Notable Children's Books - 2022

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Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children's books. According to the Notables Criteria, "notable" is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children's books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children's interests in exemplary ways.

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According to ALSC policy, the current year's Newbery, Caldecott,  Belpré, Sibert, Geisel, and Batchelder Award and Honor books automatically are added to the Notable Children's Books list.

According to the ALSC Notable Children’s Books Committee manual, these categories loosely represent the following:  Younger Readers – Preschool-grade 2 (age 7), including easy-to-read books; Middle Readers – Grades 3-5, ages 8-10; Older Readers – Grades 6-8, ages 11-14; All Ages – Has appeal and interest for children in all of the above age ranges


YOUNGER

Alaina and the Great Play. By Eloise Greenfield. Illus. by Colin Bootman. Alazar (9781733686525).
Kindergartener Alaina has five words to recite after the second-grade play. But when the big moment arrives, she is inspired to improvise.

Amira’s Picture Day. By Reem Faruqi. Illus. by Fahmida Azim. Holiday (9780823440191).
Amira is excited to celebrate Eid, but she becomes upset when she realizes it falls on class picture day. 

Areli Is a Dreamer. By Areli Morales. Illus. by Luisa Uribe. Random House Studio (9781984893994). 
The nonfiction offering follows DACA recipient Areli Morales as she migrates to the U.S., navigates her new life, and imagines her future. Simultaneously published in Spanish and English.

Beak & Ally #1: Unlikely Friends. By Norm Feuti. Illus. by the author. HarperAlley (9780063021570).
Despite Beak the bird's bubbly attempts to befriend Ally, the alligator is content to be alone, until a party invitation and a chance encounter with a Long-Billed Party Pooper remind her of what's important. (A 2022 Geisel Honor Book)

The Big Bath House. By Kyo Maclear. Illus. by Gracey Zhang. Random House Studio (9780593181959).
Based on childhood memories, this story chronicles a young girl’s intergenerational family trip to a traditional Japanese bath house.

Bodies Are Cool. By Tyler Feder. Illus. by the author. Dial (9780593112625). 
This inclusive body-positivity book celebrates bodies of all shapes, colors, and abilities.

Boogie Boogie, Y’all. By C. G. Esperanza. Illus. by the author. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen (9780062976222).
The adults may not notice the amazing world around them, but the children do—and they are determined to get the rest of their city to see the wonder around them, too. (A 2022 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book)

Bright Star. By Yuyi Morales. Illus. by the author. Holiday/Neal Porter (9780823443284). 
An allegorical look at the migrant experience as told through the story of a young fawn looking for safety after being separated from her mother. Simultaneously published in Spanish and English. (A 2022 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book)

Coffee, Rabbit, Snowdrop, Lost. By Betina Birkjær. Illus. by Anna Margrethe Kjærgaard. Tr. by Sinéad Quirke Køngerskov. Enchanted Lion (9781592703739).
This gentle, intergenerational story of a beloved grandfather sliding into dementia delivers an honest, affirming portrayal of love, dementia, depression, frustration, and hope. (A 2022 Batchelder Honor Book)

The Cot in the Living Room. By Hilda Eunice Burgos. Illus. by Gaby D’Alessandro. Penguin/Kokila (9780593110478).
A young girl develops empathy for the children who need to use the living-room cot while their parents work the nightshift.

A Day for Rememberin': Inspired by the True Events of the First Memorial Day. By Leah Henderson. Illus. by Floyd Cooper. Abrams (9781419736308). 
Unfolding through the eyes of young Eli, a Black community marches, sings, and fills the streets with flowers and wreaths in celebration of the first Memorial Day. 

De aquí como el coquí. By Nomar Perez. Illus. by the author. Tr. by Farah Perez. Dial (9780593324073).
When Miguel moves to the U.S., he is sad to leave behind his pet coquí (frog), but soon he finds exciting similarities between life in San Juan and New York City. Available in Spanish and English. (A 2022 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book and a 2022 Pura Belpré Children's Author Honor Book)

Don’t Hug Doug: (He Doesn’t Like It). By Carrie Finison. Illus. by Daniel Wiseman. Putnam (9781984813022).
Doug doesn’t like hugs, but he’ll tell you what he does like–just ask!

