About Best Books

Rainbow ombre background with bold, white text that reads: About Best Books at NYPL.

Every year, librarians and staff at The New York Public Library select noteworthy new books for readers of all ages and recommend them as our “Best Books” of the year. These lists build on the Library’s century-old tradition of recommending the best-loved titles published for children each year, and in recent years have expanded to encompass titles for teens and adults, as well as books in Spanish for younger readers. They have always sought to reflect the diversity of New York City's readership. Special thanks to our Best Books committees, the members of which have read thousands of books to bring readers these recommendations.

2021

Best Books for Kids: List | Checklist | PDF

Committee co-chairs: Olisha James, Kevin Kelley, Christy Lau, and Jennifer Minehardt.

Committee members: Sallie Baron, Stevie Feliciano, Andrea Grassi, Krystina Humbert, Esther Jackson, Michael Kirby, Christopher Lassen (advisor), Katelynne Lawson, Kaitlin Messina, Derek Milan, Jesse Moskowitz, Rachel Roseberry, January Sanalak, Teresa Silva, Kelly Smith, Rachel Sweany, Geraldine Villatoro, and Sarah West.

Mejores libros para pequeños: List | Checklist

Committee co-chairs: Ana Bravo and Daniella Pagan.

Committee members: Elizabeth Bevington, Aime Casillas, Alexandra Gomez (advisor), Diana Hernandez, Caroline Magee, Shanny Moreno, Priscilla Paulino, and Carmen Penas-Barrio.

Best Books for Teens: List | Checklist

Committee co-chairs: Grace Dwyer and Katrina Ortega.

Committee members: Julissa Ayala, Hanna Brownlee-Holbrook, Judith Crawford, Melissa Crotti, Emma Eriksson, Ryan Frick, Jay Garfinkel, Jenny Giordano, Sasha Jones, Alex Kohn, Catherine Natoli, Andrew Oppenheimer, Izabela Owusu-Ansah, Elizabeth Paldino, Nicole Rosenbluth, Renee Scott, Sarah Sculnick, Samantha Simoes, and Michelle Vacchio.

Best Books for Adults: List | Checklist

Poetry

Committee co-chairs: Leanna Frankland, Joshua Soule, Emily Wejchert, and Grace Yamada.

Committee members: Liz Baldwin, Michelle Fernandez, Nick Franklin (advisor), Will Hall, Denise Jarrott, Margaret Kaczorowski, Bridgette Kern, Karen Loder, Anna Pensabene, Jill Rothstein, Alysia Vargas, and Maggie Yamartino.

Comics

Committee co-chairs: Crystal Chen and Joseph Pascullo.

Committee members: Valerine Andujar, Brian Baer, Dana Bello, Lilian Calix, Antonio P. Cuneo, Whitney Davidson-Rhodes, Emily Drew (advisor), Althea Georges, Rahsaan Hunt, Michelle Lee, Margo Moore, Joey Leyko Picciotto, Dwayne Sandy, John Sattaur, Laura Stein, and Kevin Vega.

Romance

Committee co-chairs: Kate Fais and Anne Rouyer.

Committee members: Stephanie Anderson (advisor), Christel Ellis, Ruth Guerrier-Pierre, Annie Lin, Grace Loiacono, Digna Motta, Anthony Murisco, Natasha Rodriguez, Roxanne Russell, Avigail Sharon, Danielle Shur, Emily Small, Hannah Spratt, and Emily Valentine.

Horror

Committee co-chairs: Rachel Kahn and Isaiah Pittman.

Committee members: Jenny Baum, Rosa Caballero-Li, Bre Jeffries, Brian Levy, Chasity Moreno, Amanda Pagan, Alma Sakic, J Shapiro, Angela Switzer, Estefania Velez, Joseph J. Vissers, and Andy Wagstaff (advisor).

Mystery, Crime, and Thrillers

Committee co-chairs: Chelsey Masterson and Susen Shi.

Committee members: Chelsea Arnold, Lauren Besignano, Carolyn Broomhead, Jacqueline A. Brown, Paul Galfano, Adena Gruskin, Tabrizia Jones, Peter Jubinsky, Jennie Mayfield, Nanor Pogosian, Heather Price, Grace Tellez-Cardona, and Candice Walcott (advisor).

