It’s that time of year again when newspapers and children’s book review journals name the best books of the year. School Library Journal, Horn Book, Publisher’s Weekly, The New York Times and Kirkus Reviews have all published their lists of the notable books of 2012. In comparing the lists, there are just a few books that emerge consistently across lists.
The picture book This is Not my Hat by Jon Klassen was named a top book of 2012 by all 5 of the lists. This funny, slightly dark story of a small fish who steals the hat of a larger fish is also considered to be a contender for the 2013 Caldecott Award.
Middle Grade Fiction
Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead also appeared on 5 different “best of” lists. Seventh-grader Georges adjusts to moving from a house to an apartment, his father's efforts to start a new business, his mother's extra shifts as a nurse, being picked on at school, and Safer, a boy who wants his help spying on another resident of their building.
There were no nonfiction books that were listed on all 5 sources. Several were named by 3 different lists including Island: A Story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin, Chuck Close: Face Book by Chuck Close and Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust by Doreen Rappaport.