Dream Street. By Tricia Elam Walker. Illus. by Ekua Holmes. Random/Anne Schwartz (9780525581109).
Tour the colorful neighborhood of Dream Street and its thriving inhabitants in this ode to the creators’ childhoods in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Except Antarctica. By Todd Sturgell. Illus. by the author. Sourcebooks/eXplore (9781728233260).
Animals defy the narrator's declaration that they can't go to Antarctica, triggering a silly sequence of events.

Eyes that Kiss in the Corners. By Joanna Ho. Illus. by Dung Ho. Harper (9780062915627).
As an Asian girl appreciates the beauty of her eyes, she reflects upon the legacies of the women in her life.

The First Blade of Sweetgrass: A Native American Story. By Suzanne Greenlaw and Gabriel Frey. Illus. by Nancy Baker. Tilbury (9780884487609).
In the tradition of her native ancestors, a young girl learns to identify and gather sweetgrass.

Fox at Night. By Corey R. Tabor. Illus. by the author. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray (9780062977076).
Equipped with a pair of binoculars, Fox encounters nocturnal forest creatures who offer to help Fox realize the night is full of friends, not monsters—but are they correct? (The 2022 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner)

From the Tops of the Trees. By Kao Kalia Yang. Illus. by Rachel Wada. Carolrhoda (9781541581302).
After young Kalia wonders what is outside the fences of her refugee camp, her father gives her a new perspective from the top of a tree. 

The Great Stink: How Joseph Bazalgette Solved London's Poop Pollution Problem. By Colleen Paeff. Illus. by Nancy Carpenter. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry (9781534449299).
After multiple cholera outbreaks and an exceptionally smelly summer in Victorian London, engineer Joseph Bazalgette designs a sewage system for the city. (A 2022 Sibert Honor Book)

Have You Ever Seen a Flower? By Shawn Harris. Illus. by the author. Chronicle (9781452182704).
A young child leaves the drab city for a multi-sensory experience among effervescent flowers in this electric celebration of our connection to, and place within, the natural world. (A 2022 Caldecott Honor Book)

I Am Smoke. By Henry Herz. Illus. by Mercè López. Tilbury (9780884487883).
Smoke itself narrates an account of its religious, cultural, and practical uses by humans in this unique, STEAM-focused picture book.

I Dream of Popo. By Livia Blackburne. Illus. by Julia Kuo. Roaring Brook (9781250249319).
The strong connection between a young girl and her grandmother is tested when the girl moves from Taiwan to San Diego.

I Hop: An I Like to Read® Book. By Joe Cepeda. Illus. by the author. Holiday (9780823448258).
A young boy plans a picnic for his grandmother and sets his plan in motion using a rather unique mode of transportation—a pogo stick. (A 2022 Geisel Honor Book)

I Sang You Down from the Stars. By Tasha Spillett-Sumner. Illus. by Michaela Goade. Little Brown (9780316493161).
An Inniwak expectant mother engages in mindful cultural traditions as she collects sacred items for her child's medicine bundle.

In the Meadow of Fantasies. By Hadi Mohammadi. Illus. by Nooshin Safakhoo. Tr. by Sara Khalili. Archipelago/Elsewhere Editions (9781939810908).
In this imaginative parable, a girl and seven horses embark on a fantastical journey in which the horses gather to share their visions and dreams. (A 2022 Batchelder Honor Book)

In My Mosque. By M.O. Yuksel. Illus. by Hatem Aly. Harper (9780062978707).
Children welcome the reader to their mosque in this inviting study of similarities and differences in religious and cultural traditions.

King of Ragtime: The Story of Scott Joplin. By Stephen Costanza. Illus. by the author. Atheneum (9781534410367).
This picture-book biography follows the life of Scott Joplin, an African American musician and composer who popularized the style known as ragtime.

Laxmi’s Mooch. By Shelly Anand. Illus. by Nabi H. Ali. Penguin/Kokila (9781984815651).
In this celebration of all bodies’ natural hair, young Laxmi is offered loving reassurance after a friend notices her facial hair.

