Top 2012 Children’s Fiction to Wake Your Brain Cells

I narrowed my picks for the best in children’s fiction this year to these fifteen.  They range from historical fiction to fantasy.  You just can’t go wrong with any of them!  The links connect to my full reviews:

great unexpected greyhound of a girl in a glass grimmly

The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech – Hope and life connections make this a book that will delight existing Creech fans and create new ones.

A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle – A ghost story that is meticulously crafted and beautiful.

In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz – Ideal for reluctant readers looking for the gore in fairy tales, this book is engaging and wonderfully twisted.

laugh with the moon liar and spy lions of little rock

Laugh with the Moon by Shana Burg – Travel to Malawi with Clare and her father in this book filled with its strong culture, the stark differences between America and Africa, and the warmth of the people.

Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead – A beautifully crafted novel for middle graders with a stellar character at its heart.

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine – A powerful novel about the battle for integration in Little Rock with complex and interesting characters and a riveting storyline.

mighty miss malone my mixed-up berry blue summer one and only ivan

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis – A luminous protagonist shows the human side of the Great Depression in this book from a master of his craft.

My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer by Jennifer Gennari – This debut novel is the perfect summer read while also being strong and courageous about gay parenting.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate – Ivan moved into my heart this spring and has never left it.  One of the most captivating reads of the year.

one year in coal harbor sadie and ratz summer of the gypsy moths

One Year in Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath – Return to the world of Everything on a Waffle with this sequel that is just as charming and exquisite as the first.

Sadie and Ratz by Sonya Hartnett – The best beginning reader of the year, perfect for wild children with hands that get into all sorts of trouble.

Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker – This hope-filled book starts with a death and strangers and ends with hope and family.

twelve kinds of ice what came from the stars wonder

Twelve Kinds of Ice by Ellen Bryan Obed – In only 64 slim pages, this quiet but powerful book about ice will have you reaching for your skates with tears in your eyes.

What Came from the Stars by Gary D. Schmidt – Two starkly different worlds are drawn together through a single boy in this book that is part science fiction and part reality novel and entirely glorious.

Wonder by R. J. Palacio – The story of a regular kid with an uncommon face will have you laughing, crying and loving it entirely.

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