Best of 2006

Staff Favorites

Bestsellers of 2006

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The Best in Fiction

The Most Extraordinary Stories

On the Dark Side

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Tales of Food, Love, and Life

Tackling the Big Questions

The Top Eye-Candy

For Kids & Teens
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The Best of 2006: Staff Favorites

For Kids & Teens

Book Cover Image. Title: Mommy?, Author: Maurice  Sendak

Pop Up Book
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Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak and Matthew Reinhart have created this pop-up tour-de-force that follows a brave little boy as he wanders through a monster-filled house, searching for his Mommy. From Frankenstein to the Wolf Man, the extraordinary 3-D creatures try their best to scare the smiling tyke, but he marches on, mischievously moving past each one. Featuring few written words, this charmer combines Sendak's distinctive illustrations with Reinhart's ingenious paper engineering and abounds with charming humor, stunning artwork, and plenty of not-too-frightening fun. This is one delightful book that will sit well with kids of all ages.

Book Cover Image. Title: Is There Really a Human Race?, Author: Jamie Lee Curtis

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Is There Really a Human Race?
Jamie Lee Curtis

From Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell -- the bestselling duo who created Today I Feel Silly and It's Hard to Be Five -- comes this exuberant picture book that offers a refreshing exploration of the difference between the more literal meaning of running a race and that metaphorical footrace adults know as life. Filled with lyrical, rhyming prose and colorful, whimsical illustrations, this highly-positive tale reassures kids that in life's human "race," it's more important to have fun than to finish first.

Book Cover Image. Title: Blue Burt and Wiggles, Author: Derek  Anderson

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Blue Burt and Wiggles
Derek Anderson

Little Quack illustrator Derek Anderson sheds happy light on the meaning of friendship with this perfect picture book about two unlikely best friends - a bluebird and a worm. When it's time for Blue Burt to fly south for the winter, both he and Wiggles feel down because one half of the duo must stay behind. But when both come up with a plan to make summer last forever, Blue Burt and Wiggles cement their friendship -- and leave readers feeling warm inside. With Anderson's winning artwork, smart storyline, and on-target characters, kids will cheer over these two new buddies and will be hungry for more.

Book Cover Image. Title: G Is for One Gzonk!: An Alpha-number-bet Book, Author: Tony  DiTerlizzi

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G Is for One Gzonk!
An Alpha-number-bet Book
Tony DiTerlizzi

Tony DiTerlizzi, the Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator of The Spiderwick Chronicles, stirs up some Seussian silliness in this top-notch, inspired picture book filled with fanciful and fantastic creatures. While educating kids about letters and numbers, DiTerlizzi delivers a whirlwind tour of critters that come in all forms, including the barbell-lifting "Mighty Mee-yighty," the "Pink Peepee-Weepkins" who "sleeps soundly on the loo," and the "Evil Eeog" with "hateful horrid breath." With unbridled energy and an artful style that's head and shoulders above other picture books, this "alpha-number-bet" read is one not to miss.

Book Cover Image. Title: Follow the Line, Author: Laura  Ljungkvist

Our Price: $16.99

Follow the Line
Laura Ljungkvist

With this entertaining picture book for curious kids and grown-ups alike, Laura Ljungkvist has created a striking piece of artwork and a can't-miss addition to any bookshelf. Using one long line that begins and ends on the book's covers - and which composes the illustrations throughout the book -- Ljungkvist challenges readers to "follow the line" while spotting shapes and objects in various scenes. Ljungkvist's artwork is original and sophisticated yet still warmly accessible, and this picture book won't fail to deliver simple pleasure with a dynamic punch.

Book Cover Image. Title: Wolves, Author: Emily  Gravett

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Emily Gravett

This imaginative, cleverly-illustrated picture book follows a rabbit who goes to his local "burrowing" library to check out a book on wolves. As he immerses himself in the book, he fails to notice that the characters have actually come alive. Wolves follow the bunny everywhere until, in a final moment of jeopardy, readers see only the book that our hero was reading, slashed to bits. Filled with factual information about wolves, lots of sly humor, a reassuring alternate ending, and expressive, mixed-media art, this book delivers on many levels -- and will appeal to all kinds of kids.

Book Cover Image. Title: The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #2), Author: Rick  Riordan

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The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #2)
Rick Riordan

The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan's amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a "half blood" whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan's series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment. In 2006's episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book's drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.

Book Cover Image. Title: The Book Thief, Author: Markus  Zusak

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The Book Thief
Markus Zusak

Printz Honor winner Markus Zusak delivers this extraordinary Holocaust tale about the transformative power of words. Death himself narrates this powerful story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living in Nazi Germany who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing books. With the help of her foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau. This haunting novel is a true testament to the power of reading to salvage life itself from ruin.

Book Cover Image. Title: The Candy Darlings, Author: Christine  Walde

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The Candy Darlings
Christine Walde

The Brothers Grimm meet Mean Girls in this edgy debut novel about two candy-obsessed high school girls who join forces to combat a powerful clique of teens at their private school. In this darkly lyrical, sensual, and suspenseful tale, the two outcasts ward off grief, loneliness, and the cruelty of their tormenters by consuming vast quantities of sweets, while one girl spins twisted, disturbing stories to help them cope with the stresses in their lives. This beguiling novel is a truly original confection: a celebration of friendship, story, and the power of each to help define yourself -- or simply survive.

Book Cover Image. Title: King Dork, Author: Frank  Portman

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King Dork
Frank Portman

In this teen novel that garnered much acclaim in 2006 - and is worth every ounce of praise - Frank Portman introduces a down-and-out high schooler whose discovery of The Catcher in the Rye leads to him unlocking conspiracies surrounding his father's death - and attracting girls at the same time. With a smart voice and storyline that will keep you reading until the wee hours, Portman's debut taps into the author's punk-rock background to produce a memorable protagonist with the sarcastic wit and sex-on-the-brain attitude that will strike plenty of chords in mature teen readers.