Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Betsy Bird Project

Early in 2011, I embarked on a seekrit project. I thought it might be good to see if I could blog everything that legendary blogger Elizabeth Bird did. I got off to a spectacular start, but as the year picked up, it became harder and harder for me to acquire a lot of these books. The library budget being what it is, and non-availability of ARCs on some of these titles made it a real challenge. Normally, I don't have much overlap because obviously, she doesn't review YA (usually) and I do (it's the majority of what I review.) I'm glad I tried it, even though things kind of fell apart during the middle of the year. It inspired me to blog some great picture books. And I got out of my comfort zone and read some interesting, well-written middle-grade fiction. There are a number of books on the list that I read, but didn't review. I marked those with italics and an asterisk. 
  1. Perfect Square - Michael Hall
  2. Eliza’s Freedom Road: An Underground Railroad Diary - Jerdine Nolen
  3. Queen of the Falls - Chris Van Allsburg
  4. Manners Mash-Up: A Goofy Guide to Good Behavior - Tedd Arnold, et. al.
  5. Words in the Dust - Trend Reedy
  6. Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku - Lee Wardlaw, illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
  7. Fortune Cookies - A. Bitterman
  8. Season of Secrets - Sally Nicholls
  9. Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart - Candace Fleming
  10. Hot, Hot Rot for Dada-ji - F. Zia, illustrated by Ken Min
  11. Okay for Now - Gary D. Schmidt
  12. Zita the Spacegirl - Ben Hatke
  13. A Pet for Petunia - Paul Schmid
  14. Small Persons with Wings - Ellen Booraem
  15. Me... Jane - Patrick McDonnell*
  16. I Must Have Bobo! - Eileen Rosenthal
  17. Inside Out and Back Again - Thanhha Lai
  18. Cousins of Clouds: Elephant Poems - Tracie Vaughn Zimmer*
  19. Press Here - Herve Tullet
  20. The Penderwicks at Point Mouette - Jeanne Birdsall
  21. The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon - Carla Killough McClafferty
  22. Ice - Arthur Geisert
  23. Fly Trap - Frances Hardinge
  24. Vincent van Gogh and the Colors of the Wind - Chiara Lossani
  25. Blue Chicken - Deborah Freedman*
  26. Kat, Incorrigible - Stephanie Burgis
  27. Sidekicks - Dan Santat*
  28. My Side of the Car - Kate Feiffer, illustrated by Jules Feiffer*
  29. Dead End in Norvelt - Jack Gantos
  30. Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom - Sue Macy
  31. The Greedy Sparrow - Lucine Kasbarian, illustrated by Maria Zaikina*
  32. EllRay Jakes is Not a Chicken! - Sally Warner
  33. Lemonade: And Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word - Bob Raczka, illustrated by Nancy Doniger
  34. Chuckling Ducklings and Baby Animal Friends - Aaron Zenz*
  35. The Boy at the End of the World - Greg van Eekhout
  36. Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero - Marissa Moss, illustrated by John Hendrix
  37. I Want My Hat Back - Jon Klassen
  38. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Catherynne M. Valente
  39. Bad Island - Doug TenNapel
  40. Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? - Susan A. Shea, illustrated by Tom Slaughter
  41. The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tales - Chris Van Allsburg, et. al.
  42. Eat Your Math Homework: Recipes for Hungry Minds - Ann McCallum, illustrated by Leeza Hernandez
  43. Lola’s Fandango - Anna Witte, illustrated by Micha Archer
  44. Breadcrumbs - Anne Ursu
  45. Hidden - Helen Frost
  46. My Name Is Elizabeth - Annika Dunklee, illustrated by Matthew Forsythe*
  47. Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes - Jonathan Auxier
  48. The Incredible Life of Balto - Meghan McCarthy
  49. Orani: My Father’s Village - Claire A. Nivola
  50. Marty McGuire - Kate Messner, illustrated by Brian Floca
  51. Around the World - Matt Phelan
  52. The Book That Zack Wrote - Ethan Long
  53. Hound Dog True - Linda Urban
  54. Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean Desert - Marc Aronson
  55. The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred - Samantha R. Vamos, illustrated by Rafael Lopez
  56. The Chesire Cheese Cat - Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright
  57. A Little Bitty Man - Halfdan Rasmussen
  58. When Life Gives You O.J. - Erica S. Perl
  59. Hera - George O'Connor
  60. The No. 1 Car Spotter - Atinuke
  61. Lily Renee, Escape Artist - Trina Robbins
  62. The Unforgotten Coat - Frank Cottrell Boyce
  63. Never Forgotten - Patricia McKissack
  64. Jefferson's Sons - Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  65. Witches - Rosalyn Schanzer
  66. What Do You See? - Martine Perrin
  67. Wonderstruck - Brian Selznick
  68. Peaceful Pieces - Anna Grossnickle Hines
  69. Hopper and Wilson - Maria van Lieshout*
  70. Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading - Tommy Greenwald
  71. The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont - Victoria Griffith
  72. A Dog is a Dog - Stephen Shaskan
  73. Ghetto Cowboy - G. Neri
  74. The Meaning of Life and other Stuff - Jimmy Gownley
  75. Icefall - Matthew Kirby
  76. Nursery Rhyme Comics - Chris Duffy
  77. Little Chicken's Big Day - Katie Davis
  78. A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness
  79. Heart and Soul - Kadir Nelson
  80. What Animals Really Like - Fiona Robinson
  81. Dragon Castle - Joseph Bruchac
  82. Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina - Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
  83. Belle, the Last Mule at Gee's Bend - Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Bettye Stroud*
  84. The Romeo and Juliet Code - Phoebe Stone
  85. From Then to Now - Christopher Moore
  86. Everything Goes on Land - Brian Biggs
  87. The Trouble With May Amelia - Jennifer L. Holm
  88. Coral Reefs - Jason Chin
  89. Come to Bed, Red! - Jonathan Allen
  90. The Luck of the Buttons - Anne Ylvisaker
  91. Big City Otto: Elephants Never Forget - Bill Slavin
  92. The Princess and the Pig - Jonathan Emmett*
  93. Toys Come Home - Emily Jenkins
  94. Drawing from Memory - Allen Say
  95. A House in the Woods - Inga Moore


  1. I am part of the Comment Challenge and thought I would stop by to say "hi". Thank you for sharing your book list.

  2. Interesting challenge. You really did start off with a gusto. After surveying the list, I decided I didn't do nearly as well as you...reviewed 4 of the titles and read only 11! Tsk-tsk!

  3. What a fun idea! Betsy Bird writes the BEST reviews. That's probably why she actually gets paid to do so :) I never even thought of trying to read everything she reads!

  4. Haha, what a great idea! I love Betsy Bird's blog.

  5. @Russ - Thanks for stopping by!

    @Brimful - It was easy at first, but as the year wore on, and my budget dried up, it was harder and harder to get hold of a lot of those titles. I'm still glad I tried it though!

    @Katie & Katie - Doesn't she though? Sometimes her reviews feel a bit long and whimsical to me, but you can't deny the depth of knowledge or passion she has for kids lit, that's for sure!

  6. I have a "Betsy" file in my Recommended Reading folder.

    You set the bar really high for yourself, Madigan, which takes guts, and, honestly, I think you did well. Kudos!

  7. @Jen - That's a really good idea. I should start a "Betsy" tag on my Goodreads TBR list.

  8. Wow! that's a really cool project. I love projects, and I do enjoy Betsy's book reviews. She thinks of stuff that never even enters my mind when I'm reading the same book.



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