Let Me Fix You a Plate: A Tale of Two Kitchens. By Elizabeth Lilly. Illus. by the author. Holiday/Neal Porter (9780823443253).
A young family finds connection and commonality through the meals they share while visiting the Appalachian and Cuban sides of their family. 

The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess. By Tom Gauld. Illus. by the author. Holiday/Neal Porter (9780823446988).
Stranded far from home due to a mishap, a wooden robot prince and his log-princess sister rescue one another during their journey back to the castle. 

The Longest Storm. By Dan Yaccarino. Illus. by the author. Astra/mineditionUS (9781662650475).
A single-parent family learns to appreciate spending time together when they’re stuck indoors during a seemingly interminable storm. 

The Lost Package: A Lot Can Happen Between the Post Office and the Destination. By Richard Ho. Illus. by Jessica Lanan. Roaring Brook (9781250231352).
Ever wonder what happens to mailed packages that are lost en route? This is the happy story of one such box. 

May Your Life Be Deliciosa. By Michael Genhart. Illus. by Loris Lora. Cameron Kids (9781951836221).
Rosie’s Abuela doesn’t need a recipe because she truly cooks “by heart.” Rosie compares the steps of making tamales to the wishes she has for her family. (A 2022 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book)

Mel Fell. By Corey R. Tabor. Illus. by the author. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray (9780062878014).
As Mel the kingfisher plunges from a treetop on her first flight, readers are invited to turn the book sideways and upside-down as they follow her journey. (A 2022 Caldecott Honor Book)

Milo Imagines the World. By Matt de la Peña. Illus. by Christian Robinson. Putnam (9780399549083).
Milo sketches what he imagines to be the lives of his fellow subway passengers, only to reassess his drawings after he discovers one boy shares Milo’s destination: visiting day at a correctional facility.

Mornings with Monet. By Barb Rosenstock. Illus. by Mary GrandPré. Knopf (9780525708179).
As the morning sun moves, Monet shifts from painting to painting, capturing what will become a famous series of images of the Seine. 

The Most Beautiful Story. By Brynjulf Jung Tjønn. Illus. by Øyvind Torseter. Tr. by Kari Dickson. Enchanted Lion (9781592703500).
In an intricate tale of tragic loss and fervent hope, a loving sister seeks help from a compassionate, magical entity who uses the wonder of story to revive memories of a lost sibling. (A 2022 Batchelder Honor Book)

My First Day. By Phùng Nguyên Quang & Huỳnh Kim Liên. Illus. by the authors. Random/Make Me a World (9780593306277).
A young boy, who lives on Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, sets out alone in a little wooden boat and journeys to reach a familiar place. 

My Two Border Towns. By David Bowles. Illus. by Erika Meza. Penguin/Kokila (9780593111048).
Crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, a boy and his father buy gifts and necessities for refugee friends who temporarily live between the two countries. Simultaneously published in Spanish and English.

Nina: A Story of Nina Simone. By Traci N. Todd. Illus. by Christian Robinson. Putnam (9781524737283). 
A well-rounded biography of Nina Simone, whose music was influenced by her civil rights activism.

Not Little. By Maya Myers. Illus. by Hyewon Yum. Holiday/Neal Porter (9780823446193).
Dot proves that even though she may be small in stature, she will stand up for herself and others.

Nothing Fits a Dinosaur. By Jonathan Fenske. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster/Simon Spotlight (9781665900652).
When “Mommasaurus” says it's time to settle in for the night after his bath, a young boy must find some pajamas, sparking dino drama and the question: how do you dress a dinosaur? (A 2022 Geisel Honor Book)

Odd Beasts: Meet Nature’s Weirdest Animals. By Laura Gehl. Illus. by Gareth Lucas. Abrams/Appleseed (9781419742224).
Simple rhyming sentences and bold art introduce readers to a variety of fascinating and unusual animals in this nonfiction board book.

Osnat and Her Dove: The True Story of the World's First Female Rabbi. By Sigal Samuel. Illus. by Vali Mintzi. Levine Querido (9781646140374).
Lore surrounding the life of Osnat Barzani enhances this picture-book biography of the first female rabbi, who lived in seventeenth-century Iraq.

