Dept. of Still a Ways to Go
Brown Girl Dreaming

The Best Children's Books of 2014: A List of Lists and Awards

A roundup of the year-end "best of" lists and children's literature prizes. Most of the books on these lists were published in 2014; a few lists include titles from prior years, too. I will update this page regularly, so if you see something not mentioned here, give me a holler in the comments or on Twitter @Susan_Thomsen. Comments are open but moderated, due to spam woes.

See also the lists for 2013, 2012201120102009, and 2008

©Susan Thomsen, 2014.

The blog Largehearted Boy maintains a huge list of all the online "best books" lists. The English department at St. Columba's College, Dublin, keeps a good annotated list of book lists. Also, Confessions of a Science Librarian collects lists of best science books (for adults). Don't miss librarian Travis Jonker's smart and funny "Children's Literature 2014: The Year in Miscellanea," at School Library Journal's 100 Scope Notes blog. Holiday shoppers will want to peruse the great suggestions at MotherReader's list of "150 Ways to Give a Book." Betsy Bird, of the New York Public Library, makes her Caldecott and Newbery predictions at another School Library Journal blog, A Fuse #8 Production.


100 Scope Notes (School Library Journal blog). Top 20.


AAAS Science Books & Film. Gift guide. (AAAS = American Association for the Advancement of Science)

AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books

Air & Space Magazine (Smithsonian). Aviation- and space-themed books.

Alex Award, for adult books with teen appeal (PDF)


American Booksellers Association

American Indians in Children's Literature

Americas Award

Arab American Book Award. Several categories, including books for children.

Audible. Teens.


Batchelder Award, for children's books in translation (PDF)

Big Issue (UK)

Blackwell's. Recommendations by booksellers. (UK)

Blue Peter Book Awards. Shortlist. Winners announced March 5, 2015. (UK)

Boing Boing. Gift guide includes some books for kids.

A Book Long Enough. Picture book nonfiction.

Book Riot. Includes some books for kids and teens.
Book Riot: Young Adult.

Booklist: Adult books for young adults
Booklist: Arts
Booklist: Black history
Booklist: Crafts and gardening
Booklist: Editors' Choice: Books for youth and Audiobooks for youth, and Top of the List, which includes books for children
Booklist: Religion and spirituality
Booklist: Science and health
Booklist: Sports
Booklist: Sustainability


Bookseller YA Book Prize. Shortlist. (UK)

Booktopia. (Scroll down on a long list.) Australia

Boston Globe (Scroll down on a long list for the kids' books. The lists of individual categories, not linked here, seem to activate a pay wall.)

Brain Pickings

British Comic Awards (via Forbidden Planet International)

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. "Guide book to gift books." (PDF) and Blue Ribbons (best of 2014)

Buzzfeed. Books by women, including one middle-grade book and one YA novel.
Buzzfeed. Picture books.


Caldecott Medal (PDF)

Canadian Children's Book Centre

Carnegie Medal. Nominations. (UK)

Carnegie Medal, for children's video. PDF. (US)

CBC/Radio-Canada. Best Canadian books, including one children's title.

Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature (PDF file)

Chapters Indigo (Canada)

Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children, sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)

Charlotte Zolotow Award

Chicago Public Library

Children's Africana Book Awards

Children's Choice Book Awards. Finalists. Winners announced May 4-10, 2015.

Children's Book Council of Australia. "Book of the year" in several categories, plus longlists and shortlists.

Christchurch City Libraries (New Zealand) 

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award

Costa Children's Book Award. Shortlist, and winner (PDF). (Scroll down on longer lists for the children's category.) UK

Cybils Awards. Finalists and winners. (Cybils = Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards.)


Edgar Award nominations. Sponsored by the Mystery Writers of America, awards include juvenile and young adult categories.

Eisner Awards. Comics.


Financial Times (UK)

Foreword Reviews. Middle-grade novels.

A Fuse #8 Production (School Library Journal blog)


Geek Dad. Gift book list includes some children's titles.

Geisel Award (beginning readers) PDF

Globe and Mail. Top 100 list includes some children's books. (Canada)

Good Comics for Kids

Goodreads Choice Awards. Middle grade & children's.
Goodreads Choice Awards. Picture books.
Goodreads Choice Awards. Young adult fantasy and science fiction.
Goodreads Choice Awards. Young adult fiction.

Governor General's Literary Awards. Categories for children's books in English and in French. PDF. (Canada)

Gransnet (UK)

Growing Good Kids Book Awards

Gryphon Award

Guardian. Julia Eccleshare's picks.. (UK)
Guardian. Older children. (UK)
Guardian. Picture books. (UK)
Guardian. Poetry books. (UK)

Gutter Bookshop. Scroll down to see kids' books. (Ireland)


Hockey Book Reviews. Not a "year's best," per se, but does include books for children.

Horn Book

Houston Chronicle. List includes some books for kids.

Huffington Post. Picture books.


Independent. 12 and older. (UK)

Inky Awards (Australia)

International Latino Book Awards

International Reading Association. Picture books, American and international.

Irish Times. A couple of YA books on a few of these lists. Plus, children's books chosen by Eileen Battersby and by Robert Dunbar.


Kate Greenaway Medal. Nominations. (UK)

Kid Lit Frenzy. Nonfiction books.