Literature & Nonfiction

Committee co-chairs: Lynn Lobash and Emily Pullen.

2020

Best Books for Kids: List | Top 10 

Committee co-chairs: Maggie Craig, Jessica Jackson, Anthony Murisco, and Grace Zell.

Members: Lisa Bova, Jessica Espejel, Ruth Guerrier-Pierre, Jo Henning, Olisha James, Tiffany James, Kevin Kelley, Mleeka Khan, Michael Kirby, Christy Lau, Jay Lyon, Mariel Matthews, Jennifer Minehardt, Rachel Roseberry, Douglas Varney, and Sarah West.

Los mejores libros para pequeños: Top 10 

Committee co-chairs: Aimé Casillas and Teresa Silva.

Members: Ana Bravo, Lilian Calix, Camila Franco Diaz, Elisa Garcia, Fresa Gomez, Shanny Moreno, Daniella Pagan, Madeline Sanchez, and Milagros Santos-Ayala.

Best Books for Teens: List | Top 10 

Committee co-chairs: Crystal Chen and Katrina Ortega.

Members: Shantay Allbright, Shelley Diaz (advisor), Emma Karin Eriksson, Kate Fais, Bree Jeffries, Sasha Jones, Louise Lareau, Dhariyah Luqman, Chelsey Masterson, Sara Milstein, Elizabeth Paldino, Joe Pascullo, Sarah Sculnick, Susen Shi, and Michelle Vacchio.

Best Poetry Books: Top 10

Committee co-chairs: Emily Wejchert and Grace Yamada.

Members: Leanna Frankland, Joshua Soule, and Alysia Vargas.

Best Books for Adults: List | Top 10

2019

Best Books for Kids: List 

Committee co-chairs: Maggie Craig, Jessica Jackson, Anthony Murisco, Grace Zell

Members:  Alessandra Affinito, Sallie Baron, Tommy Buttaccio, Jonathan Clark, Jessica Espejel, Jay Garfinkel, Marisa Hall, Tessa Hamilton, Jo Henning, Kevin Kelley, Ann Lin, Jennifer Minehardt, Samantha Simoes, Rachel Sweany, Rachael Wettenstein

Best Books for Teens: List 

Committee co-chairs: Asuncion Cora, Crystal Chen

Members: Genee Bright,  Amber Certain,  Melissa Crotti, Cassandra Flores, Jennifer Giordano, Iesha Irish, Tabrizia Jones, Lillian Lai, Louise Lareau, Dhariyah Luqman, Chelsey Masterson, Michael Maxwell, Sara Milstein, Catherine Natoli, Joseph Pascullo, Lizzie Seiple, Autumn Topping

Best Books for Adults: List

2018

Best Books for Kids: List | PDF

Artwork: MY BEIJING © 2018 by Nie Jun. Used by permission from Graphic Universe™, a division of Lerner Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

  • Picture Book Committee: Maggie Craig, Rebecca Gueorguiev, Marisa Hall, Jessica Dawn Jackson, Leah Labreqcue, Amber Moller, Wayne Walters, Rachel Wettenstein
    Co-Chairs: Jessica Agudelo & Jessica Cline 
  • Fiction Committee: Alessandra Affinito, Clarissa Cooke, Annie Lin, Anthony Murisco, Rachel Sweany, Tara Thomas, Douglas Varney, Grace Zell 
    ​Co-Chairs: Ruth Guerrier-Pierre & Sue Yee 
  • Advisers: BookOps & Readers Services

Best Books for Teens: List | PDF

Artwork: MECH CADET YU is TM & © 2018 Pak Man Productions, Ltd. & Takeshi Miyazawa. All rights reserved.

  • Committee: Aime Casillas, Asuncion Cora, Melissa Crotti, Grace Dwyer, Kate Fais, Elisa Garcia, Jennifer Giordano, Grace Loiacono, Michael Maxwell, Elizabeth Paldino, Seth Pompi, Renee Scott, Autumn Topping, Grace Yamada, Ricci Yuhico 
    Co-Chairs: Lyndsie Guy & Brian Stokes
  • Advisers: BookOps & Readers Services

2017

Best Books for Kids: PDF

Artwork: THE BOOK OF MISTAKES © 2017 by Corinna Luyken. Used by permission of Dial Books for Young Readers, New York, NY. All rights reserved.

