The Best Children’s Books of 2014

Alexis Orlacchio

Best Children's Books of 2014Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award Winner: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books, ages 10+)

This collection of poems reflects the author’s experience growing up as an African American during of the Civil Rights Movement and recounts how her love of writing helped her find her place in the world.

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award WinnerFirebird illustrated by Christopher Myers and written by Misty Copeland (Putnam Juvenile, ages 5-8)

This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of a ballerina who learns what you can achieve through hard work and dedication.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award Winner: When I Was the Greatest illustrated by Jason Alexander and written by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, ages 12+)

Ali, a clean-cut kid from Brooklyn, finds himself in an unfamiliar and unfriendly neighborhood with his best friend Noodles, who is always looking for trouble, and Needles, Noodles’ little brother who has Tourette’s Syndrome.

John Newbery Medal Winner: The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (HMH Books for Young Readers, ages 9-12)

Middle school twins and basketball players Josh and Jordan learn to handle their differences on and off the court in this short story. Best Children's Books of 2014

Michael L. Printz Award Winner: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (Brilliance Audio, ages 14-17)

In this audio book narrated by a set of twins, Noah and Jude relate the complications of their adolescent years. Due to a falling out, they each realizes they only have half of a story and need to reconcile to learn the true meanings of their lives.

Randolph Caldecott Medal Winner: The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, ages 3-6)

An imaginary friend who was created on a faraway island patiently waits his turn to be chosen by a real-life child. When he is passed over time and time again, he goes on a journey to find his perfect partner.

Odyssey Award Winner: H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination written by Christopher Myers and narrated by Christopher Myers and Dion Graham (Egmont USA, ages 0+)

Two children take a traditional basketball game of H.O.R.S.E. and use their imaginations to transport them to foreign lands and outer space.

Pura Belpré  (Illustrator) Award Winner: Viva Frida written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales (Roaring Brook Press, ages 4-8)

A fascinating tale with striking illustrations that brings the art, laughter, and tragedies of renowned artist Frida Kahlo to life. Best Children's Books of 2014

Pura Belpré (Author) Award Winner: I Lived on Butterfly Hill by Marjorie Agosin (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, ages 10-14)

Due to political turmoil in her homeland, 11-year-old Celeste Marconi is sent to America on her own and must adapt to her new life in Maine while her parents are forced into hiding.

Schneider Family Book Award Winner: A Boy and a Jaguar written by Alan Robinowitz and illustrated by Catia Chien (HMH Books for Young Readers, ages 4-8)

Alan sympathizes with the caged animals at the Bronx Zoo and wishes to be their voice, despite his speech impediment, which seems to disappear when he talks to animals.

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award Winner: The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet (Eerdmans Books for Young Children, ages 7+)

Peter Mark Roget loved to read and write and was determined to find the perfect words to express his feelings. This colorful, inviting story walks children through the steps of how one of the most widely referenced books, the thesaurus, was created.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal Winner: You Are (Not) Small written by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant (Two Lions, ages 2-6)

Two furry critters have trouble coming to a conclusion about which one is a “normal” size until a few extra guests join the conversation.

Stonewall Book Award – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award Winner: This Day in June written by Gayle E. Pitman and illustrated by Kristyna Litten (Magination Press, ages 4-8)

This story, which reminds children of why it’s important to accept all kinds of people and teaches them about the LGBT community, comes complete with tips for parents on how to appropriately talk to children about sexual orientation and gender identity. Best Children's Books of 2014

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults: Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen (Dutton Juvenile, ages 12+)

Contemporary memoir meets survival guide when author Maya Van Wagenen recalls the true meaning of popularity and what it means in middle school.

Mildred L. Batchelder Award Winner: Mikis and the Donkey written by Bibi Dumon Tak and illustrated by Philip Hopman (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, ages 8-12)

Mikis befriends his family’s working animal, Tsaki the donkey, and learns what it takes to care for another creature.

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