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Greta’s Favourite Books of 2021: Part II

Though January is over half-way over, we’ve only just finished coming up with our favorite books from the past year. It turned out to be quite hefty, so we’ll be dividing it into two parts. All of these books are definitely amazing, but there are so many awesome books out there. Feel free to share your favorites!

Favorite Nonfiction-based: Village of Scoundrels by Margi Preus

This book, based on a true story of resistance in World War II France, details the efforts of a French village to resist the Nazis. The tale slowly evolves by featuring different people and their particular job and conflict with the war. However, one can only continue for so long without suspicion, and it appears that the village has run out of time. With the arrival of Gestapo soldiers, the teens must rush to get their Jewish friends/allies to safety in time.

Favorite Mystery: The Parker Inheritance by Valerian Johnson

Candice is anything but thrilled to be stuck in small-town South Carolina for the summer. Her summer perks up, though, when she finds a mysterious old letter addressed to her deceased grandmother. After making friends with Brandon, her quiet across-the-street neighbor for the summer, she shares the letter with him. Together, they decipher the clues and learn that a LOT of treasure is at stake if they can solve the scavenger hunt and uncover the town’s hidden past.

Favorite book from another country: Adventures with Waffles by Maria Parr

Set in Norway, Adventures with Waffles features Trille and Lena, a pair of friends, even if they are boy and girl. Over the summer, they manage to get into a lot of (sometimes injury inducing) mischief. However, their adventures may have come to an end with the end of their waffle supply and Lena’s absence. Will anything ever be right in the world again? 

Note: There is a sequel that I would also recommend.

Favorite Sports book: Benchwarmers by John Feinstein

Jeff Michaels, the son of a Philadelphia sportscaster, has just barely made his way onto his school’s boys (excuse me—only) soccer team. While he’s stuck on the bench, he befriends Andi Carillo, a girl with serious talent who’s fought her way onto the soccer team. Even though she’s one of the best players, the coach refuses to let her play. With Jeff’s assistance, the media gets a hold of the story, launching Andi, Jeff, and the soccer team into the spotlight. Still, all the effort may not be enough to save the season. 

Note: John Feinstein also has written another sports series, about kid sports reporters, that is also rather good.

Favorite Adventure: How to Capture an Invisible Cat by Paul Tobin

This is the first book in the Genius Factor series, the entirety of which is pretty good. The series features Delphine, a shorter than average girl who ends up friends with Nate Bannister, a legitimate genius who does three not-so-smart things each Friday the 13th to keep life interesting. This Friday, Delphine has to help him find his cat, Proton, which Nate super-sized before turning it invisible, while avoiding the notorious Red Death Tea Society that wants Nate (and maybe Delphine) dead.

Favorite Fantasy: The Books of Beginning Series by John Stephens

10 years ago, Kate, Michael, and Emma’s parents disappeared. Since then, they’ve been passed from orphanage to orphanage-until now. A mysterious Professor Pym has agreed to adopt them, so the children journey to Cambridge Falls, where the professor lives. There, they discover that their adopter is a wizard, and that they are part of a prophecy that will change the world. Kate, Michael, and Emma must adapt to a world full of magic, while saving everything from evil.

Note: Reading the books in order is pretty important for the storyline to make sense.

Favorite Historical Fiction: A Ceiling made of Eggshells by Gail Carson Levine

Loma lives in Spain, just before the Spanish Inquisition. She’s satisfied with her life surrounded by her large family, and wants nothing more than to have her own family soon. Loma is thrilled when her grandfather allows her to come along on his travels. Throughout their journeys, Loma gets to meet the King and Queen of Spain. With time, though, Loma wants to get married, etc. and is tiring of her grandfather’s refusal to let her free. Will she ever realize her dreams?

Favorite Realistic Fiction: Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith

Occurring in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Another Kind of Hurricane introduces Henry, a 10 year old boy from Vermont who’s mourning the loss of his best friend, and Zavion, a 10 year old Louisianan who lost his home during Hurricane Katrina and is now living in Baton Rouge. When Henry’s mom accidentally donates Henry’s jeans where he keeps his beloved marble (that he and his now-dead friend used to share) into the relief efforts, Henry is devastated and determined to get it back. Meanwhile, Zavion has the marble in Baton Rouge. But will Henry find Zavion and get it back?

Check out Part I!

Links are Amazon Affiliates links.


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