A roundup of the year-end "best of" lists and children's literature prizes. Except where noted, the books on these lists were published in 2012. This page will be updated regularly.
©Susan Thomsen, 2012.
The blog Largehearted Boy maintains a list of all the online best-book lists (adults and children), as well as one for music. You'll find another good list of lists at SCC English, the blog of the English department at Dublin's St. Columba's College. Over at School Library Journal's blog 100 Scope Notes, Travis Jonker highlights "2012 Children's Lit: The Year in Miscellanea." Thanks also to Mary Burkey at Booklist's Audiobooker blog. Don't miss these!
100 Scope Notes. School Library Journal blog.
Abby the Librarian (blog). Nonfiction.
Alaska Dispatch. Best Alaska books, including children's titles.
Alex Awards. Honors adult books with teen appeal.
Amanda Craig. A best list from the Times' children's book critic. (UK)
- Audiobooks (one children's series on list of mostly adult titles)
- Literature & Fiction (list includes one YA title)
- Picture books
- Middle grade books
- Teen books
Amelia Bloomer Project. Feminist books for kids.
Asian/Pacific Award for Literature (via Shen's Books)
Atlantic Wire. YA/Middle-Grade Book Awards.
Audible.com. Audiobooks for teens.
AudioFile. Audiobooks in many categories, including books for kids.
Band of Thebes. Best LGBT books of the year, including a number of YA novels.
Barnes & Noble
Batchelder Award. For children's books in translation.
Boing Boing Gift Guide. Includes several children's books.
The Book Lounge (South Africa)
Book Riot. A few books for children and teens on a longer list.
The Book Smugglers. Top 5 YA novels from librarian Elizabeth Burns.
- Best YA book covers
- Editors' Choice
- Top of the List. Best in a number of categories, including books for kids.
- Top ten arts books for youth
- Top ten religion & spirituality books for youth
- Top ten science & health books for youth
- Top ten sports books for youth
- Top ten first novels for youth
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books: Gift guide. 2010-2012 titles on list. And 2012 "blue ribbons," honoring the year's best books for children.
Canadian Children's Book Centre: TD Canadian Children's Literature Award finalists. Winners to be announced on October 22nd and October 29th.
Carnegie Medal. For outstanding video productions for children. (US)
Chapters Indigo. Several YA titles on a longer list. (Canada)
Charlotte Zolotow Award. Honoring picture book writing.
Chicago Parent. National Parenting Publications Awards for books and magazines.
Chicago Public Library. Teens, 14 and older.
Children's Book Council of Australia: Book of the Year Awards.
Columbus Dispatch. Best children's books in many categories, listed on left-hand side of page.
Comic Book Resources. Awesome Women in Comics Holiday Gift List (preteen through adult).
Drawn Blog. "Favourite comics, art books, and more" list includes some titles for kids. (Canada)
Edgar Awards. Sponsored by the Mystery Writers of America. A number of categories of books, including juvenile and young adult.
Flowering Minds blog. Picture books.
Geek Mom. Gift guide of books for adults and children.
Good Comics for Kids' gift guide. New and older titles on this list.
Goodreads Choice Awards. Categories on the left-hand side of the page at Goodreads.
- List of winners in all categories
- Young adult fiction nominees
- Young adult fantasy and science fiction nominees
- Middle grade and children's [sic] nominees
- Picture books nominees
Governor General's Literary Awards (Canada). Several categories of finalists, including "children's text" and "children's illustration."
"Growing Good Kids" Book Awards. Ecology-themed books.
Growing with Science Blog. Best science books for middle grades.
Gryphon Award. For books for kids K-4th grade, which "bridge the gap in difficulty between books for reading aloud to children and books for practiced readers."
The Guardian (UK)
The Guardian. Graphic novels. Several titles for children included.
The Guardian. Picture books.
Gutter Bookshop. Longer list includes books for children. (Ireland)
Hawaii Book Blog. A gift guide of Hawaii books includes some children's titles.
Houston Chronicle. The Bookish blog's list includes some titles for kids & teens.
Huffington Post. Mostly books for adults, but one YA title included.
The Independent. Children's books. (UK) Caveat: hard to get around pay wall.
The Irish Independent (Ireland)
Junior Library Guild Editors. Top picks for ghost stories for teens. (Via School Library Journal.)
Lambda Literary Awards. Many categories, including one for LGBT children's/YA books.
Largehearted Boy. Favorite graphic novels list includes a YA title and an all-ages one.
London Evening Standard. Younger children's books. (UK)
Los Angeles Public Library
Maggie Stievater. YA author's "best" list includes some older titles, too.
Middle East Book Awards (several categories, including a couple for kids' books)
Minneapolis Star Tribune. Picture books.
Morris Award.Prize honors YA books by debut authors.
MotherReader. Picture books.
My Best Friends Are Books (blog). Best New Zealand books for children and teens (New Zealand)
NAACP Image Awards, via the Hollywood Reporter. Awards in a number of categories, including children's books
National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Scroll down on page.
National Outdoor Book Awards. Includes a children's book category.
Newbery Medal. To be announced January 28, 2013.
NPR: Graphic Novels That Flew Under the Radar in 2012. At least one YA title on the list.
NPR: Indie booksellers' "best." One YA novel on the list.
Odyssey Award. For audiobooks for children and teens.
Oprah.com. List includes a YA novel.
Orbis Pictus Award. For "outstanding nonfiction for children." Sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). PDF file.
El País. List is in Spanish. (Spain)
Parents Magazine.Ad-heavy slide show.
Pierogies & Gyoza blog. Picture books.
Port Huron (Michigan) Times Herald. Critic Kendal Rautzhan's list.
Pragmatic Mom. Best books for reluctant readers.
Publishers Weekly. Best books in many areas, including the following:
Quill and Quire (Canada)
Readerbuzz. 25 favorite nonfiction picture books nominated for Cybils (see above) award.
Reading Rants! A list of mostly YA titles.
Readings bookstore (Australia)
San Francisco Chronicle. Holiday gift guide.
School Library Journal. Audiobooks for teens and tweens.
Scientific American. Cocktail Party Physics blog. Science books.
Sibert Medal. Honors nonfiction for children.
Slate. List includes one picture book; rest of books for adults.
South Asia Book Award, sponsored by the South Asia National Outreach Consortium
Spirituality & Practice. "Best spirituality books of the year (so far)" list includes several books for children.
Stonewall Book Awards. For "works of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience."
Sydney Taylor Book Awards. Given by the Association of Jewish Libraries. (PDF document)
Time Magazine. Best fiction list includes two YA novels. (Readers have to click through a slide show to see all the titles.)
Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award (for a book published in 2011-12)
Toronto Public Library (Canada)
USA Today. Graphic novels.
Vampire Book Club Some YA titles on these lists.
Westport (CT) Library. Teen reads.
YALSA [Young Adult Library Services Association] Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Plus the following great lists and resources, all from YALSA, which sponsors the Printz, Alex, and Morris awards as well.
- Amazing audiobooks for young adults, and top ten amazing audiobooks
- Best fiction for young adults
- Great graphic novels, and top ten great graphic novels
- Popular paperbacks for young adults, and top ten popular paperbacks. (These are not necessarily books from 2012, but a good list nonetheless.)
- Quick picks for reluctant young adult readers, plus top ten quick picks