ALSC announces 2009 Notable Children's Books

Contact: Laura Schulte-Cooper

ALSC Program Officer



For Immediate Release

February 10, 2009

CHICAGO - The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has selected its 2009 list of Notable Children's Books. The list of titles includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry and picture books of special interest, quality, creativity and value to children 14 years of age and younger.

The list follows:

Younger Readers

  • Becker, Bonny. “A Visitor for Bear.” Illus. by Kady MacDonald Denton. Candlewick.
  • Bee, William. “Beware of the Frog.” Illus. by the author. Candlewick.
  • Campbell, Sarah C. “Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator.” Photos by Sarah C. and Richard P. Campbell. Boyds Mills Press.
  • Davis, Eleanor. “Stinky.” Illus. by the author. RAW Junior/TOON Books.
  • Dorros, Arthur. “Papá and Me.” Illus. by Rudy Gutierrez. Rayo, an imprint of HarperCollins.
  • Fleming, Denise. “Buster Goes to Cowboy Camp.” Illus. by the author. Henry Holt.
  • Frazee, Marla. “A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever.” Illus. by the author. Harcourt.
  • George, Jean Craighead. “Goose and Duck.” Illus. by Priscilla Lamont. HarperCollins/Laura Geringer.
  • Graham, Bob. “How to Heal a Broken Wing.” Illus. by the author. Candlewick.
  • Grant, Judyann Ackerman. “Chicken Said, ‘Cluck!’” Illus. by Sue Truesdell. HarperCollins.
  • Harris, Robie H. “Maybe a Bear Ate It!” Illus by Michael Emberley. Orchard Books, an imprint of Scholastic.
  • Henkes, Kevin. “Old Bear.” Illus. by the author. HarperCollins/Greenwillow.
  • Hills, Tad. “What's Up, Duck? A Book of Opposites.” Illus. by the author. Random House/Schwartz & Wade.
  • Hole, Stian. “Garmann’s Summer.” Illus. by the author. Tr. by Don Bartlett. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.
  • Kohara, Kazuno. “Ghosts in the House!” Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook.
  • McDonald, Megan. “The Hinky Pink.” Illus. by Brian Floca. Atheneum/Richard Jackson.
  • Morales, Yuyi. “Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book.” Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
  • Seeger, Laura Vaccaro. “One Boy.” Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
  • Swanson, Susan Marie. “The House in the Night.” Illus. by Beth Krommes. Houghton Mifflin.
  • Tafolla, Carmen. “What Can You Do with a Rebozo?” Illus. by Amy Cordova. Tricycle Press/Ten Speed Press.
  • Weatherford, Carole Boston. “Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane.” Illus. by Sean Qualls. Henry Holt.
  • Willems, Mo. “Are You Ready to Play Outside?” Illus. by the author. Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group.


Middle Readers

  • Appelt, Kathi. “The Underneath.”  Illus. by David Small. Atheneum.
  • Bishop, Nic. “Frogs.” Photos by the author. Scholastic Nonfiction, an imprint of Scholastic.
  • Broach, Elise. “Masterpiece.” Illus. by Kelly Murphy. Holt/Christy Ottaviano.
  • Brown, Don. “All Stations! Distress!: April 15, 1912, the Day the Titanic Sank.” Illus. by the author. FlashPoint/Roaring Brook.
  • Bryant, Jen. “A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams.” Illus. by Melissa Sweet. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.
  • Dowd, Siobhan. “The London Eye Mystery.” Random/David Fickling.
  • Elliott, Zetta. “Bird.” Illus. by Shadra Strickland. Lee & Low.
  • Erdrich, Louise. “The Porcupine Year.” HarperCollins.
  • Fern, Tracey E. “Buffalo Music.” Illus. by Lauren Castillo. Clarion.
  • Gaiman, Neil. “The Graveyard Book.” Illus. by Dave McKean. HarperCollins.
  • González, Lucía. “The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos.” Illus. by Lulu Delacre. Children’s Book Press. Greenberg, Jan and Sandra Jordan. “Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Through the Gates and Beyond.” Illus. with photographs. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
  • Hale, Shannon and Dean Hale. “Rapunzel’s Revenge.” Illus. by Nathan Hale. Bloomsbury.
  • Hopkinson, Deborah. “Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend).” Illus. by John Hendrix. Random House/Schwartz & Wade.Â
  • Kerley, Barbara. “What To Do About Alice? How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!” Illus. by Edwin Fotheringham. Scholastic.
  • Law, Ingrid. “Savvy.” Dial/Walden Media.
  • Lewin, Ted and Betsy. “Horse Song: The Naadam of Mongolia.” Illus. by the authors. Lee & Low Books.
  • McGill, Alice. “Way Up and Over Everything.” Illus. by Jude Daly. Houghton Mifflin.
  • Nicholls, Sally. “Ways to Live Forever.” Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Scholastic.
  • Nivola, Claire A. “Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai.” Illus. by the author. Farrar/Frances Foster.
  • Nobleman, Marc Tyler. “Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman.” Illus. by Ross MacDonald. Knopf.
  • Parker, Robert Andrew. “Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum.” Illus. by the author. Random House/Schwartz & Wade.
  • Patent, Dorothy Hinshaw. “When the Wolves Returned: Restoring Nature's Balance in Yellowstone.” Photographs by Dan Hartman and Cassie Hartman. Walker.
  • Preller, James. “Six Innings: A Game in the Life.” Feiwell & Friends.
  • Ray, Deborah Kogan. “Wanda Gág: The Girl Who Lived to Draw.” Illus. by the author. Viking/Penguin.
  • Rumford, James. “Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad.” Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.
  • Scieszka, Jon. “Knucklehead: Tall Tales & Mostly True Stories about Growing Up Scieszka.” Illus. by author. Viking/Penguin.
  • Schulman, Janet. “Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City.” Illus. by Meilo So. Alfred A. Knopf.
  • Shulevitz, Uri. “How I Learned Geography.” Illus. by the author. Farrar Straus Giroux.
  • Stone, Tanya Lee. “Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote.” Illus. by Rebecca Gibbon. Henry Holt.
  • Thomas, Joyce Carol. “The Blacker the Berry.” Illus. by Floyd Cooper. HarperCollins/Amistad.
  • Uehashi, Nahoko. “Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit.” Illus. by Yuko Shimizu. Tr. by Cathy Hirano. Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Scholastic.

