Top 20 Books of 2021: 20-16
It began with an idea.
A couple ideas.
What if there was a Best of the Year list that counted down from #20 to #1?
What if this list could include children’s books of any stripe (graphic novel, nonfiction, picture book, middle grade, etc.)?
John Schu and I began with these ideas and for 12 years now we’ve been ending the year with our Top 20 Books countdown.
Over the next few days, we’ll share our favorites from 2021.
20. The Longest Storm by Dan Yaccarino [Astra | Grades K-2]
Because, as much as the pandemic is a story about science, it’s also a story about families. -Travis
19. Circle Under Berry by Carter Higgins [Chronicle | Grades PreK-1]
Because it is colorful and clever and clearly created to be read aloud over and over and over again. -John
18. Bad Sister by Charise Mericle Harper, illustrated by Rory Lucey [First Second | Grades 2-6]
Because, let’s admit it, at some point we’ve all been bad. -Travis
17. Bright Star by Yuyi Morales [Neal Porter Books (Holiday House) | Grades K-2]
Because it’s a soothing lullaby everyone needs to experience and share. -John
16. Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Floyd Cooper [Carolrhoda Books (Lerner) | Grades 3-6]
Because it takes on a challenging subject with truth and beauty. -Travis
Filed under: Best of 2021
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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