Our Skin: A First Conversation about Race. By Megan Madison and Jessica Ralli. Illus. by Isabel Roxas. Penguin Workshop/RISE (9780593519394). 
An accessible conversation starter about race for children and families. Simultaneously published in board and picture book format. 

Outside, Inside. By LeUyen Pham. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook (9781250798350). 
A girl and a cat observe how the world changed during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Over the Shop. By JonArno Lawson. Illus. by Qin Leng. Candlewick (9781536201475).
Evocative ink-and-watercolor illustrations speak volumes in this wordless picture book about intergenerational love and community.

The People Remember. By Ibi Zoboi. Illus. by Loveis Wise. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray (9780062915641). 
The principles of Kwanzaa, lyrical free verse, and dynamic illustrations powerfully come together in this illuminating look at Black history. 

The People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art. By Cynthia Levinson. Illus. by Evan Turk. Abrams (9781419741302).
Jewish immigrant Ben Shahn used his art to portray the lives of working-class people and others who had been mistreated to bring to light injustices in the United States. (The 2022 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award winner)

Room for Everyone. By Naaz Khan. Illus. by Mercè López. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy (9781534431393).
Musa learns there is always room for everyone on the dala dala bus in this rollicking, rhyming, come-along adventure.

Sato the Rabbit. By Yuki Ainoya. Illus. by the author. Tr. by Michael Blaskowsky. Enchanted Lion (9781592703180).
Sato the Rabbit's imagination transforms the details of ordinary life into fanciful adventures that embrace and enhance the natural world. (A 2022 Batchelder Honor Book)

Someone Builds the Dream. By Lisa Wheeler. Illus. by Loren Long. Dial (9781984814333).
An ode to the skilled laborers who build the creations envisioned by architects, engineers, and artists.

A Song of Frutas. By Margarita Engle. Illus. by Sara Palacios. Atheneum (9781534444898).
While visiting her abuelo, a little girl loves accompanying him as he sings and sells fruit on the streets of Cuba. Simultaneously published in Spanish and English.

Soul Food Sunday. By Winsome Bingham. Illus. by C. G. Esperanza. Abrams (9781419747717).
On Soul Food Sunday, a young Black boy helps his granny grate the cheese, prep the greens, and skin and slice the meats for the meal before making the sweet tea all by himself.

Summertime Sleepers: Animals That Estivate. By Melissa Stewart. Illus. by Sarah S. Brannen. Charlesbridge (9781580897167).
Using comparisons and contrasts, this engaging nonfiction title introduces young readers to estivation, the summertime equivalent of hibernation. (A 2022 Sibert Honor Book)

Sunrise Summer. By Matthew Swanson. Illus. by Robbi Behr. Macmillan/Imprint (9781250080585). 
A girl is excited to join the fishing crew when her family travels to Alaska to harvest salmon for the summer. 

Ten Beautiful Things. By Molly Beth Griffin. Illus. by Maribel Lechuga. Charlesbridge (9781580899369).
Lily begins to see beauty in unexpected places as she and her grandmother search for 10 beautiful things on their drive to their new home in Iowa. 

Too Small Tola. By Atinuke. Illus. by Onyinye Iwu. Candlewick (9781536211276).
Easy-to-read, episodic chapters with simple illustrations introduce readers to Tola, a bright young girl living in Nigeria with her family. 

¡Vamos! Let’s Cross the Bridge. By Raúl the Third. Illus. by Raúl the Third and Elaine Bay. HarperCollins/Versify (9780358380405).
Pals Little Lobo, Bernabé, La Oink Oink, and El Toro get stuck on a bridge between sister cities in two different countries and make a party out of a difficult situation. (The 2022 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner)

Watercress. By Andrea Wang. Illus. by Jason Chin. Holiday/Neal Porter (9780823446247). 
A Chinese American girl, too embarrassed to eat the watercress her family picked from the roadside, learns of her mother's childhood experience with famine in China. (The 2022 Caldecott Medal winner and a 2022 Newbery Honor Book)

The Water Lady: How Darlene Arviso Helps a Thirsty Navajo Nation. By Alice B. McGinty. Illus. by Shonto Begay. Random/Schwartz & Wade (9780525645009).
The true story of Darlene Arviso’s quest to provide water to the Navajo Nation. 

