We asked our reviewers to offer their five favorite titles of 2018 in a number of categories. While a few needed more than five, our gracious reviewers offer up some wonderful lists of great books, movies, music, and more. You can follow links to either the Banner review where available or more information on the title. Here are the lists:
From Francene Lewis, head of Collection Department Management at Hekman Library, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Mich.
For middle-schoolers (and up) from 2018
- Hilda and the Hidden People created by Luke Pearson (Netflix graphic novel adaptation; Flying Eye Books)
- The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by John Hendrix (Graphic novel, Amulet Books)
- The Girl with the Dragon Heart by Stephanie Burgis (Fantasy novel, Bloomsbury Children)
- Love to Everyone by Hilary McKay (Historical novel, Margaret K. McElderry Books)
- Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi (Fantasy novel, Rick Riordan Presents)
From Kristy Quist of Grand Rapids, Mich., Mixed Media Editor for The Banner.
- Educated by Tara Westover (Memoir; Random House). Tara Westover was brought up by Mormon survivalists; with no real education, she decides to go to college.
- I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown (Nonfiction; Convergent)
- After the Shot Drops by Randy Ribay (Young adult fiction; HMH). A star teen basketball player is recruited to a private school and is suddenly on shifting ground with old and new friends.
- Tie: The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantú (Nonfiction; Riverhead) and Blood Lines: The True Story of a Drug Cartel, the FBI, and the Battle for a Horse-Racing Dynasty by Melissa del Bosque (Nonfiction; Ecco). These two books have given me a much broader understanding of the complexities and challenges of the U.S./Mexico border.
- Southernmost by Silas House (Fiction; Algonquin). An Appalachian pastor faces a crisis of faith when his church forces him out for refusing to condemn a gay couple who begins attending.
From Jim Romahn, a freelance journalist in Kitchener, Ont., where he belongs to Community Christian Reformed Church.
- Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny (Mystery; Minotaur Books). The latest in her series of murder mysteries featuring Armand Gamache of the Quebec, Canada, homicide police force.
- House of Trump; House of Putin by Craig Unger (Nonfiction; Dutton). Tells how both have connections to major crime figures.
- Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eben Alexander (Nonfiction; Simon & Schuster). A neurosurgeon who experienced death and revival.
- Warlike Christians in an Age of Violence by Nick Megoran (Nonfiction; Cascade). A compelling argument for Christian pacifism.
- Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (Fiction; Alfred A. Knopf). A wonderfully well-crafted tale of intrigue and espionage.
From Sonya VanderVeen Feddema, a freelance writer and a member of Covenant CRC in St. Catharines, Ontario.
- The Gospel of Trees: A Memoir by Apricot Irving (Memoir; Simon & Schuster)
- The Field by author Baptiste Paul and illustrator Jacqueline Alcántara (Picture Book; NorthSouth Books)
- Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (Novel; Knopf)
- Flamingo Boy by Michael Morpurgo (Juvenile Fiction; HarperCollins)
- Louisiana's Way Home by Kate DiCamillo (Juvenile Fiction; Candlewick)