2013: Year in Review (Haiku)

Another year,
another one hundred forty-nine
review haikus.

And here's the wrap-up. (Note: some of the books I reviewed in 2013 were published in 2012. It was ever thus; deal with it.)

Favorite reads, in order of target age group (youngest to oldest):
The Year of Billy Miller
Clementine and the Spring Trip
The Grimm Conclusion
P.S. Be Eleven
The Shade of the Moon
Every Day
Code Name Verity
Eleanor & Park
Hyperbole and a Half

Favorite jackets (in no particular order):


The Real Boy: Review Haiku

Allegory upon
allegory, with a
warm heart underneath.

The Real Boy by Anne Ursu. Walden Pond Press, 2013, 352 pages.


SEVEN: Birthday Haiku

Never change, you myth-
obsessed, Potter-loving, goofball
weirdo Turkey.


The Grimm Conclusion: Review Haiku

However you feel
about breaking the fourth wall,
you'll feel that with this.

The Grimm Conclusion by Adam Gidwitz. Dutton, 2013, 358 pages.


God Got a Dog: Review Haiku

Two of my favorites
re-imagine wise words.
Merry Christmas, my friends.

God Got a Dog by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Marla Frazee. Beach Lane, 2013, 48 pages.


From Norvelt to Nowhere: Review Haiku

I want to be Miss Volker
when I grow up. But why
badmouth Thin Mints?

From Norvelt to Nowhere by Jack Gantos. Macmillan, 2013, 288 pages.


Go: Review Haiku

of the world, unite!
Self-promoting, but still cool.

Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd. Workman, 2013, 150 pages.


Picture Me Gone: Review Haiku

The uncategorizable
Rosoff pens another
gem -- for whom?

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff. Putnam, 2013, 256 pages.


Tampa: Review Haiku

I think I need a
shower. And maybe a
confessional. Egad.

Tampa by Alissa Nutting. Ecco, 2013, 272 pages.


Coaltown Jesus: Review Haiku

My kind of Savior:
no-nonsense, wry, and just a
little bit snarky.

Coaltown Jesus by Ron Koertge. Candlewick, 2013, 128 pages.


Mud Season: Review Haiku

Loved the concept, but
couldn't really connect with
the author. Alas.

Mud Season by Ellen Stimson. Countryman Press, 2013, 288 pages.


Sure Signs of Crazy: Review Haiku

Voice/topic mismatch?
Or is that the point, given
Sarah's awful past?

Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington. Little Brown, 2013, 288 pages.


ADVENT FAIR this Saturday!

Local peeps! If you are looking for fantastic Christmas gifts and wonderful causes to support in a festive atmosphere for the whole family, look no further than the St. Paul's Advent Fair, tomorrow from 9:00am to 2:00pm at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 100 Pine Hill Road, Bedford, MA.

We have gift baskets, Silent Auction items (including hand-painted, one-of-a-kind chairs!), Country Kitchen (featuring marinara sauce and soup made by my husband!), children's activites, vintage jewelry, and a raffle for a Bose SoundLink Bluetooth mobile speaker. 

Come one, come all!


The Year of Billy Miller: Review Haiku

Pitch-perfect snapshots
of second-grade worries.
Henkes nails it again.

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow, 2013, 240 pages.

[P.S. Check out the GORGEOUS hand-lettering on the title and chapter numbers by my client Ryan O'Rourke!]


Flora & Ulysses: Review Haiku

The misadventures of
girl and squirrel. Plus vacuum.
And superpowers.

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate diCamillo and K. G. Campbell. Candlewick, 2013, 240 pages.


The Complete Don Quixote: Review Haiku

Great introduction
to seminal masterwork.
Some effed-up stuff here . . .

The Complete Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes and Rob Davis. SelfMade Hero, 2013, 296 pages.


Fangirl: Review Haiku

Hermit Cath finds her way
thanks to absent twin, hot
boyfriend, and fanfic.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. St. Martin's, 2013, 448 pages.


Living with Jackie Chan: Review Haiku

Could've been tighter,
but gets the struggle to forgive
oneself just right.

Living with Jackie Chan by Jo Knowles. Candlewick, 2013, 384 pages.


Monster on the Hill: Review Haiku

Scare-averse monster
steps up, sacs up, and gets his
groove back to save town.

Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell. Top Shelf Productions, 2013, 192 pages.


Ariol: Review Haiku

Multi-species classroom
bonds over superhero horse.

Ariol: Just a Donkey Like You and Me by Emanuel Guibert and Marc Boutavant. Papercutz, 2013, 124 pages.


