Today we share with you all of our picks for the best in Children’s Fiction, Non-Fiction, Picture Books and Graphic Novels from 2017. Place your holds now! Also, remember to check out the Library Newsletter for all of the library staff’s recommendations.
The Princess and the Page by Christina Farley
Keira used a magic pen to write a story and win a trip. Keira was mad at her mom, and wrote an “unhappily ever after” story. Now she has to try to change the story to save herself, her friend Bella, and her mom.
I really like fantasies and fairy tales, so this was a fun book. It had just enough twists and turns to keep me wondering what would happen next. –Linda
The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
Charlie is a boy with autism and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder who loves birds and struggles with life. He must leave the comforts of home on a road trip to see his father, a journalist who suffered brain injuries while on assignment in Afghanistan. Charlie, his siblings, and their caregiver set off on a mission in this road trip story about war, peace, birds, family, loss, and hope.
I picked up this book because I am a birder, and I love road trips. I stayed because the characters are all so real and human. –Julie
Patina by Jason Reynolds
As a newbie to the track team, Patina “Patty” Jones must learn to rely on her family and teammates as she tries to outrun her personal demons.
Last year I recommended Ghost, about a boy trying to outrun his troubles. Patina is the second book in this series, and it focuses on his teammate. With too heavy a burden for any person, Patty’s story is heartfelt and well-written. Teamwork, trust, and friendship are key. –Andrea
My Kite is Stuck! and Other Stories by Salina Yoon
Loud and in-charge Big Duck, quiet and clever Little Duck, and friendly and gentle Porcupine are back in another charming trio of stories.
This is a collection of stories for early readers , focusing on friendship and cooperation. The three characters’ personalities shine brighter than ever. I found myself laughing out loud while reading! –Andrea
Restart by Gordon Korman
Chase does not remember falling and hitting his head, in fact he does not remember anything about himself. He begins to learn who he was through the reactions of the others–trouble is, he really is not sure he likes the Chase that is being revealed.
This book shows that it may not be too late to define who you are and who you will become. Korman does a beautiful job of creating plausible characters and laugh-out-loud scenes while dealing with the serious subject of bullying. –Andrea
The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
This is the sequel to The War That Saved My Life. Eleven-year-old Ada is still adapting to her new life during World War II.
These books would make a wonderful movie or television series, in the style of Downton Abbey or Homefires. –Julie
The Good For Nothing Button! by Charise Harper
Yellow Bird has found a button and wants to share it with Red Bird and Blue Bird. This is just an ordinary button. It does not do anything when you press it. But, yes it does!
From the Elephant and Piggie Love Reading series, this easy reader is funny and fun. –Leslie
Penguin Day: A Family Story by Nic Bishop
A story in photographs featuring a family of three Rockhopper penguins. The penguins are followed through a day in their life.
Beautifully photographed and accompanied by brief, concise text explaining how the mother penguin gets food for the baby and how the father penguin saves the baby from danger. –Margaret
Botanicum by Katie Scott and Kathy Willis
This book showcases dozens of full-color plants from around the world in a gallery format. Images are complemented by identifying information and brief descriptions.
This is a fascinating and gorgeous book. –Leslie
Two Truths and a Lie: it’s Alive! by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson
Each chapter presents three stories of truly bizarre and befuddling natural phenomena. The catch is: two stories are true and one is (mostly) make believe. Readers must use critical thinking skills to figure out the truth.
My son and I loved reading this together. We learned about many weird and intriguing things, and we enjoyed talking about why we thought each story was true or false. –Mindy
That is my dream! : a picture book of Langston Hughes’s “Dream variation” by Langston Hughes & Daniel Miyares
This picture book is an illustrated version of Langston Hughes’s poem “Dream Variation.” A young boy lives the words written by Hughes, contrasting the boy’s day in a segregated town with a day of true freedom from oppression.
This beautifully illustrated book does a masterful job presenting Hughes’s vision. The message is delivered with subtlety, allowing discussion with a young reader to develop as the reader grows. –Jesse
Children’s Picture Books
Emma and the Whale by Julie Chase
Emma, a young girl with an affinity for the ocean, finds a baby whale beached on the shore and tries to save her.
