December 5, 2021

The New York Public Library Reveals the Best Books of 2021 for Kids, Teens, and Adults

From NYPL:

The New York Public Library has unveiled our Best Books of 2021 list. This almost century-long tradition gives the Library an opportunity to highlight new, diverse, inspiring titles and connect New Yorkers and readers from all over with books that spark excitement, curiosity, and a love of reading.

Expert librarians and staff from across the NYPL system evaluated thousands of titles to determine this year’s best, recommending nearly 300 books across all age groups and multiple genres.

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The full list of titles (as well as the list of committee chairs) is available at nypl.org/bestbooks.

A list of all the best books is also available here.

This year, the committees evaluated thousands of books to choose the top titles; the children’s committee, as an example, read 1,665 titles by itself. Criteria included literary merit, audience appeal, and whether titles are representative of the diversity of New York City.

This year, the committees evaluated thousands of books to choose the top titles; the children’s committee, as an example, read 1,665 titles by itself. Criteria included literary merit, audience appeal, and whether titles are representative of the diversity of New York City.


The top 10 for Each Category Can Be Seen Below:

Children’s Books

  • Artie and the Wolf Moon by Olivia Stephens

  • Barakah Beats by Maleeha Siddiqui

  • The Big Bath House by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Gracey Zhang

  • Living with Viola by Rosena Fung

  • The Magical Imperfect by Chris Baron

  • Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson

  • Over the Shop by JonArno Lawson, illustrated by Qin Leng

  • Stuntboy, in the Meantime by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Raúl the Third

  • Welcome to Your Period! by Yumi Stynes and Dr. Melissa Kang, illustrated by Jenny Latham

  • The Wisdom of Trees: How Trees Work Together to Form a Natural Kingdom by Lita Judge

Mejores libros para pequeños/Best Books for Kids in Spanish

  • Érase una vez y mucho más será by Johanna Schaible

  • Escucha mi voz / Hear My Voice compiled by Warren Binford for Project Amplify

  • Lucero by Yuyi Morales, translated by Eida Del Risco

  • ¡Mambo mucho mambo! El baile que atravesó la barrera del color by Dean Robbins, translated by Georgina Lázaro, illustrated by Eric Velasquez

  • Mis dos pueblos fronterizos by David Bowles, illustrated by Erika Meza

  • Nuncaseolvida (Neverforgotten) by Alejandra Algorta, translated by Aida Salazar, illustrated by Iván Rickenmann

  • Un pájaro en casa by Blanca Gómez

  • La selva de Zonia by Juana Martinez-Neal

  • Sunakay by Meritxell Martí, illustrated by Xavier Salomó

  • Tancho by Luciano Lozano

Teen Books

  • Boys Run the Riot, Vol. 1 by Keito Gaku

  • Crossroads at Midnight by Abby Howard

  • How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

  • Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

  • Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

  • Let’s Talk About It: The Teen’s Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan

  • Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney, illustrated by Robyn Smith

  • Perfectly Parvin by Olivia Abtahi

  • Punching Bag by Rex Ogle

  • The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon

Books for Adults

  • Act Your Age, Eve Brown: A Novel by Talia Hibbert

  • All Her Little Secrets: A Novel by Wanda M. Morris

  • The Dangers of Smoking in Bed: Stories by Mariana Enriquez, translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell

  • Hell of a Book: A Novel by Jason Mott

  • How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith

  • Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

  • Mama Phife Represents: A Verse Memoir by Cheryl Boyce-Taylor

  • The Rock Eaters: Stories by Brenda Peynado

  • Shadow Life by Hiromi Goto

  • She Who Became the Sun: A Novel by Shelley Parker-Chan

Poetry Books for Adults

  • Doppelgangbanger: Poems by Cortney Lamar Charleston

  • Extremely Lightweight Guns: Poems by Nikki Moustaki

  • frank: sonnets by Diane Seuss

  • If God Is a Virus: Poems by Seema Yasmin

  • Mama Phife Represents: A Verse Memoir by Cheryl Boyce-Taylor

  • Oh You Robot Saints! by Rebecca Morgan Frank

  • The Perseverance: Poems by Raymond Antrobus

  • Popular Longing by Natalie Shapero

  • Transversal: Poems by Urayoán Noel

  • What Noise Against the Cane by Desiree C. Bailey

Resources

Direct to Full List Website

Direct to List (4 pages; PDF)

Direct to Complete News Release

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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