King County (Washington) Library. Teens.

Kirkus Reviews
Kirkus Reviews: "Best picture books that celebrate diversity."

Kitschies Awards, for speculative fiction (UK)


Lane Anderson Award. Science books. (Canada)

Latinas for Latino Lit

Lire. In French, list of best books includes a jeunesse category. (via L'Express)

Longitude Books. Travel books.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. Finalists. Categories include one for young adult literature.


Marin Mommies. Picks from the Diesel bookstore.

Mashable. Young adult books.

Mombian/Windy City Media Group. LGBTQ-inclusive books.

Morris Award, for YA debuts (PDF)

Mr. Brian's Picture Book Picks. Fiction and nonfiction lists.

Mumsnet. Books for the children aged 3 and younger. (UK)


NAACP Image Awards. (Scroll down on page for nominated books for children and for youth/teens.) Winners announced Feb. 6.

National Book Award for Young People's Literature 

National Outdoor Book Awards. Children's book category included.

National Post (Canada)

National Public Radio (NPR). Kids, staff picks, et al. See NPR's whole Book Concierge app for more.

National Science Teachers Association. "Outstanding science trade books for students K–12."

Nerdy Book Club. Early readers and chapter books, fiction picture booksgraphic novels, middle grade fictionmiddle-grade and young adult nonfiction, nonfiction picture bookspoetry & novels in verse, and young adult fiction (part 1 and part 2).

New England Book Awards. List includes kids' book. (via Boston Globe)

Newbery Medal (PDF)

New Jersey Family

New Statesman. Critic Amanda Craig's list. (UK)

New York Public Library. 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing. 
New York Public Library. Teens.

New York Times Best Illustrated Books Award (slide show)

New York Times. Notable children's books.

New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults

Nonfiction Detectives

Notable Books for a Global Society, chosen by the Children's Literature and Special Interest Reading Group of the International Reading Association (PDF)


Odyssey Award (audiobooks) PDF

Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)


Parade. Books chosen by YA authors.

Parentdish (Canada)

Parents Magazine

PBS Parents/Adventures in Learning. Picture books.

The Planet Esmé Plan

Planetary Society. Space-themed books.

Powell's Books

Publishers Weekly. Middle grade.
Publishers Weekly. Picture books.
Publishers Weekly. Young adult.

Pura Belpré Author Award, for books about the Latino cultural experience (PDF)

Pura Belpré Illustrator Award, for books about the Latino cultural experience (PDF)

PopCrush. Young adult.

Printz Award


Rainbow List. Books with significant LGBT content.

Reading Rockets (PDF)

Readings. Gift guide. (Australia)
Readings. Young adult books. (Australia)

The Root: Top nonfiction by black authors includes one kids' book.

Royal Society Young People's Book Prize (UK)


SF Gate/San Francisco Chronicle. Children's books gift guide.

San Raphael (CA) Public Library

Schneider Family Book Award (PDF)

School Library Journal; also, SLJ's Best Adult Books 4 TeensBest Latino Books, Best Audiobooks, Best Graphic Novels

School Run (UK)

Science Friday (NPR). Science books.

Scientists' Bookshelf

Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction (via the Read Roger blog)

Scottish Children's Book Awards

Shelf Awareness (Scroll down on page for children's and YA titles.)

Siebert Informational Book Award (PDF)

Smart Books for Smart Kids

Smithsonian: Gift guide for kids and babies includes a few books. Science nerd gift guide has more; some appropriate for older kids and teens.

Society of Illustrators Awards for children's book illustration

Stonewall Book Award/Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children's and Young Adult Literature Award, for books about the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience (PDF)

Spectator (UK)

Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

Sydney Taylor Book Awards, for Jewish children's literature (PDF)


Tablet. Majorie Ingall's roundup of best Jewish books for children, plus additional titles at her blog.

Teaching for Change

Tejas Star Reading List. Spanish and bilingual English/Spanish books, some from 2013.

Telegraph. Children's. (UK)
Telegraph. Young adult. (UK)

Time. Young adult.

Today's Parent. Picture books. (Canada)

Toledo Blade

Top Teaching (Scholastic)

Toronto Public Library. Books for children under five. (Canada)


UKLA Book Awards. Shortlists. Winners announced July 10, 2015. (UKLA = United Kingdom Literacy Association)

USA Today. Christmas and Hanukkah books.


Victorian Premier's Literary Awards. Shortlists include a YA category. (Australia)


Wall Street Journal

Washington Post

Waterstone's. "Book of the year" shortlist includes a picture book. (UK)

The Women's Bookshop. "Faves & Raves" list includes several titles for children. (New Zealand)


YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction (YALSA=Young Adult Library Services Association) PDF

Young Australians Best Book Awards


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Hi Susan,
What fun finding you in Children's Booklist!!!

Miss Deborah! From my very favorite library! Yes, it was super cool of PW Kids to mention the list.

The end-of-year lists I always read but never make!

Tanita, do you have a book out this year? I predict a slew of Best Books lists in your future!

Thank you for adding my blog Mr. Brian's Picture Book Picks to your year-end list!

You're so welcome, Mr. Brian. I saw that you have a nonfiction list, too, so I added it. I can't wait to catch up on my reading. I did buy The Book with No Pictures to read to a second grade class. That should be fun.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)