What I Am. By Divya Srinivasan. Illus. by the author. Viking (9780593204016).
In short, declarative sentences, a young girl states the many (and sometimes contradictory) identities, feelings, and traits that make her the unique human being she is.

When Lola Visits. By Michelle Sterling. Illus. by Aaron Asis. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen (9780062972859).
A Filipino girl describes the smells, tastes, and sensations that accompany her beloved grandmother’s visits each summer.

Wishes. By Mượn Thị Văn. Illus. by Victo Ngai. Scholastic/Orchard (9781338305890). 
A dramatic and lyrical story of one family's refugee journey from Vietnam to a new home. 

Wonder Walkers. By Micha Archer. Illus. by the author. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen (9780593109649).
Two children explore and contemplate nature through a series of imaginative questions. (A 2022 Caldecott Honor Book)

MIDDLE 

The 1619 Project: Born on the Water. By Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson. Illus. by Nikkolas Smith. Penguin/Kokila (9780593307359).
A young girl’s school project on ancestry prompts her grandmother to share the history of their people, spanning their roots in Africa, through enslavement, and into the present. 

Amari and the Night Brothers. By B. B. Alston. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray (9780062975164).
Amari investigates her brother’s disappearance while navigating a magic-filled summer internship at the secret Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. 

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids. Ed. by Cynthia Leitich Smith. HarperCollins/Heartdrum (9780062869944). 
An enlightening collection of short stories about Indigenous young people attending an intertribal powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Bad Sister. By Charise Mericle Harper. Illus. by Rory Lucey. First Second (9781250219053).
In this honest and moving graphic memoir, Charise and her younger brother, Daniel, don't always get along, sometimes getting physically and emotionally hurt as a result. 

Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna. By Alda P. Dobbs. Sourcebooks (9781728234656).
Petra dreams of going to school and learning how to read. Instead, she must lead her grandmother and younger siblings to safety across the US border during the Mexican Revolution.  (A 2022 Pura Belpré Children's Author Honor Book)

The Beatryce Prophecy. By Kate DiCamillo. Illus. by Sophie Blackall. Candlewick (9781536213614).
A prophecy sets a medieval adventure in motion that involves a mysterious girl, a feisty goat, a boy with a tragic sword, a missing king, and an empathetic monk.

Borders. By Thomas King. Illus. by Natasha Donovan. Little, Brown (9780316593069). 
This graphic novel tells the story of a mother and son trapped between Canada and America because their Blackfoot citizenship is not recognized by border security.

Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls. By Kaela Rivera. Harper (9780062947550).
Rivera draws upon Mexican American legends in her account of Cece, a girl confronting dark forces and social expectations while on a quest to rescue her sister.

Child of the Flower-Song People: Luz Jiménez, Daughter of the Nahua. By Gloria Amescua. Illus. by Duncan Tonatiuh. Abrams (9781419740206). 
This picture-book biography of Luz Jiménez explores her life and efforts to preserve the Nahua language and culture. (A 2022 Pura Belpré Children's Author Honor Book)

Healer of the Water Monster. By Brian Young. HarperCollins/Heartdrum (9780062990402). 
While visiting his grandmother, a Navajo boy enlists help from Holy Beings and tribal members as he tries to help heal an ailing Water Monster and his own uncle.

How to Become a Planet. By Nicole Melleby. Algonquin (9781643750361).
Pluto is a happy child until a black hole of depression opens inside of her, leading her to find a way forward through self-acceptance, professional help, and new relationships.

How to Find What You’re Not Looking For. By Veera Hiranandani. Penguin/Kokila (9780525555032).
Set after the Loving v.Virginia ruling, a family struggles with shifting beliefs around interracial marriage, prejudice, and traditional Jewish values.

The Leak. By Kate Reed Petty. Illus. by Andrea Bell. First Second (9781250217950).
Ruth Keller begins investigating sludge at a local lake when she suspects ties between the water supply and her plethora of cavities in this eco-driven graphic novel. 

