My Top Books of 2011

It’s that time of the year when everyone is putting together their top books of the year lists.  In my library, Christchurch City Libraries, we’ve recently put together a Holiday Reading List, which gathers together the top books for children and young adults of 2011, as chosen by us librarians.  If you’d like to take a look just head to the Christchurch City Libraries website.

Reviewing books all year around makes me remember all the great books I’ve read during the year, as I can just go back through my blog to jog my memory.  So here are my Top 10 of 2011 lists:

Picture Books

  1. Don’t Worry Douglas – David Melling
  2. Marmaduke Duck and Bernadette Bear – Juliette MacIvor (NZ)
  3. Moon Cow – Kyle Mewburn (NZ)
  4. Bruiser – Gavin Bishop (NZ)
  5. Poo Bum – Stephanie
  6. Otto the Book Bear – Katie Cleminson
  7. Hester and Lester – Kyle Mewburn (NZ)
  8. Stuck – Oliver Jeffers
  9. Fancy Dress Farmyard – Nick Sharrat
  10. Press Here – Herve Tullet

Younger Readers (Top 5)

  1. Earwig and the Witch – Diana Wynne Jones
  2. Little Manfred – Michael Morpurgo
  3. T-wreck-asaurus – Kyle Mewburn (NZ)
  4. Sophie and the Shadow Woods – Linda Chapman and Lee Weatherly
  5. Do Not Push – Kyle Mewburn (NZ)

Older Readers

  1. Wonderstruck – Brian Selznick
  2. Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant Book 6) – Derek Landy
  3. Northwood – Brian Falkner
  4. Not Bad for a Bad Lad – Michael Morpurgo
  5. Wolf in the Wardrobe – Susan Brocker
  6. Case of the Deadly Desperados – Caroline Lawrence
  7. Emerald Atlas – John Stephens
  8. AngelCreek– Sally Rippin
  9. Super Finn – Leonie Agnew
  10. Liesl and Po – Lauren Oliver

Young Adults

  1. Across the Universe – Beth Revis
  2. Divergent – Veronica Roth
  3. A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness
  4. Mask of Destiny – Richard Newsome
  5. My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece – Annabel Pitcher
  6. You Against Me – Jenny Downham
  7. Department 19 – Will Hill
  8. Yes – Deborah Burnside
  9. Heart of Danger – Fleur Beale (NZ)
  10.  Shelter – Harlan Coben

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher

Ever since I saw the book trailer for Annabel Pitcher’s debut novel, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy.  When I started reading it I knew that it was one of those special books that only comes along now and again.

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is about a boy called Jamie and his family, who are still trying to cope with the loss of his sister’s twin, Rose who was blown up by a terrorist bomb in London five years ago.  Jamie, his dad and sister, Jas decide to move to the Lake District for a ‘fresh start.’  Jamie’s parents are still grieving – his dad has turned to drink and his mum has run off with the support worker.  His sister Jasmine turns to dying her hair, piercing and stops eating.  Jamie however doesn’t really remember his sister and he hasn’t cried at all.  Jamie is more interested in his cat, Roger, his Superman t-shirt, and keeping his new friend Sunya a secret.  Sunya is Muslim and Jamie’s dad keeps reminding him that ‘Muslim’s killed your sister,’ so he must never find out about her.  Jamie’s one wish is that his mum will come back to them and he’ll wear his Superman t-shirt until the day that she does.  When he sees an ad for a TV talent show, he comes up with a plan that he is sure will get his family back together again.

Annabel Pitcher has created a lovable character in Jamie that everyone can relate to.  Even with everything that is going in his family, Jamie holds onto the hope that he can fix things and get it back to the way it was.  He has a mind of his own and stands up for what he believes is right and wrong.

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece will make you laugh and cry and leave you smiling.  It was the perfect book to read post-earthquake as it cheered me up and left me with a sense of hope.  It is definitely one of my top books of the year.