Award Winners/Best of...

Doodleville

 

Drew’s doodles have the tendency to really come to life and then become her companions. But when her art club visits the Chicago Art Institute for inspiration -- things take a surprisingly dark turn. Can she save her companions’ home, Doodleville? Recommended for ages 9-12.

Doodleville

Chad Sell
(Juvenile Graphic Novels - J-GN Sell Doodleville)

 



Drew’s doodles have the tendency to really come to life and then become her companions. But when her art club visits the Chicago Art Institute for inspiration -- things take a surprisingly dark turn. Can she save her companions’ home, Doodleville? Recommended for ages 9-12.

Staff member, Kim, says, "I love the imaginative story in Doodleville! I spent a lot of time growing up drawing fun characters and imagining the adventures they'd get into and this book captured that feeling in a fun way! I also enjoyed seeing the variety of heroes the different kids developed; they had so many great ideas and so much love for their creations!"

 

Best of 2020

Rick

 

Rick is nervous to start middle school with his best friend, Jeff, because there are so many unknowns! The weird scheduling of middle school, getting to know new people, the way Jeff is always talking about girls and being mean to other kids, and starting weekly bonding visits with his grandpa. While not all of it is bad, dealing with so many unknowns has Rick questioning his own identity. Recommended for ages 9-12.

Rick

Alex Gino
(Juvenile Fiction - J Gino)

 



Rick is nervous to start middle school with his best friend, Jeff, because there are so many unknowns! The weird scheduling of middle school, getting to know new people, the way Jeff is always talking about girls and being mean to other kids, and starting weekly bonding visits with his grandpa. While not all of it is bad, dealing with so many unknowns has Rick questioning his own identity. Recommended for ages 9-12.

Staff member, Ginny, says, "I loved the simple way this story provided a short history on LGBTQ+ rights and opportunity for learning how language, such as pronouns, can have an important weight in identity and respect towards others."

Best of 2020

We Dream of Space

 

Three kids dealing with middle school problems, and family strife. Each lives in their own world, hoping for better things to come. The parents fight constantly, the sister draws schematics and dreams of going to space, her twin brother can barely control his anger, and the oldest brother is about to fail 7th grade again. Recommended for ages 9-12.

Staff member, Dana, says, "Beautifully written by a Newbery winning author!"

We Dream of Space

Erin Entrada Kelly
(Juvenile Fiction - J Kelly)

 



Three kids dealing with middle school problems, and family strife. Each lives in their own world, hoping for better things to come. The parents fight constantly, the sister draws schematics and dreams of going to space, her twin brother can barely control his anger, and the oldest brother is about to fail 7th grade again. Recommended for ages 9-12.

Staff member, Dana, says, "Beautifully written by a Newbery winning author!"

Best of 2020

Birdie and Me

 

Jack and her gender fluid brother, Birdie, are siblings who have to move in with their stoic and no-nonsense uncle after their eccentric uncle proves that he is not a good caretaker after their mother's sudden death. Through grieving, confronting bullies, and confronting comfort zones -- Birdie, Jack, and both their uncles learn to love and create a new sense of home together. Recommended for ages 9-12.

Birdie and Me

J.M.M Nuanez
(Juvenile Fiction - J Nuanez)

 



Jack and her gender fluid brother, Birdie, are siblings who have to move in with their stoic and no-nonsense uncle after their eccentric uncle proves that he is not a good caretaker after their mother's sudden death. Through grieving, confronting bullies, and confronting comfort zones -- Birdie, Jack, and both their uncles learn to love and create a new sense of home together. Recommended for ages 9-12.

Staff member, Ginny, says, "I loved the way this book handles the topics with a gentle and empathetic hand, making Jack and Birdie come to life. It also features an absolutely fantastic representation of a gender fluid child.The writing style is so reminiscent of Kate DiCamillo!"

Best of 2020

When Stars are Scattered

Staff member, Dana, says, "Two brothers grow up in a Kenyan refugee camp without a mother or father. Faced with the opportunity to go to school, the older brother is worried about leaving his younger brother, with special needs, alone during the day. Based on the author's true story." Recommended for ages 9-12.

