Amazon’s Best Books of 2019 So Far

Amazon has created a list of the top books for the first half of 2019. They have a top 20 list for both children’s books and teen lit. Some of the books included are sure to surprise. Here they are:


Because Destination Moon: The Remarkable and Improbable Voyage of Apollo 11

Because by Mo Willems, illustrated by Amber Ren

Destination Moon by Richard Maurer

Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal Don't Let Them Disappear

Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson’s Journal by Jeff Kinney

Don’t Let Them Disappear by Chelsea Clinton, illustrated by Gianna Marino

Dragon Pearl The Good Egg

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

The Good Egg by Jory John, illustrated by Pete Oswald

Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat #1 The Last Last-Day-of-Summer

Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat by Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenoweth

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles, illustrated by Dapo Adeola

The Neighbors Pay Attention, Carter Jones

The Neighbors by Einat Tsarfati

Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary D. Schmidt

Pie in the Sky The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

Rumple Buttercup: A Story of Bananas, Belonging, and Being Yourself The Strangers (Greystone Secrets, #1)

Rumple Buttercup by Matthew Gray Gubler

The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Sweety To Night Owl from Dogfish

Sweety by Andrea Zuill

To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer

The Undefeated Waiting for Chicken Smith

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Waiting for Chicken Smith by David Mackintosh

We Are the Gardeners You Are My Happy

We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines, illustrated by Julianna Swaney

You Are My Happy by Hoda Kotb, illustrated by Suzie Mason



Birthday Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology, #1)

Birthday by Meredith Russo

Courting Darkness by Robin LeFevers

Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life and Work Enchantée

Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life & Work by Victoria Ortiz

Enchantee by Gita Trelease

Finale (Caraval, #3) Heroine

Finale by Stephanie Garber

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

In the Neighborhood of True King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1)

In the Neighborhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali On the Come Up

The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Patron Saints of Nothing Queen of the Sea

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis

Ship of Smoke and Steel (The Wells of Sorcery, #1) Shout

Ship of Smoke and Steel by Django Wexler

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

Stepsister The Things She's Seen

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

The Things She’s Seen by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

Two Can Keep a Secret The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

The Wicked King by Holly Black

With the Fire on High The Wizenard Series: Training Camp

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Wizenard Series: Training Camp by Wesley King and Kobe Bryant

Review: A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata

A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata

A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata, illustrated by Julia Kuo (9781481446648)

Award-winning author Kadohata tells the story of a Japanese-American family forced to return to Japan after World War II because of their Japanese ancestry. After spending years in an internment camp in the United States, twelve-year-old Hanako and her family move to Japan to live with her paternal grandparents. They travel by ship first and then train until they reach the decimated city of Hiroshima, where her grandparents’ farm lies outside. All of Japan is poor and hungry, with black markets and children begging on the streets. Hanako meets her grandparents for the first time, discovering that her grandfather is very like her little brother who is five years old. Her grandmother is stooped over from the hard work in the fields. Hanako must face learning a new language, attending a new school in a different country, and trying to find a way forward for her entire family. It’s a lot of pressure, but Hanako learns steadily to adjust and change.

Kadohata’s novel for children tells the untold story of Japanese Americans forced to repatriate to their country of origin and renounce their American citizenship. It also gives an unflinching look at the aftermath of World War II in Japan, particularly with its setting near Hiroshima. That dark setting is juxtaposed against the warmth and beauty of discovering loving grandparents and building a new relationship. Yet there is a constant sense of loss in the book and a teetering feeling that things may suddenly change at any moment.

As always, Kadohata’s prose is beautiful. She vividly depicts Japanese life during the 1940’s and the unending work of being a tenant farmer. In the midst of all of the sorrow, loss and confusion, she places a loving family who are willing to sacrifice for one another and for brighter futures for the next generation. Through this family, there is intense hope broadcast on the page.

An important and vital book about the horrors of war and its aftermath on individual families. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from copy provided by Atheneum.