Notable Children's Books

Each year the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children's books.

Younger Readers | Middle Readers | Older Readers | All Ages

 

Younger Readers

don't throw it to mo!

Don’t Throw It to Mo! by David A. Adler & Sam Ricks
Mo is the youngest kid on the Robins football team. The kids on the rival team tease him for being a 'butterfingers' who's too tiny to catch the ball. But Mo's coach has a plan up his sleeve to turn Mo's little size into a big win for the Robins.

the wonderful fluffy little squishy

The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy by Beatrice Alemagna
Eddie is five and a half, and thinks she is the only one in her family who isn't really good at something. So when she hears her little sister say "birthday--Mommy--fluffy--little--squishy," it's extra important for her to find this amazing present before anyone else does. So, gregarious, charming, clever little Eddie goes all around the neighborhood to all her fabulous friends--the florist, the chic boutique owner, the antiques dealer, and even the intimidating butcher--to find one.

trombone shorty

Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews
Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest.

boats for papa

Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley
Buckley and his mother cope with the loss of their father/husband by sending small wooden boats, built by Buckley, off into the ocean.

leo: a ghost story

Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett & Christian Robinson
Leo is a friendly house ghost--but when a family moves into his house, and tries to get rid of him, he leaves and roams the city looking for a friend.

the skunk

The Skunk by Mac Barnett & Patrick McDonnell
A man is followed by a skunk all day until the tables turn.

the princess and the pony

The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton
Princess Pinecone would like a real war horse for her birthday, instead of which she gets a plump, cute pony--but sometimes cuteness can be a kind of weapon, especially in a fight with dodgeballs and spitballs and hairballs and squareballs.

i  yam a donkey

I Yam a Donkey by Cece Bell
Confusion abounds when a poorly spoken donkey says to a grammarian yam, "I Yam a Donkey!"

flop to the top

Flop to the Top! by Eleanor Davis & Drew Weng
Wanda's plan to make herself famous backfires when her floppy-faced dog starts drawing all the attention.

last stop on market street

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña
A young boy, CJ, rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.

red

Red by Jan De Kinder
Torn between her fear of the bully on the school playground and her sympathy for her classmate, a girl must make a difficult choice.

wolfie the bunny

Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman & Zachariah OHora
When her parents find a baby wolf on their doorstep and decide to raise him as their own, Dot is certain he will eat them all up until a surprising encounter with a bear brings them closer together.

drum dream girl

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle & Rafael López
Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule—until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream. Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.

a pig, a fox and a box

A Pig, a Fox, and a Box by Jonathan Fenske
After finding a box just the right size to hide in, a little fox tries to play some tricks on his big friend, Pig, but things do not work out exactly as he planned.

the most amazing creature in the sea

The Most Amazing Creature in the Sea by Brenda Z. Guiberson & Gennady Spirin
Fascinating facts and spectacular illustrations will inspire young readers to choose their own favorite sea creatures.

waiting

Waiting by Kevin Henkes
An owl, puppy, bear, bunny, and pig wait for marvelous things to happen.

tiptoe tapirs

Tiptoe Tapirs by Hanmin Kim
Tapir and Little Tapir are the quietest creatures in a very noisy jungle, but when a leopard is threatened by a hunter they teach him how to move with a very soft step, and the other animals follow suit.

sidewalk flowers

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson & Sydney Smith
A little girl collects wildflowers while walking through town with her father. Each flower is then given as a gift by the thoughtful little girl.

written and drawn by henrietta

Written and Drawn by Henrietta by Liniers
When Henrietta's mother gives her a box of colored pencils, she sets out to draw a terrifying and fantastic adventure.

hippos are huge!

