Some favourite reads of 2022 …

I’ve read over 100 children’s books this year and – just wow! – the standard of writing is just incredible! I genuinely feel completely in awe of these brilliantly talented writers who are opening up such a world of wonder and delight for all readers. As a primary school teacher, I absolutely love being able to recommend books to my class and to be part of their reading journey. Whilst I have chosen 12 favourite books I’ve read and reviewed this year, I could easily have chosen so, so many more! And, of course, there’s the many, many books that I’ve bought that are patiently waiting for me to read them – and I will! Thank you to all the wonderful authors who have taken me on the most incredible reading adventures this year …

I’ve included the opening to my review in each of my choices with a link to my full review.

Nisha’s War:  a stunning, hauntingly atmospheric wartime adventure which swept me into a ghostly tale of loss, forgiveness and hope; a powerful depiction of the trauma caused by war and of healing within a family.

Hedgewitch: a gorgeously bewitching adventure that completely enthralled me:  an adventure brimming with witchy delights, Faerie tricks and nature-inspired magic.

Yesterday Crumb and the Storm in a Teacup: a magical, sparkling gem of an adventure that kept me enthralled throughout:   gorgeously heart-warming, wonderfully whimsical and completely captivating. 

The Secret of the Treasure Keepers: a brilliantly absorbing, intriguing historical adventure which builds a sense of mystery so masterfully that I absolutely had to keep reading.  This is not only a gripping mystery, it is also a window into the past, and into the lives of characters who feel so real that it was a privilege to follow their story. 

Firesong: oh my goodness, what an epic adventure this is! Yes – it is gripping, exciting and action-packed, but it is also poignant and heart-warming:  an adventure which makes your heart both race and sing.  Absolute perfection!

My Friend the Octopus: an utterly gripping Victorian mystery with the most heart-warming bond between a young girl and her octopus friend at its core.

Small!: BIG on hilarity, heart and hope – with a good dollop of yuckiness, smelliness and zaniness.  A tasty treat of an adventure which delighted me, grossed me out ever so slightly and left me with a giant grin! 

Orla and the Wild Hunt: absolutely sang to my heart, and will undoubtedly be one of my favourite books of the year, transporting me back to my Irish childhood when I devoured books with Irish folklore, but with a fresh twist that made this an unputdownable, magical read. 

The Extraordinary Voyage of Katy Willacott: a truly incredible adventure brimming with discovery, danger and daring:  a story which captured me completely as I was swept into an unforgettable journey by the most remarkable young girl as she fights against society’s expectations and chases fallen stars …

The Treekeepers: a breath-takingly stunning, epic fantasy quest that enthralled me from the opening lines.  I read this masterpiece whilst sitting in the garden over a day:  living in the magic of the storytelling, drawn into the incredible landscapes of Skyra, and with my heart completely captured by the quest undertaken by a courageous band of friends, intent on saving their world from a terrible threat …  

Operation Nativity: the PERFECT Christmas adventure brimming with heart and humour, with family and friendship and with the magic of Christmas.  I am a huge fan of Jenny’s books and have devoured and loved them all, but I have to admit that this one is my favourite. 

The Chestnut Roaster: an unforgettable, mesmerising historical fantasy which swept me into late 19th century Paris and into a gripping, dangerous and exciting adventure that completely captivated me.

Have you read any of these? What have been some of your favourite books this year? What have I missed that you would recommend I read next year?

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