Announcing Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids 2023

As we rolled through the year 2023, members of the 101 Great Books for Kids Committee here at Evanston Public Library broke all our previous records in terms of reading through as many books published for children in the current year as possible. Never before have so many middle grade novels (so long!), picture books, nonfiction titles, comics, easy books, and more been consumed with such fervor! As with every year, the 101 committee is made up of any Evanston Public Library staff member interested in participating, whether or not their job is specifically aimed at working with kids or not. After all, we were all kids ourselves once.

We urge you to stop by our library whenever we’re open 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. Big by Vashti Harrison

This little girl has a big laugh, a big heart, and big dreams. But when other people start tearing into her because of her size, she has to find the bravery to stand out. Call Number: JPicture Harri.V

2. The Brothers Zzli by Alex Cousseau, ill. Anne-Lise Boutin, translated by Vineet Lal

A little girl living in the woods invites three bears, driven from their home, to stay with her. But when her neighbors become hostile, will the bears stay or go? Call Number: JPicture Couss.A

3. Catside Up, Catside Down: A Book of Prepositions by Anna Hrachovec

Cozy knitted kitties in kooky situations are up, down, on, and around. Simple and hilarious, these gentle rhymes are a sure-fire hit. Call Number: JPicture Hrach.A

4. Evergreen by Matthew Cordell

Little squirrel Evergreen has many fears, and now is the time face them. Why? Because today she is heading into the woods to deliver healing soup to an ailing Granny Oak. Call Number: JPicture Corde.M

5. Finding Papa by Angela Pham Krans, ill. Thi Bui

One day Mai’s funny, playful papa goes away, traveling from Vietnam to the US. Now she finds herself with mama on a crowded boat, traveling a turbulent ocean to a new country. Will she ever see her papa again? Call Number: JPicture Krans.A

6. Grandma’s Tipi: A Present-Day Lakota Story by S.D. Nelson

When Clara and her cousin Juniper spend their summer with their Grandmother, they learn all about a family and tribal history that’s all tied to a tipi passed down through the generations. Call Number: JPicture Nelso.S

7. Mama Shamsi at the Bazaar by Mojdeh Hassani and Samira Iravani, ill. Maya Fidawi

Lucky Samira gets to go to the bazaar with her grandmother for the very first time. But when she gets nervous, will she be able to hide under Mama Shamsi’s chador? A playful rhyming tale. Call Number: JPicture Hassa.M

8. Mr. S by Monica Arnaldo

When a classroom full of new Kindergartners comes in on the first day of school they don’t find any adults, just a sandwich on a desk. Could this be their new teacher?!? Call Number: JPicture Arnal.M

9. My Baba’s Garden by Jordan Scott, ill. Sydney Smith

Every morning, before school, a boy is driven to his grandmother’s tiny house where they take walks and save worms on rainy days. An evocative look at childhood and the small kindnesses we do for the ones we love. Call Number: JPicture Scott.J

10. My Strange Shrinking Parents by Zeno Sworder

The narrator of this tale tells the peculiar and beautiful story of how his immigrant parents traded inches of their height to support their son. As he grows up, they grow down. A story of love and of sacrifice. Call Number: JPicture Sword.Z

11. Night Owl Night by Susan Edwards Richmond, ill. Maribel Lechuga

All Sova wants is to finally see a saw-whet owl. Her mom’s a scientist and they’re hoping to measure, weigh, and mark one, but first Sova must learn an important truth: A scientist must learn to wait. Call Number: JPicture Edwar.S

12. The Night Tent by Landis Blair

At night Watson’s anxieties keep him wide awake. That is, until he discovers an entire world under his covers (and maybe the key to real shuteye). Call Number: JPicture Blair.L

13. Papá’s Magical Water-Jug Clock by Jesús Trejo, ill. Eliza Kinkz

It’s Saturday so Jesús gets to go with Papá on his landscaping jobs. Papá says that when their water-jug is empty it’s time to go home. Hilarity (and copious water consumption) ensues. Call Number: JPicture Trejo.J

14. The Search for the Giant Arctic Jellyfish by Chloe Savage

Dr. Morley and her superb crew are embarking on an adventure to finally see a giant arctic jellyfish. Will they succeed or is this creature more elusive than they think? Call Number: JPIcture Savag.C

15. Stickler Loves the World by Lane Smith

What’s better than loving the world? Getting to show it to someone else for the first time! A thorny little hero explains to an “alien” why our planet is so darned great. Call Number: JPicture Smith.L

16. Ten-Word Tiny Tales to Inspire and Unsettle by Joseph Coelho and 21 Artist Friends

Tell me a story in just ten words. One poet tells 21 tales and 21 artists give their eclectic interpretations. Part writing prompts, part short stories, and all very very strange. Call Number: JPicture Coelh.J

17. To the Other Side by Erika Meza

“The rules of the game are simple.” A boy and a girl leave home playing a game, making their way towards a border where they hope to change their lives. A beautifully rendered look at child refugees traveling on their own. Call Number: JPicture Meza.E

18. The Walk by Winsome Bingham, ill. E.B. Lewis

“…leaders are not born,” Granny says. “They’re made through molding and modeling.” A grandmother takes her grandchild on a community journey. Where are they going? Walk on and find out. Call Number: JPicture Bingh.W

19. A Walk in the Woods by Nikki Grimes, ill. Jerry Pinkney and Brian Pinkney

After his father dies, a boy takes a walk in the woods with the treasure map his dad left him. A powerful testament to love, family, and nature. Call Number: JPicture Grime.N

Fairytales, Folktales, and Religious Tales

20. The Amazing and True Story of Tooth Mouse Pérez by Ana Cristina Herreros, ill. Violeta Lópiz, translated by Sara Lissa Paulson

Losing teeth is “the gift of growing up.” See how the Spanish Tooth Mouse tradition has changed over the years and how it connects to the Tooth Fairy. Call Number: JPicture Herre.A

21. Ancient Night by David Bowles, ill. David Álvarez

Every night Rabbit fills the moon with delicious aguamiel, but when clever and foolish Opossum steals the liquid for himself, the two must work together to make things right. A smart mixture of multiple Mesoamerican legends. Call Number: x398.2089974 Nahua Bowle.D

22. Eagle Drums by Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson

Piŋa is confronted by a giant golden eagle and given a choice: Join the eagle or suffer the same fate as his dead brothers. A marvelous retelling of the Inuit story of the origins of the Messenger Feast. Call Number: J Hopso.N

23. One Chicken Nugget by Tadgh Bentley

A classic folktale is updated with the help of monsters and fast food. Celeste bets Frank that he can’t double the number of chicken nuggets he eats every day for a month. At first it seems easy, but then the math kicks in… Call Number: JPicture Bentl.T

24. The Rabbi and His Donkey by Susan Tarcov, ill. Diana Renjina

A clever fable about a Rabbi who discovers the answer to an age old question: Is it better to get somewhere fast or to let your mind travel at its own rate? Call Number: JPicture Tarco.S

25. Simon and the Better Bone by Corey R. Tabor

An old Aesop fable gets an upgrade. When Simon the dog spots another pup in a pond with a bone better than his own, jealousy gets the better of him. Call Number: JPicture Tabor.C

26. The Skull: A Tyrolean Folktale by Jon Klassen

A runaway girl encounters a lonely skull living in a beautiful home and the two strike up a fast friendship. A clever and touching tale adapted for a modern audience. Call Number: x398.20943 Klass.J

27. The Song That Called Them Home by David A. Robertson, ill. Maya McKibbin

Inspired by the stories of the Indigenous communities of Turtle Island, two siblings are lured by the inescapable song of the Memekwesewak, until the person who loves them best can call them home again. Call Number: JPicture Rober.D

28. Stories of the Islands by Clar Angkasa

Three classic Indonesian folktales are reinterpreted through a feminist lens into beautifully rendered comics. From “Keong Mas” and “Bawang Merah Bawang Putih” to “Timun Mas,” old stories gain new life. Call Number: JGraphic Angka.C

Easy and Early Chapter Books

29. Bear and Bird: The Picnic and Other Stories by Jarvis

Four short stories about two good friends. Completely charming illustrations accompany their tales of misunderstandings, kindness, and laugh-out-loud situations. Call Number: JEasy Jarvis

30. Henry, Like Always by Jenn Bailey, ill. Mika Song

In Classroom Ten, Henry relies on routines. Then, one day, his teacher announces that there will be a parade when there’s usually Share Time. A smart and reassuring book about a kid on the autism spectrum working with the unexpected. Call Number: JEasy Baile.J

