Top Ten 2019 Reads

Yay for 2019 and all of the stellar books I’ve had the privilege of reading! (679 this year and counting…) I had a tough time choosing only ten for this list, but here they are–all incredible reads. Don’t hesitate to go to the library or bookstore and get them!

For YA:

  1. Ordinary Hazards by Nikki Grimes is told in stunningly beautiful verse. The memoir is powerful, haunting and healing.

2. White Rose by Kip Wilson is another novel in verse marked by raw emotion and lyrical language.

For Middle Grade:

3. My Jasper June by Laurel Snyder is a powerful story of loss, grief, isolation, family, friendship, and redemption. Leah’s relationship with her parents, her ability to connect with her peers, and her friendship with Jasper are explored in a beautiful tapestry of raw emotion, well-chosen lyrical words, and authenticity.

4. Midsummer’s Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca is hilarious and heartwarming, filled with magic, baking and shakespeare. What could be better? 

5. Some Places More Than Others by Renee Watson is powerfully moving, well written, and compelling. I laughed and teared up–this MG is the perfect blend of heart and hope. Just. Wow.

For Picture Books:

My two youngest enjoying HER FEARLESS RUN by Kim Chaffee and Ellen Rooney

6. Her Fearless Run; Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon by Kim Chaffee and Ellen Rooney is one of the most inspiring and moving picture book biographies that I’ve ever read.

7. Dandy, by Ame Dyckman and Charles Santoso is hilarious and heartwarming and filled with realistic scenarios–a laugh-out-loud read aloud. 

8. The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson is a poem about black life in America today–beautifully written and filled with references to the words of influential African American historical figures.

For Boardbooks:

Baby Loves Sight! by Ruth Spiro and Irene Chan is a simple explanation of sight for toddlers. This is a super fun series for parents who want to read something that will evoke discussion.

You are Light by Aaron Becker is a visual feast with die cut holes that show us how light reflects and changes in nature. LOVE LOVE LOVE this!

What are your top 2019 reads?


  1. Thanks for the roundup, Kirsti. Knowing that you read as much as I do, I very much value your book recommendations! I agree wholeheartedly about HER FEARLESS RUN and MIDSUMMER’S MAYHEM and can’t wait to check out the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

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