The One Thing You’d Save. By Linda Sue Park. Illus. by Robert Sae-Heng. Clarion (9781328515131). 
Using traditional and modified sijo poetic structure, Park explores what children would save if they were ever in a housefire.  

Playing the Cards You’re Dealt. By Varian Johnson. Scholastic (9781338348538).
Ten-year-old Ant questions his relationships with his best friend and alcoholic father while learning to work with a new Spades partner for an upcoming tournament.

Red, White, and Whole. By Rajani LaRocca. HarperCollins/Quill Tree (9780063047426).
In this novel in verse set during the 1980s, Reha struggles with her cultural identity as an Indian American girl while coping with the realities of her mother’s leukemia. (A 2022 Newbery Honor Book)

Root Magic. By Eden Royce. HarperCollins/Walden Pond (9780062899576).
When her Gullah Geechee family is threatened by racist policemen and supernatural entities, Jezebel embraces her cultural heritage to protect her family and herself.

Runaway: The Daring Escape of Ona Judge. By Ray Anthony Shepard. Illus. by Keith Mallett. Farrar (9780374307042).
Written in conversational free verse, this narrative explores how Ona Judge, enslaved by George and Martha Washington, emancipates herself. 

Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist MaVynee Betsch. By Heidi Tyline King. Illus. by Ekua Holmes. Putnam (9781101996294).
Rich collage artwork brings depth and detail to the story of MaVynee Betsch and how she used her voice to save formerly segregated American Beach from developers. 

The Sea in Winter. By Christine Day. HarperCollins/Heartdrum (9780062872043).
Struggling to recover from a ballet injury, Maisie overcomes hopelessness by finding solace in her blended family, her culture, and the natural surroundings of the Pacific Northwest.

Sharice’s Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman. By Sharice Davids and Nancy K. Mays. Illus. by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley. Harper (9780062979667).
U.S. Representative Sharice Davids describes her path to becoming one of the first Native American and openly gay members of Congress and encourages readers to use their own voices. 

Sona Sharma, Very Best Big Sister? By Chitra Soundar. Illus. by Jen Khatun. Candlewick (9781536214826).
Sona helps choose a name in preparation for the baby's Hindu naming ceremony, ultimately embracing her new role as a big sister.

Stamped (For Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You. By Sonja Cherry-Paul, Jason Reynolds, and Ibram X. Kendi. Illus. by Rachelle Baker. Little, Brown (9780316167581).
This young reader’s adaptation of Stamped explores the origin of racist ideas, their impact today, and how readers can work to practice antiracism.

Starfish. By Lisa Fipps. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen (9781984814500).
Ellie’s struggles to find her voice and self-worth unfold in verse as she stands up to those who bully and fat-shame her. 

Survivor Tree. By Marcie Colleen. Illus. by Aaron Becker. Little, Brown (9780316487672).
A resilient tree, badly damaged in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, is replanted near the memorial in this moving picture book.

Temple Alley Summer. By Sachiko Kashiwaba. Illus. by Miho Satake. Tr. by Avery Fischer Udagawa. Restless (9781632063038).
Upon seeing a ghostly figure slip out of his home, Kazu grows convinced it’s connected to an ancient temple and the sudden appearance of a mysterious new classmate. (The 2022 Mildred L. Batchelder Award winner)

Ten Thousand Tries. By Amy Makechnie. Atheneum (9781534482296).
Golden, a natural leader on the soccer field, struggles to accept his Dad’s incurable ALS and finds support in his family and community. 

This Very Tree: A Story of 9/11, Resilience, and Regrowth. By Sean Rubin. Illus. by the author. Holt (9781250788504). 
Striking illustrations channel the strength and hope present in this account of September 11, as told from the point of view of a tree that survived the tragedy.

Too Bright to See. By Kyle Lukoff. Dial (9780593111154).
In rural Vermont, Bug spends the summer preparing for middle school, grieving Uncle Roderick's death, and grappling with a ghost and gender identity. (A 2022 Newbery Honor Book)

Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. By Jeff Gottesfeld. Illus. by Matt Tavares. Candlewick (9781536201482).
A picture-book tribute to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the sentinels who guard it.

