SCPL Logo
Kids

Kids

Book Lists

Book Lists

Best Books 2020 J Fiction & Graphic Novels

        -Titles courtesy of Horn Book, Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, School Library Journal, New York Times, NPR, & Jane Addams Peace Association

Billet, Julia, author.
J GN FICTION BIL
As France buckles under the Nazi regime, budding photographer Rachel Cohen must change her name, go into hiding, and bear witness to the atrocities of World War II.

Castillo, Lauren, author, illustrator.
J FICTION CAS
When a storm separates Hedgehog from her lifelong friend, Mutty, she bravely sets out to find him and makes some very good new friends in the process.

Cisneros, Ernesto, author.
J FICTION CIS
While his father works two jobs, seventh-grader Efrén Nava must take care of his twin siblings, kindergartners Max and Mia, after their mother is deported to Mexico. Includes glossary of Spanish words.

Gino, Alex, author.
J FICTION GIN
Eleven-year-old Rick Ramsey has generally gone along with everybody, just not making waves, even though he is increasingly uncomfortable with his father's jokes about girls, and his best friend's explicit talk about sex; but now in middle school he discovers the Rainbow Spectrum club, where kids of many genders and identities can express themselves--and maybe among them he can find new friends and discover his own identity, which may just be to opt out of sex altogether.

Harrell, Rob, author, illustrator.
J FICTION HAR
After being diagnosed with a rare eye cancer, twelve-year-old Ross discovers how music, art, and true friends can push him through treatment and survive middle school.

Keating, Jess, author.
J BIO THARP
'From a young age, Marie Tharp loved watching the world. She loved solving problems. And she loved pushing the limits of what girls and women were expected to do and be. In the mid-twentieth century, women were not welcome in the sciences, but Marie was tenacious. She got a job at a laboratory in New York. But then she faced another barrior: women were not allowed on the research ships (they were considered bad luck on boats). So instead, Marie stayed back and dove deep into the data her colleagues recorded. She mapped point after point and slowly revealed a deep rift valley in the ocean floor. At first the scientific community refused to believe her, but her evidence was irrefutable. She proved to the world that her research was correct. The mid-ocean ridge that Marie discovered is the single largest geographic feature on the planet, and she mapped it all from her small, cramped office." -- Amazon.com

Keller, Tae, author.
J FICTION KEL
When Lily, her sister Sam, and their mother move in with her sick grandmother, Lily traps a tiger and makes a deal with him to heal Halmoni.

Kelly, Erin Entrada, author.
J FICTION KEL
Cash, Fitch, and Bird Thomas are three siblings in seventh grade together in Park, Delaware. In 1986, as the country waits expectantly for the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger, they each struggle with their own personal anxieties. Cash, who loves basketball but has a newly broken wrist, is in danger of failing seventh grade for the second time. Fitch spends every afternoon playing Major Havoc at the arcade on Main. And Bird, his twelve-year-old twin, dreams of being NASA's first female shuttle commander. The Thomas children exist in their own orbits, circling a tense and unpredictable household, with little in common except an enthusiastic science teacher named Ms. Salonga. As the launch of the Challenger approaches, Ms. Salonga gives her students a project; they are separated into spacecraft crews and must create and complete a mission. When the fated day finally arrives, it changes all of their lives and brings them together in unexpected ways.

LeZotte, Ann Clare, author.
J FICTION LEZ
It is 1805 and Mary Lambert has always felt safe among the deaf community of Chilmark on Martha's Vineyard where practically everyone communicates in a shared sign language, but recent events have shattered her life; her brother George has died, land disputes between English settlers and the Wampanoag people are becoming increasingly bitter, and a "scientist" determined to discover the origins of the islands' widespread deafness has decided she makes the perfect "live specimen"--and kidnapped her.

Ryan, Pam Muñoz, author.
J FICTION RYA
Twelve-year-old Max, who loves the legend Buelo tells him about a mythical gatekeeper who can guide brave travelers on a journey into tomorrow, sets out on a dangerous quest to discover if he is true of heart and what the future holds, armed with a treasured compass, a mysterious stone rubbing, and Buelo's legend as his only guides.

Ryan, Pam Muñoz, author.
J SP FICTION RYA
A Maximiliano Córdoba le encantan las historias, especialmente la leyenda que le cuenta Buelo sobre un mítico guardián que ayuda a los viajeros valientes de corazón puro en un viaje a la tierra del mañana. Si Max pudiera ver el mañana, sabría si lo aceptarán en el famoso club de fútbol de Santa María y si alguna vez encontrará a su madre, quien desapareció cuando él era bebé. Quiere saber más de ella, pero su papá no quiere hablar; así que cuando Max descubre un secreto familiar que involucra una red subterránea de guardianes que ayudan a la gente a huir a la seguridad del país vecino, decide buscar las respuestas por su cuenta.

Salazar, Aida, author.
J FICTION SAL
Nine-year-old Betita and her parents fled Mexico after her uncle was killed by the cartels, and settled in Los Angeles seeking political asylum and safety in what her father calls Aztlan, the land of the cranes; but now they have been swept up by the government's Immigration Customs Enforcement, her father deported back to Mexico, and Betita and her mother confined in a family detention camp--Betita finds heart in her imagination and the picture poems her father taught her, but each day threatens to further tear her family apart.

Soontornvat, Christina, author.
J FICTION SOO
A boy on the run. A girl determined to find him. A compelling fantasy looks at issues of privilege, protest, and justice. All light in Chattana is created by one man -- the Governor, who appeared after the Great Fire to bring peace and order to the city. For Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison, the magical lights represent freedom, and he dreams of the day he will be able to walk among them. But when Pong escapes from prison, he realizes that the world outside is no fairer than the one behind bars. The wealthy dine and dance under bright orb light, while the poor toil away in darkness. Worst of all, Pong's prison tattoo marks him as a fugitive who can never be truly free. Nok, the prison warden's perfect daughter, is bent on tracking Pong down and restoring her family's good name. But as Nok hunts Pong through the alleys and canals of Chattana, she uncovers secrets that make her question the truths she has always held dear. Set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world, Christina Soontornvat's twist on Victor Hugo's Les Misڳerables is a dazzling, fast-paced adventure that explores the difference between law and justice -- and asks whether one child can shine a light in the dark.

Stead, Rebecca, author.
J FICTION STE
Despite her parents' divorce, her father's coming out as gay, and his plans to marry his boyfriend, ten-year-old Bea is reassured by her parents' unconditional love, excited about getting a stepsister, and haunted by something she did last summer at her father's lake house.

Wolk, Lauren, 1956- author.
J FICTION WOL
When twelve-year-old Ellie and her family lose livelihood and move to a mountain cabin in 1934, she quickly learns to be an outdoors woman and, when needed, a healer.