Award-winning books

for children and young adults

Looking for top-quality literature to enrich your child’s life? Here’s a selection of nine award-winners. Each one has been honored as a top book for children and young adults by the American Library Association, including winners of the prestigious Newbery and Caldecott Book Awards.

Fox the Tiger

By Corey R. Tabor

Fun-loving, mischievous Fox wishes he were a tiger. Tigers are big and fast and sneaky. So he decides to become one! Soon Turtle and Rabbit are joining in the fun. But will Fox want to be a tiger forever? In Fox the Tiger, this winning trickster character and his animal friends learn that the best thing to be is yourself. Fox the Tiger is a My First I Can Read book, which means it’s perfect for shared reading with a child. Other Fox books include: Fox Is Late, Fox and the Jumping Contest, and Fox and the Bike Ride. Winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book.

Ages: 4-8

The Book of Boy

By Catherine Gilbert Murdock

A young outcast, Boy has always been relegated to the outskirts of his small village. With a large hump on his back, a mysterious past, and a tendency to talk to animals, he is often mocked by others in his town – until the arrival of a shadowy pilgrim named Secondus. Impressed with Boy’s climbing and jumping abilities, Secondus engages Boy as his servant, pulling him into an action-packed and suspenseful expedition across Europe for a thrilling and perilous medieval treasure hunt. Named a Newbery Honor Book.

Ages: 8-12

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science

By Joyce Sidman

Bugs, of all kinds, were considered to be “born of mud” and to be “beasts of the devil.” Why would anyone, let alone a girl, want to study and observe them? One of the first naturalists to observe live insects directly, Maria Sibylla Merian was also one of the first to document the metamorphosis of the butterfly. In this visual nonfiction biography, richly illustrated throughout with full-color original paintings by Merian herself, award-winning author Joyce Sidman paints her own picture of one of the first female entomologists and a woman who flouted convention in the pursuit of knowledge and her passion for insects. Winner of the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children.

Ages: 10-12

Merci SuArez Changes Gears

By Meg Medina

Thoughtful, strong-willed sixth-grader Merci Suarez navigates difficult changes with friends, family and everyone in between in this warmly told coming-of-age story. Full of humor and wisdom, award-winning author Meg Medina gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school – and the steadfast connection that defines family. Winner of Newbery Medal, the highest US award in children’s literature.

Ages: 9-12

The Rough Patch

By Brian Lies

Evan and his dog do everything together, from eating ice cream to caring for their award-winning garden, which grows big and beautiful. One day the unthinkable happens: Evan’s dog dies. Heartbroken, Evan destroys the garden and everything in it. The ground becomes overgrown with prickles and thorns, and Evan embraces the chaos. But beauty grows in the darkest of places, and when a twisting vine turns into an immense pumpkin, Evan is drawn out of his misery and back to the county fair, where friendships – old and new – await. New York Times–bestselling author-illustrator Brian Lies has created a beautiful, accessible and deeply personal story about friendship, loss and recovery. Named a Caldecott Honor Book.

Ages: 4-8

Hello Lighthouse

By Sophie Blackall

Watch the days and seasons pass as the wind blows, the fog rolls in, and icebergs drift by. Outside, there is water all around. Inside, the daily life of a lighthouse keeper and his family unfolds as the keeper boils water for tea, lights the lamp’s wick, and writes every detail in his logbook. Step back in time and through the door of this iconic lighthouse into a cozy dollhouse-like interior with the extraordinary award-winning artist Sophie Blackall. Awarded the Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

Ages: 5-8

The Remember Balloons

By Jessie Oliveros

What’s Happening to Grandpa meets Up in this tender picture book that gently explains the memory loss associated with aging and diseases such as Alzheimer’s. James’ grandpa has the best balloons filled with the best memories. He has balloons showing Dad when he was young and Grandma when they were married. Grandpa also has a silver balloon filled with the memory of a fishing trip he and James took together. But when Grandpa’s balloons begin to float away, James can’t catch them and is heartbroken. One day, Grandpa lets go of the silver balloon – and he doesn’t even notice! Grandpa no longer has balloons of his own. But James has many more than before. It’s up to him to share those balloons, one by one. Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.

Ages: 5-9

What the Night Sings

By Vesper Stamper

After losing her family and everything she knew in the Nazi concentration camps, Gerta is finally liberated, only to find herself completely alone. Without her papa, her music, or even her true identity, she must move past the task of surviving and on to living her life. In the displaced persons camp where she is staying, Gerta meets Lev, a fellow teen survivor who she just might be falling for, despite her feelings for someone else. With a newfound Jewish identity she never knew she had, and a return to the life of music she thought she lost forever, Gerta must choose how to build a new future. Winner of the William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens.

Ages: 12 and up

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

By Leslie Connor

Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason’s learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, his best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family’s orchard. An investigation drags on, and honest Mason can’t understand why Lieutenant Baird won’t believe the story he has told about that day. Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other neighbor boys, so they create an underground club space for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He’s desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin, and eventually, Benny. But will anyone believe him? Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award for middle grades.

Ages: 11-13