Notable Children's Books

About the Notable Children's Books
Each year the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best of children's books on the Notable Children's Books list.

Administered by:

Association for Library Service to Children logo

Middle Readers

2013 Selection(s)

Abraham Lincoln & Frederick Douglass: The Story behind an American Friendship

By Russell Freedman. illus. Clarion/Houghton.

Though one was born a free man and the other a slave, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass had much in common.  In this dynamic study, Freedman explains how their influential lives intersected and benefitted a nation.


The Beetle Book

By Steve Jenkins. Illus. by the author. Houghton.

With jewel-like collage art, this over-sized edition examines different beetle species and their distinctive characteristics.


A Black Hole Is Not a Hole

By Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano. Illus. by Michael Carroll. Charlesbridge.

Using analogies within a child's experience, this deceptively clear, engaging introduction to black holes describes, explains, excites, and sparks a sense of wonder.


Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon

By Steve Sheinkin. illus. Roaring BrookFlash Point.

This riveting historical nonfiction drama explores the complex series of events that led to the creation of the ultimate weapon and introduces many memorable personalities involved in the pursuit. (A 2013 Newbery Honor Book, The Sibert Medal Book, and the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults)


Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team

By Audrey Vernick. Illus. by Steven Salerno. Clarion/Houghton.

The Acerra family had twelve sons who all played baseball together from the time they were children, through World War II, and into adulthood. The story of their camaraderie and positive family attitude is as inspiring as their baseball records. Retro illustrations take readers back to the 1930s and 1940s.


Chuck Close: Face Book

By Chuck Close. illus. Abrams.

Playful and jam-packed with information in text and images, including an unusually effective  “mix ‘n match” insert of self-portraits, this is an inspiring, hands-on profile of the artist.


Each Kindness

By Jacqueline Woodson. Illus. by E. B. Lewis. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen.

A story of disconnections and regret when a child misses an opportunity of being a friend; while the illustrations reflect a beautiful outside world, the personal world shows isolation and loneliness. (A 2013 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book)


Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin

By Robert Byrd. Illus. by the author. Dial/Penguin

Renaissance man and American founding father, Benjamin Franklin, surges to life in this electrifying informational book. (A 2013 Sibert Honor Book)


George Bellows: Painter with a Punch!

By Robert Burleigh. Illus. by George Bellows. Abrams.

Illustrated with Bellows' paintings, this biography captures the essence of the painter's life and art -- his early years, training, and his passion for the gritty underbelly of New York City.


Younger Readers

2013 Selection(s)

Z Is for Moose

By Kelly Bingham. Illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky. Greenwillow.

An unconventional alphabet book features best friends, Moose and Zebra, wreaking A-Z laugh-out-loud havock. Their zany actions are highlighted in cartoon mixed-media illustrations.


Pages