Notable Children’s Books of 2018

Summer Reading. Those two words can strike panic into parents and kids alike. Finding quality books for children to read can be quite a challenge – you can always ask a Children’s Librarian for suggestions, or how about a whole group of them? The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children, and they know a thing or two about Children’s Literature.

Each year a committee of the ALSC identifies the best of the best in children’s books. According to the Notables Criteria, “notable” is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children’s books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children’s interests in exemplary ways.

Pinterest LogoThe annual Notable List  is long, but we have simplified it somewhat by creating Pinterest Boards for the three grade-level lists: Younger Readers (preschool – grade 2), Middle Readers (grades 3 – 5), and Older Readers (grades 6 – 8). With book covers, descriptions, and links to each book in our catalog, you can browse the Boards, see which books are on the shelf or place requests for books that are out, all from the CPL Pinterest account. You may even see something else that strikes your fancy while you’re there!




The full 2018 Notable Book List can be found on the ALSC section of the ALA website. Past lists for each year going back to 1995 are also archived.

What other things would you like to see us feature on our Pinterest account? Let us know in the comments!



My Most Frequently Recommended Children’s Authors

One of my favorite things about working in the library is getting the chance to do favsalanna-the-first-adventurereader’s advisory. This is librarian jargon for answering questions about what book a patron (or their child) might enjoy reading next. On our part it involves discovering what the reader is most interested in, and what kind of books they usually enjoy most. While I might occasionally get stumped in the adult fiction category, when it comes to books for children (or teens) I could go on for hours. We all have our favorites, particularly if given free reign to mention any genre of book we enjoyed, or when we find a patron that has enjoyed some of the same books that we loved as well.

faviconThere are several authors that most parents, librarians, and parents think of first and fondly, such as E.B. White, Beverly Cleary, C.S. Lewis, Judy Blume, Lemony Snicket, Roald Dahl, Kate DiCamilloand more. Once the typical go to books have been read, or dismissed by the young reader since the parents suggested them, I have several of my own go to authors that I usually favssisters-grimmrecommend. Here is my “short” list.

Tamora Pierce has several series, all connected by the fantasy world they are set in and some overlapping events and characters. You do not have to read all of the series to enjoy the others. The first series is Song of the Lioness, about a young girl who defies all the odds to become a knight. She has books in both the children’s and young adult sections of the library. Other series include Beka Copper, the Daughter of the Lioness or Trickster series, Circle of Magic, and  Protector of the Small.

favsnerdsMichael Buckley has one stand alone novel (Undertow) for young adults and two wonderful series for children. The Sisters Grimm is a mystery series about orphaned sisters Sabrina and Daphne Grimm who are sent to live with an eccentric grandmother, who just happens to live in a town with a variety of fairy-tale characters. NERDS is a series that combines all the excitement of international espionage and all the awkwardness of elementary school. The series features a group of unpopular students who run a spy network from inside their school. With the help of cutting-edge science, their nerdy qualities are enhanced and transformed into incredible abilities!

Tom Angleberger has a selection of fun and fast paced books that are great for favsmustashreluctant readers. There is Fake Mustache, the Origami Yoda series, the Qwikpick Papers series, and Horton Halfpott.  All of his books have silly humor, illustrations, and realistic characters in less believable situations.

E.D. Baker tends to writes books that take our assumptions about princesses, magic, and fairy tales and makes us look at them with new eyes. First came The Frog Princess which started a series. Soon after came The Wide-Awake Princess and its follow ups. There is also the stand alone (at least so far) A Question of Magic and the start to another series with The Fairy-Tale Matchmaker.

favsfrogOther great authors, that rarely disappoint readers willing to give them a chance include Avi, Shannon Hale, Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Stroud, Gail Carson Levine, Ben Hatke, Jennifer Holm, Vivian Velde Vande, Holly Black, Matt Christopher, Diana Wynne Jones, Lois Lowry, Louis Sachar, Jerry Spinelli, Andrew Clements, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Cornelia Funke, and so many more. Still looking for suggestions, or need a specific recommendation for you or your child? Swing by the Children’s Room and any of us will be glad to help and share our favorites!