Amazon’s Best Children’s Books of 2018

Amazon has selected the Top 20 Children’s Books of 2018. One book was selected the best book of the year:

The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon

Here are the others in the Top 20:

Baby Monkey, Private EyeLast Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick, illustrated by David Serlin

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss

The Day You Begin Drawn Together

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael Lopez

Drawn Together by Minh Le, illustrated by Dan Santat

Endling #1: The LastHarbor Me

Endling: The Last by Katherine Applegate

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

The Journey of Little Charlie (National Book Award Finalist)Louisiana's Way Home

The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis

Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo

Mixed: A Colorful Story The Night Diary

Mixed: A Colorful Story by Arree Chung

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

The Trials of Apollo Book Three The Burning Maze

Ocean Meets Sky by The Fan Brothers

The Trials of Apollo: The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan

The Truth as Told by Mason ButtleWe Don't Eat Our Classmates

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

The Wild Robot Escapes

The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown

Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty

Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor)

Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend


This Week’s Tweets

Here are my top picks for things I shared on my Twitter feed this week:


50 Must-Read Historical Fiction Picture Books

Children’s Books That Tackle Anti-Semitism And Difference

New York Times – Stories for Kids About Heroic Young Refugees

Perspective | I wanted my kids to love books. So why did I stop reading them myself?

Why political books for kids are more popular than ever – and six you should definitely read


9 Next-Level LIBRARY FEATURES That You Didn’t Know Existed In Singapore

Mom’s Library Visit vs Four-Year-Old’s Library Visit

What Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and Libraries Have in Common


25 YA Books To Add To Your Winter TBR

Claire Legrand on the Importance of Feminist Horror | Bookish

The Poet X wins The 2018 National Book Award for young people’s literature :

PW Teen Spring Flings: Romance Novels 2019 –

What’s New in LGBTQIA+ YA November and December 2018 — Teen Librarian Toolbox

Publisher’s Weekly Best Middle Grade & YA Books

PW has released their list of the top books of the year for children and teens. The list includes the top 50 books out of the 1700 books reviewed in PW this year. Here are the top picks for Middle Grade and YA readers:


Amal Unbound The Book of Boy

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Dactyl Hill Squad Front Desk

Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel Jose Older

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World A History of Pictures for Children: From Cave Paintings to Computer Drawings

Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World by Katherine Halligan, illustrated by Sarah Walsh

A History of Pictures for Children: From Cave Paintings to Computer Drawings by David Hockney and Martin Gayford, illustrated by Rose Blake

It Wasn't Me Merci Suárez Changes Gears

It Wasn’t Me by Dana Alison Levy

Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

The Parker Inheritance Sanity & Tallulah

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks

Small Spaces Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

Sweep by Jonathan Auxier

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson



The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge The Boneless Mercies

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M. T. Anderson, illustrated by Eugene Yelchin

The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)

Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Darius the Great Is Not Okay Dry

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

Hey, Kiddo The Light Between Worlds

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

On a Sunbeam The Poet X

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Pride The Prince and the Dressmaker

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

Sadie A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

Sadie by Courtney Summers

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman

Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1) The War Outside

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

The War Outside by Monica Hesse

A Winter's Promise (The Mirror Visitor)

A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos

Dumplin’ Movie Trailer

Oh my goodness, does this look good! So much better than Insatiable… What do you think?

Released on Netflix on December 7th.

Review: It Wasn’t Me by Dana Alison Levy

It Wasn't Me by Dana Alison Levy.jpg

It Wasn’t Me by Dana Alison Levy (9781524766450)

When Theo’s photographs are vandalized at school, he and five other seventh graders spend their spring break doing a Justice Circle. Theo is angry that he has to spend time with the people who may have ruined his photos but also scared that that person targeted him enough to also spoil his pinpoint camera project the next day. But as the Justice Circle works, the five of them discover ways to make new connections: sock puppets, yoga-ball soccer, and lots of candy. Still, as the end of the week nears, no one has confessed to being the vandal and Theo is getting more and more stressed. When one more of his projects is ruined that week, he is convinced he knows the perpetrator. But does he?

Levy’s middle-grade novel cleverly mirrors The Breakfast Club and yet also takes the format in a different direction by adding a mystery. Readers will quickly make assumptions about the different teens themselves. Was it the jock? The weirdo? The goody-goody? The invisible kid? The screwup? One of them has to be the culprit. Still, as the week goes on, readers will question those initial opinions and learn that there is more to each of the characters than a single label.

Strongly written and compellingly paced, this novel is a fascinating look at how justice can be done in a school setting without the use of detentions or suspensions. It asks readers to look deeply at the characters, to join Theo on his journey of learning about the others. As the characters reveal more about themselves, they become all the more human and interesting, and they might just become friends too.

