30 Best Children’s Books of 2016

What a great year for children’s books! Here are my favorite 2016 reads for elementary and middle-grade readers.

As Brave As You Beautiful Blue World

As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds

Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne LeFleur

The Best Man The Best Worst Thing

The Best Man by Richard Peck

The Best Worst Thing by Kathleen Lane

Booked The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle

Booked by Kwame Alexander

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox

Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science Full of Beans

Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science by Jeannine Atkins

Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm

Ghost (Track, #1) The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

The Goblin's Puzzle: The Adventures of a Boy With No Name and Two Girls Called Allice The Haunting of Falcon House

The Goblin’s Puzzle: Being the Adventures of a Boy with No Name and Two Girls Called Alice by Andrew S. Chilton

The Haunting of Falcon House by Eugene Yelchin

Hour of the Bees The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eager

The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz

Juana and Lucas The Land of Forgotten Girls

Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina

The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly

The Lie Tree Maybe a Fox

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Allison McGhee

Moo Ms. Bixby's Last Day

Moo by Sharon Creech

Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson

Raymie Nightingale The Poet's Dog

The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

The Sandwich Thief The Secret Horses of Briar Hill

The Sandwich Thief by André Marois, illustrated by Patrick Doyon

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd

Soar Some Kind of Happiness

Soar by Joan Bauer

Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand

Unbound: A Novel in Verse When Mischief Came to Town

Unbound by Ann E. Burg

When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad

The Wild Robot Wolf Hollow

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

10 Best Graphic Novels of 2016 for Children and Teens

I didn’t manage to read as many graphic novels as I would have liked this year. In fact, I still have some on my to-read shelves that I hope to get to. I love the bridge that graphic novels form for children and the incredible artistry that is found in them.

27414462 Giant Days, Vol. 1 (Giant Days, #1)

The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo by Drew Weing

Giant Days Volume 1 by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, and Whitney Cogar

Hilo Book 2: Saving the Whole Wide World Hippopotamister

Hilo: Saving the Whole Wide World by Judd Winick

Hippopotamister by John Patrick Green

Little Dee and the Penguin March: Book Three (March, #3)

Little Dee and the Penguin by Christopher Baldwin


March: Book 3 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

Mighty Jack The Nameless City

Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke

The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks

Snow White: A Graphic Novel Sweaterweather: & Other Short Stories

Snow White by Matt Phelan

Sweaterweather & Other Short Stories by Sara Varon

Costa Book Award Winner Announced

The Bombs That Brought Us Together

The winner of the 2016 Costa Children’s Book Award is Brian Conaghan for The Bombs That Brought Us Together.

The Guardian offers this about Conaghan:

Children’s book winner Brian Conaghan, who won with The Bombs That Brought Us Together, offers hope to unpublished writers with piles of rejection slips from literary agents and publishers, having received more than 200 refusals for his debut When Mr Dog Bites, which was published in 2014. The book went on to be shortlisted for the Carnegie medal.

Years as a frustrated unpublished writer had strengthened him, Conaghan told the Scottish Book Trust last year. “I spent years getting rejection after rejection – basically being told my work was rank rotten – so I’m pretty immune to reviews good or bad,” he said. His latest book was described by Costa judges as “a necessary take on modern life in extraordinary circumstances”.