The Flying Beaver Brothers: Review Haiku

Charmingly ridiculous.
Plus, y'know, beavers.
And evil penguins.

The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Fishy Business [et al] by Maxwell Eaton III. Knopf, 2012, 96 pages.


A Really Awesome Mess: Review Haiku

Damaged kids find their
people at Assland Academy.
Plus, piggies!

A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin. Egmont, 2013, 288 pages.


The Infinite Moment of Us: Review Haiku

Now this, friends, is a
love story. (Also a sex story,
if you care.)

The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle. Amulet, 2013, 336 pages.


Boxers & Saints: Review Haiku

Powerful and brutal.
But how to admire it
when it's just. so. BLEAK?

Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang. First Second, 2013, 512 pages (in two volumes).


The Boy on the Porch: Review Haiku

Didn't go where I
thought it was going. Pleasantly

The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech. Harper, 2013, 160 pages.


Open Mic: Review Haiku

Much-needed, wryly
funny answer to "But some
of my best friends are . . . "

Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices edited by Mitali Perkins. Candlewick, 2013, 144 pages.


Relish: Review Haiku

She's like the anti-me
when it comes to food. A
fun read nonetheless.

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley. First Second, 2013, 192 pages.


Better Nate Than Ever: Review Haiku

Totally implausible
and cliched, but a
hecuka good time.

Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle. S&S, 2013, 288 pages.


The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett: Review Haiku

Take a stand against
stupid unhelpful testing
mania, you will.

The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett by Tom Angleberger. Amulet, 2013, 224 pages.


Mouse Bird Snake Wolf: Review Haiku

Creation myths in thought-
provoking, nightmare form.
What to make of it?

Mouse Bird Snake Wolf by David Almond, illustrated by Dave McKean. Candlewick, 2013, 80 pages.


Goliath: Review Haiku

The Philistines'
champion as a reluctant

Goliath by Tom Gauld. Drawn and Quarterly, 2012, 96 pages.


The Truth of Me: Review Haiku

Little truths in a
little package. I want a
dog like Ellie, too.

The Truth of Me by Patricia MacLachlan. Harper, 2013, 114 pages.


Bluffton: Review Haiku

Coming-of-age thanks to
Buster. Summers are better
with vaudeville.

Bluffton: My Summers with Buster by Matt Phelan. Candlewick, 2013, 240 pages.


Call Me Oklahoma: Review Haiku

Fourth-grade identity
crisis engenders
convoluted plot twists.

Call Me Oklahoma by Miriam Glassman. Holiday House, 2013, 123 pages.


Bo at Ballard Creek: Review Haiku

Little House on the 
Prairie for 'forty-niners.
I want to live here.

Bo at Ballard Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill. Holt, 2013, 288 pages.


Pastors' Wives: Review Haiku

Praise the Lord and pass
the sweet tea: rich, nuanced
women of/not of God.

Pastors' Wives by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen. Plume, 2013, 368 pages.


Better to Wish: Review Haiku

I don't think I've
ever hated a father as
much as I hate Pops.

Better to Wish (Family Tree #1) by Ann M. Martin. Scholastic, 2013, 240 pages.


One Dead Spy: Review Haiku

Fast-paced and funny.
Who knew Hale was actually
a terrible spy?

One Dead Spy: The Life, Times, and Last Words of Nathan Hale, America's Most Famous Spy by Nathan Hale. (The other one.) Amulet, 2012, 128 pages.


Invisible Inkling: The Whoopie Pie War: Review Haiku

My favorite of the
series so far. Probably
thanks to whoopie pies.

Invisible Inkling: The Whoopie Pie War. Balzer + Bray, 2013, 160 pages.


Violet Mackerel's Natural Habitat: Review Haiku

Such a tricky genre,
but Violet is worth getting
to know. Lovely.

Violet Mackerel's Natural Habitat by Anna Branford. Atheneum, 2013, 112 pages.

P.S. Happy birthday, Cabana Boy!


Clueless McGee: Review Haiku

Poor man's Wimpy Kid,
but worth it for mac-'n'-cheese
AND a tuba. Fun.

Clueless McGee by Jeff Mack. Philomel, 2012, 256 pages.


Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking: Review Haiku

Fast-paced what-if mixes
Whitey, lost Gardner art,
and Boston landmarks.

Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne. Dial, 2013, 256 pages.


Glory Be: Review Haiku

The Help for middle
schoolers: injustice as seen
through twelve-year-old eyes.

Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood. Scholastic, 2012, 208 pages.


The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp: Review Haiku

Raccoons, sugar pie,
developers, and Sasquatch
served up Southern-fried.

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt. Atheneum, 2013, 338 pages.