Fly into a new world or adventure with our favorite books from this year.

Brave Every Day by Trudy Ludwig and Patrice Barton (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Most kids love hide-and-seek, but Camila just wants to hide, as worrying is what she does best. But on a class trip to the aquarium, Camila learns that her fears can help her relate to an anxious classmate, inspiring her to try to be courageous.

The Blur by Minh Lê and Dan Santat (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Framed as an origin story, this sweet and funny picture book depicts the time of childhood as a superhero, reminding both kids and parents to savor every moment.

Creepy Crayon! by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown (Simon & Schuster)
Jasper Rabbit isn’t doing well in school, but he finds a crayon that’s willing to help. Now, Jasper doesn’t have to do any work as his grades improve! But the creepy crayon won’t stop wanting to do everything for Jasper … how will he get his life back?

Everything in Its Place: A Story of Books and Belonging by Pauline David-Sax and Charnelle Pinkney Barlow (Doubleday Books for Young Readers)
Book lovers will appreciate this poetic story about reading, libraries and community. Shy Nicky feels most at home in her school library, but when the library closes for a week, she is forced to face her social anxiety and see if she belongs in more spaces than the library.

Farmhouse by Sophie Blackall (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Relish in the daily life of living in a farmhouse with these pretty pages. Based on a true story the author discovered when she purchased an old farm, the book features salvaged facts and artifacts.

A Gift for Nana by Lane Smith (Random House Studio)
Little Rabbit is trying to find the perfect gift for his Nana. He goes on a quest and meets an assortment of creatures who offer their ideas for a special present.

Hot Dog by Doug Salati (Alred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)
It’s summer in the city, and this hot dog is tired of the heat! His owner seeks to get him the fresh air he needs, and the pair travel to the beach for a fun day of sea, sand and fresh air in this sweet vacation story.

Knight Owl by Christopher Denise (Christy Ottaviano Books)
Since the day he hatched, Owl dreamed of becoming a real knight. He overcomes many challenges – including his habit of nodding off during the day – to become the brave knight he wants to be.

Love in the Library by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Yas Imamura (Candlewick)
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Tama is sent to live in a War Relocation Center, and she takes solace in the library. She meets George, who seems to read an outrageous amount daily. Maybe she’s the reason he comes to the library every day?

Marley and the Family Band by Cedella Marley, Tracey Baptiste and Tiffany Rose (Random House for Young Readers)
Marley’s family moves from Jamaica to Delaware, changing her life in big ways. To help her and her siblings make friends, she plans an outdoor concert for the whole neighborhood.

The More You Give by Marcy Campbell and Francesca Sanna (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)
A boy’s grandmother gives him many gifts, like hugs, Sunday morning pancakes and acorns, along with all her wisdom about how things grow. When the boy becomes a father, he passes these things onto his daughter.

Mushroom Rain by Laura K. Zimmerman and Jamie Green (Sleeping Bear Press)
Mushrooms can do incredible things! With lyrical text and colorful artwork, readers learn about the wonderful, mysterious and bizarre world of mushrooms.

My Fade Is Fresh by Shauntay Grant and Kitt Thomas (Penguin Workshop) 
A young girl visits a barbershop with a desire for the coolest fade, but her mom and others try to talk her into one of the other hairstyles available.

Night on the Sand by Monica Mayper and Jaime Kim (Clarion Books)
After a disaster levels their city, these two brothers become refugees who find hope in their bond with each other. This moving story encourages community and sharing of resources.

The Notebook Keeper: A Story of Kindness from the Border by Stephen Briseño and Magdalena Mora (Random House Studio)
Noemi and Mama flee their home in Mexico to head for the U.S. border, where they look for “The Notebook Keeper” who is in charge of a ledger for those waiting to cross. When the keeper’s own name is called, Noemi and Mama are chosen to take her place.

Out of a Jar by Deborah Marcero (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers)
Bunny Llewellyn doesn’t like to feel afraid, sad, angry, lonely or embarrassed, and so to save himself the problem of feelings, he decides to hide them in jars. What will he do when he ends up not feeling much of anything?

People are Wild by Margaux Meganck (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Wild creatures come in all shapes and sizes, just like kids. In this fun book, readers learn what animals think about humans with this unique perspective on the animal kingdom.

Rosa’s Song by Helena Ku Rhee and Pascal Campion (Random House Studio)
Jae is a young immigrant from South Korea who learns that making friends is the same no matter where you are living.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (Scholastic Inc.)
A very hungry troll lives underneath a bridge, and when three goats travel across it, all the troll can think about is the delicious meals he can make. This is the first in a new collection of fractured fairy tales.

Tía Fortuna’s New Home by Ruth Behar and Devon Holzwarth (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Estrella’s Tía Fortuna has to move into an assisted living community, and Estrella spends the day helping her with her move. Tía explains the significance of her most important possessions from both her Cuban and Jewish culture.

Uncle John’s City Garden by Bernette G. Ford and Frank Morrison (Holiday House)
Visiting the city from her home in the suburbs, L’il Sissy sees how a few packets of seeds, helping hands and hard work transform an empty lot into a magical garden for family and community gatherings.

Wibble Wobble BOOM! by Mary Ann Rodman and Holly Sterling (Peachtree Publishers)
Claire is excited for her first ice skating class. She can’t wait to be on TV dazzling audiences everywhere. But what will she do when skating doesn’t come as naturally as she thought it would?

Wombat Said Come In by Carmen Agra Deedy and Brian Lies (Peachtree Publishers)
During an Australian bushfire, Wombat opens his home to five uniquely Australian animals. There’s always room to help others when you have the heart for it, just like a Wombat!

The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López (Nancy Paulsen Books)
On a dreary day, a brother and sister heed their grandmother’s advice to use their imaginations to overcome their boredom. When they get angry with each other, they must use their grandmother’s advice again to leave their anger behind.

Chapter Books

Answers in the Pages by David Levithan (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Donovan leaves his copy of “The Adventurers” on the kitchen counter, not thinking his mom will read it, but suddenly, she’s trying to get the book removed from the school curriculum. Donovan knows that if the two boys fall in love at the end of the novel, it shouldn’t matter. Interweaving three connected storylines, this book follows what it’s like to stand up for what’s right.

Jennifer Chan Is Not Alone by Tae Keller (Random House Books for Young Readers)
To survive in middle school, Mallory Moss knows you must fit in with everyone else. But her neighbor, Jennifer Chan, doesn’t seem to care about fitting in. In fact, what she does care about is finding aliens. When she goes missing, Mallory tries to use the clues from Jennifer’s journal to find her.

Maddie and Mabel by Kari Allen and Tatijana Mai-Wyss (Kind World Publishing)
Maddie and Mabel are two spunky sisters who have an interesting relationship – they can’t agree on who should be in charge! Big sister Maddie is bossy and demanding, but little sister Mabel is curious and always asking questions. Which one of them should be the leader?

Maizy Chen’s Last Chance by Lisa Yee (Random House Books for Young Readers)
When Maizy spends time in her family’s Chinese restaurant, Golden Palace, she makes some surprising discoveries, like the restaurant has some irresistible secrets.

The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy by Anne Ursu (Walden Pond Press) 
Marya Lupu’s brother is destined to become a great sorcerer. Unfortunately for Marya, she can never measure up, but maybe things will change for her when she has the opportunity to attend Dragomir Academy, a mysterious school for wayward young girls.

– Compiled by Laura Powell and Emily Webb

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