A great novel about the complexities of being a seventh grader and the truths you hide. Appropriate for ages 10-13.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Delacorte Books for Young Readers.

Publisher’s Weekly Best Picture Books

PW has released their list of the Best Children’s and YA Books of 2018. They represent the top 50 books of the year out of the 1700 children’s and YA books published in 2018 that PW reviewed. Here are their picks for the best picture books:


34362953 Carmela Full of Wishes

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin

Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Christian Robinson

The Crocodile and the Dentist The Day You Begin

The Crocodile and the Dentist by Taro Gomi

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael Lopez

Dreamers The Elephant

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

The Elephant by Jenni Desmond

36761866 Fox & Chick: The Party: and Other Stories

The Eye That Never Sleeps: How Detective Pinkerton Saved President Lincoln by Marissa Moss, illustrated by Jeremy Holmes

Fox & Chick: The Party and Other Stories by Sergio Ruzzier

Hello Lighthouse Julián Is a Mermaid

Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall

Julian Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Kitten and the Night Watchman Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein

Kitten and the Night Watchman by John Sullivan, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey, illustrated by Julia Sarda

The Patchwork Bike The Rabbit Listened

The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke, illustrated by Van Thanh Rudd

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld

Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year Stumpkin

Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year edited by Fiona Waters, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon

Stumpkin by Lucy Ruth Cummins

Thank You, Omu! Up the Mountain Path

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora

Up the Mountain Path by Marianne Dubuc

The Wall in the Middle of the Book

The Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee

2018 Environment Award for Children’s Literature

The winners of the 2018 Environment Award for Children’s Literature have been announced. The award is given annually by The Wilderness Society in Australia and is celebrating its 25th year. The winners are books that promote a love of nature in children. Here are the winners:



Florette by Anna Walker



Wombat Warriors

Wombat Warriors by Samantha Wheeler



Coral Sea Dreaming Rock Pool Secrets

Coral Sea Dreaming by Kim Michelle Toft

Rock Pool Secrets by Narelle Oliver

Review: Our Celebración! by Susan Middleton Elya

Our Celebración! by Susan Middleton Elya

Our Celebración! by Susan Middleton Elya, illustrated by Ana Aranda (9781620142714)

A community heads to a celebration together in this vibrant picture book that offers a mix of Spanish and English. The celebration features a large parade with fantastic floats, marching bands, fire engines and much more. There is plenty of delicious food to try and refreshing drinks to sip. When the rain begins, the fun doesn’t stop, though everyone celebrates when the sunshine returns bringing with it a celebratory rainbow.

Elya does a marvelous job of offering Spanish words for children to learn. Almost all of them can be figured out from the context in the poem. I appreciate that she uses the Spanish words for many of the rhymes, rather than burying them in the center of the lines. This makes them all the more enjoyable to read aloud and great fun to figure out. The book will also welcome Spanish-speaking children and allow them to decode the English as well. It is a cleverly built picture book.

Aranda’s illustrations are filled with brilliant colors of sunshine yellow, deep purples, bright blues, and hot pinks. They show a diverse community celebrating together with big smiles, lots of fun and whimsical parade participants.

A bright and busy picture book that dynamically includes Spanish and English. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from library copy.


Review: The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson (9781338209969)

Marinka never asked to be a Yaga, but since she is the granddaughter of a Baba Yaga, she has been learning to speak with the dead and guide them through the Gate and into the stars. All Marinka really wants is to make a real human friend and do things that other twelve-year-olds do. Making friends is nearly impossible though when you live in a house with chicken legs that can move you all over the world overnight. So when Marinka gets another chance to make friends with someone, she takes it, even if it breaks all of the rules that she has been taught. As her decision changes her entire life, Marinka is left to figure out who she really is and what she wants to be.

Anderson has a clear love of Russian folktales, taking a beautiful view of Baba Yaga and giving her a larger community, more chicken-footed houses and a longing for family. The folktales at the center of the book continue to reverberate throughout the story, offering Marinka distinct choices. Marinka makes her own decisions though, ones that readers will not agree with though they might understand. As her situation grows direr, Marinka becomes almost unlikeable, and yet Anderson is able to bring us back to loving her by the end.

Anderson surrounds Marinka with a beautiful and rich world. There is her own Baba Yaga, filling the house with good cooking, lots of love and ghosts every evening. Then there is Jack, Marinka’s pet jackdaw, who sits on her shoulder and puts pieces of food in people’s ears and socks. A baby lamb soon joins them as well. Yet by far, the most compelling member of Marinka’s home is the house itself. Filled with personality and opinions, the house is intelligent and ever-changing.

A dynamic retelling of the Baby Yaga folktale, this picture book offers a big world of magic and ghosts to explore. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from ARC provided by Scholastic.