Introducing NYPL's Best Books of 2018

By Gwen Glazer, Librarian
November 19, 2018
Best Books of 2018

The New York Public Library is thrilled to announce our Best Books of 2018, a curated selection of recommended reads for kids, teens, and adults, selected by our expert librarians!

These books encompass an array of genre and feature compelling characters, diverse stories, and inspiring ideas. Whether you’re in search of picture books or YA novels, page-turners or love stories, you’re sure to find a title that will delight or surprise you.

Explore the top 10 titles for kids, teens, and adults below, or explore the full lists for kids, teens, and adults. Happy reading! 

The top ten best books for kids

Best Books for Kids: Top 10

This list is a century-old tradition in which the New York Public Library’s librarians and other book experts select 100 noteworthy children's titles from several categories, ranging from picture books to middle-grade fiction, graphic novels, folklore & fairy tales, poetry, and nonfiction. The committee read every children's book, published in the United States in 2018, that they could get their hands on.

Below are their top 10 showstopper favorites, but be sure to  check out the whole list at  And let us know what you think in the comments below, or on social media with the hashtag #BestBooks!

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

Stella Diaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez

Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World by Christy Hale

Jabberwalking by Juan Felipe Herrera

The Funeral by Matt James

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

Night Job by Karen Hesse, art by G. Brian Karas

Inkling by Kenneth Oppel, art by Sydney Smith

Old Misery by James Sage, art by Russell Ayto

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian's Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman


Check out the whole list at


Best Books for Teens 2018

Best Books for Teens: Top 10

A committee of 20 dedicated library staff members read (and read and read) all the young-adult books published in 2018 that we could get our hands on. Then we debated, voted, and came up with our 50 favorite books of the year—fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, comic books, fantasy, history, romance, sports, and more.

Check out the full list at And let us know what you think in the comments below, or on social media with the hashtag #BestBooks.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Fatal Throne by M.T. Anderson, et. al.

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Dear Rachel Maddow by Adrienne Kisner

X-Men: Grand Design by Ed Piskor

Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

Check, Please! #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Check out the whole list at


Best Books for Adults

Best Books for Adults: Top 10 

We asked our staff to send us titles that were published between January and December 2018, and that they felt deserve a place on best-of-the-year list. The results were as broad and diverse as our collections.

Without further ado, NYPL's top 10 books of 2018 are below, and the full list of our top 100 books is available at

If They Come for Us: Poems by Fatimah Asghar

French Exit by Patrick deWitt

Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal

Barracoon: The Story of the Last ‘Black Cargo’ by Zora Neale Hurston

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

I'll Be Gone In the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

Circe by Madeline Miller

A State of Freedom by Neel Mukherjee

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

There There by Tommy Orange


Check out the whole list at

About the Best Books of 2018

Explore the Best Books lists for kids, teens, and adults, or explore the Best Books lists from previous years.

Check out the library staff members behind the lists.

Need a library card? Any person who lives, works, attends school or pays property taxes in New York State is eligible to receive a New York Public Library card free of charge. Sign up for a card today.


Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations.