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 2011. This page will be updated regularly.
Thank you to Largehearted Boy for keeping track of all the 2011 online book lists; his work has been a huge help to compiling the list here.
See also The Best Children's Books 2010.
©Susan Thomsen, 2011.
AAAS/Suburu Science Books & Film Prize for Excellence in Science Books winners
ABC (American Booksellers for Children) PDF file
About.com: Manga gift guide (some, not all, titles for kids)
All About Manga. A compilation of links to various gift guides.
Amanda Craig (UK book critic)
Amazon Best Books of the Year So Far (mid-year lists) Middle Grades, Picture Books, and Teens
Amazon: Middle Grade Books, Picture Books, Teens/YA (year-end lists)
Amazon: Top 100. List includes a few children's/teen books.
Amazon.co.uk: Year's best in many categories, including children's and teens.
Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award finalists
American Booksellers Association: New Voices list (PDF file). Debut authors of middle-grade and teen books.
Awful Library Books. Titles not published in 2011 but hilarious, nonetheless.
Audible.com (kids' and teens' audiobooks)
Bank Street College of Education: Children's Book Committee
Barnes & Noble: kids; teens; and "best kids' books for easy gifting"
Bay Windows: Best lesbian and gay parenting books, including several picture books
Bibliocommons (New York Public Library): Picture book read-alouds
Blue Peter Book Awards shortlist (UK)
Boater Life Online: Boat and Water Theme Books. List of old & new titles.
BoingBoing Gift Guide. Includes quite a few children's/YA books.
Booklist: Top of the List selections for best books of the year in a number of categories.
Booklist Top Ten Arts Books for Youth
Booklist Top Ten Biographies for Youth
Booklist Top Ten Books on the Environment for Youth
Booklist Top Ten Crime Fiction for Youth
Booklist Top Ten Black History Books for Youth
Booklist Top Ten First Novels for Youth
Booklist Top Ten SF/Fantasy Books for Youth
Booklist Top Ten Sports Books for Youth
Boston Globe: Best children's books
Boston Globe: Children's books to give as gifts
Brain Pickings: History books (includes a children's title)
Brain Pickings: Illustrated children's and picture books
Brain Pickings: Photography books (includes a children's title)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books: Holiday Gift Guide (books from 2011 and the last couple of years; PDF file)
Canadian Children's Book Centre. Click on "Great Reads for the Holidays" in left-hand column on home page. See also winners of and finalists for 2012 Canadian Children's Book Centre Awards; the books are from 2011.
Canadian Parents.com: Best food comics for kids. Older & new books.
Carnegie Medal: Shortlist and winner (UK)
Carnegie Medal (US)
Charlotte Zolotow Award (for picture book text)
Chicago Daily Herald: Cookbooks, including a couple for children
Chicago Now: Pet books for the holidays (a couple for kids)
Children's Book Council of Australia: Short List and Notables
Children's Literature Network.Snip Snap Snute blog: Best folktales.
Christchurch City Libraries: Older Readers and Young Adults (New Zealand)
Christian Science Monitor: YA novels
A Child Grows in Brooklyn. Holiday books.
Comic Attack.net: All ages comics
The Comics Reporter: Holiday Gift Guide (some, not all, titles for kids)
Connecticut Library Consortium
Cook Prize finalists for picture books on science, engineering, technology, or math (Bank Street College of Education)
Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) Choices 2012 Preliminary List
Coretta Scott King Book Awards
Costa Children's Book Award shortlist and winner (via The Guardian) UK
Cryptomundo: Cryptozoology books, including at least one for children.
Cybils (Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards): Book Apps shortlist. Winner.
Cybils: Easy readers/short chapter books shortlist. Winner.
Cybils: Fantasy and science fiction shortlists for middle grade and young adults. Winner.
Cybils: Fiction picture books shortlist. Winner.
Cybils: Graphic novels shortlists for elementary/middle grade and young adults. Winner.
Cybils: Middle grade novels shortlist. Winner.
Cybils: Non-fiction for teens and tweens shortlist. Winner.
Cybils: Non-fiction picture books shortlist. Winner.
Cybils: Poetry shortlist. Winner.
Cybils: Young adult fiction shortlist. Winner.
