Librarian’s Best Books in 2021

February is National Reading Month and I bring you my annual Librarian’s best books. Since my sister is the librarian and she has a book blog, I am having her join you as our guest blogger. This is a compilation of her best adult books and middle-grade books.  Librarian’s Best Books in 2021. 

March 2nd is Read Across America Day. READ, READ, and Keep Reading.

 My sister reads and reads, so check out her lists for 2021. This is her blog used with permission from website.  See the link for other blogs you may find interesting. 

Written by: Guest Blogger and School Librarian, Diane Ylineimi,
Best Books in 2021
Librarian's Best Books in 2021

Bookshelf and Ratings

This is my bookshelf of favorite books in 2021 in no particular order.  I read 105 books this year and my goal was 100. Of course, at least 50% of the books I read are middle grade and therefore I can read them much faster.

Overall, I had a good reading year and most of the books I read were 3, 4, or 5-star books.  I had a handful of 2 and 1-star books.  Typically, I do not finish books if I don’t like them and therefore, they never get a star rating.  

I don’t have a #1 favorite book to name this year.  Taking a look at my list, I just can’t pick out one and so I will just leave it at that. These are the titles that I have most recommended others to read or I have just lent out.  

The Bible in 90 Days

I did participate in The Bible in 90 Days reading this year and I was happy to be able to start and finish it in 90 days. You read about 30 minutes a day from the Bible from Genesis through Revelation in 90 days. What a great accomplishment.  I will have to do this again. I used the You Bible App for reading and pacing. I liked changing the version and sometimes even listened to the day’s reading portion. 

Good Reads, Book of the Month, and Scribd

I also enjoyed keeping track of my books on Good Reads this year.  I have a handful of friends who also track their reading this way and it was so fun to see what they were reading over the year.  You can find me on Good Reads by my name, Diane Yliniemi. Try it out!

I am going to keep my Book of the Month this year too.  I enjoy this subscription book service. I picked three books for January since I anticipate lots of reading around a cozy fire during the cold winter months. 

Scribd is another new service I now subscribe to.  It has audio and eBooks that I can listen to or read. It is like Netflix for books!  This was so good when I was traveling this summer because there were so many audiobooks to choose from.  It also has so many middle-grade books and that is a bonus for keeping up with reading books for school. 

Librarian's Best Books in 2021
Librarian’s Book Shelf

Librarian’s 2021 Best Book List

Here is my list. If I have written a review, I have linked the books in blue. Otherwise, I have a summary. 

  1. The Story of Arthur Truluv, Night of Miracles, The Confession Club
  2. Big Lies in a Small Town -Two timelines of 1940 and 2018 tell the story and mystery of a post office mural that was created and then later restored.
  3. The Kitchen Front
  4. If I Were You, and The Wishbook Christmas– The first story, If I Were You, is about two girlfriends who served in England during the blitz in London during WWII. One if from the working class and one is from nobility but the war evens the social classes. One of the women ends up pretending to be the other to survive after the war. 
  5. The Wishbook Christmas is a novella follow-up about the women and their families after the war.  
  6. The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh
  7. The Midnight Library
  8. The Four Winds
  9. The Last Thing He Told Me

23 Books {A Bottomless Book Bag}: Best Books I Read in 2021

Librarian’s Best Middle-Grade Books in 2021

Best middle Grade
Librarian’s middle grade best books

Many Favorites

I had a lot of favorite middle-grade reads this year.  Let me tell you briefly about them in this post. If I have a more detailed blog post, I will link it as well on the image. These books are in no particular order because I just couldn’t rank them any further!  However, I will start with my favorite and number one middle-grade read for 2021!

Librarian's Best Books in 2021

Favorite Book for Middle Grades

The Lion of Mars- I loved imagining this colony of adults and kids on Mars as they pioneer a new life together.  This science-fiction book is very accessible for the middle-grade reader and is more realistic than fantasy.  I hope there is a sequel! 

Librarian's Best Books in 2021

Genesis Begins Again– This book moved me! I cried, laughed, and identified with Genesis as she struggles with her identity and her appearance.


Count Me In– Karina’s grandfather is attacked by a racist and she uses social media to bring the community together. 

Librarian's Best Books in 2021

Popper Penguin Rescue- The publisher asked this author to write a follow-up book and he nailed it! The penguins are well taken care of when two kids find penguin eggs and make sure they hatch! Mom intervenes to help them find a good home for the penguins. This book is funny and heartwarming.

voyager Book

The littlest Voyageur- This is such a fun way to learn about Minnesota and Canadian voyageur history. The main character is a red squirrel who goes along on the voyageur’s journey. 


Becoming Muhammad Ali– The dream team of James Patterson, and Kwame Alexander have created a wonderful biography/memoir about Muhammad Ali’s youth. 


Efren Divided- Efren’s mother is deported back to Mexico and it leaves him and his father to take care of the younger kids as well as figure out how to get her back to the family. 


The Comeback- Find out what life is like for a figure skater who is hoping to be in the Olympics someday. 

epic year

Epic Year- Ahmed’s family moves to Minnesota for their father’s medical care. He is trying to fit into a new middle school and deal with family issues too. 

Bear Island

The last Bear– April and her father are living on an arctic island called Bear Island while her father does climate research. She becomes friends with a polar bear that lives on the island. 


The Great Peach Experiment- The Peach family is going on the road with a food truck one summer to heal and come back together as a family unit after the death of their mother. 


The Elephant in the Room- Sila makes friends with an elderly man and a classmate and together they work to save and take care of a circus elephant. 


StarFish- Ellie is bullied for her weight by kids and school and even her mother and brother at home. Her father connects her with a therapist to help her cope with these difficult relationships. 

Thank you to my Guest blogger, Diane Yliniemi. Please see more book reviews at her blog.

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