Hippos are Huge! by Jonathan London & Matthew Trueman
What's the deadliest animal in Africa? It's not the lion or the crocodile--it's the hippopotamus! Hippos have razor-sharp tusks, weigh as much as fifty men, and can run twenty-five miles per hour! Follow these hefty hulks as they glide underwater, play tug-of-war, swat balls of dung at one another, and nuzzle their young in the mud. Just don't get too close--they could chomp you in two!

finding winnie

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattik & Sophie Blackall
Before Winnie-the-Pooh, there was a real bear named Winnie. And she was a girl! In 1914, Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian on his way to tend horses in World War I, followed his heart and rescued a baby bear. He named her Winnie, after his hometown of Winnipeg, and he took the bear to war. Here is the remarkable true story of the bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.

mango, abuela and me

Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina & Angela Dominguez
When Mia's Abuela comes to live with Mia and her family, she helps her learn English while Mia learns Spanish, both with the help of a parrot named Mango.

mr. squirrel and the moon

Mr. Squirrel and the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser
When Mr. Squirrel wakes up to discover that the moon is resting on his tree, he becomes desperate to return the moon to the sky before he is accused of stealing it.

float

Float by Daniel Miyares
Wordless picture book about a boy who loses his paper boat in the rain.

if you plant a seed

If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson
While planting seeds in their garden, two animals learn the value of kindness.

 

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson & R. Gregory Christie

detective gordon

Detective Gordon: The First Case by Ulf Nilsson & Gitte Spee
Someone's stealing the squirrel's nuts, and it's up to Detective Gordon to catch the thief. Unfortunately, solving this crime means standing in the snow and waiting for a long time... If only he had an assistant -- someone small, fast, and clever -- to help solve this terrible case. Then Detective Gordon would be able to go back to doing what he's best at: thinking, eating cakes, drinking tea, and stamping important papers.

a chicken followed me home

A Chicken Followed Me Home! Questions and Answers about Familiar Fowl by Robin Page
A nonfiction picture book exploration of chickens, and all the fascinating things about them--how they fly, what they eat, what the different breeds are, and more.

 

Flutter & Hum/Aleteo y zumbido: Animal Poems/Poemas de animals edited by Julie Paschkis

water is water

Water is Water: A Book about the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul & Jason Chin
A spare, poetic picture book exploring the different phases of the water cycle in surprising and engaging ways.

the grasshopper and the ants

The Grasshopper and the Ants by Jerry Pinkney
In this retelling of the classic Aesop fable, hardworking ants stock up for the winter while a fun-loving grasshopper plays all year long, until the cold weather arrives and he realizes his mistake in not planning ahead.

the moon is going to addy's house

The Moon is Going to Addy’s House by Ida Pearle
The moon follows Addy all over the city before finally settling in at her house for bedtime.

wait

Wait by Antoinette Portis
A picture book about the joys of waiting and taking in what is around you.

piper green and the fairy tree

Piper Green and the Fairy Tree by Ellen Potter & Qin Leng
Piper's older brother leaves Peek-A-Book Island and Piper refuses to take off his old earmuffs, no matter what. Things are going from bad to worse--until she discovers The Fairy Tree.

 

My Tata’s Remedies=Los remedies de mi tata by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford & Antonio Castro

gingerbread for liberty

Gingerbread for Liberty: How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution by Mara Rockliff & Vincent X. Kirsch
A stirring picture book biography about a forgotten hero of the American Revolution who rose to the occasion and served his country, not with muskets or canons, but with gingerbread!

an ambush of tigers

An Ambush of Tigers: A Wild Gathering of Collective Nouns by Betsy R. Rosenthal & Jago
Have you ever heard of a prickle of porcupines? Or a tower of giraffes? What about a parcel of penguins? This ... romp through the animal kingdom introduces collective nouns for animals through wordplay.

popcorn astronauts

The Popcorn Astronauts: And Other Biteable Rhymes by Deborah Ruddell & Joan Rankin
Take a bite out of the calendar with this collection of seasonal poems, each one an ode to a favorite food.

supertruck

Supertruck by Stephen Savage
When the city is hit by a colossal snowstorm, only one superhero can save the day. But who is this mysterious hero, and why does he disappear once his job is done?

raindrops roll

Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre
In her latest gorgeously photo-illustrated nonfiction picture book, celebrated author April Pulley Sayre sheds new light on the wonders of rain, from the beauty of a raindrop balanced on a leaf to the amazing, never-ending water cycle that keeps our planet in perfect ecological balance.

woodpecker wham!