Older Readers

  • Anderson, Laurie Halse. “Chains.” Simon & Schuster.
  • Collins, Suzanne. “The Hunger Games.” Scholastic.
  • Connor, Leslie. “Waiting for Normal.” HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen.
  • Deem, James M. “Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past.” Illus. Houghton Mifflin.
  • Engle, Margarita. “The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom.” Henry Holt.
  • Fleischman, Sid. “The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West.” Illus. HarperCollins/Greenwillow.
  • Fleming, Candace. “The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary.” Illus. Random House/Schwartz & Wade.
  • Freedman, Russell. “Washington at Valley Forge.” Illus. Holiday House.
  • Jiménez, Francisco. “Reaching Out.” Houghton Mifflin.
  • Macaulay, David with Richard Walker. “The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body.” Illus. by the author. Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine.
  • Michaelis, Antonia. “Tiger Moon.” Tr. by Anthea Bell. Amulet.
  • Nelson, Kadir. “We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball.” Illus. by the author. Disney-Jump at the Sun, an imprint of Disney Book Group.
  • Nelson, Scott Reynolds with Marc Aronson. “Ain't Nothing But a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry.” Illus. National Geographic.
  • O’Brien, Tony and Mike Sullivan. “Afghan Dreams: Young Voices of Afghanistan.” Photos by Tony O'Brien. Bloomsbury.
  • Pratchett, Terry. “Nation.” HarperCollins.
  • Reeve, Philip. “Here Lies Arthur.” Scholastic.
  • Smith, Hope Anita. “Keeping the Night Watch.” Illus. by E.B. Lewis. Henry Holt.
  • Woodson, Jacqueline. “After Tupac & D Foster.” G.P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin.

All Ages

  • Arnosky, Jim. “Wild Tracks!: A Guide to Nature’s Footprints.” Illus. by the author. Sterling.
  • Johnson, Stephen T. “A Is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet.” Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman.
  • National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance. “Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out.” Candlewick.

For the annotated 2009 list and past Notable Children’s Books lists, please visit the ALSC Web site. More information about all of ALSC’s Children’s Notable Lists (Books, Recordings, DVDs/Videos) is also available on the Web site:, click on “Awards & Grants” and “Children’s Notable Lists.”

Members of the 2009 Notable Children’s Books Committee are: Caroline Ward, chair, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, Conn.; Betty Carter, Coppell, Texas; Elise DeGuiseppi, Pierce County Library System, Tacoma, Wash.; Eliza T. Dresang, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.; Roxanne Hsu Feldman, The Dalton School, New York, N.Y.; Darwin L. Henderson, College of Education, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio; Barbara Immroth, School of Information, University of Texas, Austin, Texas Kathleen Isaacs, Pasadena, Md.; Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, N.Y.; Sally Anne Thompson, Paradise Valley, Ariz.; and Martha M. Walke, Children's Literature New England, Inc., South Strafford, Vt.