2013 Wilde Awards for Longer Books

This year I realized once again the importance of awards, reviews and independent booksellers.  Otherwise, amidst the clutter of celebrity books, movie and TV tie-ins how can parents and teachers discover the books that have genuine merit, ones that will be treasured.  All the more reason for the Wilde Awards, I thought, as I compiled titles.

When it comes to longer books, buyers can’t rely on illustrations (which can sometimes be misleading anyway) or even judge a book by reading a few pages.  Series take up more and more space in publisher’s catalogs, but you can’t always count on their consistency.  To help you in this confusing literary puzzle, below are the 2013 Wilde Awards for longer books  published on December 7th in Durham’s Herald Sun. They include stand-alone titles and a listing of successful series additions Given limited print space, the Herald Sun also ran a longer piece on-line. Still the space was limited, so happily I’ve included a few extra books in the original list.  Here then are the 2013 Wilde Awards for Longer Books uncut.

What longer 2013 book(s) do you think worthy of award?  Favorite nonfiction, or novel? Longer book for emergent readers/YA’s? Add a comment (or two).


Short Chapter Books:

White Fur FlyingPatricia MacLachlan (McEldery Books, ages 6-9) is narrated by Zoe, whose family has comforting warmth and good humor, and a fur-full house because of her mother’s rescue dogs. When neighbors move in next door with pristine furniture and Phillip, a boy who doesn’t speak, Zoe learns the power of dogs and her family.

New Series:


Bowling Alley Bandit, Laurie Keller, (Holt , ages 7-9)

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, Stephan Pastis (Candlewick, ages 8-10)

Continuing series:

Junie B’s Essential Survival Guide to School, Barbara Park (Random, ages 5 and up)

Clementine and the Spring Trip, Sara Pennypacker (Hyperion, ages 7 and up)


Middle Grade Novels:

P.S. Be Eleven, Rita Williams-Garcia (HarperCollins, ages 9-12)

More changes are ahead for the heroine Delphine in this sequel to One Crazy Summer.  The book has flawless research, reminiscent references, and genuine emotions of a preteen living in 1960s Brooklyn.

Binny for Short, Hilary McKay (McElderrry Books, ages 9-11)

McKay involves readers in the life of quirky Binny and her loving family as Binny recovers from years of feeling haunted by events related to her father’s sudden death.  There are unusually strong emotions for a young middle-grade story.

Tangle of Knots, Lisa Graff (Philomel, ages 9-12)

The tangle of intriguing multiple viewpoints reveals a fantasy world where characters search to find their “Talents.” The talented writer brings together a huge cast of characters and many plot twists.

Serafina’s Promise, Anne E. Burg (Scholastic, ages 10-12)

Lyrical free verse peppered with Haitian Creole phrases describes the setting and life of young Haitian, Serafina.  Serfina’s desire for schooling dominates all other events—her Granpe’s murder by the Tonton Macoutes, a flood that destroys her home, and separation from her family during the earthquake. The author keeps readers fully in Serafina’s charming mind while conveying survival in poverty-struck Haiti.

Navigating Early, Clare Vanderpool (Delacorte, ages 10-12)

Jack Baker is shipped off to a boarding school in Maine soon after his mother’s death and his father’s return from World War II. There he becomes tethered to Early Auden, a strange boy, who translates the number pi into an odd tale that launches a bizarre journey for the two boys in a merge of adventure and mystery.

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, Kathi Appelt (Atheneum, ages 8-12).Twelve year old Chap Brayburn and two young raccoons are heroes of Appelt’s beautifully- descriptive adventurous romp through a swamp threatened by Sonny Boy Beaucoup, a villain who threatens turn it into an alligator wrestling theme park.  Short, engaging chapters from varied viewpoints collectively make for a humorous read.

New Series:

A Corner of WhiteJaclyn Moriarty (Scholastic, ages 11 and up

The Book of Lost ThingsCynthia Voigt  (Knopf, ages 9-11)

Continuing Series:

The Runaway KingJennifer Nielsen (Scholastic, ages 9-12)