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New York Public Library Reveals its List of Best Books for Kids and Teens Just in Time for The Holidays

New York, NY — In the spirit of giving this holiday season, librarians at The New York Public Library (NYPL) are sharing their recommended reads of 2016 for children and teens.

A perfect guide for those looking to give the best books to their favorite young readers, the two lists – 100 Best Books for Kids and 50 Best Books for Teens – feature recommendations from NYPL’s children and teen librarians throughout the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island.

Spanning multiple genres from picture books to graphic novels – the titles selected represent an inclusive list of books published in 2016 that consist of diverse characters, rich storytelling, and the ability to engage and stimulate a life-long love of reading.

The lists include celebrated authors, such as Kate DiCamillo, Sherman Alexie, Dan Yaccarino, Peter Brown, John Lewis, and Meg Medina – as well as eagerly-awaited debut titles, such as Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings, and Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova. 

An interactive website that sorts and categorizes the selections based on a range of categories, such as genre, format, and age, will launch on December 1.

Events will be held on December 1 at 4pm to celebrate the launch of the 50 Best Books for Teens at the Hamilton Grange Library in Manhattan with Never Missing, Never Found author Amanda Panitch, the Bronx Library Center with Zoraida Cordova, and Stapleton Library in Staten Island.


Picture books (fiction & nonfiction):

  • Armstrong: The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon by Torben Kuhlmann
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting by Michelle Robinson; Illustrated by David Roberts
  • Bunny Slopes by Claudia Rueda
  • Dragon was Terrible by Kelly DiPucchio; Illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
  • Emma and Julia Love Ballet by Barbara McClintock
  • Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford; Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
  • Giant Squid by Candace Fleming; Illustrated by Eric Rohmann
  • Have You Seen My Trumpet? by Michaël Escoffier; Illustrated by Kris Di Gia
  • Henry and Leo by Pamela Zagarenski
  • How Much Does a Ladybug Weigh? by Alison Limentani
  • I Am a Story by Dan Yaccarino
  • I Am Not a Dinosaur by Will Lach & The American Museum of Natural History; Illustrated by Jonny Lambert
  • If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle; Illustrated by Cale Atkinson
  • The Journey by Francesca Sanna
  • Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell; Illustrated by Rafael López
  • The Night Gardener by Terry Fan and Eric Fan
  • Olinguito, de la A a la Z!/Olinguito, from A to Z! by Lulu Delacre
  • Ooko by Esme Shapiro
  • Saved by the Boats: The Heroic Sea Evacuation of September 11 by Julie Gassman; Illustrated by Steve Moors
  • School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex and Christian Robinson
  • The Secret Subway by Shana Corey; Illustrated by Red Nose Studio
  • Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh; Illustrated by Raúl Colón
  • They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
  • Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie; Illustrated by Yuyi Morales
  • Tiny Stitches: the Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas by Gwendolyn Hooks. Illustrated by Colin Bootman
  • Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup
  • A Voyage in the Clouds: The (Mostly) True Story of First International Flight by Balloon in 1785 by Matthew Olshan; Illustrated by Sophie Blackall
  • The Water Princess by Susan Verde and Georgie Badiel; Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
  • The White Cat and the Monk: A Retelling of the Poem “Pangur Bán” by Jo Ellen Bogart; Illustrated by Sydney Smith
  • What To Do with a Box by Jane Yolen, Illustrated by Chris Sheban
  • Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton; Illustrated by Don Tate The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game by Nancy Churnin; Illustrated by Jez Tuya
  • Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian; Illustrated by Mike Curato
  • Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs by Sue Park; Illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt 

Easy readers:

  • Duck, Duck, Porcupine! by Salina Yoon
  • Haggis and Tank Unleashed: All Paws on Deck by Jessica Young; Illustrated by James Burcks
  • Mango & Bambang: The Not-a-Pig by Polly Faber; Illustrated by Clara Vulliamy
  • My Life in Pictures by Deborah Zemke
  • Pugs of the Frozen North (A Not-So Impossible Tale) by Philip Reeve; Illustrated by Sarah McIntyre
  • Timo’s Garden by Victoria Allenby; Illustrated by Dean Griffiths
  • Waylon! One Awesome Thing by Sara Pennypacker; Illustrated by Marla Frazee
  • Weekends with Max and His Dad by Linda Urban; Illustrated by Katie Kath
  • What this Story Needs is a Hush and a Shush by Emma J. Virjan
  • Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? by Kate DiCamillo; Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

Fiction for kids:

  • All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor
  • As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds
  • Beetle Boy by M.G. Leonard
  • The Best Man by Richard Peck
  • The Bolds by Julian Clary; Illustrated by David Roberts
  • The Door by the Staircase by Katherine Marsh
  • Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm
  • Ghost by Jason Reynolds
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
  • The Island of Beyond by Elizabeth Atkinson
  • It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas
  • Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart
  • Midnight War of Mateo Martinez by Robin Yardi
  • Moo: A Novel by Sharon Creech
  • Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson
  • Pax by Sara Pennypacker; Illustrated by Jon Klassen
  • Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand
  • Time Traveling with a Hamster by Ross Welford
  • Unbound by Ann E. Burg
  • When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad
  • The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
  • Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

Fairy tales & folklore:

  • The Blue Jackal by Shobha Viswanath; Illustrated by Dileep Joshi
  • Hare and Tortoise by Alison Murray
  • I Am Pan! by Mordicai Gerstein
  • The Princess and the Warrior: The Tale of Two Volcanoes by Duncan Tonatiuh
  • Thumbelina by Xanthe Gresham Knight; Illustrated by Charlotte Gastaut
  • Snow White by Matt Phelan
Graphic novels:
  • Hilo: Saving the Whole Wide World by Judd Winick
  • Lucy & Andy Neanderthal by Jeffrey Brown
  • Red’s Planet by Eddie Pittman
  • Rutabaga the Adventure Chef: Feasts of Fury by Eric Colossal
  • The Great Pet Escape by Victoria Jamieson
  • The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks; color by Jordie Bellaire
  • Ada’s Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer by Fiona Robinson
  • Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood; Illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
  • Death is Stupid by Anastasia Higgenbottom
  • Deep Roots: How Trees Sustain Our Planet by Nikki Tate
  • I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy; Illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
  • Let Your Voice Be Heard: The life and Times of Pete Seeger by Anita Silvey
  • Like a Bird: The Art of the American Slave Song by Cynthia Grady; Illustrated by Michele Wood
  • Lincoln and Kennedy: A Pair to Compare by Gene Barretta
  • Pink is for Blobfish: Discovering the World’s Perfectly Pink Animals by Jess Keating
  • Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe
  • Some Writer!: The Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet
  • Splat! The Most Exciting Artists of All Time by Mary Richards
  • The Great Leopard Rescue: Saving the Amur Leopards by Sandra Markle
  • We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement that Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman
  • Echo Echo: Reverso Poems About Greek Myths by Marilyn Singer; Illustrated by Josee Masse
  • Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan
  • Guess Who, Haiku by Deanna Caswell; Illustrated by Bob Shea
  • Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxanne Orgill; Illustrated by Francis Vallejo
  • Slickety Quick: Poems about Sharks by Skila Brown; Illustrated by Bob Kolar
  • Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka
  • When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano; Illustrated by Julie Morstad
  • You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen by Carole Boston Weatherford; Illustrated by Jeffrey Boston Weatherford 



  • Asking for It by Louise O’Neill
  • (Blacktop) Janae & Justin  by LJ Alonge
  • Breakfast with Neruda by Laura Moe
  • Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
  • The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
  • Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse
  • Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
  • The Haters by Jesse Andrews
  • The Head of the Saint by Socorro Acioli
  • How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
  • If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
  • Iron Cast by Destiny Soria
  • Keep Me in Mind by Jaime Reed
  • Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
  • Never Missing, Never Found by Amanda Panitch
  • Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee
  • The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
  • Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel
  • Riding Chance by Christine Kendall
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
  • Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace
  • The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
  • Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer
  • The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  • Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  • Up from the Sea by Leza Lowitz
  • We Are the Ants  by Shaun David Hutchinson
  • The Weight of Zero  by Karen Fortunati
  • Where Futures End by Parker Peevyhouse

Comics & Graphic Novels:

  • All New X-Men: Inevitable, Vol. 1 by Dennis Hopeless, Mark Bagley
  • Goldie Vance, Vol. 1 by Hope Larson, Brittney Williams
  • Kuroko’s Basketball, Vol. 1 by Tadatoshi Fujimaki
  • Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu
  • orange: The Complete Collection, Vol. 1 by Ichigo Takano
  • Princess Jellyfish, Vol. 1 by Akiko Higashimura
  • Lumberjanes, Vols. 3 & 4 by Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson
  • Ms. Marvel, Vol. 5: Super Famous by G. Willow Wilson
  • Silver Surfer, Vol. 3: Last Days by Dan Slott, Michael Allred
  • Star Wars: Vader Down by Jason Aaron, Mike Deodato
  • Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings
  • Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America by Gail Jarrow
  • Feminism: Reinventing the F-Word by Nadia Abushanab Higgins
  • March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
  • Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson
  • Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner, Gareth Hinds
  • A Teen’s Guide to the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
  • Tetris: The Games People Play by Box Brown
  • The V-Word: True Stories about First-Time Sex by Amber J. Keyser
  • Women of Colonial America: 13 Stories of Courage and Survival in the New World by Brandon Marie Miller
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