Announcing Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids 2022

Once again the hardworking library workers of Evanston Public Library have spent their entire year culling through thousands of brand new children’s books, just so that they could give you the best of the best. It’s the 101 Great Books for Kids list at last! In 2022 we read books in as many formats as possible: audiobooks, physical finished copies, PDFs, you name it. Now we’ve come up with a list that truly exemplifies some of the best literature for children being published today.

Please be sure to stop by our library to request any of the titles you would like to see. They represent some of the best books of the year and should not be missed.

All 101 books on this list are appropriate for readers two to twelve.

For your convenience, here are the categories of the list:

Picture Books

Folk Tales, Fairy Tales, and Religious Tales

Easy and Early Chapter Books



Comics and Graphic Novels

Nonfiction Picture Books

Nonfiction for Older Readers


Picture Books

  1. A Bear, a Bee, and a Honey Tree by Daniel Bernstrom, ill. Brandon James Scott

Fuzzy bear. Angry bees. Yummy honey. Silliness abounds in this delightful read aloud full of ursine hijinks.Call Number: JPicture Berns.D 

  1. Berry Song by Michaela Goade

Like their Tlingit ancestors before them, a grandmother and child gather gifts from the earth, all the while singing a song celebrating beautiful berries. A burst of joy from a Caldecott-winning illustrator. Call Number: JPicture Goade.M 

  1. A Blue Kind of Day by Rachel Tomlinson, ill. Tori-Jay Mordey

“It was a slumping, sighing, sobbing kind of day.” Coen is having a blue day and when his family can’t cheer him up, they wait and let him work through his feelings. A book of patience, care, and empathy. Call Number: JPicture Tomli.R 

  1. The Circles in the Sky by Karl James Mountford

One morning Fox finds a bird lying quite still upon the ground. With the aid of a small moth, the two reflect on life and death, accompanied by marvelous, beautiful illustrations. A meditative, contemplative, necessary book. Call Number: JPicture Mount.K

  1. City Under the City by Dan Yaccarino

Bix lives in a city where robotic Eyes take care of everyone’s needs. But when she discovers an ancient city under the ground, it leads to a love of books and reading she never had before. Call Number: JPicture Yacca.D 

  1. Emile and the Field by Kevin Young, ill. Chioma Ebinama

In this lyrical picture book from an award-winning poet, a young boy cherishes a neighborhood field throughout the changing seasons. With stunning illustrations and a charming text, this beautiful story celebrates a child’s relationship with nature. Call Number: JPicture Young.K

  1. Gibberish by Young Vo

Now that he’s in a new country, Dat feels completely different from the new people and language that surround him. Marvelous 1930’s style animation techniques drill home his separation, and show how one good friend can make all the difference. Call Number: JPicture Vo.Y 

  1. I Don’t Care by Julie Fogliano, ill. Molly Idle and Juana Martinez-Neal

A remarkably charming tale of two girls seeing past their differences to become the best of friends. Illustrated by two artists who are best friends in real life! Call Number: JPicture Fogli.J 

  1. I Won’t Give Up My Rubber Band by Shinsuke Yoshitake

This rubber band? It’s mine. No one else’s. And if you want the world’s greatest (and funniest)  listing of what you can do with a single rubber band, you’ve come to the right place. Call Number: JPicture Yoshi.S 

  1. Kick Push: Be Your Epic Self by Frank Morrison

Ivan’s usually so legendary with his kickflipping, big rail grinding moves that his friends call him EPIC. Now he’s moved to a new town where skateboarding is not the norm. Should he fit in or stand out? A book teeming with motion and fire. Call Number: JPicture Morri.F

  1. Knight Owl by Christopher Denise

Owl has a dream. You may think it’s ridiculous, but more than anything he yearns to become a knight in shining armor. When his chance finally comes, will he be up to the challenge? Whoooo can say? Call Number: JPicture Denis.C 

