2019 in Review: Looking Back
Do you look back over your previous year and reflect? It’s a worthwhile exercise, and it’s also fun. Sometimes, we forget the small, beautiful moments in lieu of the bigger, more dramatic moments. Sometimes, we see the Lord at work in a different way in hindsight that we did in the moment.
As we look back over Redeemed Reader in 2019, a few things stand out: you, our readers, tell us over and over again how much you enjoy our book reviews. That is the number one reason that people come to Redeemed Reader.
At Redeemed Reader, we know that Christian parents and educators struggle to find quality new books. We’re reading ahead for you, so that you can confidently choose books for your children and teens.
But, your book review needs are often very specific: a picture book for your son who loves animals. A “clean read” for your teenaged girl who loves fantasy. A good book substitute for a required book in school that you think is inappropriate. A book to hook your reluctant reader.
Most Popular Posts of 2019
In contrast, our “most popular posts” reflect the overall needs that our readers have–those they have in common. Curious what these top posts reflect? Clearly, our readers love mysteries, want to grapple with literature and culture, love a good challenge, and love the Lord:
- #1: Our Mystery Book List (for 2 years running!)
- #2: Janie’s timely post on Josh Harris
- #3: Betsy’s take on how to handle Harry Potter
- #4: the 2020 Reading Challenge (it’s not too late–grab yours before January 31!)
- #5: Our family Advent devotional list (don’t hesitate to send us your recommendations during the year if we don’t have them on our list yet!)
Starred Reviews of 2019
These are the best of the best: books we think stand out both in literary/artistic excellence and in their worldview/relevance for Christians. This list is encouraging: there are still great books being published for children and teens. In case you missed these reviews the first time around, check them out!
Starred Picture Books
Interestingly, most of these are nonfiction/true stories or based on true stories.
- John Ronald’s Dragons: The Story of J. R. R. Tolkien by Caroline McAllister
- Finding Narnia: The Story of C. S. Lewis and His Brother by Caroline McAllister
- Nya’s Long Walk: A Step at a Time by Linda Sue Park
- Long Ago on a Silent Night by Julie Berry
- Sparky and Spike by Barbara Lowell
- O Captain, My Captain by Robert Burleigh (good for older kids/teens)
- Nine Months by Miranda Paul
- Mercy Watson books by Kate DiCamillo (picture book + chapter books)
- He is Risen: Rocks Tell the Story of Easter by Patti Rokus
- So Tall Within: Sojourner Truth’s Long Walk to Freedom by Gary Schmidt
Starred Middle Grades Books
Many of these work as family read alouds. If you’re hunting good reading for young teens, give this list a look, too!
- Unwrapping the Names of Jesus by Asheritah Ciuciu (family devotional; good for middle grades and up)
- Her Own Two Feet by Meredith Davis (middle grades and up)
- The Light Princess by George MacDonald (the new Rabbit Room edition)
- Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
- Bolivar by Sean Rubin (graphic novel)
- The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue by Karina Yan Glaser
- Super Jake and the King of Chaos by Naomi Milliner
- Urchin of the Riding Stars (Mistmantle #1) by M. I. McAllister
- Time Sight by Lynne Jonell
- By the Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleischman
- Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary Schmidt
- Into the Jungle by Katherine Rundell (good for younger kids, too!)
- Astrid the Unstoppable by Maria Parr
Starred Teen (and up) Books
- Land of Hope by Wilfred McClay
- The Iliad: a Graphic Novel by Gareth Hinds
- Lovely War by Julie Berry
- Forward Me Back to You by Mitali Perkins
- The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt (also for upper middle grades)
- Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins
- You Who? by Rachel Jankovic
- The Promise of Change by JoAnn Boyce
- Monster Blood Tattoo Trilogy by D. M. Cornish (also for upper middle grades)
- Broken Pieces and the God Who Mends Them by Simonetta Carr
- The Young Man’s Guide to Awesomeness by Barrett Johnson
- What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper