ALA Midwinter 2013

Notable Children’s Books – 2013 Discussion List

The 2013 Notable Children’s Books Committee, chaired by Wendy Woodfill,  has been hard at work all year reading, re-reading, & evaluating books published in the 2012 calendar year to arrive at a list of nominated titles.

Notable Children’s Books 2013 — Nominated Titles
(Some titles  were discussed in June at the Annual Conference and will be briefly reviewed after Midwinter discussions are complete.)


Abirached, Zeina. A Game For Swallows: to die, to leave, to return. Illus. by the author. Lerner/Graphic Universe

Applegate, Katherine.  The One and Only Ivan. Illus. by Patricia Castelao.  HarperCollins Children’s Books

Bardugo, Leigh. Shadow and Bone. Henry Holt and Company

Bauer, Joan. Almost Home. Viking Children’s Books

Bauer, Marion Dane. Little Dog, Lost. Illus. by Jennifer Bell.  Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Bell, Juliet.   Kepler’s Dream.  G. P. Putnam’s Sons

Burg, Shana. Laugh With the Moon. Delacorte Press

Carlson-Voiles, Polly. Summer of the Wolves. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Clifton, Lutricia.  Freaky Fast Frankie Joe.  Holiday House

Curtis, Christopher Paul.  The Mighty Miss Malone.  Random House / Wendy Lamb Books

DiCamillo, Kate and Alison McGhee.  Bink and Gollie: two for one.  Illus. by Tony Fucile.  Candlewick Press

Doyle, Roddy.  A Greyhound of a Girl.  Abrams Books /Amulet Books

Ellis, Deborah. My Name is Parvana.  Groundwood Books

Else, Barbara. The Traveling Restaurant: Jasper’s voyage in three parts: a novel for children. Gecko Press

Evans, Lissa. Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms: magic, mystery & a very strange adventure. Sterling Children’s Books

Fitzmaurice, Kathryn.  A Diamond in the Desert.  Viking Children’s Books

Fleming, Candace. On the Day I Died: stories from the grave. Random House / Schwartz & Wade Books

Gidwitz, Adam.  In a Glass Grimmly.  Dutton Children’s Books

Hartman, Rachel.  Seraphina.  Random House Children’s Books

Hartnett, Sonya.  Sadie and Ratz. Illus. by Ann James. Candlewick Press

Horvath, Polly.  Mr. and Mrs. Bunny– detectives extraordinaire! Illus. by Sophie Blackall. Random House / Schwartz & Wade Books

Horvath, Polly. One Year in Coal Harbor. Random House / Schwartz & Wade Books

Hunt, Lynda Mullaly. One For the Murphys.  Penguin / Nancy Paulsen Books

Ibbotson, Eva. One Dog and His Boy.  Scholastic Press

Johnson, R. Kikuo. The Shark King : a Toon book. Illus. by the author. TOON Books

Jones, Diana Wynne. Earwig and the Witch. Illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky.  Greenwillow Books

Key, Watt. Fourmile. Farrar Straus & Giroux

Knowles, Johanna. See You at Harry’s. Candlewick Press

Larson, Hope. Madeleine L’Engle’s: a Wrinkle in Time: the graphic novel.   Farrar Straus & Giroux  / Margaret Ferguson Books

Leeds, Constance. The Unfortunate Son. Viking Children’s Books

Levine, Kristin.  The Lions of Little Rock.   G. P. Putnam’s Sons

Lin, Grace. Starry River of the Sky. Little, Brown

Lorenzi, Natalie Dias. Flying the Dragon. Charlesbridge

Lowry, Lois.  Son. Houghton Mifflin

MacLachlan, Patricia.  Kindred Souls.  HarperCollins / Katherine Tegen Books

Marsh, Katherine.   Jepp, Who Defied the Stars. Hyperion

Martínez, Andrés Vera and Na Liu. Little White Duck: a childhood in China. Illus. by Andrés Vera Martí­nez.  Lerner Publishing Group/Graphic Universe

McKay, Hilary. Caddy’s World.  Simon & Schuster / Margaret K. McElderry Books

McKay, Hilary. Lulu and the Duck in the Park. Illus. by Priscilla Lamont.  Albert Whitman

Mobley, Jeannie. Katerina’s Wish.  Simon & Schuster / Margaret K. McElderry Books

Morpurgo, Michael. Shadow.  Macmillan / Feiwel and Friends

Nelson, Vaunda  Micheaux.   No Crystal Stair: a documentary novel of the life of Lewis Michaux, Harlem bookseller.  Illus. by R. Gregory Christie.  Carolrhoda Lab

Nielsen, Jennifer A.  The False Prince.  Scholastic Press

Obed, Ellen Bryan. Twelve Kinds of Ice.  Illus. by Barbara McClintock. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Palacio, R.J.  Wonder.   Alfred A. Knopf

Pennypacker, Sara. The Summer of the Gypsy Moths.  HarperCollins / Balzer + Bray

Pitcher, Annabel. My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece: a novel. Little, Brown

Preus, Margi. Shadow on the Mountain. Abrams / Amulet Books

Pyron, Bobbie. The Dogs of Winter.  Scholastic / Arthur A. Levine Books

Rose, Caroline Starr.  May B.   Random House / Schwartz & Wade Books

Rupp, Rebecca. After Eli.  Candlewick Press

Schlitz, Laura Amy.  Splendors and Glooms. Candlewick Press

Schmidt, Gary D. What Came From the Stars. Clarion Books

Stead, Rebecca. Liar  &  Spy. Random House / Wendy Lamb Books

Stiefvater, Maggie. The Raven Boys. Scholastic Press

Telgemeier, Raina. Drama. Illus. by the author.  Scholastic / Graphix

Thomas, Shelley Moore. The Seven Tales of Trinket.  Farrar Straus and Giroux

Turnage, Sheila.   Three Times Lucky.  Dial Books for Young Readers

Valentine, Jenny. Double. Hyperion

Wright, Barbara.  Crow.  Random House


Banks, Kate. The Bear in the Book. Illus. by Georg Hallensleben. Farrar Straus & Giroux  / Frances Foster Books

Barnett, Mac.  Extra Yarn.  Illus. by Jon Klassen.  HarperCollins / Balzer + Bray

Barnett, Mac.  Chloe and the Lion. Illus. by Adam Rex.  Disney/Hyperion Books

Berk, Ari. Nightsong.  Illus. by Loren Long.  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Bingham, Kelly.  Z is For Moose. Illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky.  Greenwillow

Buzzeo, Toni.  One Cool Friend.   Illus. by David Small. Dial Books for Young Readers

Catchpool, Michael. The Cloud Spinner.  Illus. by Alison Jay. Alfred A. Knopf

Coat, Janik.  Hippopposites.  Abrams  / Appleseed Books

Cole, Henry. Unspoken: a story from the Underground Railroad. Illus. by the author.   Scholastic Press

DaCosta, Barbara. Nighttime Ninja. Illus. by Ed Young. Little, Brown

Daly, Niki. The Herd Boy.  Illus. by the author. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.

Davies, Nicola.  Just Ducks.  Illus. by Salvatore  Rubbino.  Candlewick Press

Elya, Susan Middleton. Fire! ¡Fuego! Brave bomberos. Illus. by Dan Santat. Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Evans, Shane W.  We March.  Illus. by the author.  Roaring Brook Press / Neal Porter Book

Fleming, Candace. Oh, No!  Illus. by Eric Rohmann. Random House / Schwartz & Wade Books

Fleming, Denise.  underGround.  Illus. by the author.   Simon & Schuster / Beach Lane Books

Fogliano, Julie.  And Then it’s Spring.  Illus. by Erin E.  Stead. Roaring Brook Press

Frazee, Marla.  Boot & Shoe. Illus. by the author.  Simon & Schuster / Beach Lane Books

Graham, Bob.  A Bus Called Heaven.  Illus. by the author.  Candlewick Press

Gravett, Emily. Wolf Won’t Bite!  Illus. by the author.  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Hall, Michael. Cat Tale.  Illus. by the author.  Greenwillow Books

Haughton, Chris .  Oh, No George! Illus. by the author.  Candlewick Press

Henkes, Kevin.  Penny and Her Doll. Illus. by the author.  Greenwillow Books

Hest, Amy.  Charley’s First Night. Illus. by Helen Oxenbury.          Candlewick Press

Hosford, Kate. Infinity and Me. Illus. by Gabi Swiatkowska.            Lerner/ Carolrhoda Books

Jeffers, Oliver.  This Moose Belongs to Me.  Philomel Books

Johnson, D. B.  Magritte’s Marvelous Hat : a picture book.  Illus. by the author. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Joyce, William.  The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Illus. by the author and Joe Bluhm.  Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Khan, Hena.  Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: a Muslim book of colors.  Illus. by Mehrdokht Amini.  Chronicle Books

Klassen, Jon.  This is Not My Hat.  Illus. by the author. Candlewick Press

LaRochelle, David. It’s a Tiger!  Illus. by Jeremy Tankard. Chronicle Books

Lo, Ginnie.  Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic. Illus. by Beth Lo.  Lee & Low Books

Logue, Mary.  Sleep Like a Tiger.  Illus. by Pamela Zagarenski. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Mack, Jeff.  Good News, Bad News. Illus. by the author.  Chronicle Books

Manning, Maurie J.  Laundry Day. Illus. by the author.  Clarion Books

McCarty, Peter.  Chloe.  Illus. by the author.  HarperCollins / Balzer + Bray

McPhail, David.  Pig Pig Meets the Lion.  Illus. by the author.  Charlesbridge

Na, Il Sung.  Hide & Seek.  Illus. by the author.  Alfred A. Knopf

O’Brien, Anne Sibley.  A Path of Stars.  Illus. by the author.  Charlesbridge  / Maine Humanities Council

Pinfold, Levi.  Black Dog.  Candlewick/Templar Books

Reynolds, Aaron.  Creepy Carrots!  Illus. by Peter Brown.  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Reynolds, Peter H.  Sky Color.  Illus. by the author.  Candlewick Press

Rogers, Gregory.  The Hero of Little Street.  Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook Press / Neal Porter Book

Salas, Laura Purdie.  A Leaf Can Be… Illus. by Violeta Dabija. Millbrook Press

Savage, Stephen. Little Tug.   Illus. by the author.  Roaring Brook Press  / Neal Porter Book

Schaefer, Lola M. One Special Day. Illus. by Jessica Meserve.  Disney/Hyperion Books

Seeger, Laura Vaccaro.  Green.  Illus. by the author.   Roaring Brook Press

Siegel, Randy.  My Snake Blake. Illus. by Serge Bloch.  Roaring Brook Press / Neal Porter Book

Springman, I. C.  More.  Illus. by Brian Lies.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Stead, Philip Christian.  A Home For Bird. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook Press / Neal Porter Book

Stead, Philip Christian. Bear Has a Story to Tell.  Illus. by Erin E. Stead. Roaring Brook Press

Stewart, Sarah. The Quiet Place.  Illus. by David Small.  Farrar Straus & Giroux / Margaret Ferguson Books

Stoeke, Janet Morgan.  Pip’s Trip.  Illus. by the author.  Dial Books for Young Readers

Sutton, Sally.  Demolition.   Illus. by Brian  Lovelock.  Candlewick Press

Willems, Mo.  Duckling Gets a Cookie!?  Illus. by the author.  Hyperion Books for Children

Willems, Mo.  Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs.  Illus. by the author.   HarperCollins / Balzer + Bray

Wolff, Ashley.  Baby Bear Sees Blue.  Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster / Beach Lane Books

Woodson, Jacqueline. Each Kindness. Illus. by E.B. Lewis. Penguin / Nancy Paulsen Books

Zullo, Germano. Little Bird. Illus. by Albertine. Enchanted Lion Books


Carbone, Elisa Lynn. Heroes of the Surf.  Illus. by Nancy Carpenter.  Viking Children’s Books

Chin, Jason.  Island: a story of the Galapagos. Illus. by the author.  Roaring Brook Press /Neal Porter Book

Greenwood, Mark.  Drummer Boy of John John. Illus. by Frané Lessac.  Lee & Low Books

Hale, Christy. Dreaming Up: a celebration of building. Illus. by the author.  Lee & Low Books

Judge, Lita.  Bird Talk: what birds are saying and why. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook Press

King, Martin Luther, Jr.  I Have a Dream.  Illus. by Kadir Nelson.  Random House / Schwartz & Wade Books

Lang, Heather.  Queen of the Track: Alice Coachman: Olympic high-jump champion. Illus. by Floyd Cooper.  Boyds Mills Press

Lewin, Ted.  Puffling Patrol.  Illus. by the author and Betsy Lewin.  Lee & Low Books

Low, William.  Machines Go to Work in the City.  Illus. by the author.  Henry Holt and Company

Muntean, Michaela.   Stay: the true story of ten dogs.  Illus. by K.C. Bailey and Stephen Kazmierski.  Scholastic Press

Potter, Alicia.  Mrs. Harkness and the Panda. Illus. by Melissa Sweet.  Alfred A. Knopf

Rosenstock, Barb.  The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir and our National Parks.  Illus. by Mordicai Gerstein. Dial Books for Young Readers

Winter, Jonah.  Just Behave, Pablo Picasso! Illus. by Kevin Hawkes.  Scholastic / Arthur A. Levine Books

Zoehfeld, Kathleen Weidner.  Secrets of the Garden : food chains and the food web in our backyard.  Illus. by Priscilla Lamont.   Alfred A. Knopf


Coombs, Kate.  Water Sings Blue: ocean poems.  Illus. by Meilo So.  Chronicle Books

Davies, Nicola.  Outside Your Window: a first book of nature.  Illus. by Mark Hearld. Candlewick Press

Elliott, David.  In the Sea.  Illus. by Holly Meade.  Candlewick Press

Farrar, Sid.  The Year Comes Round: haiku through the seasons. Illus. by Ilse Plume. Albert Whitman & Co.

Frost, Helen.  Step Gently Out. Illus. by Rick Lieder. Candlewick Press

Grady, Cynthia.  I Lay My Stitches Down: poems of American slavery.  Illus. by Michele Wood. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

Hoberman, Mary Ann, selector.  Forget-Me-Nots: poems to learn by heart.  Illus. by Michael Emberley.  Little, Brown / Megan Tingley Books

Hughes, Langston. I, Too, Am America. Illus. by Bryan Collier.  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Lewis, J. Patrick and Jane Yolen.  Last Laughs: animal epitaphs.  Illus. by Jeffrey Stewart Timmins.  Charlesbridge

Lewis, J. Patrick (editor).  National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 200 poems with photographs that squeak, soar, and roar!   National Geographic

Shange, Ntozake.  Freedom’s A-calling Me.  Illus. by Rod Brown. HarperCollins / Amistad

Singer, Marilyn.  A Stick is an Excellent Thing: poems celebrating outdoor play.  Clarion Books


Allegra, Mike.  Sarah Gives Thanks. Illus. by David Gardner.         Albert Whitman & Company

Blumenthal, Karen.  Steve Jobs: the man who thought different.  Macmillan / Feiwel and Friends

Borden, Louise.  His Name was Raoul Wallenberg: courage, rescue, and mystery during World War II.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Burleigh, Robert. George Bellows: painter with a punch!  Illus. by the author and George Bellows.  Abrams Books for Young Readers / National Gallery of Art

Byrd, Robert. Electric Ben: the amazing life and times of Benjamin Franklin. Illus. by the author.  Dial Books for Young Readers

Close, Chuck.  Chuck Close: face book.  Abrams Books for Young Readers

Fern, Tracey E.  Barnum’s Bones: how Barnum Brown discovered the most famous dinosaur in the world.  Illus. by Boris Kulikov.  Farrar Straus & Giroux  / Margaret Ferguson Books

Ferris, Jeri Chase.  Noah Webster  &  His Words.  Illus. by Vincent X. Kirsch. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Hopkinson, Deborah. Annie and Helen.  Illus. by Raul Colí³n.  Random House / Schwartz & Wade Books

Kamkwamba, William and Bryan Mealer.  The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.  Illus. by Elizabeth Zunon.  Dial Books for Young Readers

Malaspina, Ann. Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman, Olympic high jumper.  Illus. by Eric Velasquez. Albert Whitman & Company

Markel, Michelle. The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau. Illus. by Amanda Hall.  Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

McKissack, Patricia C. and Fredrick L. McKissack, Jr. Best Shot in the West: the adventures of Nat Love.  Illus. by Randy DuBurke.  Chronicle Books

Montgomery, Sy.  Temple Grandin: how the girl who loved cows embraced autism and changed the world.  Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Rappaport, Doreen. Helen’s Big World: the life of Helen Keller.  Illus. by Matt Tavares. Disney/Hyperion Books

Ray, Deborah Kogan.  Paiute Princess: the story of Sarah Winnemucca.  Illus. by the author.  Farrar Straus & Giroux / Frances Foster Books

Reef, Catherine.  The Brontí« Sisters:  the brief lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne.  Clarion Books

Rumford, James. From the Good Mountain: how Gutenberg changed the world.  Illus. by the author.  Roaring Brook Press / Flash Point

Tate, Don. It Jes’ Happened: when Bill Traylor started to draw. R. Gregory Christie.   Lee & Low Books

Wadsworth, Ginger.  First Girl Scout: the life of Juliette Gordon Low.  Clarion Books


Bausum, Ann.  Marching to the Mountaintop: how poverty, labor fights, and civil rights set the stage for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final hours.  National Geographic

Burns, Loree Griffin.  Citizen Scientists: be a part of scientific discovery from your own backyard.  Henry Holt

DeCristofano, Carolyn Cinami.  A Black Hole Is Not a Hole. Illus. by Michael Carroll. Charlesbridge

Deem, James M. Faces From the Past: forgotten people of North America.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Ellis, Deborah. Kids of Kabul: living bravely through a never-ending war.  Groundwood Books

Freedman, Russell.  Abraham Lincoln & Frederick Douglass: the story behind an American friendship. Clarion Books

Hale, Nathan.  Big Bad Ironclad! : a Civil War steamship showdown.  Abrams / Amulet Books

Hoose, Phillip M.  Moonbird: a year on the wind with the great survivor B95. Farrar Straus & Giroux

Hopkinson, Deborah.  Titanic: voices from the disaster.  Scholastic Press

Jarrow, Gail.  The Amazing Harry Kellar: great American magician.  Boyds Mill / Calkins Creek

Jenkins, Steve. The Beetle Book.  Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Johnson, Rebecca L. Zombie Makers: true stories of nature’s undead. Lerner / Millbrook Press

Levinson, Cynthia.  We’ve Got a Job: the 1963 Birmingham children’s march.  Peachtree Publishers

McPherson, Stephanie Sammartino.   Iceberg Right Ahead!: the tragedy of the Titanic. Lerner  / Twenty- First Century Books

Murphy, Jim and Alison Blank.  Invincible Microbe: tuberculosis and the never-ending search for a cure. Clarion Books

Nelson, S.D. Buffalo Bird Girl: a Hidatsa story.  Illus. by the author.  Abrams Books for Young Readers

Newquist, Harvey P. The Book of Blood: from legends and leeches to vampires and veins. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Osborne, Linda Barrett. Miles to Go For Freedom: segregation and civil rights in the Jim Crow years. Abrams Books for Young Readers

Patent, Dorothy H. The Horse and the Plains Indians: a powerful partnership. Clarion Books

Patent, Dorothy H.  Dogs on Duty: soldiers’ best friends on the battlefield and beyond. Walker & Co.

Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Hand in Hand: ten black men who changed America.  Disney/Jump at the Sun

Rappaport, Doreen.     Beyond Courage: the untold story of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust.  Candlewick Press

Rusch, Elizabeth. Mighty Mars Rovers: the incredible adventures of spirit and opportunity. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Sandler, Martin W.  The Impossible Rescue: the true story of an amazing Arctic adventure. Candlewick Press

Scott, Elaine. Buried Alive!: how 33 miners survived 69 days deep under the Chilean desert. Clarion Books

Sheinkin, Steve. Bomb: the race to build and steal the world’s most dangerous weapon. Roaring Brook Press

Swain, Gwenyth.  Hope and Tears: Ellis Island voices.  Boyds Mill / Calkins Creek

Vernick ,  Audrey.  Brothers at Bat: the true story of an amazing all-brother baseball team. Illus. by Steven Salerno.  Clarion Books

Ward, Helen. Town Mouse and the Country Mouse: an Aesop fable. Illus. by the author. Candlewick Press / Templar Books

Werner, Sharon. Alphasaurs and other prehistoric types.Illus. by the author and Sarah Nelson Forss.   Random House / Blue Apple Books

The NCB committee will be meeting Friday through Monday during the Midwinter Conference,  from 1:30 to 4:30 each day.   The meeting room is Convention Center (WSCC) 2AB.


  1. Stephanie Blake

    Seems strange that NOT one Amazon Children’s Publishing (formerly Marshall Cavendish) title is on this list.

  2. Angela Reynolds

    Thanks! I always use this list as my “what did I miss” list. Found a few non-fiction that I missed, as well as a couple of picture books. I can only imagine how much work this committee is — so MANY books to read! This librarian appreciates what you do.

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  5. Tiff

    Candy Pie Loves Jeremiah Pie is a great book and it’s not listed.
    Katina T Williams (Author)

  6. Tia

    Great list of books. You can include this one as well “A Sparrow’s Sad Song by Caroline de Chavigny” a book for children!

  7. Caloundra Bookkeeping

    A very nice list of children’s book.Every children’s book lover should have the list.It is a great collection to have.

  8. WanyGork


    I would like to recommend you one of my childrens favourite book: To Be a Dragonet Is Terrific! by Peter Gibey.

    What we enjoyed the best is really great story. Three families, which are all connected together. Every new story is more and more exciting. My children could have learned what is good and what is bad. It is there like black and white, and I do appreciate it so much. Hard to find book like this. I shouldn’t forget how cool jokes there are.

    To sum up, when you are looking for a book, which makes you laugh and teaches your children who is good and bad, it is the book you want! 🙂

  9. Karan Bhalla

    Thanks a lot for sharing this awesome info. Your story is very interesting to me. I personally like all your points. I love to share on social media keep it up

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