2015 Best Children's Books of the Year: A List of Lists and Awards
November 13, 2015
It's raining books, hallelujah!
The holiday season means an abundance of online "best books" lists, and here on Chicken Spaghetti I collect the ones for kids' books. The focus is on material published in 2015, although you'll find that a few lineups also incorporate titles from previous years. Some of them cover way more than children's books; a mention here means that somewhere on the list is at least one kids' category. I plan to update the big list regularly.
©Susan Thomsen, 2015.
Be sure to see the magnificent list of all 2015 book lists at Largehearted Boy. And my list-loving Irish friends at St. Columba's College English Department have started their annual roundup, too. Travis Jonker, over at School Library Journal's 100 Scope Notes blog, writes about "2015 Children's Lit: The Year in Miscellanea."
AAAS: SB&F holiday gift guide. (AAAS=American Association for the Advancement of Science. SB&F=Science Books & Film review journal)
AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize finalists. Science books.
Abby the Librarian. Favorites.
The Age. Same list as Sydney Morning Herald. (Australia)
A.V. Club. One-shot comics and graphic novels, a few for kids. Same with ongoing and serial comics.
Air & Space Magazine (Smithsonian). Aviation- and space-themed books.
Alaska Dispatch News. Favorite Alaska books include a couple for younger readers.
Alex Awards. Adult books appropriate for teens.
All the Wonders. Nonfiction.
All the Wonders. Picture books.
Alligator's Mouth (UK)
Amazon. Young adult.
Anorak Magazine. Picture books. (UK)
Asian Pacific American Library Association (APALA) Literary Award. Via the Lee & Low Books blog.
Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). Notable books of the year.
Atlantic. One YA book on the list.
Audubon Magazine. Bird books, with a couple for children.
Autostraddle. "Top 10 queer and feminist" books and runners-up include a few YA titles.
Bank Street Center for Children's Literature: Children's Book Awards
Batchelder Award. For children's books in translation.
Ben Clanton's Squiggles & Scribbles
Birmingham Mail. Christmas books. (UK)
Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension. Teacher Pernille Ripp's YA gift list.
Blue Peter Book Awards. Shortlists. (UK)
Boing Boing. A few kids' books in the gift guide.
Book Chook (Australia)
Book Dragon (Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center blog). Books for adults & children.
Book Riot. List includes YA. Same with another Book Riot list, best books "you might have missed," and audiobooks.
Book Voyagers. Young adult and new adult, mostly.
Booklist. Religion and spirituality.
Booklist. First novels.
Booklist. Romance fiction.
Booklist. Science and health.
BookPage. Children and teens. Plus, gift books.
Books for Keeps. Gifts. (UK)
Books Live. A couple of titles for younger readers on a long list of reviewers' favorites. (South Africa)
Booktopia. Scroll down on the list. (Australia)
Bord Gáis Energy (BGE) Irish Book Awards shortlists. Junior and senior. (Ireland)
Boston Globe. Kids.
Boston Globe. Young adult.
Brain Pickings. Art books, including one kids' title. Same with science books.
Brain Pickings. Children's books.
British Comic Awards. Shortlists & longlists. (UK)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. Blue Ribbons, for best books of the year.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's books. Gift guide (PDF).
Bustle. Best YA book covers.
BuzzFeed. "Beautifully illustrated" picture books.
BuzzFeed. Fantasy books, including a few for kids.
BuzzFeed. Gifts for "activisty families."
BuzzFeed. Young adult.
Canadian Children's Book Centre Awards
Carnegie Medal. For children's video.
CBC/Radio-Canada. List includes a few books for kids. (Canada)
Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature (Pinterest page)
Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) UK
Centro Voices. "Essential Boricua Reading for the Holiday Season" includes some kids' & YA books.
Chen Bochui Awards (China). Via the Bookseller.
Chicago Public Library. Fiction for older readers (3rd through 8th grades).
Chicago Public Library. Informational books for older readers (3rd through 8th grades).
Chicago Public Library. Informational books for younger readers (Kindergarten through 3rd grade).
Chicago Public Library. Picture books.
Chicago Public Library. Teen fiction.
Chicago Public Library. Teen graphic novels and manga.
Chicago Public Library. Teen nonfiction.
Christchurch City Libraries (New Zealand)
Charlotte Huck Award. For fiction; sponsored by NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English).
Comics Alliance. Teens.
Cooperative Children's Book Center. CCBC Choices. (PDF)
Cosmos Magazine. Illustrated science books, with several for children. (Australia)
Costa Children's Book Award. Shortlist and winner. PDFs (UK)
Culture Whisper (UK)
Cuyahoga Public Library. Gifts & "great books for kids."
