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.
See also the lists for 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008. I also tweet about books; follow me on Twitter: @Susan_Thomsen.
©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.
ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Notable Children's Books
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.
American Booksellers Association
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.
Bank Street College, Children's Book Committee
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
Boston Globe. YA and children's books. Behind a paywall, alas.
Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards. Titles from 2011 and 2012. And Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards for 2012-2013.
Brain Pickings. Picture books and other illustrated books for kids. Plus, a "best" list of graphic novels and graphic nonfiction includes a few teen/kid titles.
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, plus longlist and shortlist (UK)
Carnegie Medal. For outstanding video productions for children. (US)
CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center) Choices (PDF file)
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).
Coretta Scott King Book Awards
Costa Children's Book Award shortlist, and category winner. (UK)
Cuyahoga County Public Library
Cybils (Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards). Finalists and winners.
Drawn Blog. "Favourite comics, art books, and more" list includes some titles for kids. (Canada)
EarlyWord. A series of blog posts on the best books to give children "you don't know very well." Nonfiction, easy-to-reads, and books for younger kids and older kids and young adults.
Edgar Awards. Sponsored by the Mystery Writers of America. A number of categories of books, including juvenile and young adult.
Emu's Debuts (blog): Best "under the radar" books of 2012
Entertainment Weekly. Best fiction list includes a YA novel. Plus, Entertainment Weekly's list of best children's books.
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."
Greenaway Medal, plus longlist and shortlist (UK)
"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."
Guardian Children's Fiction Prize (UK)
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.
Irish Book Awards. Scroll down on the page for the children's book categories. See also the shortlists for senior and junior categories of children's books. (Ireland)
The Irish Independent (Ireland)
Jane Addams Children's Book Award
Junior Library Guild Editors. Top picks for ghost stories for teens. (Via School Library Journal.)
Kirkus Reviews, plus teen books
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.
Library Journal: Young adult literature for adults
London Evening Standard. Younger children's books. (UK)
Los Angeles Public Library
Maggie Stievater. YA author's "best" list includes some older titles, too.
Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation (UK)
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.
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA): Outstanding science trade books for students K-12
Nerdy Book Club. Picture books. And early reader and chapter books and picture book nonfiction.
New York Public Library: 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books
New York Times Book Review: Notable Children's Books of 2012
Newbery Medal. To be announced January 28, 2013.
Nonfiction Detectives (blog): Nonfiction for children; plus, top 10 biographies, science & math books, and history.
NPR: 5 Young Adult Novels That You'll Never Outgrow
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.
NPR: "The year's outstanding 'backseat' reads, for ages 9-14"
NSW [New South Wales] Premier's Literary Awards shortlists and, via the Australian, winners. Patricia Wrightson Prize and Ethel Turner Prize honor children's books. (Australia)
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)
Rainbow Book List nominations and final list. GLBTQ books for children and teens.
Readerbuzz. 25 favorite nonfiction picture books nominated for Cybils (see above) award.
Reading Rants! A list of mostly YA titles.
Readings bookstore (Australia)
Roald Dahl Funny Prize, plus shortlist (UK)
Royal Society Young People's Book Prize. Honoring science books. (UK)
San Francisco Chronicle. Holiday gift guide.
School Library Journal. Audiobooks for teens and tweens.
School Library Journal: Top 10 graphic novels
Scientific American. Cocktail Party Physics blog. Science books.
Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction
Sibert Medal. Honors nonfiction for children.
Slate. List includes one picture book; rest of books for adults.
Society of Illustrators: 2012 Medal Winners
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)
Tablet Magazine: Best Jewish-themed books for children
The Telegraph Books for Christmas. Plus, top 2012 children's books and top ten YA. (UK)
Time Magazine. Best fiction list includes two YA novels. (Readers have to click through a slide show to see all the titles.)
TimeOut Chicago (older kids) and picture books
TimeOut New York Kids: Best pop-up books for pre-K and elementary-school kids
Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award (for a book published in 2011-12)
Toronto Public Library (Canada)
USA Today. Graphic novels.
USBBY (United States Board on Books for Young People) Outstanding International Books
Vampire Book Club Some YA titles on these lists.
Wall Street Journal gift guide
Washington Post. Plus, the graphic novel list includes at least one YA title.
Westport (CT) Library. Teen reads.
What Do We Do All Day? (blog) Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4.
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
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