Every year, the highly regarded Bank Street College of Education’s Children’s Book Committee announces its picks for the best children’s books of the year. They grant a few of these books specific named awards and also highlight some with an “Outstanding Merit” designation. This year, no fewer than 14 books by Austin SCBWI members appear on the Best Children’s Books of the Year list! The full list, including descriptions of all the books mentioned below, can be found here.Adrianna Cuevas made the list for her debut middle-grade novel, The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez.
Anne Bustard made the list for her middle-grade novel, Blue Skies.
Chris Barton made the list for his picture book, All of a Sudden and Forever: Help and Healing After the Oklahoma City Bombing (illustrated by Nicole Xu), which received an “Outstanding Merit” designation.
Christina Soontornvat has three books on the list: her picture book Simon at the Art Museum (illustrated by Christine Davenier), her middle-grade novel A Wish in the Dark (which received an “Outstanding Merit” designation), and her middle-grade narrative nonfiction book All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team (which also received an “Outstanding Merit” designation). All Thirteen also won the older readers’ category of Bank Street’s Flora Stieglitz Straus Award, given for “a distinguished work of nonfiction that serves as an inspiration to young readers.”
Debbie Loren Dunn and Tami Lewis Brown made the list for their picture book, Perkin’s Perfect Purple: How a Boy Created Color with Chemistry, illustrated by Francesca Sanna. The book received an “Outstanding Merit” designation.
Don Tate has two picture books on the list: William Still and His Freedom Stories: The Father of the Underground Railroad, which he wrote and illustrated, and Swish!: The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters, which he illustrated and which was written by Suzanne Slade; Swish! received an “Outstanding Merit” designation.
Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey made the list for their debut picture book, The Old Truck, which they wrote and illustrated.
Jenny Elder Moke made the list for her debut young-adult novel, Hood.
Lindsay Leslie made the list for her picture book, Dusk Explorers (illustrated by Ellen Rooney), which received an “Outstanding Merit” designation.
Tara Dairman made the list for her picture book, Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy, illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan.
Varian Johnson made the list for his middle-grade graphic novel, Twins, illustrated by Shannon Wright.
Congratulations to all these writers and illustrators!