The Georgia Center for the Book has released its 2017 list, “Books All Young Georgians Should Read.”
The Center used to publish a list of 25 “Books All Georgians Should Read” every two years.
Then, children’s author and illustrator Elizabeth Dulemba joined the advisory team and pushed for a list specifically geared toward children, Executive Director Joe Davich said.
Now, the center publishes its two Top 10 lists annually, including this separate “Books All Young Georgians Should Read” roundup.
“There are so many children’s authors and illustrators working in Georgia,” Davich said. “We’re very conscious about what appeals to younger readers.”
Find out more about the books that made the this year’s list for young readers below.
2017 Books All Young Georgians Should Read:
“Crossing the Ebenezer Creek” — Tonya Bolden
In “Crossing the Ebenezer Creek,” Bolden writes about two siblings who were suddenly freed from slavery during the Civil War. They join General Sherman’s march through Georgia and face hardships along the way.
“Flop to the Top” — Eleanor Davis; Drew Weing
Described as a “modern-day fable” by its publisher, TOON Books, “Flop to the Top” reaches a much younger audience. The book is full of colorful illustrations and is written like a graphic novel. The protagonist, Wanda, loves to post selfies, calls her siblings her “fans” and tries to keep up the latest celebrity news.
“Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit” — Jaye Robin Brown
In her first novel, Brown tells a tale of a teenage daughter of a popular TV evangelist, who has just remarried. The three move from Atlanta to Rome, Georgia. To protect his reputation, the TV evangelist asks his daughter to hide her sexual orientation.
“The Jekyll Island Chronicles, Book One: A Machine Age War”— Steve Nedvidek; Ed Crowell; Jack Lowe; J. Moses Nester, Illustrator; S.J. Miller, Illustrator
This graphic novel takes a contemporary sci-fi angle and weaves together a little bit of the history of the Georgia coast, Davich said. According to Publishers Weekly, the book focuses on members of the elite Jekyll Island club, which include Woodrow Wilson, Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford.
“March, Volume 3” — Rep. John Lewis; Andrew Aydin; Nate Powell, Illustrator
Co-authored by Rep. John Lewis, this 256-page graphic novel is a New York Times Best-seller and a 2016 National Book winner. The third book in this series focuses on Lewis’s activism in Selma, Alabama, during the Civil Rights Era. The first book in this series made it on the Georgia Center for the Book’s list in 2015.
“Orphan Island” — Laurel Snyder
Author Laurel Snyder has written many children’s books including titles such as “The Longest Night,” “Bigger than a Bread Box” and “Seven Stories Up.” She’s also a commentator on NPR’s “All Things Considered.”
“Seven and a Half Tons of Steel” — Janet Nolan; Thomas Gonzalez, Illustrator
“Seven and a Half Tons of Steel” is a story of resurgence, Davich said. The graphic novel tells the tragic story of 9/11 and a Navy ship that was built from steel harvested out of Ground Zero.
“The King of Birds” — Acree Graham Macam; Natalie Nelson, Illustrator
This picture book contains a humorous story of Flannery and her collection of birds including a chicken that was trained to walk backwards, says Groundwood Books. The last page contains an author’s note about Flannery O’Connor, a renowned Georgia writer born in 1925. “This story was inspired by the life and writings of Flannery O’Connor,” the note reads. “When Flannery was six, she really did appear in the news because of a chicken she had trained to walk backwards.”
“The Radius of Us” — Marie Marquardt
This 304-page chapter book tackles on immigration for Georgia’s teenagers. The fictional stories are told through multiple first-person perspectives, according to Macmillan Publishers.
“The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet” — Carmen Agra Deedy
Georgia author Carmen Agra Deedy was born in Cuba and came to the U.S. as a refugee, according to Scholastic Publishers. Her picture book is about a rooster who fills his village with song despite the mayor’s outlaw on singing.