As a society we find ourselves in unprecedented times, and education has not gone unscathed as we’ve weathered the Coronavirus pandemic.  The school year is not yet over, but in many ways it has come to a screeching halt.  No more recess, no more library visits, no end of the year celebrations or awards ceremonies.  Schools campuses in the Greater Austin area will remain closed for the remainder of the school year.

With such an abrupt “end” to the school year it is even more important that we encourage our students to read, not just one book, but many!  Statistics show that there is a “summer slide” when it comes to learning and continued reading is one way to help curb that.  Thus, we wanted to connect you with some of the most notable, and popular books among elementary students in 2020.

Notable Children’s Books for 2020

The American Library Association recently published a list of the most notable children’s books for 2020.  According the Notables Criteria, “notable is defined as – worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children’s books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children’s interests in exemplary ways.”

As we find ourselves with a little bit more time on our hands than usual, let’s take the time to read more. Below are few of the many choices listed in the Notable Children’s Books for 2020.  We recommend choosing some to share with a special child in your life!

(Note: Younger Readers – Preschool-Grade 2; including easy-to-read books; Middle Readers – Grades 3-5; Older Readers – Grades 6-8; All Ages – Has appeal and interest for children in all of the above age ranges)

YOUNGER

Across the Bay. By Carlos Aponte. Illus. by the author. Penguin Workshop.
In search of his father, Carlitos ferries from his serene home in Cataño to San Juan, taking in the vibrant sights and sounds of Puerto Rico’s capital. (Belpré Illustrator Honor Book)

Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot! By Cece Bell. Illus. by the author. Candlewick.
Chick (a baby chicken) instructs his friend Brain (underwear-clad human with an exposed brain) in good manners. (Geisel Honor Book)

A Map into the World. By Kao Kalia Yang. Illus. by Seo Kim. Carolrhoda/Lerner.
A young Hmong girl comforts her new neighbor with a chalk drawing that reflects the past year’s changes.

MIDDLE 

Genesis Begins Again. By Alicia D. Williams. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy.
Painfully self-conscious about her dark skin, 13-year-old Genesis faces new challenges when her family moves to suburban Detroit and she starts a new school. (Newbery Honor Book)

The Other Half of Happy. By Rebecca Balcárcel. Chronicle.
A biracial girl explores her Guatemalan heritage and deals with family struggles, while navigating the realities of middle school. (Belpré Author Honor Book)

Where the Heart Is. By Jo Knowles. Candlewick.
Rachel negotiates a summer of changing friendships, family financial disaster, a new job, and a growing awareness of her sexual identity.

ALL AGES

I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage. Ed. by Lee Bennett Hopkins. illus. Lee & Low.
Sixteen illustrators and fourteen poets come together to address themes of culture, identity, and community.

Liberty Arrives!: How America’s Grandest Statue Found Her Home. By Robert Byrd. Illus. by the author. Dial.
This informational picture book introduces many people involved in Lady Liberty’s journey from France to her final destination in New York Harbor.

A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech that Inspired a Nation. By Barry Wittenstein. Illus. by Jerry Pinkney. Holiday/Neal Porter.
A look at how Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream Speech” was written and the voices that shaped its message.

For the complete list of Notable Children’s Books for 2020 visit the American Library Association website.

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Image Source: Huffington Post

Source: American Library Association