2014: Year in Review Haiku

Reviews posted: 128 (Clearly I'm falling down on the job.)

I feel like I read way more MG than YA this year, but apparently all the love went to YA.

Favorite MG reads of 2014
The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jenni Holm
The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson
El Deafo by Cece Bell

Favorite YA reads of 2014
Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang
When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds
Noggin by John Corey Whaley
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Greatest Nostalgia for One's Junior High Reading Years
The Alfred G. Graebner Memorial High School Handbook of Rules and Regulations

Favorite Jackets of 2014
100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
El Deafo by Cece Bell
Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds
The Truth About Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh
Noggin by John Corey Whaley
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith


Petty Theft: Review Haiku

Weirdo novel about
weirdo people stealing books
and being French.

Petty Theft by Pascal Girard. Drawn & Quarterly, 2014, 104 pages.


Hodie Christus natus est

Lights, please.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.


Over Easy: Review Haiku

Eggs, bacon, cocaine --
just your average 1970s
diner fare.

Over Easy by Mimi Pond. Drawn & Quarterly, 2014, 272 pages.


The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken: Review Haiku

Come for the wordplay,
stay for the illustrations.
Chickens are funny.

The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken (Chicken Squad #2) by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Kevin Cornell. Atheneum, 2014, 112 pages.


An Age of License: Review Haiku

A perfect last-minute
gift for your favorite
post-college wanderer.

An Age of License: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley. Fantagraphics, 2014, 189 pages.


Kate the Great: Review Haiku

A little trite, but
SO true to the modern
fifth-grade experience.

Kate the Great, Except When She's Not by Suzy Becker. Crown, 2014, 272 pages.


The Alfred G. Graebner Memorial High School Handbook of Rules and Regulations: Review Haiku

Some parts haven't aged
well, but overall, as awesome
as I recall.

The Alfred G. Graebner Memorial High School Handbook of Rules and Regulations by Ellen Conford. Little Brown, 1976, 220 pages.

(Ignore the "TWO PAWS UP BOOKS" in that image. Jackets of OP books are hard to find . . . )


Falling Into Place: Review Haiku

Add to your list of
Debuts That Knock It Out of
the Park. Powerful.

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang. Greenwillow, 2014, 304 pages.


The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place: Review Haiku

Way more fun than a
Victorian setting has
any right to be.

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry. Roaring Brook, 2014, 351 pages.


ADVENT FAIR! Saturday, 9:00am to 2:00pm!

Local friends, stop by tomorrow for fabulous crafts, gift baskets, handmade items, and more! I'll be manning the raffle table (win a FitBit One or a Kindle Fire HD Kids' Edition!) and helping our youth mission trip-goers sell Lumps O' Coal (perfect for stocking stuffers!) to fund our summer adventure to West Virginia with Appalachia Service Project.


Kill My Mother: Review Haiku

Crazypants fever
dream of a noir-ish mystery.
Femme fatales rule.

Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer. Norton, 2014, 148 pages.


The Long Haul: Review Haiku

The Parent-reader
in me didn't find this
as funny as the Kid.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney. Amulet, 2014, 224 pages.



(Yes, she's a chicken, not a turkey. Do not care.)


Dory Fantasmagory: Review Haiku

Clementine's spark for
a younger crew: My First
Magical Realism?

Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon. Dial, 2014, 176 pages.


What If? Review Haiku

The perfect gift for
your favorite nerd. Plus,
the robot apocalypse.

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe. HMH, 2014, 320 pages.


Hand to Mouth: Review Haiku

A cold slap of water
in the face on the problem
of poverty.

Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America by Linda Tirado. Putnam, 2014, 195 pages.


The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza: Review Haiku

I wish I could have
any faith that Joey will
be okay. RAAAAGE. Sigh.

The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos. FSG, 2014, 176 pages.


100 Sideways Miles: Review Haiku

Similarities to
Grasshopper Jungle
do not go unnoticed.