  1. My Fade Is Fresh by Shauntay Grant, ill. Kitt Thomas

When one young girl walks into her local hair salon, she knows exactly what she wants: a fresh fade. So why does everyone else have an opinion about her hair? Call Number: JPicture Grant.S 

  1. My Parents Won’t Stop Talking by Emma Hunsinger and Tillie Walden

Molly is so stoked to go to the park with her family . . . until her parents start talking to their neighbors, the Credenzas. WILL the grown-ups ever stop talking? WILL Molly be able to go to the park? WHY is her brother so calm about this? A hilarious and universal childhood moment. Call Number: JPicture Hunsi.E 

  1. Pina by Elif Yemenici, translated by Sydney Wade

Pina lives in a tiny, warm house that contains everything he could ever need. But when he realizes he’s out of cheese, shopping turns into a walk into the unknown. A delightful Turkish import about trying new things. Call Number: JPicture Yemen.E 

  1. The Queen in the Cave by Júlia Sardà

One day Franca decides that she is going to plunge into the unknown to seek a marvelous queen. Her sisters come along! What will they find, and will they ever get back? A hypnotic cacophony of chaos. Call Number: JPicture Sarda.J 

  1. Rodney Was a Tortoise by Nan Forler, ill. Yong Ling Kang

Bernadette shares many great times with her tortoise Rodney. When he’s gone, she can’t stop thinking about him. Will anyone understand how she feels? A tale of empathy and kindness. Call Number: JPicture Forle.N 

  1. See You Someday Soon by Pat Zietlow Miller, ill. Suzy Lee

If you’re far away from someone you love, how do you connect with them immediately? A child yearns for their grandmother, and thinks up all kinds of creative ways for them to get together. Inventive art mixes with a hugely touching tale. Call Number: JPicture Mille.P

  1. Where Is Bina Bear? by Mike Curato

Bina’s friends have thrown her a supercool party. The only problem? Bina’s terrified of parties. A tale of friendship and clever disguises. Call Number: JPicture Curat.M 

  1. The World Belonged to Us by Jacqueline Woodson, ill. Leo Espinosa

 In Brooklyn “not so long ago,” children of all backgrounds played together in the streets. Double dutch. Stickball. Kick the can. This loving ode to joyful communal play features vibrant illustrations and a dynamic text. Call Number: JPicture Woods.J 

Fairytales, Folktales, and Religious Tales


  1. Carrimebac: The Town That Walked by David Barclay Moore, ill. John Holyfield

When old Rootilla Redgums and her grandson Julius Jefferson walked into Walkerton, Georgia, no one was ready for their wisdom and magic. And when the Black people in town are threatened by a hooded mob, these two will move heaven and earth to save the day. A marvelous original folktale. Call Number: JPicture Moore.D 

  1. Endlessly Ever After: Pick Your Path to Countless Fairy Tale Endings by Laurel Snyder, ill. Dan Santat

Think you know your fairytales? How well would you do if you were actually in them? You’re Little Red Riding Hood and you’ve got to pick your adventures carefully. There’s more than evil wolves in these woods… Call Number: JPicture Snyde.L

  1. The Legend of Gravity: A Tall Basketball Tale by Charly Palmer

Let us bend your ear with the story of Gravity, a kid so good at defying centripetal forces that his feats are legendary. This is one of those legends. Call Number: JPicture Palme.C 

  1. The Legend of the Spirit Serpent by Adaiah Sanford, ill. Ken Daley

No one but the leader of the tribe can ever visit the Spirit Serpent. If you try, you’re sure to get eaten, but Natari is just too darn curious. A retelling of a traditional Kalinago legend from the island of Dominica. Call Number: x398.2097298 Sanfo.A  

  1. The Real Dada Mother Goose: A Treasury of Complete Nonsense by Jon Scieszka, ill. Julia Rothman

Master funnyman Jon Scieszka reworks classic nursery rhymes in ways that use everything from pig latin to secret codes. A rolicking reworking that’ll have you rolling in the aisles. Call Number: x398.3 Scies.J 

