I didn’t manage to read a lot of poetry in 2018, unfortunately. The ones on my list of the Best of 2018 though are worth treasuring:
Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship by Irene Latham and Charles Waters, illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko (9781512404425)
In this book, there is a feeling of safety to explore difficult subjects that the poetry itself creates. – My Review
For Every One by Jason Reynolds (9781481486248)
It is a book about perseverance and resilience, a poem about life, hard knocks and getting up and continuing onward. – My Review
The Horse’s Haiku by Michael J. Rosen, illustrated by Stan Fellows (9780763689162)
A stellar book of focused haiku. – My Review
Imagine by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Lauren Castillo (9780763690526)
Rich, memorable and timely, this picture book is something special. – My Review
Seeing into Tomorrow by Richard Wright, illustrated by Nina Crews (9781512498622)
A dynamic look at one of the top African-American poets of the 21st century, this book of poetry is a celebration. – My Review
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (9781250144546)
Set in 1889 Paris, this teen novel mixes historical fiction with fantasy into one incredible adventure. Severin was denied his inheritance by the Order, a group of wealthy and powerful Houses that control the French Babel fragment and therefore the power to forge amazing devices. So Severin has become a thief who hides in plain sight in his hotel with his group of fellow thieves and friends around him. Each of his friends has their own distinct skill set that is invaluable when rescuing magical artifacts. Their expertise ranges from explosives to poisons to spiders to desire. As they start to seek out their largest target ever, it is an opportunity for Severin to regain his inheritance but it may just kill them all in the process.
Chokshi has written several amazing books and this one builds on her previous success. The setting here is particularly lush. Lovingly depicted, Paris comes to life just as the Eiffel Tower is being built for the Exposition Universelle. Paris is a great setting for the equally vibrant adventures the characters have there with traps, break ins, magical elements and more adding to the drama. That mixture of fantasy and history is forged together tightly into a unified whole.
This is a complex teen novel filled with engaging characters who all are distinct from one another and enticing to spend time with. She has included all sorts of diversity in her characters, including neurodiversity, bisexuality, and racial diversity. Each of these characteristics is a part of the story and plays into the plot, so they are far more than token notes and instead are rooted deeply in the characters.
A breathtaking adventure in a fantasy world, this first in a series will be appreciated by fans of Leigh Bardugo. Appropriate for ages 14-17.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by Wednesday Books.