Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson/John Green/Lauren Myracle A trio of slight festive tales where we learn that the true meaning of Christmas is Starbucks.
BOO! by various A rather delightful horror comic anthology for young ones. Stand out stories are “The Visitor” and “The Devil and Billy Beetle”
Around The World In Eighty Days by Jules Verne (Oxford World’s Classics edition) A dated but fun adventure that surprisingly features no hot air balloons, but does include a brief history on Mormonism.
The Wes Anderson Collection by Matt Zoller Seitz An astoundingly beautiful book of interviews with the director that should be read in slow motion.
Improper Order by Deirdre Sullivan A tremendous sequel and a stupendous vocab builder.
The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star by Jill Murphy Good fun revisiting Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches (which appears to be a magical convent. Never quite picked up on that before)
Raffles by E. W. Hornung The gentleman thief is an amusing inversion of Sherlock Holmes and excellent source of Cricket metaphors.
Stoner by John Williams Sensitively written and worthy of its surprise rediscovery, however a element of perverse wish fulfillment undercut the emotion for me.
Too Much Trouble by Tom Avery An exciting Oliver Twist update that with Mr. Green reminds of the evil oft resides in the hearts of characters with primary colours in their surname.
In Too Deep by Tom Avery A flawed sequel to Too Much Trouble that reminds us that endings should avoid airports as much as possible.
The Last Girlfriend on Earth and Other Love Stories by Simon Rich Very amusing riffs on love and similar things.
Shoes, Ducks and Sea Maids by Various Writers Fun retellings of Hans Christian Andersen by a selection of Irish writers, some straightforward, others not.
I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith Wasn’t too gone on the central love story but the rest is fantastic, and doubles as an interesting thesis on the differences between Austen and Bronte.
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford The inspiration for Homeward Bound is surprisingly gritty and lacks the talking breed of cat and dog. While not an especially interesting read, the ending will get ya (Also Handy Management Tip: To raise morale, lick your team’s faces.)
Seeds of Liberty by Claire Hennessy An exciting trilogy of historical uprisings, as told from the perspective of three young people. Relatable and deromanticizing, it certainly put me off staging a coup.
Firebrand by Gillian Philips An epic fantasy that didn’t do much for me, aside from when it briefly turns into The Witchfinder General. (Note to self: write a Vincent Price book for YA)
Granny Samurai and the Brain of Ultimate Doomitude by John Chambers Bonkers but funny book that wins points by taking the time to talk about great Taytos are.
Infinity Drake: The Sons of Scarlatti by John McNally An enjoyable 24 meets Honey, I Shrunk the Kids adventure. (Note: Miniature Apache Helicopters are a sure fire way to dispose of bothersome wasps.)
Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen This is excellent, something like a kitchen sink disaster movie… but for kids!
Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol Delightful supernatural graphic novel (and it reminds of the dangers of uncovered wells.)
Echo Boy by Matt Haig Good but many familiar parts (Disappointingly it has nothing to do with Cork legend, the Echo Boy)
Other Brother by Simon French For some reason I associate most serious dramas for kids with Australia. This follows this possibly made up tradition well.
Primperfect by Deirdre Sullivan The Primrose Leary trilogy concludes in a terrific installment where our hero learns the true meaning of not mixing your drinks.
Chess by Stefan Zweig A superb novella and a sad reminder of what a terrible chess player I am.
Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill A chilling feminist take on Brave New World which among other horrors assures us we will still have tacky reality TV in the future.
*It should be noted that these are all the books I read in the entirety this year. Like many constant readers, I have quite a few reads either abandoned or being worked through sloooooowly*