  1. The Three Billy Goats Gruff retold by Mac Barnett, ill. Jon Klassen

The classic tale of three hungry goats and an even hungrier troll is told with flair and humor. Get ready to laugh out loud with this hilarious new interpretation. Call Number: x398.2 Barne.M 

Easy and Early Chapter Books


  1. Astrid the Astronaut: The Astronomically Grand Plan by Rie Neal, ill. Talitha Shipman

Astrid has an Astronomically Grand Plan to be the first astronaut with hearing aids, and she couldn’t be more excited! But when she realizes her best friend isn’t on board with all her plans, can Astrid figure out a way to complete her mission? Call Number: JChapter Neal.R 

  1. Billy & Rose: Forever Friends by Amy Hest, ill. Kady MacDonald Denton

Two best friends share small adventures over the course of four seasons. From selling ice cream in the snow to having sleepovers, Billy and Rose may sometimes fight but they are always best friends forever. Call Number: JEasy Hest.A 

  1. Bumpfizzle the Best on Planet Earth by Patricia Forde, ill. Elīna Brasliņa

The great Bumpfizzle of the Planet Plonk is on a mission to Earth so secret that not even HE knows why he’s here! Disguised as a human boy, he must deal with the daily injustices of being a kid. Hijinks definitely ensue. Call Number: JChapter Forde.P 

  1. Esme’s Birthday Conga Line by Lourdes Heuer, ill. Marissa Valdez

What do you do when your grandparents forget to throw you a birthday party with cake and a piñata? Throw your own! Esme is determined to get her neighbors together for the ultimate party time… whether they want to or not. Call Number: JChapter Heuer.L 

  1. Free Kid to Good Home by Hiroshi Itō, translated by Cathy Hirano 

When the new baby (a.k.a. Potato-face) sucks away all the parental attention, one determined little girl decides to give herself away for free to a better home. A tongue-in-cheek tale of finding home. Call Number: JChapter Ito.H 

  1. Gigi and Ojiji by Melissa Iwai

It’s so exciting! Gigi’s grandfather is coming to live with her family all the way from Japan! But when he doesn’t immediately live up to what she imagined him to be, can they ever be friends? Call Number: JEasy Iwai.M

  1. Meet the Super Duper Seven by Tim Hamilton

The Super Duper Seven are here to save the day! Wait, scratch that. Hungry Kitty just ate four members. How can the team stick together when heroes keep, ah, disappearing? Call Number: JEasy Hamil.T 

  1. Tâpwê and the Magic Hat by Buffy Sainte-Marie, ill. Buffy Sainte-Marie and Michelle Alynn Clement

When Tâpwê goes to visit his relatives for the summer, he little suspects the troubles and adventures he and his magic hat will get into. A mix of Cree stories and songs. Call Number: x398.208997 Cree Saint.B 



  1. Book of Questions / Libro de Las Preguntas: Selections by Pablo Neruda, ill. Paloma Valdivia, translated by Sara Lissa Paulson

Neruda’s last great work of poetry is reimagined for kids in this sumptuous collection. 70 questions of the original 320 are presented thematically to kids, with results ridiculous, thoughtful, and often unanswerable. Call Number: Spanish x861 Nerud.P 

  1. Build a House by Rhiannon Giddens, ill. Monica Mikai

Written to commemorate the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, this song tells the tale of sorrow and joy, pain and triumph, always with the child reader in mind. A marvelously honest look at how to sing when the world has left you nothing at all. Call Number: JPicture Gidde.R 

  1. Marshmallow Clouds: Two Poets at Play Among Figures of Speech by Ted Kooser and Connie Wanek, ill. Richard Jones

30 poems complemented with evocative paintings play with images and metaphors, constructing whole new ways to encounter the world. Call Number: x811 Koose.T