  • Committee: Jessica Agudelo, Rosa Caballero-Li, Jessica Cline, Jay Garfinkel, Ruth Guerrier-Pierre, Rachel Hanig, Tiffany James, Leah Labrecque, Ellen MacInnis, Mariel Matthews, Jenny Rosenoff, Abilene Selvon-Castillo, Rachel Skinner O'Neill, Emily Small, Tara Thomas
    Co-Chairs: Theresa Panza & Sue Yee
  • Advisers: BookOps & Readers Services

Best Books for Teens: PDF

Artwork: THE WENDY PROJECT © 2017 Emet Entertainment, LLC and Melissa Jane Osborne. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

  • Committee: Lauren Besignano, Crystal Chen, Caitlyn Colman-McGaw, Grace Dwyer, Kate Fais, Elisa Garcia, Gwen Glazer, Chelsey Masterson, Jordan Nieves, Morgan O’Reilly, Katrina Ortega, Joe Pascullo, Seth Pompi, Benjamin Sapadin, Genna Sarnak, Shyiesha Watson, Grace Yamada, Ricci Yuhico
    Co-Chairs: Susen Shi & Brian Stokes
  • Advisers: BookOps & Readers Services

2016

Best Books for Kids: PDF

Artwork: THE NIGHT GARDENER © 2016 by Terry Fan & Eric Fan. Used by permission of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, New York, NY. All rights reserved.

  • Committee: Alexandria Abenshon, Clarissa Cooke, Sandra Farag, Jay Garfinkel, Chelsea Holland, Tiffany James, Annie Lin, Anthony Murisco, Rachel Skinner O’Neill, David Paggi, Noemi Vega, Christina Wilson, Sue Yee, Lauren Younger
    Co-Chairs: Louise Lareau & Theresa Panza
  • Advisers: BookOps & Readers Services

Best Books for Teens: PDF

Artwork: LUMBERJANES ™ & © 2016 Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke Allen. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

  • Committee: Lauren Besignano, Shauntee Burns, Crystal Chen, Caitlyn Colman-McGaw, Katie Fernandez, Karen Ginman, Lyndsie Guy, Mina Hong, Thomas Knowlton, Andrea Lipinski, Chelsey Masterson, Morgan O’Reilly, Katrina Ortega, Joe Pascullo, Anne Rouyer, Benjamin Sapadin, Chantalle Uzan, Shyiesha Watson
    Co-Chairs: Gwen Glazer & Susen Shi
  • Advisers: BookOps & Readers Services

2015

Best Books for Kids: PDF

Artwork: DRUM DREAM GIRL: HOW ONE GIRL’S COURAGE CHANGED MUSIC by Margarita Engle, illustrations © 2015 by Rafael Lopez. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, MA. All rights reserved.

  • Committee: Deborah Allman, Anne Barreca, Ann-Marie Braithewaite, Clarissa Cook, Meghan Kitz, Annie Lin, Anthony Murisco, Theresa Panza, Karen Phelan, Kristy Raffensberger, Ruth Rodriguez, Jacqueline Schector, Rebecca Schosha, Anna Taylor, Taylor Thomas, Amie Wright, Sue Yee
    Co-Chairs: Louise Lareau & Stephanie Whelan
  • Advisers: Betsy Bird, Karen Ginman, Jeanne Lamb, & Christopher Lassen

Best Books for Teens: PDF

Artwork: Creative Services department of The New York Public Library

  • Committee: Ariel Birdoff, Shauntee Burns, Amber Certain, Sandra Farag, Katie Fernandez, Lisa Goldstein, Ashley Gonzalez, Lyndsie Guy, Mina Hong, Thomas Knowlton, Charlie Radin, Nicole Rosenbluth, Susen Shi, Teresa Silva, Brian Stokes, Chantalle Uzan
    Co-Chairs: Andrea Lipinski & Anne Rouyer
  • Advisers: Karen Ginman, Jeanne Lamb, & Christopher Lassen