These are some books that I would like to recommend this month:
One of the MG books I enjoyed most this year (along with El Deafo) is THE CATEGORICAL UNIVERSE OF CANDICE PHEE, by Barry Jonsberg. I think this book suffered by being released so soon after Counting by 7s, as the description might sound somewhat similar. The main character, Candice, is likely on the autism spectrum and is seen as beyond weird by her classmates. But her quirky way of dealing with family, friends, enemies, tragedy, adversity, and teachers, along with her warm-hearted intentions, makes for a rich and rewarding read. I almost didn't pick it up, but I'm so glad I did!
CLARIEL, by Garth Nix, is a long-awaited prequel to his fabulous Abhorsen trilogy. Clariel, a loner who wants only to hunt in the Great Forest, is forced to move to the capital city of Belisaere, where strange people and customs stifle her. When she is attacked by a Free Magic creature, she discovers her own powers as a Berserk, and finds herself increasingly drawn to Free Magic sorcery. You can enjoy this even if you haven't yet gotten to the rest of the Abhorsen books, but why not just read them all? In fact, the audio is an excellent idea, performed perfectly by Tim Curry. (YA)
And HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER, by Lish McBride, is a really fun read. It's the only zombie entertainment I have allowed myself, and I'm glad I did (despite a few nights of icky zombie dreams). College dropout Sam finds out that he's a necromancer and has made a powerful enemy. It's witty, there's a lot of action, and a severed head gets to deliver many of the best jokes. (YA)