  1. Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler by Ibi Zoboi

With vivid poems and engaging mini-chapters, Zoboi offers a cosmic look at the legendary science fiction writer’s youth and the events that inspired her to create her otherworldly stories.xBiog Butle.O Zoboi.I

  1. Take Off Your Brave: The World Through the Eyes of a Preschool Poet by Nadim (age 4), ill. Yasmeen Ismail 

When Nadim was 4-years-old, his mom told him that a poem is “a kind of story of a feeling or a moment.” Delve into Nadim’s 23 poems, each capturing what it means to really and truly be a kid. x821 Shamm.N



  1. Attack of the Black Rectangles by Amy Sarig King

Does he dare disturb the universe? Mac’s used to speaking out when he sees something wrong, so when he discovers that his school copy of The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen has certain words blacked out, he and his friends set out to uncover the truth and make it known. Call Number: J King.A

  1. Aviva vs the Dybbuk by Mari Lowe

Bad enough that Aviva lost her dad and doesn’t have any friends at school, but why does she have to live with a mischievous and difficult dybbuk at home? A clever tale of grief, loss, and practical jokes. Call Number: J Lowe.M

  1. Black Bird, Blue Road by Sofiya Pasternack

Ziva will do anything to save her twin brother, who has leprosy, even if it means facing the Angel of Death. An unforgettable historical fantasy packed with action and heart. Call Number: J Paste.S

  1. Falling Short by Ernesto Cisneros

Basketball star Isaac and super-studious Marco are best pals despite their differences. Things become interesting when 5’ 3” Marco taps into his inner-Muggsy Bogues and decides to join the basketball team. A hilarious and moving friendship story. Call Number: J Cisne.E

  1. If You Read This by Kereen Getten

Brie’s mother passed away three years ago. With her 12th birthday approaching, Brie discovers that her mama left her a special surprise: a series of letters that lead her on a scavenger hunt across Jamaica to a very special place. Call Number: J Gette.K

  1. It’s the End of the World and I’m in My Bathing Suit by Justin A. Reynolds

Eddie’s a kid who’s got it all figured out. Then his summer plans go apocalypse-level awry. Enjoyable antics from kids unafraid to have some fun. Call Number: J Reyno.J

  1. Jennifer Chan Is Not Alone by Tae Keller

After “The Incident,” Jennifer, who believes in aliens from outer space, has gone missing. Now the students who bullied her must figure out what happened to her. Call Number: J Kelle.T

  1. The Kaya Girl by Mamle Wolo

Abena is not looking forward to spending her vacation with an aunt she hardly knows at Accra’s largest market. Then she meets Faiza, a girl her age, also from Ghana but practically living in another world, and all her assumptions start to fall away. Call Number: J Wolo.M

  1. The Language of Seabirds by Will Taylor

A tender story about two boys who find each other in a vacation town and use seabird names to communicate their feelings to each other. Call Number: J Taylo.W

  1. The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat

Sai’s been living a lie, ever since she became assistant to Mangkon’s greatest mapmaker. Nobody knows her secrets, and when she’s invited on an epic adventure, how can she say no? A rousing, rollicking adventure tale full of fun and villainy. Call Number: J Soont.C

  1. The Lock-Eater by Zack Loran Clark

Melanie Gate is an orphan and a lock-eater a.k.a. someone who can open any door. But when she sets off for adventure under an assumed name with a sentient automaton, she discovers there’s more to the world, and herself, than she ever could have imagined. Call Number: J Clark.Z

  1. The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton, ill. Khadijah Khatib

Though she gets to attend the magical Arcanum Training Institute, nobody trusts Ella Durand because she’s a Conjuror. Things get worse when her mentor disappears. Can she solve the mystery, clear her name, and triumph? Only if she befriends a few misfits along the way. Call Number: J Clayt.D

