Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids 2023: Fiction

October 30, 2023



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


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


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