Monday, January 13, 2020

TTT: Great Books With Few Reviews

 TTT (Top Ten Tuesday) is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl .  If you want to quadruple the size of your TBR AND find a bunch of great book blogs to follow head on over and check it out!

The topic this week is: most anticipated books of early 2020. But I'm still in a review and reflect mode, so instead I'm bringing you Ten Books I Really Liked Last Year That Have Under a Thousand Reviews on Goodreads.  Not as catchy, but equally important, right? These are the books that got a 4 or 5 star rating from me in 2019, as found when I organize my "Read" shelf on Goodreads in reverse order of number of ratings.  I didn't bother listing those I'd already listed in previous Best Of lists this month, so I could feature some new titles. 

1. Dodger Boy 40 ratings
I would be more surprised that this sweet MG novel about a Canadian tween and the American draft dodger she befriends hasn't gotten more love, but it has a cover that looks like a kid drew it in crayon because their teacher made them. 
Dodger Boy

2. One Lie Too Many . 48 ratings
This solid teen thriller is about a girl who agrees to pretend to have psychic powers in order to "rescue" a girl who has been "kidnapped." Then people start to die. Great for fans of Karen McManus and Justine Larbalestier.

One Lie Too Many

3. Facing Frederick: The Life of Frederick Douglass, a Monumental American Man  157 ratings
I read this for Cybils judging last year, and was very impressed (and educated) by this biography. 

Facing Frederick: The Life of Frederick Douglass, a Monumental American Man

4. Oddity 208 ratings
My classroom was matched with author Sarah Cannon through #KidsNeedBooks. It seemed only polite to read her book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Think Night Vale for middle grade readers. 

5. Barely Missing Everything 311 ratings
This is a tough YA #ownvoices story about a kid named Juan who's trying to make it through high school and out of his small town Texas life.
Barely Missing Everything

6. Run, Hide, Fight Back 324 ratings
April Henry is a mainstay in my classroom. Kids love her books. She's a local author and a friendly presence on Twitter, her books are quick reads, so I've read pretty much all of them. This one, the story of a group of disparate teens thrown together when a shopping mall is attacked by (domestic) terrorists, is second only to her Girl Stolen in my mind.
Run, Hide, Fight Back

7. Scary Stories for Young Foxes 346 ratings
I adored this creepy yet whimsical story-within-a-story. When Mother Fox cautions her kits that they are far too young to listen to the Old Fox in the cave tell her scary stories, of course they dash off when she's not looking to listen. The stories gradually come together into one overarching story. The foxes make very sympathetic characters, and the dangers they face are pretty intense.

Scary Stories for Young Foxes

8. Grand Theft Horse 424 reviews
A fascinating, nonfiction graphic novel about a woman in LA, the author/illustrator's cousin, who stole a horse in order to save its life.

Grand Theft Horse

9. Spin 458 ratings
This is another one where I just don't understand why it has so few ratings. Lamar Giles is great, and the world definitely needs more #ownvoices books that aren't "struggle books." This is a straight up excellent mystery, and while it matters that the characters are black, it isn't about that. It makes great use of the "enemies forced to work together" trope too.

10. Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens 640 ratings
This is a truly excellent anthology that covers a range of genres and styles as well as a wide range of disabilities. It also has a super cool cover.

Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens


  1. SPIN only has 450 reviews? Well, I am one of them. I thought it was pretty good. I also like Facing Frederick from Cybils last year. I'm off the board this week with my favorites of the decade

  2. Ooh One Lie Too Many sounds awesome. I'm a big McManus fan so yeah.

    April Henry is a YA author I was gonna try but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Maybe this year!

  3. It sucks when awesome books get awful covers. I think that’s the case with a few of these. Thanks for sharing them! I met Lamar Giles a few times because he was a guest lecturer at my grad school. I like his books too. They need more hype.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  4. I really want to read Oddity and Scary Stories for Young Foxes. I've been interested in them since I first saw them. I'm scared about the Night Vale comparison though - I didn't like that book at all!

  5. It's so sad when some of the best books have the fewest reviews. Thanks for spotlighting these!

  6. I am surprised to see a few of these - Spin and Barely Missing Everything, on this list. Those two got a LOT of great buzz. I know Spin was released later in the year, not sure about the other book, but that could account for part of the why the ratings are low. I remember seeing a lot of good things about Oddity when it came out too. It's a shame when gems are ignored.

  7. I agree with you that this topic is way more important! Also I am SHOCKED to see some of these on here! Like April Henry?! Marieke Nijkamp? Lamar Giles?! These seem rude! Oddity looks adorable, and I am in love with the Foxes cover!! So glad you shared these!!

  8. I always love posts like these! I agree that putting the spotlight on books that deserve more love is always a good thing. I'm definitely going to be checking these out---especially Foxes, Oddity and One Lie!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


Please share your thoughts. Comments are almost as sweet as chocolate!