Office: Stack of Books Isolated on White Background

It’s the end of the year and library staff and volunteers are sharing the best books they’ve read this year.

Best Books for Children

“A Boy Like You” by Frank Murphy This was a fantastic read with a wonderful message. Our society has often instilled a false and toxic narrative to boys about what it means to be masculine. This book empowers and encourages boys to be brave, compassionate, curious and, ultimately, themselves.

Georgetti

Georgetti

— Michelle Georgetti, director, Valley Community Library “Antiracist Baby” by Ibram X. Kendi This board book has seen such amazing demand this year it has been reprinted into a picture book. It is a wonderful step-by-step book on how to become antiracist and start teaching babies how to view the world through an antiracist lens.

Contreras

Contreras

— Fawn Contreras, youth services clerk, Valley Community Library “Saturday” by Oge Mora The author of the book did a great job illustrating to kids how some things just don’t go as planned, no matter how much you are hoping they will. It was wonderful how the mother and daughter in the story show the readers that spending time together is the most important thing.

Kristen Wallo

Wallo

— Kristen Wallo, adult programming librarian, Valley Community Library Honorable Mentions: “Help Wanted, Must Love Books” by Janet Sumner Johnson and “Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice” by Nikki Grimes

Best Books for Young Adults

“Skyhunter” by Marie Lu This book was the best book written by Marie Lu so far! It was a fast-paced, dystopian book that impressed me from the very beginning, with having the main character solely communicate to others through sign language after being injured at a young age. — Kristen Wallo, adult programming librarian, Valley Community Library “Black Girl Unlimited” by Echo Brown The intricate balance of this book will stick with readers long after 2020 has passed. What does this semi-memoir balance? Quite simply, it’s heavy and at times devastating reality balanced with innocently potent magic. This rather autobiographical piece explores several difficult and uncomfortable topics with grace and honesty, all wrapped up in a stunning cover.

Angelina Estadt

Estadt

— Angelina Estadt, page, Valley Community Library “Go With The Flow” by Lily Williams This YA graphic novel is a much needed book for all tween and teen girls to have this space for them in books. — Fawn Contreras, youth services clerk, Valley Community Library Honorable Mentions: “Cemetery Boys” by Aiden Thomas and “You Should See Me in a Crown” by Leah Johnson Best Books for Adults “Daddy’s Girls” by Danielle Steele This was a nice easy read for me during a time when that was just what I needed! Growing up on a ranch in California with their widowed father, his adult daughters learn more than they ever imagined after his untimely death. Their domineering father left his mark on each of them in different ways. The story weaves its way in and out of the daughters’ lives leaving them stronger than ever. — Donna Simpson, president of the Valley Community Library Board “My Dark Vanessa” by Kate Elizabeth Russell This is a powerful story about an adult woman reevaluating her relationship with her first “love,” her high school English teacher. This book raises thought provoking questions about adolescence, consent, and victimhood.

Bevan

Bevan

— Bailey Bevan, board member, Valley Community Library “Dear Edward” by Ann Napolitano A plane leaves on a flight across the country from Newark Airport. Among the unforgettable passengers we meet is Edward, 12, who is flying with his family to their new home in Los Angeles. Halfway across the country, the plane crashes and he is the only survivor. With the help of his friend Shay, his aunt and uncle and those who are left behind to mourn, we follow Edward’s path to healing. It is a story about what makes us human — the ability to experience unimaginable tragedy, deal with unbelievable trauma and loss, travel the path to healing and find meaning in life. — Lynda Gelik, volunteer, Valley Community Library Honorable Mentions: “Bitter Pill” by Fern Michaels and “Piranesi” by Susanna Clarke

It’s the end of the year and library staff and volunteers are sharing the best books they’ve read this year.

Best Books for Children

“A Boy Like You” by Frank Murphy

This was a fantastic read with a wonderful message. Our society has often instilled a false and toxic narrative to boys about what it means to be masculine. This book empowers and encourages boys to be brave, compassionate, curious and, ultimately, themselves.

Georgetti

Georgetti

— Michelle Georgetti, director, Valley Community Library

“Antiracist Baby” by Ibram X. Kendi

This board book has seen such amazing demand this year it has been reprinted into a picture book. It is a wonderful step-by-step book on how to become antiracist and start teaching babies how to view the world through an antiracist lens.

Contreras

Contreras

— Fawn Contreras, youth services clerk, Valley Community Library

“Saturday” by Oge Mora

The author of the book did a great job illustrating to kids how some things just don’t go as planned, no matter how much you are hoping they will. It was wonderful how the mother and daughter in the story show the readers that spending time together is the most important thing.

Kristen Wallo

Wallo

— Kristen Wallo, adult programming librarian, Valley Community Library

Honorable Mentions: “Help Wanted, Must Love Books” by Janet Sumner Johnson and “Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice” by Nikki Grimes

Best Books for Young Adults

“Skyhunter” by Marie Lu

This book was the best book written by Marie Lu so far! It was a fast-paced, dystopian book that impressed me from the very beginning, with having the main character solely communicate to others through sign language after being injured at a young age.

— Kristen Wallo, adult programming librarian, Valley Community Library

“Black Girl Unlimited” by Echo Brown

The intricate balance of this book will stick with readers long after 2020 has passed. What does this semi-memoir balance? Quite simply, it’s heavy and at times devastating reality balanced with innocently potent magic. This rather autobiographical piece explores several difficult and uncomfortable topics with grace and honesty, all wrapped up in a stunning cover.

Angelina Estadt

Estadt

— Angelina Estadt, page, Valley Community Library

“Go With The Flow” by Lily Williams

This YA graphic novel is a much needed book for all tween and teen girls to have this space for them in books.

— Fawn Contreras, youth services clerk, Valley Community Library

Honorable Mentions: “Cemetery Boys” by Aiden Thomas and “You Should See Me in a Crown” by Leah Johnson

Best Books for Adults

“Daddy’s Girls” by Danielle Steele

This was a nice easy read for me during a time when that was just what I needed! Growing up on a ranch in California with their widowed father, his adult daughters learn more than they ever imagined after his untimely death. Their domineering father left his mark on each of them in different ways. The story weaves its way in and out of the daughters’ lives leaving them stronger than ever.

— Donna Simpson, president of the Valley Community Library Board

“My Dark Vanessa” by Kate Elizabeth Russell

This is a powerful story about an adult woman reevaluating her relationship with her first “love,” her high school English teacher. This book raises thought provoking questions about adolescence, consent, and victimhood.

Bevan

Bevan

— Bailey Bevan, board member, Valley Community Library

“Dear Edward” by Ann Napolitano

A plane leaves on a flight across the country from Newark Airport. Among the unforgettable passengers we meet is Edward, 12, who is flying with his family to their new home in Los Angeles. Halfway across the country, the plane crashes and he is the only survivor. With the help of his friend Shay, his aunt and uncle and those who are left behind to mourn, we follow Edward’s path to healing. It is a story about what makes us human — the ability to experience unimaginable tragedy, deal with unbelievable trauma and loss, travel the path to healing and find meaning in life.

— Lynda Gelik, volunteer, Valley Community Library

Honorable Mentions: “Bitter Pill” by Fern Michaels and “Piranesi” by Susanna Clarke

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