Best YA and Children’s Books of 2019

Now is a great time to stock up on new books for the new school year. Here is my list of the best YA, middle grade, and early reader books published in 2019 (or late 2018).

My overall pick for Book of the Year 2019 is:

Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour

Picture books and early reader books:

1. Lubna and Pebble – Wendy Meddour
2. Counting on Katherine – Helaine Becker
3. Moonlight the Unicorn’s High Tea Hiccup (Miniwings Book 6) – Sally Sutton
4. Oi, Duck-Billed Platypus! (Oi Series) – Kes Gray
5. Oi, Puppies! (Oi Series) – Kes Gray
6. Yasmin in Charge – Saadia Faruqi
7. Tiggy and the Magic Paintbrush : A Hide and Seek Sleepover
8. Tiggy and the Magic Paintbrush : A Very Wobbly Tooth

Books for older readers:

9. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, edition fully illustrated by Jim Kay – JK Rowling
10. Calling All WitchesLaurie Calkhoven (a celebration of the witches of JK Rowling’s wizarding world)
11. The Velvet Fox – Catherine Fisher (sequel to the Clockwork Crow)
12. Witch in Winter – Kaye Umansky (book 4 in the Elsie Pickles, Witch series)
13. Tom Gates : Spectacular School Trip (Really) – Liz Pichon
14. The Seven Keys (sequel to The Turnkey) – Allison Rushby

Biography & General Non-fiction:

15. The Extraordinary Life of Malala Yousafzai – Hiba Noor Khan
16. The Extraordinary Life of Michelle Obama – Dr Sheila Kanani
17. Eddie Woo’s Magical Maths – Eddie Woo
18. General Knowledge Genius – Peter Crisp
19. 6000 Awesome Facts – pub. Miles Kelly
20. Epic Encounters in the Animal Kingdom (Brave Adventures Vol. 2) – Coyote Peterson

Herman Parrish – Amelia Bedelia Chapter Book Series

The Amelia Bedelia chapter book series is a spin off written by Herman Parrish based on the character created by his aunt Peggy Parrish in the 1960s. While the original features Amelia Bedelia as an adult, Herman Parrish’s series places an approximately 10-year-old Amelia Bedelia in a current-day setting and explores school and small-town life in general through her eyes. Amelia Bedelia might not be one of the “cool” kids, but she always somehow manages to pull off the most spectacular wins when it counts. As the child who takes everything literally, hilarity ensues whenever she comes up against an idiom she hasn’t met before (and with a father who peppers his conversation with them, there is plenty of confusion to add to the laughs). Continue reading “Herman Parrish – Amelia Bedelia Chapter Book Series”

Stella by the Sea

Stella by the Sea by Ruth Starke is a simple and lovely story of friendship and community. After a vivid dream that seems to match exactly, schoolgirl Stella responds to an advertisement for a cubbyhouse for sale. The only problem is she has nowhere to put it – she lives in a penthouse apartment with no backyard. So, being the daughter of a real estate superstar, Stella considers her options and offers to rent the cubbyhouse instead. While her elderly landlord initially seems gruff, Stella soon discovers that Chester is a real old softy – a retired pastry chef who loves baking but doesn’t see the point in “baking for one”. And another perk of renting a patch of Chester’s backyard comes in the form of the neighbours’ pets – one by one Stella begins a dog-walking and cat-minding business. Soon she has befriended a number of people in the area and she connects them with the reticent Chester by throwing herself a cubbyhouse-warming party. Chester now has plenty of baking requests, and in return his neighbours take care of him: free hair cuts, lawn mowing, companionship. But progress and development, and growing old, threaten their idyllic little set up. Chester has some hard bargaining to do if he’s going to do right by his young tenant.