Patrick Jennings
The Kneebone Boy, by Ellen Potter
One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia
Seaglass Summer, Anjali Banerjee
Touch Blue, by Cynthia Lord
Turtle in Paradise, by Jennifer L. Holm