The end of the year is upon us, and there have been some great books published in 2012 for the younger set. Just in time for holiday shopping, scores of “best books of the year” lists are published by sources like NPR and Publisher’s Weekly. While it’s interesting to see what titles make the cut, there are always titles we wish made the lists, and titles that are on almost every list we don’t want you to miss.
These are unscientifically-selected favorites of two youth librarians, whose selections reflect our distinct reading tastes. Our lists may include hidden gems that receive much publicity, or debut authors who haven’t made it big yet.
- Hippopposites by Janik Coat
- My No, No, No Day! by Rebecca Patterson
- Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Erin Stead
- Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip Stead and illustrated by Erin Stead
- Piggy Bunny by Rachel Veil
- Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham
- Oh Nuts! by Tammie Sauer
- Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
- This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
- Good News, Bad News by Jeff Mack
- Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin
- Prairie Evers by Ellen Airgood – The short chapters make this a great pick for reluctant readers.
- Bink and Gollie: Two for One by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile – This one is for beginning readers.
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio – This story touches on bullying without even mentioning the word.
- What Came from the Stars by Gary Schmidt – Schmidt injects just the right amount of humor and fantasy into circumstances to which many kids will relate.
- The Secret of the Fortune Wookie by Tom Angleberger – McQuarrie Middle School’s students mis Origami Yoda when Dwight leaves for Tippett Academy, but he sends Sara a paper Fortune Wookie that seems to give advice just as good as Yoda’s — even if, in the hands of girls, it seems preoccupied with romance.
- The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate – When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant, he decides he must find her a better life.
– Lynn H., Youth Specialist Librarian & Cassie V., Children’s Services Librarian