  1. Nikhil Out Loud by Maulik Pancholy

Out and proud Nikhil voices one of the first Indian-American lead characters on a hit animated series. After a family issue forces him to move from L.A. to Ohio, Nikhil must use his now crackling, changing voice to speak up for himself. Call Number: J Panch.M

  1. The Prince of Steel Pier by Stacy Nockowitz

In 1975 Atlantic City, 13-year-old arcade whiz Joey meets a bunch of mobsters who have their eyes on his grandparents’ boardwalk hotel. Can he outwit them and save his family…and himself? Lean and fast-paced. Call Number: J Nocko.S

  1. A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga

A little Mars rover named Resilience has a big job on the red planet. Meanwhile on Earth, the daughter of the scientist who helped develop Resilience worries about the robot’s fate. A charming speculative sci-fi story. Call Number: J Warga.J

  1. The Secret Battle of Evan Pao by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

Chinese-American Evan must move to a small Virginia town immersed in its Civil War past. He shakes things up after he discovers that Chinese soldiers also fought in the war. Now he’s battling bigotry and a bully at the same time. Call Number: J Shang.W

  1. The Sheep, the Rooster, and the Duck by Matt Phelan

When a disreputable villain tries to start a war through evil means, it’s up to two French children and some highly intelligent barnyard animals to save Benjamin Franklin and the day! Call Number: J Phela.M

  1. Three Strike Summer by Skyler Schrempp

Dust Bowl Okie Gloria Mae Willard finds herself uprooted and working on a California peach orchard where she tries to join a secret, all-boys baseball team. Expect near escapes, a labor uprising, and lots of sports! Call Number: J Schre.S

  1. Tumble by Celia C. Pérez

Adela loves her mom and stepfather but wants to learn more about her estranged father. Her search reveals loads of secrets and professional wrestling! Call Number: J Perez.C

  1. We Are Wolves by Katrina Nannestad, ill. Martina Heiduczek

In the midst of World War II, three German children must escape East Prussia as Russian forces enter their territory. A riveting survival story. Call Number: J Nanne.K

  1. We Were the Fire by Sheila P. Moses

In 1963 Birmingham, 11-year-old Rufus and his friends join the civil rights movement to fight for racial justice. This fast-paced, powerful novel gives readers a potent “you are there” feeling and a confident, resilient hero. Call Number: J Moses.S

  1. Weird Rules to Follow by Kim Spencer

Mia loves rock music, her Indigenous family and her best friend, the non-Indigenous Lara. Soon, though, Mia starts noticing how people treat her differently from Lara, and life is about to change. Vividly set in a coastal Canadian town in the mid-1980s. Call Number: J Spenc.K

  1. Wildoak by C.C. Harrington, ill. Diana Sudyka

When young Maggie’s stutter gets her sent to her grandfather in Cornwall, she discovers the beauty of nature, as well as an abandoned snow leopard cub that desperately needs her help. Call Number: J Harri.C

  1. Yonder by Ali Standish

In a small Appalachian town in World War II, a teen who once performed a heroic deed has gone missing. His younger pal Danny wants to find out what happened…and discovers troubling secrets about his community along the way. Call Number: J Stand.A

Graphic Novels


  1. The Flamingo by Guojing

While visiting her grandmother, a child hears story after story about a girl long ago that raised a flamingo chick from an egg. An artful, nearly wordless tale with the feel of a Miyazaki film. Call Number: JGraphic Guojing

  1. Freestyle by Gale Galligan

It’s bad enough that Cory can’t join his dance crew because he’s been grounded but now he’s being tutored by Sunna, his seemingly uncool lab partner? But when Cory learns Sunna’s yo-yo secret, he discovers talents he never knew he had before. Call Number: JGraphic Galli.G

  1. Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega, ill. Rose Bousamra

Marlene loves a lot of things in life. But hair-straightening weekly visits to the salon–not so much. Why must everyone pick on her beautiful curly hair? Call Number: JGraphic Orteg.C

