Favorite Books for Young Readers 2014

Yeah, finally.

(It takes a long time to read all the books, okay?)

As usual, I would like to point out my disclaimers:

1. I read a lot of books from a lot of genres. Not every book on this list is for you. If you’d like a tailored recommendation, ask and I’ll draw up a list. Gleefully.

2. Not every book on this list is for all ages. Some of them are marked with asterisks

(**). Please read the (**) books yourself before passing them on to a young person in your life.


ShhWeHaveAPlanFavorite Preschool Read-Aloud: Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton



GastonBest Use of French Poodles: Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio




Aviary Wonders Inc.Gorgeous, Fascinating Pictures. Kinda Depressing Premise: Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual by Kate Samworth



Brother Hugo and the BearBest Historical Fiction Featuring a Book-Eating Bear: Brother Hugo and the Bear by Katy Beebe




Hoot Owl Master of DisguiseOwls! Adorable, Adorable, Deadly Owls! Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor



Rules of SummerMost Likely to Have a Film Adaptation: Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan



Sparky!Sloths Might Not Make the Best Pets, but They Still Rule: Sparky! by Jenny Offill



Princess Sparkle-HeartThis is Why You Should Teach Your Kids to Sew (Also Best Twist Ending): Princess Sparkle-Heart Gets a Makeover by Josh Schneider




Princess Who Had No KingdomBest Original Fairytale (Also, I Want Her Dress): The Princess Who Had No Kingdom by Ursula Jones




Tap Tap Boom BoomThunderstorms Aren’t Always Scary: Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle




Edgar's Second WordBest Sibling Story: Edgar’s Second Word by Audrey Vernick





Go To Sleep Little FarmChannelling Margaret Wise Brown: Go to Sleep, Little Farm by Mary Lyn Ray




Hula Hoopin QueenFavorite Read Aloud for School-Age Kids: The Hula Hoopin’ Queen by Thelma Lynn Godin



BlizzardBest Autobiographical Story: 
Blizzard by John Rocco

Kid SheriffYee-Haw, I Love Western Trickster Tales: Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads by Bob Shea



most magnificent thingBest Metaphor For the Writing Process (Or Any Creative Process, Really): The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires




Brilliant Way of Introducing Science to Little Kids: Water Can Be by Laura Purdie Salas



Once Upon an AlphabetThis Book Finally Gives Me A Reason to Use the Phrase “Tour de Force” Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters by Oliver Jeffers



Operation BunnyChannelling Diana Wynne-Jones: Operation Bunny (Wings & Co.) by Sally Gardner




MoldylocksSo Odd I Think It Might Have Been Written Under the Influence of Hallucinogens (And Yet I Still Love It): Moldylocks and the Three Beards by Noah Jones



Bunjitsu BunnyHOW CAN YOU RESIST THIS TITLE? Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny by John Himmelman



Princess in BlackMost Adorable Illustrations: The Princess in Black by Shannon and Dean Hale




Night GardenerBest Ghost Story (Seriously. Very Reminiscent of Something Wicked This Way Comes): The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier



BoundlessSteampunk. Steampunk on a TRIPLE DECKER TRAIN. That is Attacked by SASQUATCHES: The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel



West of the MoonFavorite Historical Fiction/Folklore Mashup: West of the Moon by Margi Preus



Great Greene HeistI’ve Waited for YEARS for Someone to Write the Middle-School Equivalent of Ocean’s Eleven and NOW HERE IT IS!! The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson



CuriosityBest Historical Fiction With Chess-Playing Robots: Curiosity by Gary L. Blackwood




The Children of the KingHistorical Fiction With Best Adult-Crossover Appeal: Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett




Between Two Worlds**Historical Fiction With the Most Jaw-Dropping Research: Between Two Worlds by Katherine Kirkpatrick




Breakfast Served Anytime**Most Young Adult Fiction was Terrible This Year. Here’s the One Novel I Actually Liked: Breakfast Served Anytime by Sarah Combs




El DeafoProbably the Actual Best Children’s Book of 2014: El Deafo by Cece Bell




This One Summer**Adolescence in All Its Crazy Glory: This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki




Treaties Trenches Mud and BloodI Finally Feel Like I Understand What Happened in WW I: Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood by Nathan Hale



SistersBest Sibling Story, Part II: Sisters by Raina Telgemeier




Family Romanov**Geez, Could Have Run Russia Better Than These People: The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming



Port Chicago 50The Only Book on This List That Should Be Required Reading: The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin



At Home in Her TombMost Fascinating Archaeology You’ve Never Heard Of: At Home in Her Tomb: Lady Dai and the Ancient Chinese Treasures of Mawangdui by Christine Liu-Perkins



The Right WordSometimes Nonfiction Gets the Best Illustrators: The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jennifer Bryant



Firefly JulySometimes the Illustrations are So Good They Outshine the Content: Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems edited by Paul B. Janeczko



Neighborhood SharkSometimes Nonfiction Illustration is Absolutely Terrifying: Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting With the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy



Griffin and the DinosaurSee? I TOLD You Dragons Were REAL! The Griffin and the Dinosaur: How Adrienne Mayor Discovered a Fascinating Link Between Myth and Science by Marc Aronson



Handle With CareAww! The Widdle Butterfwies are So Cuuute! Handle With Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey by Loree Griffin Burns

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