So I hereby give you Six Books that Make Me Happy:
1. I Love My New Toy! by Mo Willems. This book makes me happy because 1) It's a succinct and hilarious story of friendship, with an unexpected twist; 2) It's a book that I can wholeheartedly recommend to kids looking for *really* easy readers that they will genuinely enjoy; 3) The expressions on Gerald and Piggie's faces always crack me up; 4) It just won the Cybil Award in the first-ever Easy Reader Category, and I got to help choose it, and now that it's announced I can finally tell people! (Click here and/or here to see all the fabulous Cybils winners!)
2. Life as We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeiffer. I feel a bit weird putting this book on a "makes me happy" list, as it is a dystopic story of one family's increasing privation and misery after a cataclysmic worldwide disaster. But the truth is, I'm listening to it on CD in the car, and it is so gripping and the narrator's (literal and figurative) voice is so personable that I've been looking forward to getting into the car, even for otherwise dreary tasks like driving to work or to the airport. This also helps me stop procrastinating and get places on time, which makes everyone else in my life happy as well!
3. The Greengage Summer, by Rumer Godden. Have I ever blogged about this book? And if not, why not?? (Oh, wait, yes, I have.) Anyway. It's one of my very favorite coming-of-age stories ever, and one of the few that does justice to the messy, scary, complex process of coming into an understanding of adult sexuality. It's also a compelling and chilling mystery story, and a portrait of a family of kids as believable and varied and quirky as any you'll find in children's literature. Plus: set in the French countryside! What's not to like? One of those books I reach for over and over. I first came to it as an adult, but like A Tree Grows in Booklyn, another coming-of-age story, it's a good choice for sensitive, thoughtful teens, too.
Books # 4 through 6 coming soon...