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre. By Carole Boston Weatherford. Illus. by Floyd Cooper. Carolrhoda (9781541581203).
A powerful look into the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, one of the worst racial attacks in American history. (A 2022 Caldecott Honor Book and a 2022 Sibert Honor Book)

We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know. By Traci Sorell. Illus. by Frané Lessac. Charlesbridge (9781623541927).
For Indigenous People's Day, 12 students present on historical and contemporary issues related to Native Americans. (A 2022 Sibert Honor Book)

OLDER

Amber and Clay. By Laura Amy Schlitz. Illus. by Julia Iredale. Candlewick (9781536201222). 
Set in Ancient Greece, this epic novel in verse traces the converging journeys of two children, a slave and an aristocrat.

Boy, Everywhere. By A. M. Dassu. Lee & Low/Tu (9781643791968).
The Syrian civil war uproots a boy and his family, forcing them to leave the comforts of home and journey toward safety in England.

Call and Response: The Story of Black Lives Matter. By Veronica Chambers. illus. HarperCollins/Versify (9780358573418).
This reference book about the Black Lives Matter movement and its historical context includes helpful lists, timelines, and photographs. 

Dawn Raid. By Pauline Vaeluaga Smith. Illus. by Mat Hunkin. Levine Querido (9781646140411).
Sofia’s life and values change when she is affected by the injustices of 1970s New Zealand and learns about the Polynesian Panthers' fight for civil rights. 

Fallout: Spies, Superbombs, and the Ultimate Cold War Showdown. By Steve Sheinkin. Roaring Brook (9781250149015). 
This thrilling history of the Cold War breaks down the events preceding, and key players involved in, the Cuban Missile Crisis. (A 2022 Sibert Honor Book)

The Genius under the Table: Growing up behind the Iron Curtain. By Eugene Yelchin. Illus. by the author. Candlewick (9781536215526).
Yevgeny, a Jewish boy growing up in the Soviet Union, hopes to identify a talent that will allow him to rise above his circumstances in this comical memoir.

The In-Between. By Rebecca K. S. Ansari. HarperCollins/Walden Pond (9780062916099).
Cooper and his little sister, Jess, stumble upon a dark mystery when they become curious about their new neighbor across the alley.

The Last Cuentista. By Donna Barba Higuera. Levine Querido (9781646140893).
Centuries after Earth is destroyed, Petra arrives on a new planet, where she uses traditional stories and cunning to outwit enemies and rescue other survivors. (The 2022 Newbery Medal winner and the 2022 Pura Belpré Children’s Author Award winner)

The Legend of Auntie Po. By Shing Yin Khor. Illus. by the author. Penguin/Kokila (9780525554882). 
This graphic novel interweaves historical fiction and surreal adventure as Mei reimagines the tale of Paul Bunyan with a Chinese heroine to cope with ramifications of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

A Place to Hang the Moon. By Kate Albus. Holiday/Margaret Ferguson (9780823447053). 
Recently orphaned and evacuated from war-torn London, siblings William, Edmund, and Anna work with a librarian to find a family who will adopt them. 

Race Against Time: The Untold Story of Scipio Jones and the Battle to Save Twelve Innocent Men. By Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace. illus. Astra/Calkins Creek  (9781629798165).
This account details the successful efforts of African American attorney Scipio Jones to free 12 wrongly convicted Black men in 1924.

Recognize!: An Anthology Honoring and Amplifying Black Life. Ed. by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson. illus. Crown (9780593381595).
Employing a variety of formats and subjects, this powerful collection proclaims the importance of Black lives past, present, and future.

Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party's Promise to the People. By Kekla Magoon. illus. Candlewick (9781536214185).
Providing historical and contemporary context, this thorough account of the Black Panther Party details its history, evolution, and impact. 

Salt Magic. By Hope Larson. Illus. by Rebecca Mock. Holiday/Margaret Ferguson (9780823450503).
In a twisty graphic novel set after WWI, a mysterious lady in white turns the local water supply salty, leading Vonceil to try to undo the curse.

