My list is not extensive by any means, but I need to share out my favorites from 2016 like I have the past two years. I read a bit for myself this year, along with books I thought my 7th graders would enjoy.
Here are the books I would most recommend from my list of 75 books I've read this year... I tried to whittle it down to one or two per genre, but I read some genres more than others! Check out the complete list for this year here, including the five I abandoned.
Biography / Autobiography / Memoir
...for the kids
Connor Franta's A Work in Progress - middle schoolers love YouTubers! Connor Franta is a great role model who shares many lessons learned in his 20-something years on Earth.
...for your spiritual self
Todd Burpo's Heaven Is for Real - I needed this during this past summer. It filled me with hope.
...girl protagonists were strong this year!
Victoria Aveyard's The Red Queen (#1)
Rachel Hawkins' Rebel Belle (#1)
Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys (#1) And then I read the next two in the series! Not like me at all anymore. I REALLY liked this series, and loved listening to them in the car, as well as reading the text.
...boy protagonists that need to be celebrated
Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book
Nancy Farmer's The Sea of Trolls
Svetlana Chmakova's Awkward - This competed with Ghosts (Telegmeier) this year, but I think this one has a better message.
Tom Rogers' Eleven - It's the perfect September 11th book for my 7th graders.
...from what's happening in the world NOW
Tara Sullivan's Golden Boy - Pretty unbelievable. The story needs to be told.
...for readers (tons of references to other books)
Jennifer Chambliss Bertman's Book Scavenger
...for reluctant readers
Gordon Korman's Masterminds
Nonfiction (for kids)
Susan Campbell Bartoletti's Terrible Typhoid Mary
Poetry / Prose / Novels in Verse
Stasia Ward Kehoe's The Sound of Letting Go
Ron Ritchhart's (and more) Making Thinking Visible - (My review --> here) All four professional books I read this year were great! This one can be applied to ANY class ANY where, and it really made me look at my goals for my students. Do THEY know our goals? Can they buy into them? What can I do to show them what we are learning? I needed to make our thinking visible, and this book has shown me many ways HOW. (I need to revisit my notes on it now!)
Leslie Connor's All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook - Don't judge it by the cover. Perry's story is sweet, heartbreaking, and hopeful. An easy read that even reluctant readers will want to experience.
Jason Reynolds' & Brendan Kiely's All American Boys - Mature language with a mature theme. Students who read it come away knowing that things need to change in our society. Stories like this need to be shared.
Gary Schmidt's Orbiting Jupiter - Just jump in and let the story come to you.
...for the kids
Louis Sachar's Fuzzy Mud
Andy Weir's The Martian
Jason Reynolds' Ghost - One of the fastest books here, this one will appeal to sports fans and reluctant readers alike.
I really need to read more sports books! This is definitely a gap in my reading!
I just can't choose one favorite. Please link your post regarding your favorites in the comments below so I can grab some new reads from you!