The Top 10 YA and Children’s Books

Nov 22, 2016

We Found a Hat, Jon Klassen

The acclaimed author and illustrator returns with the final installment in his Hat trilogy, which includes I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat. This time, two turtles fight over who gets to keep the chapeau they’ve found.

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Chronicle Books

They All Saw a Cat, Brendan Wenzel

This picture book beautifully imagines a cat through the eyes of all the animals it passes as it walks through the world. To a dog, the cat looks lean and creepy; to a mouse, it looks enormous and menacing; to a bee, it looks like a pointillist landscape.

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Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Thunderboy Jr., Sherman Alexie, ill. Yuyi Morales

In this ode to individuality, a young Native American boy struggles with his name—the same as his father’s, which he feels doesn’t fit him at all. He wants a name that reflects his own personality, and eventually his father agrees.

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Dial Books

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, Michelle Cuevas, ill. Erin E. Stead

A lonely man whose job is to deliver the messages in bottles to the right people finds one letter without a To person or address. As he asks around, trying to find the intended recipient, he finds friendship in unexpected places.

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Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

As Brave as You, Jason Reynolds

Two Brooklyn brothers spend the summer at their grandparents’ house in rural Virginia, where they discover that their blind grandfather lives a sheltered life, escaping nightly to a secret room in his house. When he tries to teach one of his grandsons how to shoot a gun, an unfortunate turn of events teaches everyone a lesson in bravery.

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Balzer + Bray

Pax, Sarah Pennypacker

In an alternative present-day America, Peter’s father is heading off to war, and makes his son leave a pet fox in the woods before he marches off. Across 300 miles, the boy and his fox try to reunite, struggling through the wilderness of being alone.

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Clarion Books

In 1970s California, Zomorod (Cindy) Yousefzadeh moves with her Iranian parents to a nicer new neighborhood, but they quickly encounter bigotry from certain neighbors. While Cindy works hard at school and tries to make friends, the Iran hostage crisis only heightens animosity to her family.

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Delacorte Press

A Jamaican teen in New York City is racing against the clock to save her family from deportation when she meets an Korean American guy feeling pressure to follow his parents’ plan for his life. As they begin to fall in love with each other, they realize their lives will be intertwined in unexpected ways.

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The eagerly anticipated sequel of An Ember in the Ashes finds the young members of the “Scholars” resistance under autocratic rule as the emperor’s cronies pursue them. While they try to protect themselves, they also attempt to save a beloved brother imprisoned for his dangerous knowledge.

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Dutton Books for Young Readers

Spontaneous, Aaron Starmer

Something odd is going on at Covington High School: the seniors are spontaneously combusting. While the FBI investigates what’s going on, protagonist Mara—who witnessed the first poof—just tries to survive ‘til graduation.

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