Six Crimson Cranes. By Elizabeth Lim. Knopf (9780593300916).
Lim draws upon Andersen’s “The Wild Swans” and Asian folklore in her story of Princess Shiori’s efforts to escape her stepmother’s dark magic and save her brothers.

A Snake Falls to Earth. By Darcie Little Badger. Levine Querido (9781646140923).
Applying conventions of traditional Lipan Apache storytelling, this lyrical novel follows the entwining stories of Native teen Nina and Oli, a snake boy from the spirit world. (A 2022 Newbery Honor Book)

Thanks a Lot, Universe. By Chad Lucas. Abrams/Amulet (9781419751028).
Brian and Ezra navigate their changing relationship while also dealing with challenges related to foster care, sexual identity, and anxiety.

While I Was Away. By Waka T. Brown. HarperCollins/Quill Tree (9780063017115). 
This novel, based on the author’s childhood, chronicles 12-year-old Waka’s culture shock as she spends a summer in Japan with her grandmother to improve her Japanese language skills.  

ALL AGES

Hear My Voice / Escucha mi voz: The Testimonies of Children Detained at the Southern Border of the United States. By Warren Binford for Project Amplify. illus. Workman (9781523513482). 
Striking illustrations by Latinx artists complement the bilingual testimonies of children detained in inhumane conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

I Am an American: The Wong Kim Ark Story. By Martha Brockenbrough and Grace Lin. Illus. by Julia Kuo. Little, Brown (9780316426923).
In a defining court case, Wong Kim Ark’s victory guaranteed birthright citizenship for all Americans. 

Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance. By Nikki Grimes. illus. Bloomsbury (9781681199443).
This collection of oft-overlooked works by women poets of the Harlem Renaissance is interwoven with Grimes’ own golden shovel poetry. 

Make Meatballs Sing: The Life and Art of Corita Kent. By Matthew Burgess. Illus. by Kara Kramer. Enchanted Lion (9781592703166).
This biography explores the life of artist and Catholic nun Corita Kent, who used her art as a form of activism and inspired people to see the sacred in the everyday.

¡Mambo Mucho Mambo! The Dance that Crossed Color Lines. By Dean Robbins. Illus. by Eric Velasquez. Candlewick (9781536206081).
By exploring the history of mambo and Latin Jazz, this book demonstrates the power of music and dance to transcend racial and cultural barriers. Simultaneously published in Spanish and English.

Nano: The Spectacular Science of the Very (Very) Small. By Jess Wade. Illus. by Melissa Castrillón. Candlewick (9781536217667). 
Vivid illustrations and helpful diagrams complement this engaging and kid-friendly exploration of nanoscience.

Niños: Poems for the Lost Children of Chile. By María José Ferrada. Illus. by María Elena Valdez. Tr. by Lawrence Schimel. Eerdmans (9780802855671).
This book is an ode to the 34 Chilean children who lost their lives during the years of Pinochet’s regime.

The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas. By María García Esperón. Illus. by Amanda Mijangos. Tr. by David Bowles. Levine Querido (9781646140152).
Poetry, prose, and artwork combine in this collection of traditional tales from 18 Indigenous cultures that span from Argentina to Alaska. (A 2022 Batchelder Honor Book)

2022 Notable Children's Books Committee

Alexandra Bell (she/her), Chair, Bloomington Public Library, Illinois
Tammie Benham (she/her), Southeast Kansas Library System, Iola, Kansas
Christine Chai (she/her), Los Angeles Public Library, California
Nancy Funes (she/her), Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake City, Utah
Julie Jesernik (she/her), Warrenville Public Library, Illinois
April Roy (she/her), Kansas City Public Library, Missouri 
Kelly Smith (she/her), New York Public Library, Bronx, New York
Madeline Tyner (they/them), Cooperative Children's Book Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Kari Wall (she/her), Raymond Library, Oakdale, Connecticut
Bettina Wesloh (she/her), Baltimore County Public Library, Maryland
Laura Wilson (she/her), Pekin Public Library, Illinois
Olivia McElwain (she/her), Administrative Assistant, Reading Public Library, Massachusetts

Other ALA Awards