03 January 2012

Nathan’s Top 10 (Plus 1) of 2011 pt. 1

Well, three days into the new year and I finally have put together my list of the Top 10 books that I felt were exceptional books this past year. Even though I’ve only listed 10 books, there were many, many great books that came out, and this is by no means a definitive list as to the be all end all, just my personal decisions. If you would like to find these books, please click on their images or better yet, check out your local library. These are in no particular order, so the numbering doesn’t mean much.

1. Pilot & Huxley: The First Adventure


Image Courtesy Graphix

Written and Illustrated by: Dan McGuiness

Graphix, 2011 $7.99

ISBN: 978-0-545-26504-1

This was originally my very first review, but due to operator error, it was obliterated from my hard drive (as well as the blog itself). Regardless, Pilot & Huxley is a blast.

When Pilot & Huxley are transported to an alternate dimension (completely ruining their day), they have to face off against aliens, trek through a swamp of bees, meet a monster who can turn into a girl, fight a sea monster and death himself! Now, if they can only survive all of this, and defeat the alien menace, they might be able to make it home in one piece. A total hoot to read, and aimed squarely at boys ages 8 – 12.

2. Knights of the Lunch Table: The Battling Bands


Image Courtesy of Graphix

Written and Illustrated by Frank Cammuso

Graphix, 2011 $10.99

ISBN: 978-0-439-90318-9

Somehow, this slipped through my review fingers, which I’m still kicking myself over. Cammuso has always had a talent for creating engaging, entertaining characters and tying them into classic stories. His latest offering, a send up of Arthurian legend is no different. The third book in his series finds Artie King and his friends having to participate in a battle of the bands to ensure that Mrs. Dagger doesn’t appropriate the annual band money. People familiar with the legends will appreciate the references to the Fisher King as well as the Lady of the Lake, and the subtle jab he takes at the ever-advancing march of technology. This is one of my all time picks (the series all together) and is one that you will really kick yourself for if you miss it. Fantastic stuff.

3. Sidekicks


Image courtesy Arthur A. Levine Books

Written and Illustrated by Dan Santat

Arthur A. Levine Books, 2011 $12.99

ISBN: 978-0-439-29819-3

Originally reviewed July 11, Sidekicks is the tale of a superhero and his (extremely loyal) pets. A fun, heart warming tale of believing in yourself and second chances, this is a fun read. Full review can be seen here.

4. Obama: The Election of America’s 44th President


Image courtesy Capstone Publishing

Written by Agnieska Biskup; Illustrated by Seitu Hayden

Capstone Publishing, 2011. $7.95

ISBN: 978-1-4296-7339-6

I originally reviewed this book during a time when I was not happy with the president. However, I put my personal feelings aside to review this book, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. Biskup stays as neutral as possible with this account of the President’s race to the White House. There are several other books in this series, including one on Sarah Palin, which was also handled very neutrally. While not a traditional choice for a story, these are excellent ways to introduce national figures to younger audiences. The full review can be seen here.


5. Princess Candy: Tales of a Sugar Hero


Image Courtesy Stone Arch Books

Written by Michael Dahl & Scott Nickel; Illustrated by Jeff Crowther

Stone Arch Books, 2011 $7.95

ISBN: 978-1-434-22801-7

A fun collection of previously published adventures details the adventures of Halo Nightly. On her birthday, she’s given a gift by her long lost Aunt Pandora – a chest full of candies. It turns out that when Halo eats a candy, she turns into Princess Candy, defender of kids rights! While the stories don’t really mesh together well, they’re still fun and enjoyable. Full review can be seen here.

Tomorrow night, I’ll cover the other books in the list. Until then, keep reading!

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