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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

What 2009 Book Should I Review?

As you might have noticed, this week I’m squeezing in a whole bunch of last minute 2009 reviews.  Gotta get ’em done before midnight on the 31st, after all. 

By this point in the proceedings, I’ve read pretty much all the 2009 books I’m going to.  A whole mess of titles have already been read but never reviewed, though.  So here lies the question:  If I was to review one last book read in 2009, what would it be?  Here’s the list to pick and choose from.  Select one choice and vote for it a single time.  I’ll close it out on January 5th.


Note: Depending on the computer you’re using, some of you may have to scroll down after the first title to see the rest.  As charming as Heart of a Shepherd was, I did read other books this year.

What 2009 Book Should I Review?(survey software)

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. What about a series of six-word reviews about a handful of these books instead of one extended review? Like the six-word memoirs that Smith Magazine does? (If not, I vote for Jean Craighead George. I am, after all, a girl of the 70s, raised on MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN.)

  2. The Art of Racing In the Rain by Stein, Garth. I have placed my order @ A1Books, just wanted to know how you would review it…

  3. Funny you should mention that, Kristin. Last year I did a bunch of one-sentence reviews for the books I couldn’t get to. I could certainly do that again.

    Haven’t seen the Stein book, so no inclusion I’m afraid.

  4. Betsy, SLJ could fix that large gap in your poll–which occurs in both Firefox and Internet Explorer–by simply adding the following style to your stylesheet:

    .pds-answer {
    float: left;

  5. Deab Schneider says:

    Hi, Betsy — I’d love to see you review Elizabeth Partridge’s Marching for Freedom, my favorite book of the year and one that ought to figure in Newbery discussions! In a year of great nonfiction, this is one of the best.

  6. I am definitely in favor of lots of 6 word reviews. =)

  7. Oo. Hey, Don, does it matter where in the stylesheet that code would go? I can enter it myself, if needs be.

  8. Eric Carpenter says:

    What about a write in? MT Anderson’s Jasper Dash and the Flame-Pits of Delaware shouldn’t be missed. I think this and Mac Barnett’s Case of the Case of the Mistaken Identity are both being unfairly overlooked in all the award talk.

  9. I think you should do several of the shortest ones, letting us know they are short, but good. There are too many YA books out there — We need more middle grade books. Shorter rather than longer.

    the gap shows on Safari for the MAC, too.

  10. Darn gap.

    Actually I’ve a lovely early chapter book review slated for the 31st that should be nice. I agree that we need more of that stuff. There are a couple on this list too. Gorfmann. Wishworks.

    And alas, I never read Jasper Dash. My boss is a big fan of those Pals in Peril books. I agree with you about the Mac Barnett book though, Eric. I think it needs to get more readers. Mysteries are so hard to come by as it is.

  11. Several of these books are excellent and I really enjoyed a lot of them but “Heart of a Shepherd” remains one of the biggest surprises of the year for me. It is unusual, timely and deeply affecting. I think it is a book would matter to an awful lot of kids and I think you should read it, regardless of how the voting turns out. (It won’t take you long, promise!)

  12. kathy tripp says:

    I read POWERLESS, It was so very very good and referred it to the schools I work with for the reading list..its great for all ages, kids and adults.

  13. I’ve read all of these, Colleen. No fear! This is just a vote for which one I review.

    Powerless is doing amazingly well in the voting so far, isn’t it?

  14. Here’s another vote for 6-word or one-sentence reviews of ALL of them!

  15. Jennifer Schultz says:

    Here’s another vote for six-word (give or take a few) reviews!

  16. I’d like to see a wtf list for all the popular books that have you scratching your head.

  17. For 2009 or 2010? I’ve books for both.

  18. 2009 and 10!

  19. So hard to chose just one-there are at least 4 that I feel are deserving of review either I really love them or feel that they’ve not gotten the attention they deserve elsewhere. Ended up going for a boy book although also feel the Partridge should rate a mention for nonfiction.

  20. I voted for Sylvie and the Songman because I thought it was cool and wanted to read your thoughts but, I tell you, I brought 4 galleys of Powerless to my 4th and 5th grade book group and they’ve been passing them around from kid to kid since July — they love it!


  22. Jemma Hartman, Camper Extraordinaire was amazing! I think you should review that plus another. It was terrific, but also short enought to do another in addition! Happy New Year

  23. go powerless


  25. Please review “Jane In Bloom” by Deborah Lytton. You will attract the most readers with this book! Thank you!

  26. Alan Osmond says:

    “Jane in Bloom” is a great book! Please give it your BEST review! Debby Lutton is a fabulous writer!

  27. Don Griffin says:

    Really enjoyed “Jane In Bloom.” Fresh, original an inspiring.

  28. jane in bloom says:

    loved it read to the kids

  29. dwquinn53 says:

    jane in bloom gets my vote.

  30. kittykat47 says:

    Jane in Bloom is supposed to be very good.

  31. Jane in Bloom please.

  32. Steven McClintock says:

    Review Jane In Bloom…

  33. Another vote for Powerless – it is a fantastic book – good on many levels!

  34. Becky Levine says:

    I could only vote for one, but The Year the Swallows Came Early was basically a tie with the one I chose! :)

  35. Powerless is wonderful! Funny, entertaining and inspiring for all kids!!! Please review it!

  36. If you had asked me before this poll what two books would go head to head, I don’t think I necessarily would have guessed Jane in Bloom VS. Powerless. Just goes to show what I know, I guess.

  37. Val Policky says:

    My vote is for Jane in Bloom..

  38. Also voting for Jane in Bloom.

  39. Jane in Bloom!!

  40. Jane in Bloom!

  41. “Jane in Bloom” is the obvious choice. Thats where my vote goes.

  42. Jane in Bloom

  43. Powerless!

  44. POWERLESS. (Although I’m sure Jane In Bloom is a fine book too.)

  45. Jane in Bloom imho

  46. Arkansas Red says:

    Jane In Bloom is my pick.

  47. Jane in Bloom is a worthy book for consideration.

  48. Debby Lytton’s book – Jane in Bloom

  49. Jane in Bloom is a great book. Hope this shows up this time.

  50. mike trigg says:

    Jane in Bloom

  51. I would love to see you review Jane in Bloom. Looking forward to it!

  52. Jane In Bloom hands down!

  53. quiver366 says:


  54. Maryfrances says:

    Jane In Bloom!!

  55. James Morris says:

    Jane In Bloom! It’s a diagram of reality.

  56. johnnie r says:

    Jane in Bloom is my pick

  57. Dene Anton says:

    Deborah Lytton’s :Jane in Bloom” most definitely!!!!
    dene anton

  58. Jane in Bloom has my vote.