Dog Writers Association of America awards. Scroll down on list for children's book nominees.
dot.Momming: Best picture book apps
Drawn Blog: John Martz's list includes some children's books
EarlyWord: Books to Give Kids You Don't Know Very Well
EasyReader: Comic books for all ages
Edgar Awards. Presented by the Mystery Writers of America. Nominees and winners in many categories, including YA and Juvenile.
Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Ezra Jack Keats New Writer and New Illustrator Awards for Children's Books
Florida Publishers Association President's Book Awards. Including some children's categories. Books from this year and last few years.
A Fuse #8 Production: "100 Magnificent Children's Books of 2011", plus board books (School Library Journal blog)
Galaxy National Book Awards (UK)
GeekMom Holiday Gift Guide: books, mostly from 2011, for children and grown-ups
Globe and Mail gift guide (Canada)
Golden Kite Awards, sponsored by the Society for Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI)
Goodreads Choice Awards finalists and winners (including several categories for children's and teen books)
Governor General's Award. Winners (adult and children's titles), plus finalists for children's text and children's illustration. (Canada)
Greenaway Medal: Shortlist and winner (UK)
"Growing Good Kids" awards for environmental and gardening books
Guardian: Best book apps for children 0-7 (UK)
Guardian: "Books of the year" chosen by well-known authors. List includes some children's books.
Guardian Children's Fiction Prize (UK)
Guardian: fiction and picture books (UK)
Guelph Mercury (Canada)
Hockey Book Reviews.com (Scroll down on list for kids' books about hockey.)
Horn Book Fanfare (best books of the year)
Horn Book: Holiday High Notes (winter-holiday books)
Horn Book: "Mind the Gap" Awards (books that should have received more attention)
Hyphen Magazine (notable Asian American books, including one for teens)
International Reading Association's Children's Literature and Reading Special Interest Group: Notable Books for a Global Society
Icelandic Children's Literary Award
Imagination Soup: Best iPad book apps for kids
IMPAC Dublin Literary Award longlist (includes some teen books) Ireland
Indies Choice Book Awards (for children's & adult books)
Indigo Kids Blog: Picture books (Canada)
Irish Independent: Young adults (Ireland)
Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award finalists for best picture book (Bank Street College of Education)
January Magazine (Canada)
Juneau Empire: Notable Alaska books, including several for children
Kansas City Star. List includes a couple of books for kids and teens.
Kirkus Reviews: Children's books and teens' books, plus kids' book apps
Kirkus Reviews' children's book blog: Seven Impossible Things' top 10 picture books
Largehearted Boy. The list of lists for a huge range of books for all ages. An excellent resource.
Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award
Lehigh Valley Live.com: Gift books
Library Journal: YA Lit for Adults
London Evening Standard: Older children (UK)
London Evening Standard: Younger children (UK)
Los Angeles Public Library: Children
Los Angeles Public Library: Young adults
Los Angeles Times Book Prize nominees. Includes a category for YA books.
Mesquite (Ariz.) Local News.com: Gift books.
Minnesota Book Awards (including a category for children's books)
Montreal Gazette: Gift books (English) and French-language books
Moonbeam Children's Book Awards
MTV Geek: High-End Comic Books
MTV Geek: Manga Holiday Gift Guide (some, not all, books for kids)
NAACP Image Awards for literature, including a couple of children's book categories
National Book Award for Young People's Literature finalists and winner
National Jewish Book Awards (including several categories for children's books)
National Outdoor Book Awards (including a category for children's books)
National Parenting Publications (NAPPA) Awards
National Post. List includes a few kids/YA books. (Canada)
Nebula Award nominees. Sponsored by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, these include a young adult book category.
Nerdy Book Club's Nerdies Book Awards
New York Public Library: Chapter books. (This NYPL entry and the ones that follow are part of the library's "100 Titles for Reading and Sharing.")
New York Public Library: Early chapter books
New York Public Library: Folk & fairy tales
New York Public Library: Graphic novels
New York Public Library: Nonfiction
New York Public Library: Picture books
New York Public Library: Poetry
National Science Teachers Association. Under O, for Outstanding Science Trade Books.
New York Times, Gadgetwise blog. Best children's books on the iPad (from March 2011)
New York Times Book Review: 10 Best Illustrated Children's Books and Notable Children's Books
New Zealand Listener. Full text available Dec. 12, 2011.