When Stars are Scattered

Victoria Jamieson
(Juvenile Graphic Novels - J-GN 305.9069 Jam)

Staff member, Dana, says, "Two brothers grow up in a Kenyan refugee camp without a mother or father. Faced with the opportunity to go to school, the older brother is worried about leaving his younger brother, with special needs, alone during the day. Based on the author's true story." Recommended for ages 9-12.

Best of 2020

Home in the Woods

 

Marvel, her seven siblings, and her mother find a shack in the woods and, over the course of a year, turn it into a home. Based on the author's grandmother's childhood; includes historical notes. Published at the end of 2019, we couldn’t help sharing this one! Recommended for ages 6-9.

Staff member, Kathy, says, "It reminds me of stories my mother, and her mother, told me of their childhoods.  Poverty and hardship was their environment, but their memories were more often of love and adventure."

Home in the Woods

Eliza Wheeler
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Whe)

 



Marvel, her seven siblings, and her mother find a shack in the woods and, over the course of a year, turn it into a home. Based on the author's grandmother's childhood; includes historical notes. Published at the end of 2019, we couldn’t help sharing this one! Recommended for ages 6-9.

Staff member, Kathy, says, "It reminds me of stories my mother, and her mother, told me of their childhoods.  Poverty and hardship was their environment, but their memories were more often of love and adventure."

Best of 2020

Hurry Up! : A Book About Slowing Down

 

Following a young child and their dog, this is a perfect book for not getting caught up in the commotion of a busy day. Recommended for ages 3-5.

Staff member, Christa, says, "This book came around at the perfect time. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle of daily routines. This year and this book are great reminders of the benefits to slowing down and enjoying the little things."

Hurry Up! : A Book About Slowing Down

Kate Dopirak
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Dop)

 



Following a young child and their dog, this is a perfect book for not getting caught up in the commotion of a busy day. Recommended for ages 3-5.

Staff member, Christa, says, "This book came around at the perfect time. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle of daily routines. This year and this book are great reminders of the benefits to slowing down and enjoying the little things."

Best of 2020

Letters From Bear

 

A melancholy bear shares her adventures as she forgoes hibernation in order to travel south in search of her friend, Bird, who has migrated away. This picturebook showcases a fantastical world reminiscent of  the world built by Maurice Sendak in Where the Wild Things Are. Recommended for ages 6-9

Staff member, Paul, says, "Imaginative, touching, and weird.  My favorite illustrations of the year."

Letters From Bear

Gauthier David
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Dav)

 



A melancholy bear shares her adventures as she forgoes hibernation in order to travel south in search of her friend, Bird, who has migrated away. This picturebook showcases a fantastical world reminiscent of  the world built by Maurice Sendak in Where the Wild Things Are. Recommended for ages 6-9

Staff member, Paul, says, "Imaginative, touching, and weird.  My favorite illustrations of the year."

Best of 2020

The Camping Trip

 

City kid Ernestine gets invited to go camping by her aunt and cousin. She's excited but also nervous - she's never been camping before, and there is a lot to look forward to. But camping can also be new and a little bit scary… Recommended for ages 3-5

Staff member, Claire, says, "It has a great diverse representation of a Black family and a realistic, and very relatable main character!"

The Camping Trip

Jennifer K. Mann
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Mann)

 



City kid Ernestine gets invited to go camping by her aunt and cousin. She's excited but also nervous - she's never been camping before, and there is a lot to look forward to. But camping can also be new and a little bit scary… Recommended for ages 3-5

Staff member, Claire, says, "It has a great diverse representation of a Black family and a realistic, and very relatable main character!"

Best of 2020

The Button Book

 

A playful group of animals find buttons, each of which has a different purpose -- from singing to tickling to sleeping! But what’s that mysterious white button do? There’s only one way to find out! Recommended for ages 3-5.

Staff member, Christa, says, "This is a playful, interactive book great for bedtime reading!"

The Button Book

Sally Nicholls
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Nic)

 



A playful group of animals find buttons, each of which has a different purpose -- from singing to tickling to sleeping! But what’s that mysterious white button do? There’s only one way to find out! Recommended for ages 3-5.

Staff member, Christa, says, "This is a playful, interactive book great for bedtime reading!"

Best of 2020

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