What’s on Your Shelf

Sometimes a book is so delicious, borrowing it from the library isn’t enough. You want to own it – to reread it, to share it with children, friends, strangers (“Looking for a book about dragons? Have you read…?”). When I need the comfort of a hopeful story, I reread Sarah, Plain and Tall. And when I need adventure, I reread My Only May Amelia.

If you are an aspiring writer, books are essential. I don’t know any successful authors who aren’t voracious readers with groaning, overflowing bookshelves. And who hasn’t slipped away from a party to study the spines in the host’s home?

So today I give you a virtual snoop of my bookshelves, with a focus on middle-grade stories. I wandered around the house, up and down, snapping these shots.

An old favorite:

DragonSongDo you have a book that just takes you away? For me, that is Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey. Menolly, a talented musician, was misunderstood by her family, and makes friends with fire lizards. This story always had a dash of feminism that made me root for Menolly. And oh wonderful when she finds herself among people who love her and her “twiddlings.” 

A new one:

RhymeSchemerPublished this year, K.A. Holt’s novel in verse Rhyme Schemer is told from the point of view of a bully. Kevin picks fights, makes fun of the principal, and defaces pages in the library. It is the librarian who helps him turnaround. How? The found poetry is a clue, and the sweet way Kevin’s relationship with his brother improves feels so true.

Something sad:

OneForMurphysIf you need to cry for emotional release, just read Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s One for the Murphys. This is the story of Carley, who is a foster child, struggling to bury her feelings toward her mom and stepfather. Mrs. Murphy is plain wonderful, and I dar you to read this without crying when Carley slowly learns to love and trust again.

Something funny:

TrueBlueThe True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, Kathi Appelt’s National Book Award finalist, is full of giggle-worthy antics. With a poet’s ear for language, the words simply sing off the pages, and the escapades of Bingo and J’miah make this a delight. I have to say I love any book with pie in it!

What’s on your shelf?

  1. Glad you found something here you like!

  2. I reread Rebecca Stead’s books–such economy, such depth!

  3. Oh, great! Just added two books to my TBR list. Next on my list is actually an adult book, something I don’t often read. It’s The Alchemist’s Daughter by Mary Lawrence. On my shelves? Too many to mention. I swear I’m going to find a way to get rid of some!!!