Children Recommendations

Bread and jam for Frances

When my children were small, we read all the Frances books:  Bread and Jam for Frances, Bedtime for Frances, A Baby Sister for Frances, Best Friends for Frances, A Birthday for Frances and A Bargain for Frances.  Don't forget to check out Frances' songs too--she has a separate book just for those called Egg Thoughts and Other Frances Songs.  Written with humor, imagination and insight, these stories tell about a young badger who experiences all the pangs of growing up, from being replaced in her parents' affections by her baby sister to

The Fairy Rebel

This is a story by the award-winning author of The Indian in the Cupboard.  Imaginative in detail and plot, the tale involves a rebellious, spunky fairy named Tiki, who refuses to obey the strict rules of the Fairy Queen, especially the ridiculous one that require all fairies and elves to wear silly, diaphanous clothing.  Modern Tiki much prefers blue jeans, and although she tries to obey the autocratic Fairy Queen most of the time, she doesn't manage it often enough.  Independent and sassy, she won't buckle under, and as a consequence, she gets involved with

Olive's Ocean

Although this story is about a young girl whose life is cut short by a bicycle accident, her spirit lives on through another girl, a classmate of hers, who might have been her friend, but was not.  Despite their having been in the same class at school, they never became more than acquaintances, but they shared the same secret.  What this secret is and why it haunts Martha is part of the mystery of the story.  This mystery will keep you wondering about the shortness of life and how much can change in just minutes.  Henkes writes with rare insight and thoughtfulness. 

Worst of Friends Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the true story of an American feud

They were the best of friends, they were the worst of friends. Opposites in almost every way, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were nevertheless best friends. They had a remarkable friendship that helped give birth to our nation, and yet they were also political rivals who argued about everything! This fantastic new book for children details some of their disagreements and shows how you can be best friends and still disagree. I think that's at the very heart of what being a democracy is all about, and it's a message that’s good to remember

Finn Throws a Fit

Finn's not having a good day in this devilishly funny book. When Finn throws a fit, the house floods with his tears, when he screams it's an avalanche, kicks it's an earthquake, and so on. This book will strike a note with any fit-throwing kid (and their long-suffering parents/caretakers). I love the scribbly storm cloud above his head! Haven’t you felt like that before? I sure have!

P.S. If you like this book, you might also like "Big Rabbit's Bad Mood" by Ramona Badescu

Edwardo The Horriblest Boy In the Whole Wide World

Edwardo is a normal boy, and like normal boys he sometimes acts up....kicking things, chasing things, etc. All the grown-ups tell him he is the “Horriblest boy in the WORLD!” until one day when he kicks a pot of flowers and it lands in some dirt, and a kind grown-up sees him starting a then, Edwardo becomes good at gardening…and so on, until Edwardo is the nicest boy in the whole world. A fantastic book about the power of positive encouragement!

Hattie the Bad

Hattie is BAD (not really, she's a spirited prankster), and parents tell their kids not to play with her, so she decides to become as good at being good as she is at being “bad”. Soooo good, in fact, that she wins an award for it...but since it is so incredibly boring being good she...well, you'll have to read the book to find out what she does next!

The message here is to be true to matter what!

The Unwanteds

Lisa McMann has written an exceptional novel called  The Unwanteds; on this audiobook, Simon Jones reads an exciting new fantasy story about a world where all children who express themselves creatively either by singing, dancing, painting or drawing become "unwanteds" and at the age of ten are banished from their homes never to see their siblings or parents again.  In the stark, gray city of Quill being creative in anyway is a guarantee that at age ten, you'll be put on a bus and sent to the lake of boiling oil.  Eliminators escort you to this


“I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.”

Children Make Terrible Pets

 How would you like it if a bear found you in the woods and took you home to be it’s pet?  Find out in this hilarious book by Peter Brown.  Melodramatic Lucy Bear is practicing her twirls in the forest one day when she spies a little boy she dubs “Squeaker” since that’s the sound he makes (to her ears).  She takes him home to show her mother who declares “children make terrible pets!” But Lucy begs and pleads and eventually her mother relents.  The following pages show all the fun they have together, but alas, all is not fun and g


The books that appeal to me most are the ones whose plots unfold in an unpredictable way.  Adelaide The Flying Kangaroo is just that sort of book- it takes you on a marvelous adventure you weren’t expecting.

The Lonely Book

When a new book about a girl who lives in the forest arrives at the library, it is popular with the library patrons and is checked out constantly. Once the book becomes old and tattered and is missing the last page, the children no longer remain interested in checking it out. The book becomes lonely and is left in a dark corner until a little girl named Alice finds it. She takes it home and enjoys listening to her father read the book each night. Alice takes the book to a special library event where she leaves it behind when she forgets to renew it.

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, by Christopher Healy and with illustrations by Todd Harris, is a hilarious retelling of classic fairytales.  It is about four princes, known only as Prince Charming in their fairytales, and their true life experiences as they try to protect their kingdoms.  The princes, whose names are Frederic, Gustav, Liam, and Duncan, are known to each other only by their legends as sung by the Bards.  Upon meeting, they team up to save their kingdoms from an evil witch, repair their reputations, and set the story straight.  Alon

Learn Your Facts: Addition + Subtraction

Help your child learn the addition and subtraction facts from 0 to 18. This playaway will teach your child the addition strategies:  “Doubles,” “Doubles Plus One,” and “Two More Than.” It will help children learn to think addition when subtracting, the “Get to Ten” strategy, and how to make “Fact Families.” All addition and subtraction facts are reviewed with and without the answers and the songs restate the facts in order and randomly.

The Fire Ascending

The final book in the Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris D'Lacey has arrived, and having just read The Fire Ascending, I am happy to report it's almost as good as the other books in the series but with many surprises.  After reading the previous volume,Fire Work, which places many of our favorite characters into alternative roles in dimensions other than Earth, I'm happy to say that once the history of Gwilanna, Agawin, and Guinevere is told, the author brings us back to the crux of the story:  the battle between the evil IX and the Fain. 

I Know a Wee Piggy

This rhyming book follows the style of “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.” In the story the energetic pig escapes from his owner, causes havoc at the country fair, and wins a blue ribbon. Nine colors are introduced when the pig wallows in brown mud, red tomatoes, white milk, pink cotton candy, yellow egg yolks, black paint, green grass, gray and orange clay, a purple scarf, and blue water. Each color is bolded which help make the words and colors easily recognizable. Children will enjoy listening to this read aloud and they will ask to hear it over and over again.

Clever Jack Takes the Cake

Clever Jack Takes the Cake is a tribute to the fairy tales we all know and love. It is the original story of young Jack who receives an invitation to the princess’s birthday party, however with no money to buy her a gift he decides to bake her a cake. He trades his possessions to gain the ingredients, and then searches for the rest. Once made Jack must bring the beautiful cake to the birthday party.


“Maybe, thought Ben, we are all cabinets of wonders." 
Brian Selznick, Wonderstruck


Those familiar with Brian Selznick’s work (most notably The Invention of Hugo Cabret) know he is a talented writer and artist. His newest book Wonderstruck is another testament to his incredible talent.  

Imogene's Last Stand

Imogene, an energetic young history buff, discovers the abandoned Historical Society building. After spending time sprucing it up, she opens it as a museum but unfortunately none of the townspeople are interested in visiting it. One day Imogene discovers that Mayor Butz has decided to demolish the structure and replace it with a shoelace factory.

Finding My Place


Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty

Eleven-year old Roger is trying to make sense of his classmate Robert "Yummy" Sandifer's death, but first he has to make sense of Yummy's life. Yummy could be as tough as a pit bull sometimes. Other times he was as sweet as the sugary treats he loved to eat. Was Yummy some sort of monster, or just another kid? As Roger searches for the truth, he finds more and more questions. How did Yummy end up in so much trouble?



Junkyard Wonders

This touching story is based on true events from the author, Patricia Polacco’s childhood. Trish has moved from California to a new school in Michigan so she would no longer be in a special education classroom. On the first day of school, she is disappointed when she discovers that her new classroom is known as “The Junkyard” since all her classmates are different with unique talents. Fortunately, Mrs. Peterson, her teacher, makes her students all feel that they are not misfits but geniuses. One day, Mrs.

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11

This beautifully illustrated nonfiction picture book by Brian Floca discusses the first moon landing. It tells about the three men, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, blasting into space aboard their spacecraft and their weeklong journey. Information is provided about the Columbia and Eagle, details about what the astronauts experienced on the spaceship, the different stages of the flight, the landing on the moon, the walk on the surface of the moon, and the splash down in the Pacific Ocean.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

There’s always one kid at every school that is weirder than anyone else and they have no clue that they are weird. And furthermore, they just don’t care. McQuarrie Middle School’s resident dweeb is Dwight, a kid who carries around an origami Yoda finger puppet that he made. This is not your average finger puppet. It seems that Yoda can dispense all sorts of wisdom and maybe even predict the future. Is the force with him or is it all a hoax perpetrated by Dwight? How can Origami Yoda be so wise and Dwight be so clueless?

Award Winners & Bestsellers

Nobel Prize
2015 Prize in Literature
Svetlana Alexievich

National Book Award

2015 Prize for Fiction
Fortune Smiles
by Adam Johnson

2015 Prize for Nonfiction
Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Newbery Medal
2016 award
Last Stop on Market Street

by Matt de la Peña

Caldecott Medal
2016 award
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear
y Lindsay Mattick, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Printz Award

2016 award
Bone Gap

by Laura Ruby

New York Times Fiction Bestsellers (top 5 combined print & e-book sales)
The Last Mile
, by David Baldacci
The Obsession
, by Nora Roberts
Stuck-up Suit, by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
Bounty, by Kristen Ashley
The Girl on the Train
, by Paula Hawkins

New York Times Nonfiction Bestsellers (top 5 combined print & e-book sale)
The Rainbow Comes and Goes, by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt
The Sleep Revolution, by Arianna Huffington
When Breath Becomes Air
, by Paul Kalanithi
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates
, by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaegar
Alexander Hamilton
, by Ron Chernow


More Award Winners & Bestsellers

Following is a list of award-winning and bestselling materials from a variety of sources. Links will take you to an external page that will open in a new window. If YDL does not have an item you are interested in, please submit a Materials Suggestion to us.

Academy Awards

American Booksellers Association National Indie Bestsellers

Billboard Top 100 songs

Caldecott Medal

Coretta Scott King Award

New York Times Bestsellers

Newbery Medal

Printz Award