31. Kitty-Cam by Margie Palatini, ill. Dan Yaccarino

Camera firmly attached to its head, follow a curious kitty as it goes about its day, getting into all kinds of mischief. A fabulous story for the very earliest of new readers. Call Number: JBegin Palat.M

32. The Rescues: Finding Home by Tommy Greenwald and Charlie Greenwald, ill. Shiho Pate

Small stories tell the tale of two shelter dogs who get adopted together, and the tiny adventures they have before and after. Call Number: JEasy Green.T

33. The Story of Gumluck the Wizard by Adam Rex

Gumluck is just a little wizard who lives in a big hill, but he aspires to be more. Fortunately he has his new friends, a tiny ghost named Butterscotch and a crotchety raven named Helvetica, to help him on his way. Call Number: J Chapter Rex.A

34. Too Small Tola Gets Tough by Atinuke, ill. Onyinye Iwu

When the pandemic hits Lagos, Nigeria, Tola finds herself working as a housegirl for the super rich, to help her family. And when her love of numbers comes in handy, she proves that even if you’re small you can still save the day. Call Number: JChapter Atinuke

35. When Dad’s Hair Took Off by Jörg Mühle, translated by Melody Shaw

“Dad’s hair was sick of being brushed and combed.” Watch what happens when one man’s hair takes off to see the world … without him! Call Number: JChapter Muhle.J

36. Worm and Caterpillar Are Friends by Kaz Windness

Worm thinks best friends should be exactly alike. Caterpillar knows that differences can also be good. So what happens when Caterpillar goes through a HUGE change? A touching and hilarious tale with lovely art. Call Number: JEasy Windn.K



37. Animals in Pants by Suzy Levinson, ill. Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell

An irreverently illustrated picture book of simple and silly poems featuring all kinds of animals wearing all kinds of pants. Call Number: x811.6 Levin.S


38. Kin: Rooted in Hope by Carole Boston Weatherford, Ill. by Jeffery Boston Weatherford

Carole and Jeffery Boston Weatherford tell the story of their ancestors through verse, art, and painful, but ultimately empowering, research. Call Number: J Weath.C


39. My Head Has a Bellyache by Chris Harris, ill. Andrea Tsurumi

Step aside, Shel Silverstein! There’s a new funny poetry book in town and it’s going to knock you out. Get ready for elderly cavemen, nail-clippies fairies, and AWOL buffalos in this laugh-out-loud triumph of a collection. Call Number: x811 Harri.C


40. Robot, Unicorn, Queen: Poems for You and Me by Shannon Bramer, ill. Irene Luxbacher

A funny, touching, exciting array of poems fill this collection. From “I did what the toad toad me to do” to “Please Don’t Scream at the Piano” dive deep into some of the best poetry for kids you’ve ever read. Call Number: x811.6 Brame.S



41. Calling the Moon: 16 Period Stories from BIPOC Authors, edited by Aida Salazar and Yamile Saied Méndez

Award-winning BIPOC authors each contribute an uplifting, hopeful story about tweens and teens, and their experiences with menstruation. Call Number: x808.83 Calling


42. The Carrefour Curse by Dianne K. Salerni

When she left the family 12 years ago Garnet’s mom swore she’d never return. Now mother and daughter are back and the house, its curse, and its family are all wrapped up in a mystery that only Garnet and her special skills can unravel. Call Number: J Saler.D


43. Dear Mothman by Robin Gow

Ever since Noah’s best friend died he’s been fixated on finding the mysterious cryptid Mothman for his science fair project. A touching tale of grief, trans identity, and acceptance. Call Number: J Gow.R


44. Don’t Want to Be Your Monster by Deke Moulton

Two vampire brothers set out to solve the mystery of a series of strange deaths in their town. Will they figure out the culprit, or will a vampire hunter get them first? Call Number: J Moult.D


45. Eb & Flow by Kelly J. Baptist

Ebony and De’Kari (aka Flow) do not get along. How could they when their cafeteria scuffle ended with Flow’s ruined shoes, Ebony on the ground, and both of them with ten days of at-home suspension? Now they have two weeks to think about and explain their behavior—to their families, to each other, and ultimately to themselves. Call Number: J Bapti.K


