Hey, once again, it's Carl. It's getting toward the end of December and grownups like to think back on what happened during the year. So that got me to wondering---what was the best book I read in 2007? What did I enjoy the most? Before I give an answer, I'm going to ask you guys the same thing: What was the best book you read in 2007? What did you enjoy the most? It can be a chapter book, graphic novel, biography, nonfiction, series paperback, whatever. Tell us what it was and why you liked it. And you can tell us about more than one book.
Here are my faves:
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (The first in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series) (reviewed on 9-22-07)
Man, this was the best book I've read in...well, I can't tell you how long because it's been so long since I enjoyed a book this much! Fast, funny, action-packed, it makes you keep turning pages and not want to stop! Percy suddenly finds that monsters from the old Greek myths are out to kill him. Not only that, they want to do away with him because he's the son of Poseidon, the Greek sea god, and a mortal woman. The only safe place is Camp Half-Blood, where other half-mortal kids live. But he's got more trouble--he finds that he's destined to be a hero and stop a war between the old Greek gods. Along the way he fights monsters on the top of the St. Louis Arch, sends a package to the 600th floor of the Empire State Building, and rescues his mom from the underworld. This is great stuff! The other 2 books in this series are The Sea of Monsters and The Titan's Curse. The fourth book, The Battle of the Labyrinth, is due to come out on May 6 and I can't wait!!!
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (reviewed 8-7-07)
This is another book that sucks you in and doesn't let go until the end. Twelve-year-old Hugo is an orphan who lives in an abandoned attic room of the Paris train station in 1931. He spends his time doing 3 things--hiding from the police, keeping the clocks in the station running, and filching small mechanical toys from an old toy seller's stand in the station in order to work on a mechanical contraption. The old man finally catches Hugo and threatens to turn him in, but Hugo manages to escape. Hugo and the old man form a relationship, yet the more Hugo finds out about the toyseller, the more mysteries he uncovers. You won't believe what he finally learns! This story is told in words and pictures and this way of telling the story works--you're reading about Hugo being chased by the police on one page and then you see pictures of Hugo running into the crowds of the Paris train station the next page. It helps the story move along. It's like reading a book and watching a movie at the same time--which, once you finish the book, you'll understand why! I really, really liked this book. I would always hurry back to my desk after doing library work so I could read some more. (PS--I read a comment somewhere from a boy who said don't be put off by how thick this book is. You won't want to stop once you start reading!)
Those are my two favorites books. My third favorite isn't a book; it's the Bone graphic novel series by Jeff Smith. Bill has been a fan for a long time and now I've become one. There are a lot of good fantasy comics out there but this one stands way above the rest. The art is nothing short of fantastic, the Bone brothers are funny, irritating, and heroic, and the books have enough danger, adventure, action, and surprises to keep any reader on the edge of the seat. So get off your seats and get them! And these other two.
OK, I can't stand it, I've got to tell you about one more: Around the World in a Hundred Years: From Henry the Navigator to Magellan by Jean Fritz. (reviewed 11-1-07)This book is proof positive that nonfiction is not boring! Do you tales of adventure? Do read want to read about epic voyages, unbelievable feats of endurance, storms at sea, deadly battles, as well as some funny stories? Then get this one. You won't be bored and you'll be amazed that all these stories are true!
Now, Bill, what were your favorites?
So, I get to pick my favorites second! Hum, I tell you it's discrimination because I am a Sith!!!!! I think Carl is a Jedi sympathiser. That doesn't make me a bad person, does it? Sure I torture the occasional rebel leader to extract important information and yes I do enjoy offing the occasional Jedi fools (oh and I almost forgot destroying the occasional planet with my own personal Death Star). But really, does that make me such a bad guy? Hum..........well maybe a little, but don't I deserve to be loved? Wait a minute, don't answer that.
Okay, some of my favorite books from the past year are as follows:
The Battle of Guadalcanal: Land and Sea Warfare in the South Pacific by Larry Hama and illustrated by Anthony Williams - This is one of the really great graphic novels in the Graphic (as in the format, not the depiction) Battles of World War II Series. I reviewed a lot of these graphic novels in our November 7, 2007 blog. This graphic novel is about the start of the United States' key offensive against the Empire of Japan to reclaim the Pacific. It is an incredible true story about the horrors of war, the bravery of the men on both sides of the battle and an important reminder of real events that occurred in recent history that should not be forgotten. I don't want to say anymore as I think it is important to read about the Battle of Guadalcanal rather than have me just tell you about it. This graphic novel and the series it comes from are all gems.
Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves - I reviewed this book on October 18, 2007 for the blog. This is a story about 15-year-old Joey Harker who finds out that there exists a multiverse and there is a battle between the forces of science and magic to control it. The only thing standing in their way are a multitude of different versions (some very close in appearance to those who have wings and can fly) of himself from other muliverse worlds who live on a secret base known as InterWorld. If you like science fiction or magic with a good dose of non-stop excitement, this is the book for you.
Gorilla, Gorilla by Art Baltazar - This is a really funny graphic novel about two roommates Gorilla and Lizard. Gorilla also happens to be the superhero Gorilla Gorilla and Lizard just happens to be the evil Lizard Lizard. They do not know each others secret identities and as roommates are the best of friends. The stories presented in this graphic novel are extremely funny and witty. A must read for all ages. This graphic novel was reviewed by Carl in our October 5, 2007 blog (I'm sure I could have done a better job but....).
Roanoke: The Mystery of the Lost Colony by Lee Miller - This book is about the English Roanoke Island Settlement at the end of the sixteenth century. The colony mysteriously disappeared and people have speculated for years as to what happened. Mrs. Miller sheds light on to what probably happened and also gives the inside story of what was going on at this time in history and the individuals who played a part in the Settlements tragedy. This book was originally reviewed on the blog on July 30, 2007.
Well that's that. Peace out all,