  1. Little Monarchs by Jonathan Case

In a future where very few mammals have survived, a girl and her guardian fight to find a vaccine that will save the human race. The secret ingredient? Monarch butterflies! Just watch out for the very people you’re trying to save… Call Number: JGraphic Case.J

  1. Miss Quinces by Kat Fajardo

Sue’s dream is to go camping with her friends for the first time ever. Instead, she’s being packed off to Honduras with her family where she’ll endure mad turkeys, fire, waterlogged manga, and (worst of all) a quinceañera party she never wanted. How can she make it her own? And does she want to? Call Number: JGraphic Fajar.K

  1. Paws: Gabby Gets It Together by Nathan Fairbairn and Michele Assarasakorn

Three girls. Zero dogs. Gabby, Priya, and Mindy are all desperate to pet and play with dogs of every kind, but their families are strict about not having them in the home. Enter PAWS! But who knew a dog walking service could be this much work? Call Number: JGraphic Fairb.N

  1. Ride On by Faith Erin Hicks

Who is the mysterious new girl at Edgewood Stables? When Victoria shows up one day to ride the horses she tells the others there that she does not need new friends. But why is she here? And what happened at her stable before? Call Number: JGraphic Hicks.F

  1. Santiago! Santiago Ramón y Cajal – Artist, Scientist, Troublemaker by Jay Hosler

Santiago just can’t seem to keep out of trouble. His father just wants him to stop drawing and study. A fiery look at the life of a mischievous kid who went on to become the father of modern neuroscience. Call Number: JGraphic Hosle.J

  1. Scout Is Not a Band Kid by Jade Armstrong

Scout’s mission is clear. To get to see her favorite author she must join . . . band! But can this trombone faker convince her new uptight seat leader that she’s worthy enough to stay? Call Number: JGraphic Armst.J

  1. Sir Ladybug by Corey R. Tabor

Evildoers and hungry chickadees beware! Whenever there’s trouble, he’s there on the double. He’s… Sir Ladybug! Call Number: JGraphic Tabor.C

  1. Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas

Oh no! Bree ends up in a swimming class at her new school but hates being in a pool. Will she learn to love the sport? This immensely enjoyable and emotionally satisfying story makes a splash! Call Number: JGraphic Chris.J

  1. Your Pal Fred by Michael Rex

Post-apocalyptic adorableness! Meet Fred. He wants to be your friend, even if you happen to be a killer robot, a warlord, or entirely covered in spikes. Resist his charm if you dare! Call Number: JGraphic Rex.M

Nonfiction Picture Books

  1. Before Music: Where Instruments Come From by Annette Bay Pimentel, ill. Madison Safer

Music from rocks. Music from shells. Music from seed pods, cocoons, and ore. Come see a fantastic array of worldwide instruments, many of which you will have NEVER heard of before. Call Number: x784.19 Pimen.A

  1. Blue by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, ill. Daniel Minter

The color blue has meant so many different things to so many different people around the world. Take a deep dive into its history and the good, and bad, stories that lie behind the color of the sky. Call Number: x535.6 Brewh.N

  1. Call Me Miss Hamilton: One Woman’s Case for Equality and Respect by Carole Boston Weatherford, ill. Jeffery Boston Weatherford

Can you fight to have people call you a name with respect? Mary Hamilton did. The story of one brave woman’s fight to be called “Miss Hamilton,” accompanied by emotive scratchboard art and photos. Call Number: xBiog Hamil.M Weath.C

  1. Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement by Angela Joy, ill. Janelle Washington

The life of Emmett Till’s mother highlights one woman’s lifetime of making brave, rather than easy, choices. Meticulous papercuts tell her story with dignity. Call Number: xBiog Tillm.M Joy.A

  1. Concrete: From the Ground Up by Larissa Theule, ill. Steve Light

A highly amusing history of a material we all take for granted. From the Partheon to the Berlin Wall, get the low down on concrete, what it’s made of, what it’s capable of, and where it might go in the future. Call Number: x620.136 Theul.L