46. The Eyes and the Impossible by Dave Eggers, ill. Shawn Harris

Nobody can run like Johannes and on the island park where he lives he likes it that way. He and the other animals there are the eyes of the island, but when big changes head their way, will they be prepared to face the unknown? Call Number: J Egger.D


47. Flora la Fresca and the Art of Friendship by Veronica Chambers, ill. Sujean Rim

Flora’s life comes crashing down around her ears when her best friend Clara moves out of town. Will she find another BFF or be doomed to loneliness? A fast-paced little comical romp. Call Number: J Chamb.V


48. The Grace of Wild Things by Heather Fawcett

Imagine an Anne of Green Gables where Marilla is a witch who tries to eat Anne upon sight. Grace is determined to study spells under the tutelage of the local witch. When she’s given a near impossible task to finish (or else lose her magic!), it will take all her gumption, smarts, and friends to win the day. Call Number: J Fawce.H


49. Heroes of Havensong: Dragonboy by Megan Reyes

Having grown up on different sides of a war they didn’t start, a boy-turned-dragon, his reluctant dragon rider, a runaway witch, and a young soldier must save their world, and magic itself, from being destroyed. Call Number: J Reyes.M


50. Hope in the Valley by Mitali Perkins

13-year-old aspiring poet Pandita Paul struggles to navigate grief and change in her rapidly gentrifying Silicon Valley neighborhood. Call Number: J Perki.M


51. Leeva at Last by Sara Pennypacker, ill. Matthew Cordell

What are people for? Leeva is determined to find out with the help of an orphaned badger, a risk-averse boy in a hazmat suit, and the town’s librarians. A story perfect for fans of Matilda. Call Number: J Penny.S


52. The Lost Year by Katherine Marsh

A 13-year-old boy trapped indoors in the early days of Covid-19 uncovers a dark family secret leading back to the Holodomor, the early 1930s Ukrainian famine caused by Stalin’s policies. Call Number: J Marsh.K


53. Maggie Lou, Firefox by Arnolda Dufour Bowes, ill. Karlene Harvey

Meet Maggie Lou, Firefox! Whether she’s boxing at the gym in a tutu, working on her dad’s construction crew, or going on her first deer hunt, this Métis kid will always keep you laughing. Call Number: J Bowes.A


54. The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams by Daniel Nayeri, ill. Daniel Miyares

Saved from a stoning by angry monks, a kid called Monkey is indebted to the fast-talking Samir, a merchant on the Silk Road. The problem? Several hired assassins have Samir in their sights, and Monkey is obligated to save him. Call Number: J Nayer.D


55. Not an Easy Win by Chrystal D. Giles

Unfairly kicked out of his new school, Lawrence finds himself adrift. One day he goes to the community rec center, and discovers the game of chess. Can he learn how to pull off the right moves? Call Number: J Giles.C


56. The Probability of Everything by Sarah Everett

An asteroid is headed to Earth and it has an 84.7% chance of hitting in four days. Kemi is determined to bury a time capsule remembering her family, but in this story is everything quite what it seems? Call Number: J Evere.S


57. The Rhythm of Time by Questlove with S.A. Cosby

When Rahim uses the phone his best friend Kasia made for him to search his favorite old school rap group, he’s sent into the past! Now he and Kasia have to find a way to bring him back to the present before time runs out. Call Number: J Questlo


58. Simon Sort of Says by Erin Bow

Simon is the only kid in his class who survived a school shooting. Two years later, he’s starting over in a new town at a new school (7th grade), and he only wants to forget everything and fly under the radar. New friends come, but he can’t put the past away so easily, despite his best intentions. Call Number: J Bow.E


59. Sisters of the Lost Marsh by Lucy Strange

Six sisters live under a family curse. When one sibling disappears into the ghastly Mire, it’s up to brave Willa to ride into the fantastical unknown and find her. Call Number: J Stran.L


60. Something Like Home by Andrea Beatriz Arango

Laura didn’t know a 911 call to help her addict parents would result in her being forced to stay with her estranged aunt. This moving free verse novel shows Laura finding kindness and friendship, as well as an adorable pup. Call Number: J Arang.A


