Best Books for Kids 2017 at the Andrew Heiskell Library
Looking for something to read this winter break?
Every year, an assortment of librarians from all over The New York Public Library system come together to create the Best Books for Kids: 100 Titles to Read and Share list. This centarian tradition has librarians culling from every kids book released within the calendar year to showcase what they feel best represents the most reflective, rewarding titles.
As the youth librarian at the Andrew Heiskell Talking Braille and Book library, I look forward to sharing as many titles as possible with our patrons every year. This post gathers every title available at Heiskell from that list and gives the patronage the opportunity to request the titles from either our digital book (DB) collection or from our partnership with Bookshare.
Stories for Younger Readers
Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere by Elisa Gravel.
What would you do if a strange, olive-eating, burping, farting creature appeared in your backyard? A self-assured young scientist systematically tries to figure out the mystery. Bookshare.
Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows by Asia Citro; illustrated by Marion Lindsay.
Fantasy and science combine when Zoey discovers her ability to nurse magical creatures back to health. DB 87641.
Stories for Older Readers
Armstrong & Charlie by Steven B. Frank.
Brought together by desegregation in the 1970s, two middle-schoolers unexpectedly form a friendship in this heartfelt and comical coming of age story. Bookshare.
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk.
Curious and loving Crow is determined to discover the truth about her birth, but will her search lead the family and home she loves into danger? Higher-level readers will appreciate the engaging and atmospheric writing. Bookshare, DB 88054.
The End of the Wild by Nicole Helget.
Will fracking destroy Fern’s beloved forest, or will it bring industry back to a tired town? In clear, heartfelt prose, this narrative raises difficult questions and offers no easy answers. Bookshare, DB 88513.
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez.
Malú isn't the señorita Mom wants her to be. But a new school and new friends push the boundaries of her creativity and redefine her world. Bookshare, DB 89161.
Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter.
With the help of their adoptive mother, two siblings go on a quest to find their origins. In the process, they learn to trust in their forever home. Bookshare, DB 88105.
It All Comes Down to This by Karen English.
In the midst of the racial tension of 1960s Los Angeles, Sophie—a 12-year-old African American girl—grows closer to her college-bound sister as her family begins to fall apart. Bookshare, DB 88659.
Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson.
In this powerfully moving story for older readers, resilient Rosa’s struggle to escape her abusive family coincides with the fight for African American civil rights in 1955 Mississippi. Bookshare, DB 87125.
The Murderer's Ape by Jakob Wegelius; translated by Peter Graves.
Sally Jones—author, first engineer, loyal friend, and gorilla—finds herself in the middle of a page-turning mystery of daring, wit, and intrigue. Bookshare, DB 87355.
Posted by John David Anderson.
A sticky-note war at Branton Middle School leads students to confront the power of their words. Can Frost and his friends survive the war, or will it tear them apart? Bookshare, DB 89241.
Refugee by Alan Gratz.
Alternating narratives chronicle the harrowing journeys of a Jewish boy in 1938, a Cuban girl in 1994, and a Syrian boy in 2015 as they all search for new homes. Bookshare, DB 88711.
Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart.
After a freak accident frees them from adult supervision, boys at a reformatory school fend for themselves in this action-packed adventure about power struggles and redemption. Bookshare, DB 87383.
Three Pennies by Melanie Crowder.
This magical, multi-voiced novel of hope and renewal in San Francisco reveals that things are shifting... for an 11-year-old foster child who's about to be adopted, for a young owl who flies over the city keeping watch, and for the tectonic plates deep underground. Bookshare.
Us, in Progress: Short Stories About Young Latinos by Lulu Delacre.
This hopeful, timely collection of vignettes depicts the lives and experiences of contemporary youth in the United States. Bookshare.
York: The Shadow Cipher by Lauren Ruby.
Three kids race against time to solve an 18th-century puzzle that will save their homes from destruction in this steampunk alternate history of New York City. Bookshare, DB 88343.
Folktales and Fairy Tales
Let's Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn it Out! Games, Songs & Stories from an African American Childhood collected by Patricia C. McKissack; illustrated by Brian Pinkney.
A comprehensive collection to be shared and treasured. Bookshare, DB 87070.
One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes.
This lyrical tribute honors the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance by transforming well-known verse into original poetry that reflects the modern African American experience. DB 87912.
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth; illustrated by Ekua Holmes.
Three contemporary writers pay tribute to some of the world's most renowned poets by creating works based on their styles, themes, and lives in this collection. DB 88096.
Maya Lin: Thinking with Her Hands by Susan Goldman Rubin.
Lin is best-known as the young student with a bold vision for the Vietnam War Memorial. This biography explores the various elements that inspire her work. Bookshare.
Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters by Michael Mahin; illustrated by Evan Turk.
Kinetic artwork evokes the musical vibe of Muddy Waters and his experience during the Great Migration. DB 89281.