The First Tuesday Children’s Book Group held its final meeting today for this, its first, year. Over the year we’ve looked at a wide variety of books: current and classic; commercial and literary, popular and obscure.

Without fail, the books have generated lively discussion. Some won over the majority, others polarised the group, with no fence sitters! We looked at poetry, verse novels, gritty realism and fantasy.

Next year we’ll continue much as this year except that at each meeting we’ll look at a picture book, a junior fiction and a YA fiction title. We have identified themes in choosing these books and will look at the way the same theme is tackled at different age levels.

From a personal point of view, I’ve read books I would never have looked at otherwise. Some I’ve loved, others I’ve loved less. But always it’s been fascinating to talk about what makes these books work for some and not work for others.

Highlights in 2010 books for me:

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Willie the Wimp by Anthony Brown
48 Shades of Brown by Nick Earls
Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor/Robyn Preiss Glasser
Pastures of the Blue Crane by Hesba Brinsmead