Today we list the best in children’s and young adult books from 2011. You are sure to find at least one title to intrigue and tantalize children of all ages. Who doesn’t want to know how dinosaurs say happy birthday??
Aliens on Vacation, by Clete Barrett Smith Unhappy at being sent to stay with his grandmother at The Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, Scrub discovers that each room is actually a portal to space and the inn’s visitors are aliens who are vacationing on Earth.
The First Day of School…Forever!, by R. L. Stine Everything goes wrong for eleven-year-old Artie on his first day at Ardmore Middle School, from the moment his alarm goes off until the next morning, when everything is repeated in exactly the same way.
Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life, by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts Rafe Khatchadorian teams up with his best friend, “Leo the Silent,” to create a game to make school more fun by trying to break every rule in the code of conduct.
Missing on Superstition Mountain, by Elise Broach When brothers Simon, Henry, and Jack move with their parents to Arizona, they are irresistibly drawn to explore the aptly named Superstition Mountain.
Moon Over Manifest, by Clare Vanderpool Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up, and where she hopes to find out some things about his past.
The Ogre of Oglefort, by Eva Ibbotson When the Hag of Dribble, an orphan boy, and a troll called Ulf are sent to rescue a princess from an ogre, it turns out to be far from the routine magical mission they expect.
Troublemaker, by Andrew Clements When his older brother gets in serious trouble, sixth-grader Clay decides to change his own mischief-making ways, but he cannot seem to shake his reputation as a troublemaker.
Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick Having lost his mother and his hearing in a short time, twelve-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City, and meets there Rose, who is also longing for something missing from her life.
Young Adult Fiction
Divergent, by Veronica Roth In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.
Fateful, by Claudia Gray When seventeen-year-old Tess Davies, a ladies’ maid, meets handsome Alec Marlow aboard the RMS Titanic, she quickly becomes entangled in the dark secrets of his past, but her growing love puts her in mortal peril even before fate steps in.
Stupid Fast, by Geoff Herbach Just before his sixteenth birthday, Felton Reinstein has a sudden growth spurt that turns him from a small, jumpy, picked-on boy with the nickname of “Squirrel Nut” to a powerful athlete, leading to new friends, his first love, and the courage to confront his family’s past and current problems.
Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater Nineteen-year-old returning champion Sean Kendrick competes against Puck Connolly, the first girl ever to ride in the annual Scorpio Races, both trying to keep hold of their dangerous water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.
What Happened to Goodbye, by Sarah Dessen Following her parents’ bitter divorce as she and her father move from town to town, seventeen-year-old Mclean reinvents herself at each school she attends until she is no longer sure she knows who she is or where she belongs.
Spot Goes to the Library, by Eric Hill Spot and his friends spend the day at the library searching for books with the help of Ms. Lion. The fun only increases when they take the books home to act them out.
How do Dinosaurs Say Happy Birthday, by Jane Yolen Illustrations and rhyming text present some of the different ways a dinosaur can make her birthday party special, from thanking guests for their gifts to sharing large pieces of cake.
Bunny Rabbit in the Sunlight, by Caspar Babypants and Kate Engle
Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator, by Mo Willems Amanda and her alligator have lots of fun playing together and surprising each other, but when Amanda’s grandfather buys her a panda, Alligator must learn to make new friends.
Little White Rabbit, by Kevin Henkes As he hops along a little rabbit wonders what it would be like to be green as grass, tall as fir trees, hard as rocks, and flutter like butterflies.
Llama Llama Home With Mama, by Anna Dewdney Llama Llama’s mother takes good care of him when he has to stay home from school because he is sick, but when Mama Llama begins to feel sick, too, Llama Llama knows how to take care of her.
The Slurpy, Burpy Bear, by Norbert Landa Big Bear, always alone, likes that he can slurp his soup, burp, and make other noises, not realizing that the rabbits across the river think the loud noises and odors are coming from a monster.
Suryia and Roscoe: the True Story of an Unlikely Friendship, by Bhagavan Antle Based on a true story, an orangutan living at a wildlife preserve in South Carolina forms an unlikely friendship with a lost dog who comes to live there.
Ten Little Caterpillars, by Bill Martin Jr. Illustrations and rhyming text follow ten caterpillars as one wriggles up a flower stem, another sails across a garden pool, and one reaches an apple leaf, where something amazing happens.
The Underpants Zoo, by Brian Sendelbach Invites the reader to visit a new zoo, where each of the animals sports underwear suited to his or her own personal style.