For me, there are only three lists for this season, and top of those is the one from School Library Journal. I like the format, and I generally find myself in agreement on the books selected. I also think it tends to balance a bit more kid-appeal into the literary value equation. The list from Publishers Weekly also has a good format, but their reviews have less punch. I enjoy looking at the Kirkus supplement in paper, but hate leafing through the PDF, where it can be hard to tell at times where the list ends and the ads begin. Plus they have inserts like “Second Look: Our Recap of previously featured books that also represent The Best of 2009,” which included The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate and The Day-Glo Brothers. But they don’t seem to be on the official list... or are they? I find that confusing.
My favorite lists have yet to come out. The Cybils short lists will go live on January 1, 2010, and I’ll be doing my part in the Fiction Picture Book category to turn out a wonderful selection. I also await with excitement the ALSC Notable Children’s Books list that comes out right after all the cool awards are given at ALA’s midwinter meeting on January 18th.
But for now, here are of my favorites of the year from the School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus lists.
- All the World, by Liz Scanlon (SLJ, PW, Kirkus)
- The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown (PW)
- The Lion & the Mouse, by Jerry Pinkney (SLJ, PW, Kirkus)
- Pigs Make Me Sneeze, by Mo Willems (SLJ)
- The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau, by Dan Yaccarino (Kirkus)
- The Day-Glo Brothers, by Chris Barton (SLJ, PW, Kirkus*)
- Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom, by Eric Wight (Kirkus)
- The Storm in the Barn, by Matt Phelan (Kirkus)
- When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead (SLJ, PW, Kirkus)
- The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, by Jacqueline Kelly (SLJ, PW, Kirkus*)
- Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins (PW)
- Liar, by Justine Larbalestier (SLJ)
- Lips Touch: Three Times, by Laini Taylor (PW)
- Marcelo in the Real World, by Francisco X. Stork (SLJ, PW)
Speaking of which, Liz B. is hosting a Gift Giving Idea Round-Up and updating it as the posts come in. Go and check it out as another way be inspired to Give Books!
And speaking of giving books, I’m in the mood to give one away. Comment here with a favorite book from 2009 different from the ones I’ve listed, and I’ll pick one person at random to win The Day Glo Brothers, by Chris Barton, and a surprise 2009 picture book. Winner selected and announced Friday, December 4th, at 3:00 EST.
Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.