61. Tiger Daughter by Rebecca Lim

A powerful novel about a girl named Wen finding her strength and resilience while living with her troubled parents. When tragedy strikes the family next door, Wen must learn to help her friend too. Call Number: J Lim.R


62. The Worlds We Leave Behind by A.F. Harrold, ill. Levi Pinfold

After Hex causes an accident, he runs into the woods where he discovers a mysterious stranger who offers him a terrifying chance to alter the universe. Eerie and haunting. Call Number: J Harro.A


63. You Are Here: Connecting Flights, edited by Ellen Oh

A dozen amazing Asian-American middle grade authors each contribute a story set on a stormy day in a fictional Chicago airport. As 12 middle schoolers wait to board their respective flights, they each take a thrilling stand for justice…and themselves. Call Number: x808.83 You

Graphic Novels


64. Eerie Tales from the School of Screams by Graham Annable

Davis and Emily’s teacher asks her students to tell her the creepiest stories they know. Buckle up as you read through this array of scary, gross, and occasionally terrifying tales! Call Number: JGraphic Annab.G


65. A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat

What happens when a group of middle schoolers are given free rein to explore Europe in 1989? Dan Santat takes a page out of his own life to tell this story of romance, uncertainty, and a LOT of Fanta. Call Number: JGraphic Santa.D


66. Global by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, ill. Giovanni Rigano

Two kids in two completely different countries do battle with nature. Sami’s fishing village is dealing with rising tides and less fish. Yuki is trying to help a grolar bear, but finds its hungry belly a threat. A book of environmental activism and our connected world. Call Number: JGraphic Colfe.E


67. Gnome and Rat by Lauren Stohler

Join best friends Gnome and Rat as they engage in small adventures that all involve hats in some way. Easy reading comics with a chapeau theme! Call Number: JGraphic Stohl.L


68. Grace Needs Space! by Benjamin A. Wilgus, ill. Rii Abrego

Grace cannot wait to space travel to Titan where her mom works hard on a ship. But things don’t go as planned when Mom won’t stop working. So Grace decides to choose her own adventure…with dangerous results. Call Number: JGraphic Wilgu.B


69. Mexikid: A Graphic Memoir by Pedro Martín

Meet Pedro, the seventh of nine kids, as he and his family take an epic trip to Mexico to fetch his Mexican Revolution-era Abuelito back to America. A hilarious graphic memoir full of raw milk, snotty Pop Rocks, family, and heart. Call Number: JGraphic Marti.P


70. Otis & Peanut by Naseem Hrab, ill. Kelly Collier

Meet Otis and Peanut, two best friends in three small adventures. From haircuts to swings to making a house feel like a home, they’re always there for one another. Call Number: JGraphic Hrab.N


71. Parachute Kids by Betty C. Tang

When Feng-Li gets to go to Disneyland for the first time she’s thrilled! Then her parents reveal that America is their new home now AND mom and dad have to go back to Taiwan. How will she and her siblings survive without them? Call Number: JGraphic Tang.B


72. Saving Sunshine by Saadia Faruqi, ill. Shazleen Khan

After a big argument, battling twins Zara and Zeeshan have their phones taken away while traveling to the Florida Keys with their parents. Soon they discover they must reconcile their differences and work together when a crisis arises. Call Number: JGraphic Faruq.S


73. Squire & Knight by Scott Chantler

A knight and squire are headed off to defeat a deadly dragon! But when the knight disappears it’s up to the squire to determine who the true culprit is, while solving a couple mysteries along the way. Call Number: JGraphic Chant.S


74. Super Pancake by Megan Wagner Lloyd

Peggy Pancake’s always been stuck in her perfect brother’s shadow, until the day that an accidental mixup grants her superhero abilities. Can Peggy harness her new powers and save all that is dear? Find out in: SUPER PANCAKE! Call Number: JGraphic Lloyd. M


75. Survival Scout: Lost in the Mountains by Maxwell Eaton III

Scout has ended up abandoned in the wilderness, all alone with a snarky skunk. What to do? Find out how to find shelter, make a fire, signal for help, and more with this fun and funny guide to survival. Call Number: JGraphic Eaton.M.


