Joy Kirr is a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. Her 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of their learning experiences... Want to have her speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is Joy's PORTFOLIO.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Best Books of 2018

My list is not extensive by any means, but I need to share out my favorites from 2018 like I have the past four years. I read a bit for myself this year, along with books I thought my 7th graders would enjoy.
     2017 Favorites
     2016 Favorites
     2015 Favorites
     2014 Favorites

Here are the books I would most recommend from my list of 100 books I've read this year (I don't count picture books in my count - this is the most I've read in one year yet!)... I tried to whittle it down to one or two per genre, but I read some genres more than others! I'm not going to describe them for you - you can check out the complete list with my thoughts for this year here.

Fantasy
     I decided to try one of my favorite authors again, and she didn't disappoint - The Scorpio Races
Graphic Novel
     Bit memoir/biography, my seventh graders will relate to Shannon Hale's Real Friends.

Historical Fiction
     9-11 isn't an easy topic to explore. Wendy Mills does an excellent job with All We Have Left
Mystery
     Totally NOT my favorite genre, so I'm surprised I have two favorites this year! Our small after school book club read The Naturals (#1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and I also enjoyed (although the first page shows the maturity) One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus. What's even more cool is that many of our students read the entire Naturals series, and I've seen eighth graders in the halls with McManus's book! I've also got another one from her on my nightstand...

Nonfiction
     I truly have so much more to read, but White Fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism was definitely my favorite nonfiction (not professional) book I read this year.



Poetry / Books in Prose
     I was exposed to a TON of poetry and books in prose this year. Katherine Applegate's Home of the Brave

was my favorite. it's got two covers - both so different!


Professional
    For two very different reasons,Being the Change: Lessons & strategies to teach social comprehension by Sara K. Ahmed and The Zen Teacher: Creating Focus, Simplicity, and Tranquility in the Classroom by Dan Tricarico make the list.


  


Realistic Fiction
     A quarter of my books this year were in this genre, so I chose five of the twenty-five... Just an FYI- Deadline was very mature, and Small Great Things was an adult read.







Science Fiction
     Can I add a book in here AGAIN - that I RE-read?? (I never re-read!!) I'd love to add Scythe to this list (again!), but will tell you that the sequel, Thunderhead had me longing for the third in the series to come out in 2019!! (Again- I'm not good with reading the second book in a series lately, either!) Anyway... I did love these two as well - Genius: The Game (#1) from Leopoldo Gout and Insignia (#1) from S.J. Kincaid (thanks to my nephew for this suggestion).


Self Help
     Oh, this one I bought for the classroom - good for young and old alike! From Navy SEAL Jocko Willink, The Way of the Warrior Kid: From wimpy to warrior, the Navy SEAL way


Sports
     I still need to read more sports books - what are YOUR favorites? One that had an athlete with ADHD is Diana Harmon Asher's Sidetracked and one that a student (self-proclaimed nonreader) a couple of years ago read TWICE was Carl Deuker's Heart of a Champion.


So...
     What have I missed this year? Please leave YOUR favorites of 2018 in the comments below! I've got a library card and some Amazon gift cards, and I'm excited to use them!

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