A Personal Challenge – Notable Children’s Books

The YA reading challenges that I’ve been doing in the last nine months, sponsored by the YALSA blog, The Hub, have really helped me keep up with the latest and greatest in YA books. I’ve also been reading outside my comfort zone, finding new books to like that I wouldn’t have read otherwise. But in some ways, these challenges are easy for me. I love to read YA literature and would read many of these books for fun. But my reading of Children’s books has been less focused.

I have looked at our library’s new books as they appear in the catalog and on workroom shelves. If the title catches my eye, I’ll read it. I’ve even reviewed a few titles for Shelf Life. Still, I think I can do better. A recent post on the ALSC blog with the discussion list for the 2013 Notable Books for Children prompted me to create my own personal challenge. I’ve only read about 25 of these books. Some of them are YA cross-over books, like Seraphina  and The Raven Boys. I still need to decide on specific goals. How many books should I read from the list over all? From each category? But I’ve made a list of the titles and have nearly a dozen on request. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of crossing items off on a list to get me motivated!

Books I’ve already finished:


  • Applegate, Katherine. The One and Only Ivan
  • Bauer, Marion Dane. Little Dog Lost
  • Curtis, Christopher Paul. The Mighty Miss Malone
  • DiCamillo, Kate and Alison McGhee. Bink and Gollie: Two for One
  • Hartman, Rachel. Seraphina
  • Levine, Kristin. The Lions of Little Rock
  • Lin, Grace. Starry River of the Sky
  • Palacio, R.J. Wonder
  • Stiefvater, Maggi. The Raven Boys
  • Turnage, Sheila. Three Times Lucky

Picture Books

  • Bingham, Kelly. Z is For Moose
  • Fogliano, Julie. And Then it’s Spring
  • Henkes, Kevin. Penny and Her Doll
  • Klassen, Jon. This is Not My Hat
  • Mack, Jeff. God News, Bad News
  • Willems, Mo. Duckling Gets a Cookie?
  • Willems, Mo. Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs

Informational Picture Books

  • Lewin, Ted. Puffling Patrol

Nonfiction Poetry

  • Frost, Helen. Step Gently Out

Nonfiction Biography

  • Blumenthal, Karen. Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different


  • Decristofano, Carolyn Cinami. A Black Hole is Not a Hole
  • Hoose, Phillip, Moonbird: A Year on the Wind With the Great Survivor B95
  • Hopkinson, Deborah. Titanic: Voices From the Disaster
  • Levinson, Cynthia. We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March
  • Sheinkin, Steve. Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon

About booksnquilts

I'm the Children's Services Coordinator for the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Central Virginia.
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