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Children's and YA Services: Booklists

The book list below were compiled from six different publications. All of the books listed received at least three starred reviews, special distinction, or comparable honor.

Starred Book Lists


What IS a classic? Discussions:

Lists of Classics for Children:

Lists of Classics for Adults:

Award Winning Booklists

Book Awards & Medals 

The Nutmeg Children's Book Award (Connecticut Chldren's Choice Award)
Ten titles in each of four levels (Elementary, Intermediate, Teen and High School) published within the previous 5 years and available in paperback (except for the Elementary level) are nominated in May and voted on by Connecticut children and teens the following April. Winners are announced in May.

Randolph Caldecott Medal (ALA-ALSC)
Awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

John Newbery Medal (ALA-ALSC)
Awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

Michael L. Printz Award (ALA-YALSA)
An award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.

Coretta Scott King Award (ALA- Coretta Scott King Task Force)
Presented annually to authors and illustrators of African descent whose distinguished books promote an understanding and appreciation of the "American Dream."

Pura Belpré Award (ALA)
The Belpre Medals honor a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose works best portray, affirm, and celebrate the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal (ALA-ALSC)
The Sibert Medal honors the author of the most distinguished informational book published during the preceding year.

Nonfiction Award (ALA-YALSA)
Honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a Nov. 1-Oct. 31 publishing year.

Carter G. Woodson Book Award (NCSS)
Chosen annually to encourage the writing, publishing, and dissemination of outstanding social science books for young readers that treat topics related to ethnic minorities and relations sensitively and accurately, three books, one elementary (K-6), one middle (5-8) and one secondary (7-12), receive the Award and three outstanding runner-up books are chosen, 

Orbis Pictus Nonfiction Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (NCTE)
Recognizes excellence in the writing of nonfiction for children, presenting this annual award to one Winner up to five Honor Books, as well as a listing other recommended titles.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award (ALA-ALSC)
Given annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year.

The Schneider Family Book Award (ALA-ALSC)
Honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award (ALA-ALSC)
Honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.

Margaret A. Edwards Award (ALA-YALSA)
Honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature.

Mildred L. Batchelder Award (ALA-ALSC)
Awarded to an American publisher for a children's book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originally published in a foreign language in a foreign country, and subsequently translated into English and published in the United States.

William C. Morris YA Debut Award (ALA-YALSA)
Honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.

Best Book Lists 

Given to ten books written for adults, and published in the previous year, that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.

Amelia Bloomer Project (ALA - Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table)
Books with strong feminist messages for young people from birth to age 18, selected from the each year’s publications and annotated.

Best Fiction for Young Adults (ALA-YALSA)
Fiction titles published for young adults in the past 16 months that are recommended reading for ages 12 to 18.

Choices Booklists (ILA)
Published annually by the International Literacy Association, Children's Choices, Teachers' Choices, and Young Adults' Choices are selected by children, young adults, teachers, and librarians around the United States. Additionally, a special interest group of the International Literacy Association also selects a yearly list of Notable Books For a Global Society (outstanding K-12 multicultural literature).

Great Graphic Novels (ALA-YALSA)
A list of recommended graphic novels and illustrated nonfiction for those ages 12-18.

National Outdoor Book Award (National Outdoor Book Awards Foundation, Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, and Idaho State University)
Recognizes and encourages outstanding writing and publishing in 10 categories: History, Literature, Children, Nature, Natural History, Instructional, Adventure Guidebook, Nature Guidebook, Design, and Outdoor Classic.

Notable Children's Books (ALA-ALSC)
Each year the Association identifies the best in children's books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (through age 14) that reflect and encourage children's interests in exemplary ways.

Notable Children's Books in the English Language Arts (NCTE)
Selected yearly by the Children's Literature Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English.

Notable Social Studies Books for Young People (NCSS)
Books that emphasize human relations, represent a diversity of groups and are sensitive to a broad range of cultural experiences, present an original theme or a fresh slant on a traditional topic, are easily readable and of high literary quality, and have a pleasing format and, when appropriate, illustrations that enrich the text.

Outstanding Books for the College Bound (ALA-YALSA)
A YALSA committee of public, secondary school, and academic librarians selects this list, which is revised every five years for students preparing for college, educators, librarians, and parents.

Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12 (NSTA)
Books selected as outstanding children's science trade books by a book review panel appointed by the National Science Teachers Association and assembled in cooperation with the Children's Book Council.

Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (ALA-YALSA)
A committee creates lists of books each year, to encourage young adults to read for pleasure. The lists of popular or topical titles are widely available in paperback and represent a broad variety of accessible themes and genres.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (ALA-YALSA)
Titles aimed at encouraging reading among teens who dislike to read for whatever reason. The list selects both fiction and nonfiction.

Stonewall Book Award (ALA) Children's and Young Adult Literature Award
Presented to English language books that have exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered experience.

Sydney Taylor Book Award (Association of Jewish Libraries)
Presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. Gold medals are presented in three categories: Younger Readers, Older Readers, and Teen Readers. Honor Books are awarded silver medals, and Notable Books are named in each category. 

Many more awards are linked to here.

Linda's Booklists

Booklists compiled by Linda Williams, Youth Services Consultant, Connecticut State Library


The Civil War: Children's Fiction (updated 11/2010)
Earthquake! 1906 San Francisco Quake: Booklist for Children & Teens (updated 8/14/2018)
World War I Booklist for Children and Teens (updated 9/2016)
History Mystery Booklist compiled for the Great CT Caper, a Connecticut Humanities program (updated 12/2014)


AfricaPicture Books - Fiction 
Australia & OceaniaPicture Books - Fiction 
Central America & Caribbean AreaPicture Books - Fiction 
Central AsiaPicture Books 
East & Southeast AsiaPicture Books - Fiction 
EuropePicture Books 
Middle East & South AsiaPicture Books Fiction 
North AmericaPicture Books 
South AmericaPicture Books
Fiction set in other countries (compilations created in 2011 and updated periodically)

Stories for Kids about Losing a Pet (updated 12/22/2014)
Self-Esteem & Bullying Booklist for Elementary School Chidlren (updated 2018)


This project is funded by the State of Connecticut and the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Connecticut State Library.  And by the Connecticut State Library

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