Woodpecker Wham! by April Pulley Sayre & Steve Jenkins
Enter woodpecker world and get a bird's eye view of everyday life: hiding from hawks, feeding hungry chicks, and drilling holes to build homes. Woodpeckers are nature's home builders, creating holes that many other animals live in when the woodpeckers move on. A variety of woodpecker species fly through these pages--perhaps some that live near you!

ballet cat

Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret by Bob Shea
While Ballet Cat and Sparkles the Pony are trying to decide what to play, they each share an important secret.

swan

Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova by Laurel Snyder & Julie Morstad
The journey of a girl who will one day grow up to be the most famous prima ballerina of all time.

lenny & lucy

Lenny and Lucy by Philip C. Stead & Erin E. Stead
A picture book about moving to a new house and making new friends.

special delivery

Special Delivery by Philip C. Stead & Matthew Cordell
A little girl goes on a long journey to deliver an elephant to her great aunt.

grandma lives in a perfume village

Grandma Lives in a Perfume Village by Fang Suzhen & Sonja Danowski
When his grandma dies Xia Le comforts his mother by reminding her of all the ways his grandmother is still with them.

 

Who Done It? by Olivier Tallec

beep! beep! go to sleep

Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep by Todd Tarpley & John Rocco
Three reluctant robots fight off sleep while their young caretaker does his best to get them to calm down.

growing up pedro

Growing Up Pedro: How the Martinez Brothers Made It from the Dominican Republic All the Way to the Major Leagues by Matt Tavares
Before Pedro Martínez pitched the Red Sox to a World Series championship, before he was named to the All-Star team eight times, before he won the Cy Young Award three times, he was a kid from a place called Manoguayabo in the Dominican Republic. Pedro loved baseball more than anything, and his older brother Ramón was the best pitcher he'd ever seen. He dreamed of the day he and his brother could play together in the major leagues. This is the story of how that dream came true.

emmanuel's dream

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson & Sean Qualls
Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people--but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability. Today, Emmanuel continues to work on behalf of the disabled.

roger is reading a book

Roger is Reading a Book by Koen Van Biesen
Roger wants some peace and quiet so he can read his book, but his neighbor Emily has some hobbies of her own--very loud ones!

lillian's right to vote

Lillian’s Right to Vote by Jonah Winter & Shane E. Evans
As an elderly woman, Lillian recalls that her great-great-grandparents were sold as slaves in front of a courthouse where only rich white men were allowed to vote, then the long fight that led to her right--and determination--to cast her ballot since the Voting Rights Act gave every American the right to vote.

 

Moving Blocks by Yosuke Yonezu

 

Middle Readers

adam & thomas

Adam and Thomas by Aharon Appelfeld & Philippe Dumas
Adam and Thomas, two nine-year-old Jewish boys who survive World War II, take refuge in the forest where they learn to forage and survive, soon meeting and helping other fugitives fleeing for their lives.

terrible typhoid mary

Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
What happens when a person's reputation has been forever damaged? With archival photographs and text among other primary sources, this riveting biography of Mary Mallon by the Sibert medalist and Newbery Honor winner Susan Bartoletti looks beyond the tabloid scandal of Mary's controversial life.

the war that saved my life

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.

enormous smallness

Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings by Matthew Burgess & Kris Di Giacomo
Presents the life and work of the twentieth-century American writer, focusing on his fascination with words from a young age and highlighting his poetry's inspirational properties.

my story, my dance

My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey by Lesa Cline-Ransome & James E. Ransome
In a picture book portrait of the artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, a boy discovers his passion for dance, overcomes a childhood disability, and becomes a modern hero.

mad about monkeys

Mad about Monkeys by Owen Davey
Shares a variety of facts about monkeys from the smallest pygmy marmoset to the largest mandrill.

stella by starlight

Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper
When a burning cross set by the Klan causes panic and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, fifth-grader Stella must face prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town.

lailah's lunchbox

Lailah’s Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story by Reem Faruqi & Lea Lyon
Now that she is ten, Lailah is delighted that she can fast during the month of Ramadan like her family and her friends in Abu Dhabi, but finding a way to explain to her teacher and classmates in Atlanta is a challenge until she gets some good advice from the librarian, Mrs. Scrabble.

george

George by Alex Gino
Knowing herself to be a girl despite her outwardly male appearance, George is denied a female role in the class play before teaming up with a friend to reveal her true self.

lost in the sun

Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff
As Trent Zimmerman struggles to move past a traumatic event that took place several months earlier, he befriends class outcast Fallon Little, who helps him understand that he can move on.

full cicada moon

Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton
In 1969 twelve-year-old Mimi and her family move to an all-white town in Vermont, where Mimi's mixed-race background and interest in "boyish" topics like astronomy make her feel like an outsider.

fish in a tree

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Ally's greatest fear is that everyone will find out she is as dumb as they think she is because she still doesn't know how to read.

roller girl

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
A graphic novel adventure about a girl who discovers roller derby right as she and her best friend are growing apart.

unusual chickens

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones & Katie Kath
Through a series of letters, Sophie Brown, age twelve, tells of her family's move to her Great Uncle Jim's farm, where she begins taking care of some unusual chickens with help from neighbors and friends.

blackbird fly

Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly
Bullied at school, eighth-grader Apple, a Filipino American who loves the music of the Beatles, decides to change her life by learning how to play the guitar.

my two blankets

My Two Blankets by Irena Kobald & Freya Blackwood
A homesick little girl who has recently moved to an unfamiliar country comforts herself by clinging to an old blanket, but when she meets a new friend, the relationship helps her take her first steps into a new culture.

mars evacuees

Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall
Twelve-year-old Alice Dare is one of 300 seven- to sixteen-year-olds evacuated to Mars to attend school and train as soldiers, safe from the war with Earth's invading aliens, the Morrors, but when all of the adults and robots mysteriously disappear, the youths must survive on their own.

the nest

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel & Jon Klassen
When wasps come to Steve in a dream offering to fix his sick baby brother, he thinks all he has to do is say yes. But yes may not mean what Steve thinks it means.

adventures with waffles

Adventures with Waffles by Maria Parr & Kate Forrester
Hardly a day passes without Trille and Lena inventing some kind of adventure that often ends in trouble. Whether it's coaxing a cow onto a boat or sledding down the steepest and iciest hill with a chicken, there is always a thrill--and sometimes an injury--to be had. Trille loves to share everything with Lena, even Auntie Granny's waffles.

tricky vic

Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli
Recounts the life of Victor Lustig, an international con man who had swindled thousands of people, including Al Capone, and was best known for "selling" the Eiffel Tower.

 

Frederick’s Journey: The Life of Frederick Douglass by Doreen Rappaport & London Ladd

mesmerized

Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery That Baffled All of France by Mara Rockliff & Iacopo Bruno
Discover how Benjamin Franklin's scientific method challenged a certain Dr. Mesmer's mysterious powers in a whimsical look at a true moment in history.

echo

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan.
Lost in the Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. Decades later, as the second World War approaches, the lives of three children -- Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California -- become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. Pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their solo stories converge.

fuzzy mud

Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar
Two middle-grade kids take a shortcut home from school and discover what looks like fuzzy mud but is actually a substance with the potential to wreak havoc on the entire world.

the blackthorn key

The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
In 1665 London, fourteen-year-old Christopher Rowe, apprentice to an apothecary, and his best friend, Tom, try to uncover the truth behind a mysterious cult, following a trail of puzzles, codes, pranks, and danger toward an unearthly secret with the power to tear the world apart.

the marvels

The Marvels by Brian Selznick
In 1766, a boy, Billy Marvel, is shipwrecked, rescued, and goes on to found a brilliant family of actors that flourishes in London until 1900--and nearly a century later, Joseph Jervis, runs away from home, seeking refuge with his uncle in London, and is captivated by the Marvel house, with its portraits and ghostly presences.

sex is a funny word

Sex Is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and YOU by Cory Silverberg & Fiona Smyth
A comic book for kids that includes children and families of all makeups, orientations, and gender identities, Sex Is a Funny Word is an essential resource about bodies, gender, and sexuality for children ages 8 to 10 as well as their parents and caregivers

28 days

28 Days: Moments in Black History That Changed the World by Charles R. Smith Jr. & Shane W. Evans
A picture book look at many of the men and women who revolutionized life for African Americans throughout history.

red butterfly

Red Butterfly by A. L. Sonnichsen & Amy June Bates
In China, a foundling girl with a deformed hand raised in secret by an American woman must navigate China's strict adoption system when she is torn away from the only family she has ever known.

