Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids 2022: Fiction

October 21, 2022


  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


Return to the full list of 101 Great Books for Kids here.


Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

Translate »