100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith. S&S, 2014, 288 pages.


The Port Chicago 50: Review Haiku

A infuriating story,
masterfully told.
Justice not served.

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin. Roaring Brook, 2014, 208 pages.


Half a World Away: Review Haiku

I wanted to love this,
but last-minute twist felt
unsupported, weak.

Half a World Away by Cynthia Kadohata. Atheneum, 2014, 240 pages.


Mr. Pants: It's Go Time! Review Haiku

Great option for
My First Graphic Novel: snappy,
funny, includes pants.

Mr. Pants: It's Go Time! by Scott McCormick. Dial, 2014, 128 pages.


Comics Squad: Recess: Review Haiku

All my (and my kids')
favorites in one handy volume?
Yes please. More please.

Comics Squad: Recess! edited by Jennifer L. Holm et al. Random House, 2014, 144 pages.


Wild Things: Review Haiku

Worth it for the
James Marshall shoe story alone.
Read it and weep, folks.

Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature by Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson, and Peter Sieruta. Candlewick, 2014, 288 pages.


Always Abigail: Review Haiku

Classic middle-grade
about mean girls, nice girls, and
doing the right thing.

Always Abigail by Nancy J. Cavanaugh. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2014, 320 pages.


Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling: Review Haiku

Innovative and
effective take on
unmentionable disease.

Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling by Lucy Frank. Schwartz + Wade, 2014, 272 pages.


Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus: Review Haiku

I don't even want
to think about how bad this
pickle guy must smell.

Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus by Tom Angleberger. Amulet/Abrams, 2014, 224 pages.


Fat Boy vs. the Cheerleaders: Review Haiku

Never underestimate
the persistence and
power of band nerds.

Fat Boy vs. the Cheerleaders by Geoff Herbach. Sourcebooks Fire, 2014, 320 pages.


Gracefully Grayson: Review Haiku

Sensitively done;
a testament to the power
of great theatre.

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky. Hyperion, 2014, 256 pages.


Alvin Ho #6: Review Haiku

I don't understand
how Alvin's parents didn't

Alvin Ho: Allergic to the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, and Other Tourist Attractions by Lenore Look, illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Schwartz & Wade, 2014, 176 pages.


Landline: Review Haiku

I didn't quite get
how the time travel worked, but
I didn't quite care.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell. St. Martin's Press, 2014, 320 pages.


When I Was the Greatest: Review Haiku

I love these boys, all
of them. Powerful, hard-hitting,
smart. And funny!

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds. Atheneum, 2014, 240 pages.


Belzhar: Review Haiku

Rich, weird, and thoughtful;
takes "unreliable narrator"
to new heights.

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer. Dutton, 2014, 272 pages.


Perfectly Miserable: Review Haiku

WOW I could not stand
a single part of this memoir
or this woman.

Perfectly Miserable: Guilt, God, and Real Estate in a Small Town by Sarah Payne Stuart. Riverhead, 2014, 320 pages.


This is 40.

You can't have him; he's mine.

(Happy birthday, darlin'.)


Top Secret Twenty-One: Review Haiku

Same old same old, but
I appreciate Steph's
tolerance of weirdos.

Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich. Bantam, 2014, 352 pages.


Living With a Wild God: Review Haiku

I had high hopes, but
this was too esoteric
for me this summer.

Living With a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth About Everything by Barbara Ehrenreich. Twelve, 2014, 256 pages.


Annika Riz, Math Whiz: Review Haiku

Sudoku is the
hook, but the cookie failures
were my favorite part.

Annika Riz, Math Whiz by Claudia Mills. FSG, 2014, 128 pages.


Miss Emily: Review Haiku

Yes, I totally
picked it up for the title,

Miss Emily by Burleigh Muten. Candlewick, 2014, 144 pages.


The Truth About Twinkie Pie: Review Haiku

Southern-fried cooking
comes to Long Island, packed with
family secrets.

The Truth About Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh. Little Brown, 2015, 352 pages.