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Best Book Ever

Nov 28, 2022

It’s time for my favorite episode of the year – our Annual Kids/YA Gift Giving Guide. I asked a group of young people, ages 8-19, to tell me about their favorite book. As always, their answers were as smart, funny, interesting, and diverse as the kids themselves. I love talking to young people about books, and even if you don’t have any young people to buy for this year, I know you’re going to love hearing these interesting people tell me about their favorite books.


A note: as always, the interviews go in age order, and the older kids talk about books with some very mature themes.


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Host: Julie Strauss



Discussed in this episode:


Hope, Age 8

Mysteries in Our National Park: Cliff-Hanger: A Mystery in Mesa Verde National Park by Gloria Skurzynski and Alane Ferguson

(This is part of a 12-book series all set in national parks across the United States.)

The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne

(Both Hope and her twin sister Mackenzie talked to me about multiple Magic Tree House books in last year’s episode)


Henry, Age 8

Wayside School is Falling Down by Louis Sachar

Holes by Louis Sachar

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger by Louis Sachar

Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom by Louis Sachar


Supernatural Bear, Age 10

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey


Dante, Age 10

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Ivan movie

The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Ruby by Katherine Applegate

Odder by Katherine Applegate

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Percy Jackson and the Olympians (series on Disney+)


Dorian, Age 10

Spy School Project X by Stuart Gibbs

Spy School Secret Service by Stuart Gibbs

Spy School Revolution by Stuart Gibbs

The Fun Jungle Collection by Stuart Gibbs


Kate, Age 12

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

The Storyteller’s Death: A Novel by Ann Dávila Cardinal


Jack, Age 14

Maus by Art Spiegelman


Joey, Age 15

The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way and Gabreil Bá

The Umbrella Academy on Netflix

Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang

Paper Girls Series on Amazon Prime

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Terminator Genisys movie

The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History by David F. Walker and Marcus Kwame Anderson

Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe


Erin, Age 19

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Thrillers by the Book Club Pod

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane



(Note: Some of the above links are affiliate links. If you shop using my affiliate link on Bookshop, a portion of your purchase will go to me, at no extra expense to you. Thank you for supporting indie bookstores and for helping to keep the Best Book Ever Podcast in business!)