Nigerian Prize for Literature shortlist (prize honors children's books in 2011)
Nonfiction Detectives (children's nonfiction)
Notable Children's Books in the English Language Arts, from the Children's Literature Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
NPR: Booksellers' picks (a few children's books on the list)
NPR: Gift books (several children's books on longer list)
NPR: Nancy Pearl's picks (including a children's title)
NPR: Science fiction and fantasy (adult & YA titles)
NPR: Top 5 Books for Backseat Readers (Ages 9 and Up)
Okazu. Manga gift guide.
On Point (WBUR radio show). Two children's books mentioned.
100 Scope Notes (posting a Top 20 list five at a time)
Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12, presented by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).
Paste Magazine: Best Comics (including a couple of kids/YA titles)
Publishers Weekly Children's Picture Books
Publishers Weekly Children's Fiction
Publishers Weekly Children's Nonfiction
Quebec Writers Federation young adult novel award (via CBC)
Quincy (MA) Patriot Ledger. Books for adults & children.
Readerbuzz: Picture books
Reading Rants! Out of the Ordinary Teen Booklists!
Readings Books: Young adult fiction and kids' books (Australia)
Red House Children's Book Award shortlist and winner (UK)
Roald Dahl Funny Prize shortlist and winners (UK)
Royal Society Young People's Book Prize shortlist and winner (for science books published 2008-2010) UK
San Francisco Chronicle. Holiday gift guide and Christmas books.
School Library Journal: Audiobooks.
School Library Journal: Graphic novels
Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction (link via the Horn Book)
Scottish Children's Book Trust Awards: Shortlist
Seconds blog: Best books for second grade
Seattle Times: Gift books (for kids) by Washington authors
Sibert Informational Book Medal
Simmons College: 300 the Fenway blog. Susan Bloom's list
Smithsonian.com: Just One More Story blog: "For the Very Youngest Readers"
Smithsonian.com: Just One More Story blog: picture books
Smithsonian.com: Surprising Science blog's Ten Great Science Books for Kids
Society of Illustrators award for original art in "the fine art of children's book illustration"
Spacing Toronto: Great children's books that feature cities (not all of these are from 2011, but a good list, nonetheless) Canada
Storytelling World Resource Awards
Stuff.co.nz (New Zealand)
Sydney Taylor Book Awards, honoring Jewish books for children and teens
Tablet Magazine: Jewish kids' books, compiled by writer Marjorie Ingall, who includes a longer list at her blog, too.
Telegraph: Adventure (UK)
Telegraph: Historical fiction (UK)
Telegraph: Humour (UK)
Telegraph: Real life (UK)
Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award (for books published in 2009-10)
Vampire Book Club.net Mostly titles for adults, but a few YA books.
Vanity Fair: "Best books you haven't read" (list includes a YA title)
VOYA's Nonfiction Honor List (NF for teens) You'll need to scroll through a PDF file.
Wall Street Journal. List includes some 2010 titles.
Washington State Book Awards. Longer list includes a category for kids' books. Via the Seattle Times.
Waterstone's Children's Book Prize (UK)
William C. Morris YA Debut Award finalists
YA-aholic: Best vampire, werewolf, and faerie books
YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) Nonfiction Award finalists (some titles published late 2010) and winner
Zooglobble: Fids & Kamily Awards (for children's music. Not books, but still fun!)
There don't appear to be any Australian children's book awards there. Would you like me to compile and forward to you a list?
Posted by: Judith Ridge | January 02, 2012 at 08:19 AM
Judith, there are lots of Australian books on the big 2010 list; these lists here are almost all for books published in 2011. For instance, the 2012 Newbery and Caldecott medals will go here on the 2011 list because they both honor books published in 2011.
That said, any list of 2011 books is SO welcome. I thank you for the offer.
Posted by: Susan | January 02, 2012 at 10:48 AM
I always love your big list of lists, Susan! :) Happy New Year!
Posted by: Sarah Stevenson (aquafortis) | January 11, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Thanks, Sarah! And happy 2012 to you, too. I'm a lister from way back and enjoy the process!
Posted by: Susan | January 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM
Well 2011 is past us now, but while searching today for information on the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award I came across this Bank Street site. They have a Center for Children's Literature that posts a list of best books of the year by age. I didn't see it here, so I thought I'd mention it. It's at least worth keeping an eye on for next year.
Here's the link!
Posted by: Tricia | February 20, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Thanks, Tricia. The books on the Bank Street list are from 2010, so I had them on that year's list. It's a good reminder to look for this year's!
Posted by: Susan | February 23, 2012 at 11:05 AM