Cybils (Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards). Finalists in eleven categories. Winners to be announced Feb. 14, 2016.
Daily Express (UK)
Daily O (India)
Denver Public Library. Gift guide.
EarlyWord. Spread sheet of various lists of best kids' books.
Edgar Awards. Sponsored by the Mystery Writers of America. Nominees, including "juvenile" and YA books. Winners to be announced April 28, 2016.
Elle UK. One kids' book on the list.
Entertainment Weekly. Comics, some for adults.
Entertainment Weekly. Gift guide: teens.
Entropy. Best fiction list includes a graphic novel for young adults.
Everything Zoomer. Gifts. (Canada)
Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction Award. See YALSA, below.
Ezra Jack Keats Awards. To be announced April 2016.
Financial Times (UK)
A Fuse #8 Production (School Library Journal blog). Librarian Elizabeth Bird's 100 Magnificent Children's Books 2015.
#GayYABookClub. 2015 Favorites from a Twitter chat, via Storify.
GeekDad. Gift guide, kids & adults.
Geisel Award. Beginning readers. Announced Jan. 11, 2016; link coming soon.
Globe and Mail (Canada)
Good Reads with Ronna. Picture books.
Goodreads Choice Awards. Graphic novels and comics. Some, not all, for children.
Goodreads Choice Awards. Middle grade.
Goodreads Choice Awards. Picture books.
Goodreads Choice Awards. Young adult fantasy and science fiction.
Goodreads Choice Awards. Young adult fiction.
Governor General Literary Awards. For children's literature, text (English and French), and illustrated books (English and French). (Canada)
Guardian. Best kids' books of the year. Plus, some author, editor, and reader favorites.
Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. Shortlist. Winner. (UK)
Guardian. Christmas books. (UK)
Guardian. Various authors' favorites of the year. See Lauren Child's picks for some children's books. (UK)
Guardian. Young Critics Competition winners. (UK)
Heavy Medal, A Mock Newbery Blog. Shortlist.
Herald (Scotland). Picture books. (UK)
Herald (Scotland). YA. (UK)
Herald (Scotland). Younger readers. (UK)
Horn Book Magazine. Fanfare, year's best.
Horn Book Magazine. Holiday High Notes, new holiday books.
Huffington Post. Picture books.
Huffington Post. YA.
Imagination Soup. Board books.
Independent. Books for babies. (UK)
Independent. Picture books.
Independent. Readers aged 8 to 11.
Independent. Young adult. (UK)
io9. Science fiction and fantasy, including some YA books.
Irish Times. Robert Dunbar's favourites. (Ireland)
Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger. Gifts recommended by a Lemuria Books staffer.
Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger. Top Mississippi books, including books for kids.
Japan Times. Books on Japan, including several for children. (Japan)
Jefferson County (Colorado) Public Library. Best monster books. Now we're talkin'.
Jewish Journal. Hanukkah books.
KCUR/Johson County (Kansas) Library
Kirkus Reviews. Middle grade.
Kirkus Reviews. Picture books.
Kirkus Reviews. Teen. Plus, columnist Leila Roy's "stand-out YA" books of the year.
LA Weekly. LA books, one YA.
Latina Book Club. Some kids' and YA titles on the list.
Literary Hub. Booksellers' favorites, with a couple of titles for younger readers.
Londonist. Best London books, with a couple for kids. (UK)
Lone Star Literary Life. Texas books for younger readers, and Texas YA.
Los Angeles Public Library. Children.
Los Angeles Public Library. Teens.
Masala Mommas. South Asian kids' books, with some older titles. (Canada)
Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List, from the Texas Library Association.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. List includes two kids' books.
Minneapolis Star Tribune. Critics' Choices include one book for children.
Minneapolis Star Tribune. Middle-grade and YA books by Minnesota authors.
Morris Award. For debut young adult fiction. Finalists. Winner.
Motherland. Books for preschoolers. (UK)
Mountain Xpress. Kids' books by local Asheville, NC, area authors.
Multnomah County Library. Kids.
Multnomah County Library. Picture books.
Multnomah County Library. Teens.
NAACP Image Awards. Nominees in many categories, including outstanding literary works for children and for youth/teens.
Nashville Lifestyles. Southern titles, with one picture book on the list.
National Book Award for Young People's Literature
National Science Teachers Association. Outstanding science trade books for students K-12.
NBC News Latino. Latino books from small presses; one kids' title on the list.
Nerdy Book Club. Early readers and chapter books.
Nerdy Book Club. Fiction picture books.
Nerdy Book Club. Graphic novels.
Nerdy Book Club. Middle grade fiction.
Nerdy Book Club. Nonfiction.
