There were so many great books this year, but without a doubt,
my favorite Juvenile Fiction book of 2011 is:
by Catherynne M. Valente ( Feiwel and Friends)
(my reviews are linked to book titles)
"Tell me the rules," said September firmly. Her mother had taught her chess when she was quite small, and she felt that if she could remember which way knights ought to go, she could certainly remember Fairy rules."First, no iron of any kind is allowed. Customs is quite strict on this point. Any bullets, knives, maces, or jacks you might have on your person will be confiscated and smelted. Second, the practice of alchemy is forbidden to all except young ladies born on Tuesdays --""I was born on a Tuesday!""It is certainly possible that I knew that," the Green Wind said with a wink. "Third, aviary locomotion is permitted only by means of Leopard or licensed Ragwort Stalk. If you find yourself not in possession of one of these, kindly confine yourself to the ground. Fourth, all traffic travels widdershins. Fifth, rubbish takeaway occurs on second Fridays. Sixth, all changelings are required to wear identifying footwear. Seventh, and most important, you may in no fashion cross the borders of the Worsted Wood, or you will either perish most painfully or be forced to sit through a very tedious tea service with several spinster hamadryads. These laws are sacrosanct, except for visiting dignitaries and spriggans. Do you understand?
This is a rich, complex, and thoughtful story, yet it reads as a delightful and enchanting romp through a bizarre Fairyland, where we may be frightened, but not terrified, and joyously giddy, but on guard nonetheless. Don't wait for an invitation from the Green Wind. Read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making today.
... and barely missing out as my favorite are all of the following:
Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt (Clarion)
Wonderstruck by Brian Zelznick (Scholastic)
Horton Halfpott: Or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; or, The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset by Tom Angleberger (Amulet)
As usual, a very mixed bag.
Wishing everyone a peaceful and joyous holiday season.