2020 Best Children's Books Roundup
ALA_ALSC: Each year the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children's books, recordings, and digital media.
American Indians in Children's Literature: Established in 2006 by Dr. Debbie Reese of Nambé Pueblo, American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) provides critical analysis of Indigenous peoples in children's and young adult books. Dr. Jean Mendoza joined AICL as a co-editor in 2016. Here is a link to the blog with 2020 best books by native authors/illustrators.
Bank Street College of Education: The Children’s Book Committee was founded more than 100 years ago to help parents, teachers, and librarians choose the books that children will find captivating and transforming. Every year it produces comprehensive annotated book lists for children aged infant through 16. Their list of 2020 best books is organized by age. One of the few lists that recommends books for children 5 and under in its own category.
Booklist: The December 15 Starred Review issue is free and open to all. It can serve as an invaluable overview and checklist of books not to be missed for 2020. Youth starred reviews start on page 56. Here it is as a PDF.
Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature: A curated list of best multicultural books of 2020 from Dr. Claudette Shackelford McLinn, Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada, Lettycia Terrones, Dr. Sujin Huggins, and Dr. Naomi Caldwell. Here is is as a PDF.
Chicago Public Library: A team of librarians select the best books each year. The lists are in bibliocommons. Two added bonuses, the board book list and Spanish language book list round out the selections.
The Cybil Awards: The Cybil Awards combine literary merit with popular appeal.
Deschutes Public Library: Deschutes Public Library suggests their favorite 2020 reads, perfect for gifting to children. They also have gift guides for teens and adults.
Goodreads: The Goodreads Choice Awards represent the votes of readers. There are two children's categories: Middle Grade and Children's and Picture Books.
Happy Valley Library: The staff at the Happy Valley Library in Happy Valley, Oregon compiled their favorite books of 2020.
The Horn Book: The editors and reviewers of the Horn Book select their picks for the best books of 2020. There are thirty books that "offer comfort, hope, inspiration, laughter, escapism, realism, community, sustenance, challenge, warmth, and more. "
Jane Addams Children's Book Award: From the website, "the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award annually recognizes children’s books of literary and aesthetic excellence that effectively engage children in thinking about peace, social justice, global community, and equity for all people. A national committee of members with passion for and expertise in children’s literature and social justice is responsible for making the choices each year."
Kirkus: Best picture books of 2020. Best middle grade books of 2020.
Multnomah County Library: MCL has a fantastic list of books for 2020. You will need to select kids to narrow your search to children's materials. The list has the same feel as the NPR list. It shows the book covers and when you hover over the cover, it gives a brief description of the work.
Nerdy Book Club: This blog shares their love of children's and young adult books. Their tenth annual best of the year recommendations include literature for early readers, nonfiction picture books, fiction picture books, and graphic novels.
The New York Public Library: Their expert librarians selected the year's best books for kids, teens, and adults.
New York Times: The 25 best children's books of 2020 from the editors of the NY Times.
NPR: Each fall, they reach out to their staffers and trusted critics and ask them to nominate their favorite books of the year. They respond with hundreds of titles. Then, the editors and producers at NPR Books sit down with a huge spreadsheet of responses; they select favorites, resolve duplications, note omissions and consider the overall mix and balance of books recommended. This link is to their kids' book recommendations for 2020.
Publisher's Weekly: Curated from from Publishers Weekly’s reviews of children’s and young adult books published in 2020, their selections for the top 50 books of the year include picture books and graphic novels, fiction and nonfiction, debuts and bestsellers for readers of all ages. Their list is arranged by picture books, middle readers and young adults.
Salem Public Library: Library staff at the Salem Public Library in Salem, Oregon put together a graphic of the best books of 2020 for pre-k to 6th grade.
School Library Journal: Lots of hours going over those starred reviews. They also have a PDF version.
Washington Post: Authors and reviewers share their favorite middle grade, nonfiction and picture books.
100 Scope Notes: Travis Jonker, a school librarian, posts his favorite books of the year on the School Library Journal blog about children's literature.
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