With over 50 reads this year, most of which have been reviewed on the blog, I have plenty of 5 star ratings to choose from.

I think it’s worth commenting on my Goodreads stars.  It’s a close call between 4 and 5.  Both mean I thoroughly enjoyed them and thought they were well written, engaging, with great characters and at least a good plot.  What gives the extra star is often that indefinable something that makes me want not only to read more, but makes me anxious to read more – now!  It’s the stuff that made me read The Fellowship of the Ring on Friday night and go back to  the library for the second two volumes on Saturday – which I then finished by mid-Sunday (and I’d done my homework).  Occasionally something will be almost 5 stars and then just does something I wish they hadn’t.

Enough of me, what about the books? Remember, these aren’t all MG reads, by any means!

5star-shiny-webI awarded five stars to (most recently reviewed first):

  • Lionel’s Christmas Adventure
  • Pibbin the Small
  • The Cursed Nile
  • Return to Skunk Corners
  • Purple Hibiscus
  • Flood and Fang
  • The Consultant
  • Seed Savers: Treasure
  • Shirley Link and the Safe Case
  • The Shadow of Atlantis
  • The Princess and the Goblin
  • Beau Geste
  • The Snack Thief
  • Return to Cardamom
  • A Wrinkle in Time
  • Quicksand – the Mysterious Disappearance of Dakotaroo
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • Horse Power
  • The Time Machine
  • Diary of a Penguin-Napper
  • Escape From the Forbidden Planet
  • Treasure Island

Well, that’s 22, so I seem to give nearly half my reads the full five stars!  Congratulations to Julie Grasso for getting both her books on that list.  They definitely have that indefinable something, but it is possibly sticky date and chocolate cake with caramel cardamom sauce!

Most of the contemporary books are part of a series, or have sequels planned.  It is testament to my statement above about wanting to read more, that all those with published sequels are on my list to be read next year, so my system obviously works for me.  I find it very difficult to choose between them.  In fact, why should I choose a book of the year?  It is ‘my best reads’ of the year.  I don’t have to single one out.

Is there bias?  Yes indeed.  I chose to read those of my co-authors on the Love MG Actually project in February, but not all of their books received five stars.  Many of these authors are in the MGBookElves promotion (that finishes tonight!) but that is because I invited them.  I know they write quality books for MG readers, because I’ve sampled them.

It’s not supposed to be a list of the best published books of the year – it’s just my best reads.  Whether your book is on this list or not, if I read it and put my review on this blog, then I enjoyed it.  Thank you for writing it and good luck with your next one.

Here’s to 2014, and an even bigger pile of delightful reading to get through!

Feel free to leave a comment with your favourite read of 2013.

I have received some of these books free of charge, as promotions, ARCs or prizes in Giveaways.  That has no influence on the review or rating given.  This rating is not connected in any way with the website Readers’ Favorite, whose badge has been used for illustration only.

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My best reads of the year
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