Best Children's Books of 2013


FLORA & ULYSSES by Kate DiCamillo
Released: Sept. 24, 2013

"Original, touching and oh-so-funny tale starring an endearingly implausible superhero and a not-so-cynical girl. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
When a cynical comic-book fanatic discovers her own superhero, life becomes wonderfully supercharged. Read full book review >
GRANDMA AND THE GREAT GOURD by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Released: March 5, 2013

"This fresh new version will soon have young listeners and readers telling the story themselves. (Picture book/folktale. 6-8)"
Retelling a story from her childhood, well-known Bengali-American writer Divakaruni uses lively language, nonsense syllables and traditional rhythms. Read full book review >

WITH A MIGHTY HAND by Amy Ehrlich
Released: Aug. 27, 2013

"Ehrlich's transcendent verse translation renders these familiar stories as shocking, perplexing and remarkably compelling—just as they always have been. (map, genealogy, endnotes) (Religion. 7-18)"
"Anyone who reads the Torah will see that a lot of it doesn't make sense," Ehrlich writes in her introduction. "It is repetitive, inconsistent, even contradictory." Oddly enough, though, a writer who's skeptical about the Bible turns out to be the perfect person to translate it. Read full book review >
NEVER EVER by Jo Empson
Kirkus Star
by Jo Empson, illustrated by Jo Empson
Released: Sept. 1, 2013

"Eye-catching pictures and splendid forward momentum add up to a giggle-inducing tale with subtlety underneath. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Who says closing your eyes hinders adventure? Read full book review >
MOUNTAIN DOG by Margarita Engle
Released: Aug. 6, 2013

"Poignant and memorable. (author's note) (Verse fiction. 8-12)"
An absorbing story of an 11-year-old boy from Los Angeles who, when his mother is incarcerated for organizing pit-bull dogfights, moves in with his forest-ranger great-uncle and his chocolate Lab in their remote cabin high in the Sierra Nevadas. Read full book review >

AFTER IRIS by Natasha Farrant
Released: July 11, 2013

"An uplifting, memorable read. (Fiction. 10-14)"
In this keenly drawn family drama, Blue, sure that no one else still misses her twin, Iris, turns a camera on her workaholic parents, tempestuous older sister, Flora, and younger siblings Jasmine and Twig, the Babes, who entertain themselves with race-car–driving rats. Read full book review >
NIGHT SKY WHEEL RIDE by Sheree Fitch
Released: Feb. 15, 2013

"A giddy, intense, hugely fun ride that will propel listening audiences large or small into spinning tizzies of their own. (Picture book. 5-9)"
Poem and pictures unite in a delirious celebration of a first ride on a Ferris wheel. Read full book review >
THE MATCHBOX DIARY by Paul Fleischman
Released: March 12, 2013

"Captivating and powerful. (Picture book. 6-10)"
The story of one person's life is the very essence of history, transcending time, distance and generations. Read full book review >