Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Carrie Gelson hosted this fun challenge. At the beginning of the year we made lists of the books we were determined to read in 2015. This was an attempt to chip away at our enormous To Be Read piles. You may see the 53 books I targeted if you click here

I was able to read almost all of them. One of them I ended up skimming. Invent to Learn was a professional book and while it was interesting, it was not riveting. Three of them were difficult to acquire. It's December 30 as I am typing this and they still haven't come via Inter-library Loan. I will probably bump them to my 2016 list because I still want to read them. 

These are the three that have been difficult to get:

The other 49 books were read and mostly enjoyed. Here are the ones that I rated five stars:

I really adored Circus Mirandus and Purple Hibiscus. Because I am doing a Mock Pura Belpré activity with some of my students, The Storyteller's Candle was another that I loved. It was nice to learn more about Pura Belpré and how she made a difference in her community. I've always been drawn to memoirs and biographies. Alma Flor Ada's Under the Royal Palms is a wonderful collection of her childhood memories and I appreciated getting to know her family. 


Many more fell into the four star category and these are also stories that will stay with me. I am glad that I finally sought out these books. Many of them were on the Pura Belpré list. I wanted to have read all of the books on the list before starting our Mock Pura Belpré activity. I thought it would help me figure out what sort of books would be most likely to win this year. Also, it is the 20th anniversary of the award so it seemed to be the perfect time to read them all.

Here are the other books from my list:


I've already started to compile my list for 2016 and am excited to add titles to it. I wish you an excellent year of reading.


  1. You were a busy reader this year! I didn't quite get to as many as I wanted to, but I'm ok with that!
    Happy New Year and Happy Reading in 2016!

  2. I love the huge diversity on your lists! I often find inspiration from you as to what to read next. I love using this challenge as a way to ensure I am reading widely and titles by diverse authors. In books, I learn much about the world! Thanks for participating!

  3. I will return and add some of your titles to my 2016 list, Crystal. You did read a lot this year, and I am grateful for the diverse books you introduce to me, too. Happy New Year in books and your life!

  4. You had an impressive list and did a great deal of reading! I will look forward to your 2016 list!

  5. I'm so impressed that you read all the Pura Belpre titles! Wow. You took reading books of diversity to a whole new level. Two titles you had in your 5-star section were ones I read this year. I also really enjoyed Circus Mirandus-- I listened to the audiobook, and it was really well-done. I also read Because They Marched. I have to say that I am mesmerized, amazed, and sometimes shocked by the history of the country we live in. Books like Freedman's do such a good job of making this history accessible for kids without diluting the importance of their content.

    Can't wait to see your 2016 list! Happy New Year!