June 2016 Stars Update

We’re halfway through the calendar year – although really that’s more than halfway through the review year (I saw a review this month for a book publishing in November – yikes!). So let’s take a moment to compare this year to previous years also know as: here’s a fun graph!ReviewsbyYearGraphJune2016
It’s really too early to posit anything about the year based on these numbers – it looks like it’s shaping up just about the same as last year? Maybe the numbers for the 5 and 6 starred review counts will be slightly lower, but 3 and 4 starred reviews look to be slightly over half the numbers as last year which makes sense given where we are in the year. What we can see is that, in general, the number of multi-starred titles has increased since 2011. Of course now I’m greedy for data like how many total reviews, both starred and unstarred, have been published by each journal – just think of the ratios that could be figured with that! Maybe someday…..In the meantime, here’s the lists for June.

Moving up to six starred reviews is Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Yuyi Morales!


Stats for the year so far(ETA: Thanks to Matt Bowers who caught in the comments that I had not correctly noted As Brave As You with 3 stars – I apparently entered the SLJ review but didn’t group it with the others – numbers have been updated to account for this and the title itself added to the 3-star list):

  • 1098 stars have been awarded to 689 books.
  • 3 books have 6 stars, 5 books have 5 stars, 29 books have 4 stars, 67 books have 3 stars, 153 books have 2 stars, 432 books have 1 star
  • Breakdown of the 1098 stars by journal: Booklist 227; Bulletin 43; Horn Book 27; Kirkus 338; PW 268; SLJ 195.
  • Weird fact of the month: Horn Book has no unique titles starred at the moment – everything they’ve given a star has also been recognized by someone else.

5 starred reviews – 5 titles; Frank and Lucky Get Schooled is new to the 5 starred reviews list:

4 starred reviews – 29 titles; The Airport Book; Character, Driven; School’s First Day of School;  and The Storyteller (by Evan Turk – there’s two books with this title this year!) are new to the 4 starred reviews list:

olinguitoairportbookbestfrints bittersideofsweet booked burnbabyburncharacterdriven exitpursuedbyabearfreedomincongosquaregoldenboys ihearapickle ideasareallaround memoryoflight pax ravenkingsamurairisingschoolsfirstdayofschool snappsythealligator sophiequireandthelaststoryguardstorytellersummerdaysandnightstangleofgold tribeofkidsunbecoming wearetheants whengreenbecomestomatoes Groundwood Logos Spine wildrobotwolfhollow

3 starred reviews – 67 titles – new books are in bold:
American Girls by Alison Umminger
Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
Anything But Ordinary Addie by Mara Rockliff
Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat
As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds
Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann
Bubonic Panic by Gail Jarrow
The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox
Cloth Lullaby by Amy Novesky
Cricket Song by Anne Hunter
Dara Palmer’s Major Drama by Emma Shevah
Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling by Tony Cliff
The Door By the Staircase by Katherine Marsh
Draw the Line by Laurent Linn
Emma and Julia Love Ballet by Barbara McClintock
Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti
Flannery by Lisa Moore
Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle
Free Verse by Sarah Dooley
Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
The Great White Shark Scientist by Sy Montgomery
Grumpy Pants by Claire Messer
Half Lost by Sally Green
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
Horrible Bear! by Ame Dyckman
Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar
I Am Pan! by Mordicai Gerstein
Lion Lessons by Jon Agee
Lucky Strikes by Louis Bayard

Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee
The Memory Book by Lara Avery
Miss Mary Reporting by Sue Macy
The Most Important Thing by Avi
Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson
My Name Is Not Friday by Jon Walter
The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos
The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks
The Night Gardener by Terry and Eric Fan
Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke
On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom
Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff
Prairie Dog Song by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore
The Reader by Traci Chee
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
The Secret Subway by Shana Corey
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Spot, the Cat by Henry Cole
Steamboat School by Deborah Hopkinson
The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters
Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley
The Storyteller by Aaron Starmer
Swap! by Steve Light
Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach
Their Great Gift by John Coy
This Is Not a Picture Book by Sergio Ruzzier
Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley
The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas
Waiting for High Tide by Nikki McClure
When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad
When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes
When We Was Fierce by E.E. Charlton-Trujillo
The Wolf’s Boy by Susan Williams Beckhorn

You Never Heard of Casey Stengel?! by Jonah Winter

For complete information on any of these titles check out the spreadsheet. Happy reading!


10 thoughts on “June 2016 Stars Update

    1. I feel the same way, Anne about needing to get reading – so of course immediately started a backlist Nora Roberts romance novel! I did hear fantastic things about The Reader at ALA and When We Was Fierce looks great, too! But then again I just saw someone post great things about The Memory Book on Litsy. So many books, so little time!


  1. Thank you for your lists! I’ve been using them in a variety of ways. I noticed one omission: “As Brave as You” by Jason Reynolds received a star in SLJ’s June issue. This currently gives it 3 stars (Kirkus & Booklist being listed in your Excel doc). I Horn Book has given it a star in its July/August issue. This title has definitely moved up on my “to be read” list.


    1. Hi Matt! Thanks so much for catching this – when I went to look, I had apparently recorded the SLJ star for As Brave As You, but not grouped it with the other reviews. I will be updating the post to account for that. Thanks again – I am also looking forward to this one!


  2. I am reading Steeplejack by Hartley right now and really enjoying it. I looked on Titlewave and noticed it has four starred reviews there instead of the three you listed (Booklist, Kirkus, PW, SLJ). Please check your sources to see if that one (SLJ) also needs to be added to your list. Thanks.


  3. Jen, I’ve just stumbled across your Booksheets for the first time. What an incredible resource!!!! Thank you for all you work. I’m bookmarking this site with my favorites and am heading to the library to grab all of the highly starred books that I’ve missed! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Anne! I am so honored to be included in your list! I’ll have to see if I can fit a Happiness Post in sometime in August – first I have some catchup to do for June and July.


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