  1. Dragon Bones: The Fantastic Fossil Discoveries of Mary Anning by Sarah Glenn Marsh, ill. Maris Wicks

Born in 1799, no one would have expected Mary Anning to be remembered as the mother of paleontology. The story of a scientist that couldn’t stop digging up impressive, ancient sea creatures. Call Number: xBiog Annin.M Marsh.S

  1. Fighting for Yes! The Story of Disability Rights Activist Judith Heumann by Maryann Cocca-Leffler, ill. Vivien Mildenberger

Can you imagine being told NO your entire life? The story of Judith Heumann’s life, told so stirringly, it’s sure to make activists out of each and every reader. Call Number: xBiog Heuma.J Cocca.M

  1. Good Eating: The Short Life of Krill by Matt Lilley, ill. Dan Tavis

How much do you know about krill? Did you know that they are shapeshifters? Or that they shed armor? Take a deep dive into the organisms on whom the fate of our planet may rest. Call Number: x595.3 Lille.M

  1. A History of Underwear with Professor Chicken by Hannah Holt, ill. Korwin Briggs

Thongs, corsets, hezi, and paper. Underwear from everywhere is celebrated in this poultry-filled tour, hosted by the delightful Professor Chicken. Call Number: x391.42 Holt.H

  1. If You’re a Kid Like Gavin: The True Story of a Young Trans Activist by Gavin Grimm and Kyle Lukoff, ill. J. Yang

If you’re a kid like Gavin you shouldn’t have to make the choice to stand up for yourself as a trans boy who deserves to use the boy’s bathroom, but that’s just what he did. The inspiring tale of a modern child hero, expertly told. Call Number: x306.76 Grimm.G

  1. Jack Knight’s Brave Flight: How One Gutsy Pilot Saved the U.S. Air Mail Service by Jill Esbaum, ill. Stacy Innerst

A gripping, edge-of-your-seat telling of the daring flight by one man to save air mail service in America. Call Number: x383.144 Esbau.J

  1. Listen to the Language of the Trees: A Story of How Forests Communicate Underground by Tera Kelley, ill. Marie Hermansson 

Think trees can’t communicate? Think again. Trees have a whole underground system of sending nutrients, messages, and even alarm systems to one another. Learn more about this amazing wood wide web. You’ll never look at a tree the same way again. Call Number: x582.16 Kelle.T

  1. Marcel’s Masterpiece: How a Toilet Shaped the History of Art by Jeff Mack

What is art? Let Marcel Duchamp help you answer that question. He once turned a toilet into an artistic statement, and the world was never the same again. Call Number: x709.04 Ducha.M

  1. Mega-Predators of the Past by Melissa Stewart, ill. Howard Gray

Forget the dinosaurs! Meet the REAL (and enormous) mega-predators of the past. All but one is extinct… but which one? Call Number: x560 Stewa.M

  1. Out of the Shadows: How Lotte Reiniger Made the First Animated Fairytale Movie by Fiona Robinson

Who knew that a love of fairy tales could turn into something so amazing? The story of one of the world’s earliest animators and how she brought her tales to life in a whole new way. Call Number: xBiog Reini.L Robin.F

  1. Pink, Blue, and You!: Questions for Kids About Gender Stereotypes by Elise Gravel with Mykaell Blais 

The gender spectrum is explained in clear, concise language for the young in this fun breakdown of a sometimes complicated topic. Call Number: x305.3 Grave.E

  1. Shapes, Lines, and Light: My Grandfather’s American Journey by Katie Yamasaki

“Serenity. Surprise. Delight.” Japanese-American architect Minoru Yamasaki used that mantra throughout his life. Now his granddaughter is able to tell his story, with all its ups and downs. Call Number: xBiog Yamas.M Yamas.K