Nerdy Book Club. Nonfiction picture books.
Nerdy Book Club. Poetry and novels in verse.
Nerdy Book Club. Young adult fiction, Part 1 and Part 2.
New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards
New Scientist. One kids' book on the list. (UK)
New Statesman. Critic Amanda Craig's selections. (UK)
New York Public Library. "100 Notable Titles for Reading and Sharing."
New York Public Library. Teens.
New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books
New York Times Notable Children's Books
News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
Not My Typewriter. List includes a few books for kids.
NPR. Young adult.
Odyssey Award. For audiobooks.
Orbis Pictus Award. For nonfiction; sponsored by NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English).
Pages & Pages (Australia)
Parnassus Musing. Gift list for children and teens.
Paste. Comic books, some for kids.
Paste. Young adult.
Penn GSE [Graduate School of Education] Newsroom. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas's picks.
Planetary Society. Books about space.
Port Huron (Mich.) Times Herald. Gifts.
Powell's Books. Plus, "picks of the season" for adults and kids.
Prime Minister's Literary Awards. Shortlists. (Australia)
Printz Award. Announced Jan. 11, 2016; link coming soon.
Project Eve Moms. Picture books.
Publishers Weekly. Comics. Some, not all, for children.
Publishers Weekly. Middle grade.
Publishers Weekly. Picture books.
Publishers Weekly. Young adult.
Queensland Literary Awards (Australia)
Quill & Quire (Canada)
Rainbow List. GLBTQ books.
Reading Rockets. Gift guide.
Readings. Emily Gale's picks for her family. (Australia)
Readings. Junior fiction. (Australia)
Readings. Middle fiction. (Australia)
Readings. Picture books. (Australia)
Readings. Young adult. (Australia)
Red Magazine (UK)
Rich in Color. Favorite diverse books from K. Imani, Jessica, Crystal, and Audrey.
Rookie. Gifts (teens).
Royal Society Young People's Book Prize. Science books. (UK)
Sakura Medal. Nominees. (Japan)
San Francisco Chronicle. Gift guide include books for children.
San Jose Mercury News. Middle-school readers.
San Jose Mercury News. Younger readers.
Sarah Webb (Ireland)
Schneider Family Book Award. Announced Jan. 11, 2016; link coming soon.
School Library Journal. Adult books for teens.
School Library Journal. Middle grade.
School Library Journal. Nonfiction.
School Library Journal. Picture books.
School Library Journal. Top 10 audiobooks.
School Library Journal. Top 10 graphic novels.
School Library Journal. Top 10 Latin@ books.
School Library Journal. Young adult.
Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. Via Read Roger at the Horn Book.
Seattle Review of Books. Teens.
Sibert Informational Book Award
Slate. Laura Miller's list includes a kids' book.
South Coast Today (MA)
Spectator. One kids' book included. (UK)
Spinoff (New Zealand)
Sunday Express (UK)
Sydney Morning Herald. Plus, Colin Steele's gift picks, which include a couple of kids' and YA books. (Australia)
Sydney Taylor Book Awards. Sponsored by the Association of Jewish Libraries. (PDF)
Tablet Magazine. Marjorie Ingall's roundup of the best Jewish children's books.
TD Canadian Children's Literature Award shortlist
Tejas Star Reading List. Bilingual English/Spanish books, and books in Spanish.
Telegraph. Young adult. (UK)
Today's Parent. Picture books. (Canada)
Tor.com. Staff favorites include some YA.
Toronto Public Library. Books for children under 5. (Canada)
Tri-City News (Canada)
USA Today. Christmas books.
Vampire Book Club. Some YA books on the list.
Victorian Premier's Literary Awards (Australia)
Vikki VanSickle (Canada)
Vox. Comics, some for kids.
Vulture (New York Magazine). Graphic novels, some for kids.
Waking Brain Cells. Fiction.
Waking Brain Cells. Graphic novels.
Waking Brain Cells. Nonfiction.
Waking Brain Cells. Picture books.
Wall Street Journal. Gifts. Also, a "Best of the Best-of Lists" includes YA. And Meghan Cox Gurdon's list (behind a pay wall).
We Need Diverse Books/B&N [Barnes and Noble] Teen Blog
What Do We Do All Day? Picture books: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. Plus, middle grade books.
Washington Post. Children's books.
Washington Post. Graphic novels. Some, not all, for kids.
Waterstones' Book of the Year (UK)
We Need Diverse Books. Middle grade.
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Finalists. Winner. (YALSA = Young Adult Library Services Association)
- Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
- Best Fiction for Young Adults
- Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
- Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
- Teens' top ten
Zooglobble. Best kids' music. Not books but still fun.