76. Things in the Basement by Ben Hatke, colors by Zack Giallongo

Dive, down, deep deep down, into the basement with Milo. He’s on a quest to get his baby sister’s sock, but what he finds instead is the adventure of a lifetime. Call Number: JGraphic Hatke.B

Nonfiction Picture Books

77. An American Story by Kwame Alexander, ill. Dare Coulter

You can’t tell the story of America by just telling the comfortable parts. A look at early slavery in America and a consideration of what we teach our kids at school. Call Number: x306.362 Alexa.K


78. The Book of Turtles by Sy Montgomery, ill. Matt Patterson



Think you know turtles? Think again! An up-close-and-personal deep dive into the species with all its weird and wonderful qualities. Best. Turtle. Book. Ever. Call Number: x597.92 Montg.S


79. Butt or Face? Can You Tell Which One You Are Looking At? by Kari Lavelle

Think you can tell a butt from a face? Test your skills against an array of insects, amphibians, birds and beasts. We bet at least one of them fools you! Call Number: x571.31 Lavel.K


80. Dogs: A History of Our Best Friends by Lita Judge

Take a trip back in time to 50,000 years ago and follow the path of humanity’s best friend. From cleaning infectious wounds to clearing birds off of runways, this fact-filled readaloud is a perfect paean to one of our favorite animals. Call Number: x636.7 Judge.L


81. The Fire of Stars: The Life and Brilliance of the Woman Who Discovered What Stars Are Made Of by Kirsten W. Larson, ill. Katherine Roy

What burns at the heart of a star? The story of Cecilia Payne, ground-breaking scientist, is brought to life in this scintillating picture biography riddled with the mysteries of the universe. Call Number: xBiog Payne.C Larso.K


82. The Gentle Genius of Trees by Philip Bunting

Trees give us so much here on earth but how much do we know about them? Take an irreverent trip into their communication, likes, dislikes, and more. Call Number: x582.16 Bunti.P


83. Glitter Everywhere! Where It Came From, Where It’s Found, and Where It’s Going by Chris Barton, ill. Chaaya Prabhat

Do you love glitter? Hate it? Then this book is for you! Find out its history, its science, its importance, and what we can do to be more responsible with it so it won’t hurt the environment. Call Number: x745.5 Barto.C


84. The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music by Roberta Flack with Tonya Bolden, ill. Hayden Goodman

A five-time Grammy Award winner tells the story of how she came to love music and how her family got its very first piano. Loads of personality and fun infuse this delightful bio. Call Number: xBiog Flack.R Flack.R


85. Holding Her Own: The Exceptional Life of Jackie Ormes by Traci N. Todd, ill. Shannon Wright

The life of reporter, cartoonist, dollmaker, artist Jackie Ormes is brought to rip-roaring life in this fun and fantastic biography. Learn as much as you can about the first Black woman to become a nationally syndicated cartoonist! Call Number: xBiog Ormes.J Todd.T


86. Ice Cream Man: How Augustus Jackson Made a Sweet Treat Better by Glenda Armand and Kim Freeman, ill. Keith Mallett

Meet “the father of ice cream” who invented a method to make ice cream accessible to everyone, not just the rich. An inspiring biography of the entrepreneur behind everyone’s favorite summer treat. Call Number: xBiog Jacks.A Arman.G


87. The Indestructible Tom Crean: Heroic Explorer of the Antarctic by Jennifer Thermes

Sail with explorer Tom Crean on the ships Discovery, Terra Nova, and Endurance and watch as the man not only manages to stay alive, but also saves the lives of his fellow crew time and again. A gripping, wonderful look at a heroic man. Call Number: xBiog Crean.T Therm.J


88. Jumper: A Day in the Life of a Backyard Jumping Spider by Jessica Lanan

What’s it like to be a spider in the grass? Enter the world of a jumping spider and experience the danger and excitement happening just under your nose. Call Number: x595.44 Lanan.J


89. Not a Monster by Claudia Guadalupe Martínez, ill. Laura González

Adorable, engaging, and informative! With simple text, meet the axolotl, learn about its Aztec origin myth, and see the way pollution is affecting its natural habitat. Call number: x597.858 Marti.C


90. One Tiny Treefrog: A Countdown to Survival by Tony Piedra and Mackenzie Joy

“Ten tiny tadpoles grow in their eggs.” Count down as each tadpole falls prey to hungry nature in this eye-opening look at not just treefrogs but survival of the fittest as well. Call Number: x597.878 Piedr.T