murder is bad manners

Murder Is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens
At an English boarding school in the 1930s, crime-solving friends Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells struggle to find an exciting mystery to investigate and hit pay-dirt when Hazel discovers the dead body of Miss Bell, the science teacher.

poet

Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate
Shares the story of George Moses Horton, who born into slavery taught himself to read and earned money by selling his poems to the students of the University of North Carolina, before becoming the first published African American poet of the South.

funny bones

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh
Presents the life of the Mexican artist, who became famous for his drawings of skeletons in multiple everyday poses which have become identified with the Mexican Day of the Dead.

hamster princess

Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible by Ursula Vernon
Never a conventional princess, Harriet becomes an adventurer after learning she is cursed to fall into a deep sleep on her twelfth birthday, but after two years of slaying ogres, cliff-diving, and more with her riding quail, Mumfrey, things go awry at home and she must seek a prince to set things right.

gone crazy in alabama

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia
Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother, Big Ma, and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles's half sister, Miss Trotter. The two half sisters haven't spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that's been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible.

 

Older Readers

the thing about jellyfish

The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
Twelve-year-old Suzy Swanson wades through her intense grief over the loss of her best friend by investigating the rare jellyfish she is convinced was responsible for her friend's death.

 

The Smoking Mirror by David Bowles

drowned city

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina's monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana. Eighty percent of the city flooded, in some places under twenty feet of water. Property damages across the Gulf Coast topped $100 billion. One thousand eight hundred and thirty-three people lost their lives. The tale of this historic storm and the drowning of an American city is one of selflessness, heroism, and courage -- and also of incompetence, racism, and criminality. Don Brown's kinetic art and as-it-happens narrative capture both the tragedy and triumph of one of the worst natural disasters in American history.

enchanted air

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle
In this poetic memoir Engle, the first Latina woman to receive a Newbery Honor, tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War. Her heart was in Cuba, her mother's tropical island country, a place so lush with vibrant life that it seems like a fairy tale kingdom. But most of the time she lived in Los Angeles, lonely in the noisy city and dreaming of the summers when she can take a plane through the enchanted air to her beloved island. When the hostility between Cuba and the United States erupted at the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Engle's worlds collided in the worst way possible. Would she ever get to visit her beautiful island again?

first flight around the world

First Flight around the World: The Adventures of the American Fliers Who Won the Race by Tim Grove
An account of the 1924 race between six nations to be the first to circumnavigate the globe by airplane describes the efforts of the U.S. team as they struggled to overcome limited technology, dangerous weather, and unfamiliar cultures.

cuckoo song

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
In post-World War I England, eleven-year-old Triss nearly drowns in a millpond known as "The Grimmer" and emerges with memory gaps, aware that something's terribly wrong, and to try to set things right, she must meet a twisted architect who has designs on her family.

the boys who challenged htiler

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose
At the outset of World War II, Denmark did not resist German occupation. Deeply ashamed of his nation's leaders, fifteen-year-old Knud Pedersen resolved with his brother and a handful of schoolmates to take action against the Nazis if the adults would not. Naming their secret club after the fiery British leader, the young patriots in the Churchill Club committed countless acts of sabotage, infuriating the Germans, who eventually had the boys tracked down and arrested. But their efforts were not in vain: the boys' exploits and eventual imprisonment helped spark a full-blown Danish resistance. Interweaving his own narrative with the recollections of Knud himself, here is Phil Hoose's inspiring story of these young war heroes.

child soldier

Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War by Jessica Dee Humphreys, Michel Chikwanine & Claudia Dávila
Michel Chikwanine was five years old when he was abducted from his schoolyard soccer game in the Democratic Republic of Congo and forced to become a soldier for a brutal rebel militia. Against the odds, Michel managed to escape and find his way back to his family, but he was never the same again.

listen slowly

Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lại
Assisting her grandmother's investigation of her grandfather's fate during the Vietnam War, Mai struggles to adapt to an unfamiliar culture while redefining her sense of family.

turning 15 on the road to freedom

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley, and illustrated by P. J. Loughran
A 50th-anniversary tribute shares the story of the youngest person to complete the momentous Selma to Montgomery March, describing her frequent imprisonments for her participation in nonviolent demonstrations and how she felt about her involvement in historic Civil Rights events.

baba yaga's assistant

Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola & Emily Carroll
When her father announces that he is remarrying, Masha decides to leave home and become Baba Yaga's assistant. But to earn her place at the witch's house, she must first pass a series of tests.

