2013 Favorites File

In 2013, I read about 350 books! That count includes many picture books but also middle grade chapter books and even a handful of books for adults and young adults. I attempt here to highlight around 20 of my favorites published in 2013 (or 2012!), though I feel I left many excellent books behind. Click any of the images to head over to Goodreads for plot summaries. I also throw in a few other favorite reading moments from the year, including my favorite Newbery and Caldecott books. 

What were some of your favorite reads in 2013? Do share!

Favorite Picture Books

A sweet tale for lovers of big cities, dream followers and romantics at heart.


I loved this animal reference book so much I gifted it twice this holiday season.


A touching tale of family and memories.


Inventive and just silly good fun.


A kid-friendly Einstein biography which beautifully captures his spirit.


Magical and imaginative.


A testament to never ceasing wonder and collaboration.


Creepy and delightful.


Favorites for Middle Grades

Holly Goldberg Sloan reminds me of humanity’s capacity for goodness + resilience.


An exciting kid-centered medical thriller.


A magical story of good fighting evil, but it is Oscar you’ll remember.


Wacky but in a delightful way.


Smart and sassy girl detectives provide for a page turning read.


One to make you think about how your actions affect others, but doused with lots of humor, too.


A slightly creepy adventure and coming of age story.


A Judy Blume-style story for today’s tweens.


I loved it so much that I read it and then did it as a read aloud with my kids.


Favorite Nonfiction for Middle School and up

A stunning testament to the horrors of war, but also to those who survived it’s very darkest elements. 


Non-fiction that reads like a spy novel.


Favorite Young Adult

An 1980s love story for those who think they couldn’t possibly like love stories.


Other Favorites

Best “How’d I Miss That?” Book



Sequels That Delivered


Favorite Newbery I Read in 2013. Hard to pick as I read a lot of dud Newbery books, but this was the closest to a favorite.


Favorite Caldecott I Read in 2013 — a 2013 Caldecott Honor.


10 comments on “2013 Favorites File

  1. Niki Barnes says:

    Great list! I listened to the audio book of Bomb and found it so interesting and terrifying at the same time!

  2. Lorna says:

    @Niki–what a great way to check out BOMB. So suspenseful, even when you know the ultimate outcome!

  3. We share a lot of favorites!

  4. Lorna says:

    Yes, I noticed that, too, Maria! Your lists have been great to check out.

  5. carriegelson says:

    Love this list and your comments Lorna. And many of these are also my favourites! I have Twerp as a favourite on Goodreads from 2013. Quite the powerful story! I’m excited to read Wake up Missing! Messner is such a great writer. Love that Herman and Rosie is loved here too! Happy New Year!

  6. shannonjoe says:

    Love this post!! I bought BOMB a couple of months ago from Scholastic, but haven’t read it yet. Need to move it up on my list. 🙂


  7. Niki Barnes says:

    I think the audio was the only way for me to “read” that book. Nonfiction is hard for me. But I loved the audio!

  8. Lorna says:

    Carrie–I love that we have so many favorites and TBRs in common. Wake Up Missing is super exciting!

  9. Lorna says:

    @Shannon–I bet you enjoy BOMB a lot. So fascinating!

  10. shannonjoe says:

    Thanks, Lorna, I guess I need to move it up on my TBR list!

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