2019’s Best Books for Kids and Teens

2019 proved to be a great year for kids and teens who enjoy stories. So many of the books were not only fun or deeply engrossing, but they also expanded our understanding of the world in surprising ways. Among all the great picture books, graphic novels, and chapter books, there were a few that rose to the top. Whether you plan to read them yourself (they’re THAT good!), or grab them up for the kid or teen in your life, make sure to be on the lookout for these recommended titles!

Picture Books: The Good Egg by Jory John and Pete Oswald
Being “good” is exhausting, especially for the Good Egg who is always trying to get the rest of the carton to behave. He’s beginning to crack and decides to leave home and take some time to himself before he’s ready to return to his carton. This book will have your child laughing aloud while teaching the importance of mindfulness and self-care to deal with stress and anxiety. Recommended for ages 4+. Other great picture books: The Thing About Bees by Shabazz Larkin; ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market by Raul Gonzalez; The Hike by Alison Farrell.

Kids Fiction: A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying by Kelley Armstrong
Princess Rowan is known for her bravery and ability to befriend monsters. When an accident changes her fate, Rowan must prove herself worthy before she can trade in her crown for the position of Royal Monster Hunter. Kids will love the variety of “monsters” Rowan encounters on her epic journey. Recommended for ages 9+. Other great Juvenile books: Yasmin the Chef by Saadia Faruqi; The Ghost in Apartment 2R by Denis Markell; Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid by Jeff Kinney.

Middle Reader Fiction: This Was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews
Ben and Nathaniel made a pact to follow the lanterns down the river after the Autumn Equinox Festival to see just where they end up. As they fall off course, they meet bizarre creatures fulfilling their own missions. This graphic novel is filled with rich detail. Recommended for ages 11+. Other great Middle Reader books: New Kid by Jerry Craft; The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner; Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga.

Teen Fiction: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
Girls in Garner County must spend their 16th year in the woods to fend for themselves and release all of their womanly magic. Those who return alive from the Grace Year are purified and ready for marriage or hard labor. Tomboy Tierney, angry and critical of the county and her family’s role in its oppression, must make choices to assure her own survival and fight for the lives of the other girls in her year. This adventure novel is impossible to put down and its revelations will stick with you long after. Recommended for ages 16+. Other great Teen books: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes; Internment by Samira Ahmed.

For more book recommendations, please check out our website. Happy reading!

Upcoming Event
Messy Art Afternoon
Friday, February 21st from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Bring the whole family to the library for process art—creations that are more about the “making” than the “framing.” We’ll have a variety of art materials, supplies and paints. Prepare to get messy. For all ages. No registration.