Absolutely beautiful painted illustrations adorn a touching tale of conservation and empowerment. Highly recommended. –Alan
A Greyhound, A Groundhog by Emily Jenkins
A groundhog and a greyhound meet each other and decide to be friends as they play and run around together.
The words are slightly tongue twisty, and the unlikely friendship between these animals grabbed my attention. The illustrations are cute and simple and tell the story well. –Margaret
If I Had a Little Dream by Nina Laden
Children and parents alike will delight in the simple cadence of this whimsical book depicting a young child’s dream wishes.
The swirly blue cover art and gold embossed lettering instantly attracted me. This wonderful story of a young child gives voice to universal dreams full of hope, joy, and contented relationships. I guarantee you will smile the whole way through! –Margo
Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins
A silly and fun picture book, with cartoonish mice discussing and writing a wordless book with funny dialog.
Such creativity and silliness, it made me giggle and laugh out loud. Another favorite to add to my list of special kids’ books. –Margaret
The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt
From the Kingdom of the Backyard, Rock searches for an adversary that might best him, meanwhile Paper and Scissors set off on their own quests for competitors.
This hilarious picture book is from the author of The Day the Crayons Quit. It will entertain young ones and even elementary school age kids. –Leslie
Hooray for Birds by Lucy Cousins
In an exuberant display of color, Lucy Cousins invites little ones to imagine themselves as brilliant birds. Birds of all feathers flock together in a fun, rhyme-filled offering by the creator of Maisy.
I love the artwork and the rhythm of the text. A wonderful picture book. –Leslie
The Alphabet from the Sky by Benedikt Groß, Joey Lee
The whole family will be totally fascinated by this book! Using aerial photography, the authors ask you to identify accidentally or naturally occurring letters of the alphabet. Each photo is labeled with its location including latitude and longitude.
It’s like a real life “Where’s Waldo” with letters. Awesome! — Mona
The Giant Jumperee by Julia Donaldson
There’s something in Rabbit’s burrow and all of his friends try to help him get it out.
I love this new picture book. It has everything going for it: animals, rhymes and a surprise ending. –Leslie
Reach for the Moon, Little Lion by Hildegard Muller
A little lion is teased by animals who tell him that real lions are so big that they can touch the moon with their paws, a claim that saddens the little lion until a wise raven helps him fool his tormentors.
Beautiful painted faux-naive art that appeals to young eyes, a message of perseverance and pride, and minimalist poetry for the text. What’s not to love? –Alan
Now by Antoinette Portis
With words and art that are simple, yet eloquent, this book shows the way children feel their favorite thing is whatever they have or are doing at that exact moment. Or, in other words, now.
The art and the story are touching and sweet. –Mona
Children’s Graphic Novels
Hilo 2: Saving the Whole Wide World by Judd Winick
The extraterrestrial robot boy is back, with his human friends by his side. As usual, the adults have no clue Earth is about to be wiped out by beings from another dimension.
Funny dialog, running gags, puns, and visual humor will appeal to fans of Captain Underpants. Adults may appreciate that there is less potty talk than in Dav Pilkey’s books. –Emily
Swing it, Sunny by Jennifer Holm
Sunny is back, adjusting to life with her brother away at a strict military school. Letters and calls to her cool grandpa in Florida don’t tell the entire truth. Her new neighbor is a great mentor who teaches her more than just flag twirling.
Set in the 1970s, Sunny and I have a shared past and present. But she is way cooler than I ever was. –Julie
Real Friends by Shannon Hale
Calling all Raina Telgemeier fans! A young Shannon traverses the difficult friendships she has at school and home. Shannon learns about true friendship and what it means to be a friend.
I enjoyed this book for many reasons: the honest depiction of friendship between girls, the poignant yet imperfect relationships Shannon has at home and the integration of her Mormon upbringing. –Serena
All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
Imogene has always been homeschooled, but this year she will go to middle school. Not only has she been homeschooled, but her family actively participates in the town’s local Renaissance faire and refers to themselves as Rennies.
This story perfectly captures the difficulties of navigating friendship, bullying and popularity during the middle school years. –Serena