  1. Washed Ashore: Making Art from Ocean Plastic by Kelly Crull, art by Angela Haseltine Pozzi

There’s a lot of plastic in the ocean. What to do? Artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi collected it, then turned it into magnificent sculptures of sea creatures. Waste and beauty go hand in hand with a keen environmental message. Call Number: x731.2 Crull.K

Nonfiction for Older Readers


  1. American Murderer: The Parasite That Haunted the American South by Gail Jarrow

What made workers in the American South so tired and feeble during the 19th and early 20th centuries? This exciting medical mystery uncovers the secrets of the parasitic hookworm. Call Number: x616.9654 Jarro.G

  1. Hardcourt: Stories from 75 Years of the National Basketball Association by Fred Bowen, ill. James E. Ransome

Basketball. Its personalities, rivalries, and moments of sheer remarkable physicality. All the drama is on display in this quick synopsis of its greatest moments, with stunning watercolors that capture the soul of the game. Call Number: x796.323 Bowen.F

  1. Honeybee Rescue: A Backyard Drama by Loree Griffin Burns, photos by Ellen Harasimowicz

Uh-oh. Bees have moved into a rickety old barn. Who will move them to a safe spot before the winter? It’s Mr. Nelson, the bee rescuer! An informative and fun look at finding honeybees a brand new home. Call Number: x638.1 Burns.L

  1. How to Build a Human in Seven Evolutionary Steps by Pamela S. Turner, ill. John Gurche

How do you make a human? How many “cousins” are on our family tree? The mysteries of evolution abound in this funny, fascinating, and completely up-to-date deep dive into humanity’s origins. Call Number: x599.938 Turne.P

  1. Killer Underwear Invasion! How to Spot Fake News, Disinformation & Conspiracy Theories by Elise Gravel

How do you know what to believe when you read something online? Using the fake news that underwear can kill you, this book breaks down all the different ways to figure out if news is trustworthy or not. Call Number: x070.4 Grave.E

  1. Muhammad Najem, War Reporter: How One Boy Put the Spotlight on Syria by Muhammad Najem and Nora Neus, ill. Julie Robine

What can one boy do in the face of a nation at war? When Muhammad Najem started reporting live from Syria, his bravery brought attention to his country’s plight like never before. A harsh, hopeful story. Call Number: JGraphic Najem.M

  1. Seen and Unseen: What Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adams’s Photographs Reveal About the Japanese American Incarceration by Elizabeth Partridge, ill. Lauren Tamaki

When your country makes a horrible mistake, how do you document that failure? Three great photographers saw the internment of Japanese American during WWII from different angles. Look through their eyes and determine where the truth lies, and where the lies start to sound like the truth. Call Number: x940.5317 Partr.E

  1. Trapped in Terror Bay: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Franklin Expedition by Sigmund Brouwer

How did Inuit knowledge keepers, historians, archaeologists and forensic scientists solve the mystery of the ship known as the HMS Terror? Find out for yourself what caused a historical disaster. Call Number: x917 Brouw.S

  1. The Waiting Place: When Home is Lost and a New One Not Yet Found by Dina Nayeri, photography by Anna Bosch Miralpeix

The Waiting Place wants everyone in it to stay. Meet the children who fight back against the interminable boredom and tension of living in a refugee camp, refusing to be forgotten by the rest of the world. Call Number: x305.906914 Nayer.D

Committee Members:

Patricia Alm, Laura Antolin, Ana Ariza, Stephen Barnes, Sally Battle, Betsy Bird, Shonique Carter, Kimberly Daufeldt, Lauren Gray, Jessica Iverson, Kennedy Joseph, Taylor Keahey, Leigh Kennelly, Liliana Lule, Martha Meyer, Jeny Mills, Olivia Mo, Bill Ohms, Bridget Petrites, Julie Rand, Robin Sindelar, Elizabeth English Steimle, Kasandra Trejo, Louise Tripp, Brian Wilson


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