I've gotten back to reading kids' books again -- finally.
I just finished a terrific book titled SMALL PERSONS WITH WINGS (THEY HATE TO BE CALLED FAIRIES) by Ellen Booream [Dial Books]. I don't read many fairy books. Honestly, between the vampires, werewolves and fairies, I'm pretty burned out on them. But when something unique comes along, I'll give it a shot. This book is more of mystery with wonderfully flawed fairies and non-traditional human characters. The plot moves quickly, and the writing is excellent. This is one to watch this year.
In addition, I was given a terrific first novel to read by a colleague. She wanted to see what I thought. The book is called CHARLIE JOE JACKSON'S GUIDE TO NOT READING by Tom Greenwald [Roaring Brook, July release]. This one is a perfect pick for reluctant readers. The narrator even tells the reader he is going to make the chapters short, so it seems like they are flying through the book. While some teachers may not appreciate the "secrets" given away (i.e. reading the first and last chapters and getting someone else to tell you the rest), I found it wonderful. And, fortunately in the end, Charlie Joe has to change his ways -- almost. I see a sequel coming.