91. Ready, Set, Run! The Amazing New York City Marathon by Leslie Kimmelman, ill. Jessie Hartland

What’s it like to run in a real marathon? Stretch, get a good night’s sleep, and join the 50,000+ runners for a fun look at this amazing race! Call Number: x796.4252 Kimme.L


92. Stranded! A Mostly True Story from Iceland by Ævar Þór Benediktsson, ill. Anne Wilson

Almost all the facts in this book are true. Can you find the single lie? When the author’s grandfather got stranded on an active volcanic island with his friend their survival was NOT guaranteed. An unexpectedly hilarious and harrowing tale. Call Number: x551.21 Aevarpo


93. There Was a Party for Langston, King of Letters by Jason Reynolds, ill. Jerome Pumphrey and Jarrett Pumphrey

“There was a party for Langston at the library.” Lanston Hughes, that is. A marvelous recounting of one man’s legacy and a vibrant visual praise of Black American writers. This text sings. Call Number: JPicture Reyno.J


94. Tomfoolery! Randolph Caldecott and the Rambunctious Coming-of-Age of Children’s Books by Michelle Markel, ill. Barbara McClintock

Meet Randolph Caldecott! The children’s book illustrator unafraid to put fun, action, and loads of animals on the page. A marvelous look at the artist our picture books owe so much to today. Call Number: xBiog Calde.R Marke.M

Nonfiction for Older Readers

95. Alone: The Journey of Three Young Refugees by Paul Tom, ill. Mélanie Baillairgé, translated by Arielle Aaronson

What is it like to leave your family and even your country to travel completely on your own? Follow the stories of three kids who did it in this powerful and uplifting collection. Call Number: x305.23086 Tom.P


96. Chinese Menu: The History, Myths, and Legends Behind Your Favorite Foods by Grace Lin

Take a tasty historical tour of the food found in Chinese restaurants. Lin packs her informative book with retellings of myths and legends about each yummy dish. Call Number: x641.5951 Lin.G


97. The Deep!: Wild Life at the Ocean’s Darkest Depths by Lindsey Leigh

Sink deep deep below the waves to meet the creatures that dwell where nothing else can live. A fantastic voyage filled with humor and facts we can guarantee you never knew before! Call Number: x591.77 Leigh.L


98. The Miracle Seed by Martin Lemelman

Everyone knows that the Judean date palm went extinct in the 1700s, right? But when scientists were given 2,000 year old seeds, they decided to see if they’d grow. A tale of history, science, and delicious dates. Call Number: JGraphic Lemel.M


99. The Mona Lisa Vanishes: A Legendary Painter, a Shocking Heist, and the Birth of a Global Celebrity by Nicholas Day, ill. Brett Helquist

How did the world’s most famous painting get casually stolen on a Monday morning? Easy: She wasn’t famous yet. Take a trip into the past and witness the Mona Lisa heist in this funny and fantastic work of narrative nonfiction. Call Number: x364.162 Day.N


100. Mysterious GLOWING Mammals: An Unexpected Discovery Sparks a Scientific Investigation by Maria Parrot–Ryan

When exposed to ultraviolet light, there are some mammals that glow in gorgeous colors. But why? Learn about biofluorescence and the scientists who are trying to figure out why this occurs. Call Number: x599 Parro.M


101. Unseen Jungle by Eleanor Spicer Rice, ill. Rob Wilson

Whether you’re an up-and-coming young scientist or just want a book with the grossest stuff in it, there’s a lot to love in this compendium of microbes and their unseen, highly disgusting, world. Call Number: x579 Spice.E


And, finally, we would like to thank our wonderful committee members for all the hard work and time they’ve poured into this list.

Committee Members

Patricia Alm, Laura Antolin, Cherie Asante, Betsy Bird, Abby Dan, Kimberly Daufeldt, Betsy Haberl, Jessica Iverson, Hannah Johnson, Kennedy Joseph, Taylor Keahey, Leigh Kennelly, Martha Meyer, Jennifer Wasilewski Mills, Olivia Mo, Bill Ohms, Bridget Petrites, Julie Rand, Jennifer Shreve, Robin Sindelar, Elizabeth English Steimle, Kasandra Trejo, Amy Louise Tripp, and Brian Wilson.


Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

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