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Year End Top Ten

Year end top ten books are here and I’m excited to share my absolute favorite reads from 2020!

We’ve got ten days until we say good-bye to 2020!

I hope I’m not alone in jumping feet first into 2021! But before we get to that we do need to address the AMAZING (yes all caps) books we’ve read this year.

A Year in Reflection

There have been a few conversations I’ve had with readers about choosing books with care. And the dialogue has been interesting. Some making no change to their reading choices. Their focus on the books they’ve always read and well… enjoyed. While others are reflecting on the past year. Deciding to do something different. To find authors and stories that reflect the diverse world we live in. Including celebrating and collecting stories told by and are about BIPOC.

Looking at my shelves back in June I realized I had very few stories by people or about people of color.

And that needed to change.

First I needed to put in the work to find books that were empowering, inspirational, thought-provoking, and showed the joy in communities I wanted to celebrate and promote. I challenged myself to recognize the voices that were underrepresented in my personal library where I needed to make room for them to live and call home.

Recognizing readers of all ages need a safe space. A place where they can look into the pages of a book and see themselves reflected in the ink printed in each word, each chapter.

It has been a journey. One of reflection and determination to do better.

The Next Step

So thank you.

Thank you for taking the time to be here with me. Understanding the need for change. Finding the new viewpoints I wanted to see as a reader in our book community. Listening, relearning and educating myself in how to be a better reader.

I’m here to share stories that are meaningful and that will bring you joy once you’ve finished the last page.

Now let’s get to those favorites shall we.

10. Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

“Aurora Burning is like a phoenix: burning bright within its flames, the heat all consuming. Once the fire burns to mere embers, we can only anticipate what will come out of the ashes.”

Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink

Continue to read more here >> Book Review

Aurora Burning Book Details

Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: May, 2020

Pages: 512

ISBN-10:  1524720925

ISBN-13:  9781524720926

Audience: Young Adult; ages 12 and up

Jacket Art: Charlie Bowater

9. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

“Elizabeth Acevedo is an artisan with words.  Her prose the golden threads that weave together a narrative whose tapestry is a wonder to behold.”

Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink

Continue to read more here >> Book Review

Clap When You Land Book Details

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Publisher: Harperteen

Publication Date: May, 2020

Pages: 432

ISBN-10:  0062882767

ISBN-13:  978-0062882769

Audience: 14 and up

Jacket Art: Bijou Karman

Jacket Design: Erin Fitzsimmons

8. A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir

A Sky Beyond the Storm is utterly mesmerizing.  Brilliantly imagined world and characters.”

 Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink

Continue to read more here >> Book Review

A Sky Beyond the Storm Book Details

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Publisher: Razorbill

Publication Date: December, 2020

Pages: 336

ISBN-10:  1335904468

ISBN-13:  978-1335904461

Audience: 14 and up

Jacket Art: Shane Rebenschied

Jacket Design: Kristin Smith-Boyle

7. Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

“Maniscalco’s Kingdom of the Wicked is brilliant.  Delicious as it is magical Maniscalco will have you ensnared from the beginning to end.”

Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink

Continue to read more here >> Book Review

Kingdom of the Wicked Book Details

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Publisher: jimmy patterson

Publication Date: October, 2020

Pages: 448

ISBN-10:  0316428469

ISBN-13:  978-0316428460

Audience: 14 and up

Jacket Design: Liam Donnelly

Jacket Art: Megan Cowell / Revillion Images and Shutterstock

6. This is My America by Kim Johnson

“Powerful.  Johnson’s writing is like a microscope, closely scrutinizing the inequities of the criminal justice system.

Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink

Continue to read more here >> Book Review

This is My America Book Details

Author: Kim Johnson

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: July, 2020

Pages: 416

ISBN-10:  0593118766

ISBN-13:  9780593118764

Audience: 12 and up

Jacket Art: Chuck Styles

Jacket Design: Ray Shappell

5. The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert

“A book you most certainly need to read, The Voting Booth is timely, inspirational, and adorably romantic. I couldn’t put this book down.”

Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink

Continue to read more here >> Book Review

The Voting Booth Book Details

Author: Brandy Colbert

Publisher: Hyperion

Publication Date: July, 2020

Pages: 304

ISBN-10:  1368053297

ISBN-13:  978-1368053297

Audience: 12 and up

Jacket Art: Stephanie Singleton

Jacket Design: Marci Senders

4. Stamped REMIX by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi

“This book should be required reading. Stamped Remix is a book (and audiobook) you should read (and listen to).”

Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink

Continue to read more here >> Book Review (Coming Soon)

Note: I listened to the audiobook back in May and plan to do a re-read of Stamped and provide a review soon. Stay tuned. Even though I have yet to give a full review I believe this book is one that readers of all ages should read.

Stamped REMIX Book Details

Author: Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Publisher: Little Brown and Company

Publication Date: March, 2020

Pages: 320

ISBN-10:  0316453692

ISBN-13:  978-0316453691

Audience: 12 and up

Jacket Art: Erin Robinson

Jacket Design: Karina Granda (based on the original adult design by the Book Designers

3. The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

“This is your next obsession.  The Black Flamingo is a book filled with beauty, honesty, and an intimacy that verse can only amplify.”

Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink

Continue to read more here >> Book Review

Author: Dean Atta

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: May, 2020

Pages: 416

ISBN-10:  0062990292

ISBN-13:  978-0062990297

Audience: 14 and up

Jacket Art: Adriana Bellet

Jacket Design and Lettering: Jenna Stempel-Lobell

2. A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

“Laura Taylor Namey’s A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow filled my heart and fed my soul. Read. This. Book.”

Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink

Continue to read more here >> Book Review

Author: Laura Taylor Namey

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: November, 2020

Pages: 320

ISBN-10:  1534471243

ISBN-13:  978-1534471245

Audience: 12 and up

Jacket Illustration: Andrea Porretta

Jacket Design: Karyn Lee

1. You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

A debut you should not miss.  Leah Johnson’s You Should See Me in a Crown is a treasure of a book.

Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink

Continue to read more here >> Book Review

Author: Leah Johnson

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Publication Date: June, 2020

Pages: 336

ISBN-10:  133850326X

ISBN-13:  978-1338503265

Audience: 12 and up

Jacket Photography: Michael Frost

Jacket Design: Stephanie Yang

Title Lettering: Maeve Norton

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