 

My Seneca Village by Marilyn Nelson

the seventh most important thing

The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall
In 1963, 13-year-old Arthur is sentenced to community service helping the neighborhood Junk Man after he throws a brick at the old man's head in a moment of rage, but the junk he collects might be more important than he suspects. Inspired by the work of American folk artist James Hampton.

rhythm ride

Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip through the Motown Sound by Andrea Davis Pinkney
A narrative history of the Motown music label covering the historical context, personalities, and ongoing legacy of the "sound of young America."

the lightning queen

The Lightning Queen by Laura Resau
On the Hill of Dust, in the remote mountains of Mexico, an eleven-year-old Mixtec boy called Teo lives with his family and the animals that he has healed, but one day a Romany caravan rolls into town with a young girl who calls herself Esma, the Gypsy Queen of Lightning--it is the beginning of a life-long friendship that will change both their lives.

the hired girl

The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz
Fourteen-year-old Joan Skraggs chronicles her life in a journal when she leaves her family's farm in Pennsylvania to work as a hired girl in Baltimore in the summer of 1911.

orbiting jupiter

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt
Jack, 12, tells the gripping story of Joseph, 14, who joins his family as a foster child. Damaged in prison, Joseph wants nothing more than to find his baby daughter, Jupiter, whom he has never seen. When Joseph has begun to believe he'll have a future, he is confronted by demons from his past that force a tragic sacrifice.

most dangerous

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin
On June 13, 1971, the New York Times announced the existence of a 7,000-page collection of documents containing a secret history of the Vietnam War. Known as The Pentagon Papers, these documents had been commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. Chronicling every action the government had taken in the Vietnam War, they revealed a pattern of deception spanning over twenty years and four presidencies, and forever changed the relationship between American citizens and the politicians claiming to represent their interests. Sheinkin tells how Daniel Ellsberg risked everything to expose the government's deceit.

goodbye stranger

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
As Bridge makes her way through seventh grade on Manhattan's Upper West Side with her best friends, curvacious Em, crusader Tab, and a curious new friend--or more than friend--Sherm, she finds the answer she has been seeking since she barely survived an accident at age eight: "What is my purpose?"

 

All Ages

counting lions

Counting Lions by Katie Cotton & Stephen Walton
A celebration of wildlife blends a counting exercise and charcoal drawings of ten threatened and endangered creatures, including lions, elephants, and pandas, complemented by poetic notes on their respective characteristics and behaviors.

bird & diz

Bird and Diz by Gary Golio & Ed Young
Presents a rhythmic tribute to Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and their creation of bebop.

the only child

The Only Child by Guojing
In this wordless graphic novel, a young girl traveling from her city apartment to her grandmother's country home becomes lost and enters a fantastical world in the clouds.

sail away

Sail Away by Langston Hughes & Ashley Bryan
Presents a selection of poems about the sea by the African American poet, celebrating waves, fishes, ships, the sea wind, and mermaids.

pool

Pool by JiHyeon Lee
Two shy children meet at a noisy pool and dive beneath the crowd into a magical undersea land, where they explore a fantastical landscape and meet various creatures.

 

National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry: More Than 200 Poems with Photographs That Float, Zoom, and Bloom! edited by J. Patrick Lewis

my pen

My Pen by Christopher Myers
An artist celebrates the many things he can do with a simple pen, and encourages the reader to do the same.

lost in nyc

Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure by Nadja Spiegelman & Sergio García Sánchez
After getting separated from his teacher, his classmates, and his trip partner during an outing to the Empire State Building, Pablo, the new kid in school, learns to navigate the New York City subway system as well as his own feelings towards making new friends and living in a big city.

voice of freedom

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford & Ekua Holmes
Presents a collage-illustrated treasury of poems and spirituals inspired by the life and work of civil rights advocate Fannie Lou Hamer.