Subscribe to SLJ
The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

The Best of 2017

Photo by T. Horvath

Photo by T. Horvath

It has been a hard year. In the United States and around the world, there is important work to be done to advance social justice. We realize now more than ever how much words matter. Words can inflict harm. But words can also transform lives. Words can shape the future and can give us a lens for seeing the past and the present in a different light. Providing young people with opportunities to find their own voices – and to recognize that their words have power, too – is the most important work we can do.

It is our greatest hope that over the course of each year, our words help you to consider the words of authors in new and different ways, that our words help to shape your understand of high quality literature and consider the roles different books can play in different contexts in your classroom and school library. We hope that our selections over 2017 have given you and your students new reading opportunities. But there are so many voices that shape the field, and so many more books than we can fit into our blog rotations. So what follows is a chorus of voices from the children’s literature community: our now traditional end-of-year “best of” round-up. You’ll see some books that appear on just about every list, and here on the blog as well. Still others might appear on only one or two lists. We are so grateful to the reviewers and award committees who made sure these quieter books get some time in the spotlight. Please feel free to add to our collection of links by submitting a favorite “best of” listing of your own in a comment.

We close this difficult year with a tremendous sense of gratitude to the teachers, librarians, authors, illustrators, and publishers who join us in our efforts to put wonderful books in the hands of children. Books that can change lives. Books that will help create the next generation of leaders, scientists, artists, writers, and agents of change.

We’ll see you back here on Monday, January 8th with a regular posting. Until then, we hope that you have a peaceful and joyous holiday season.

Mary Ann, Katie, Grace, and Erika

Best of 2017

Please click on each title for the full list.

NCTE’s Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, 2018

NCTE’s Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children 2018

International Literacy Association Notable Books for a Global Society *

*This list will appear in early 2018; the link will take you to previous years’ lists.

The Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature Best Books 2017

American Indians in Children’s Literature Best Books of 2017

NCTE Children’s Literature Assembly Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts *

*This list will appear in early 2018; the link will take you to previous years’ lists.

Horn Book Fanfare 2017

New York Times Best Illustrated Books 2017

New York Times Notable Children’s Books of 2017

Kirkus Reviews: Best Middle Grade Books of 2017

Kirkus Reviews: Best Picture Books of 2017

School Library Journal: Best Picture Books of 2017

School Library Journal: Best Chapter Books of 2017

School Library Journal: Best Middle Grade Books of 2017

School Library Journal: Best Nonfiction of 2017

School Library Journal: Top Ten Graphic Novels of 2017

School Library Journal’s Top Ten Apps of 2017

School Library Journal Top Ten Audio Books 2017

Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2017

Publisher’s Weekly: Best Picture Books of 2017

Publisher’s Weekly: Best Middle Grade Books of 2017

NSTA: Outstanding Science Trade Books K-12 for 2018

American Association for the Advancement of Science 2018 SB&F Prizes for Excellence in Science Books: Short List 

Read Brightly: The Best Children’s Books of 2017, According to Kids

Nerdy Book Club Best Books of 2017 Poll

Goodreads Choice Awards: Best Picture Books 2017

Goodreads Choice Awards: Best Middle Grade and Children’s Books 2017

The Washington Post Best Children’s Books of 2017

NPR Best Kids’ Books of 2017

100 Scope Notes – Best 20 Books of 2017

If you’re a regular SLJ Blog Roll reader, you also know that Betsy Bird is doing another “31 Days, 31 Lists” round-up of the best children’s books of 2017 on her FUSE 8 Blog. You can find the first list here, and then from there, follow along with the rest.

Mary Ann Cappiello About Mary Ann Cappiello

Mary Ann is a professor of language and literacy at Lesley University. A former public school language arts and humanities teacher, she is a passionate advocate for and commentator on children’s books. Mary Ann is the co-author of Teaching with Text Sets and Teaching to Complexity.