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Kidsreads Reviewers Pick Their Favorite Books of 2018!

Reviewer Picks

Kidsreads Reviewers Pick Their Favorite Books of 2018!

There's no better way to start an argument with self-proclaimed book nerds than to ask "what is the best children's book of 2018?" We decided to get our lovely reviewers involved in the debate by asking them to tell us a few of their favorites. See below for their picks, and some of their thoughts about what makes each book great. Do you agree with their choices?


 

Kat Baumgartner

  • YOU GO FIRST by Erin Entrada Kelly
    I loved the split perspective, as well as the fact that the friendship between Charlotte and Ben was purely through an online Scrabble game. The two never quite confess the major issues they are facing, but are able to periodically escape their problems together.
  • YOU DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING, JILLY P! by Alex Gino
    I would recommend reading the author's note in the back of the book before the book itself because I found I respected the story more after having read the explanation. This is very much aimed at white, abled readers; its purpose is to teach young people to recognize privilege and use that privilege to stand up for those who are not able to safely stand up for themselves.
  • ESCAPE FROM ALEPPO by N.H. Senzai
    The growth of the main character, Nadia, is incredible to witness, and the narrative helps educate readers about the effects the conflicts in the Middle East have on the average citizen.

 

Christine Irvin

  • LIMITLESS: 24 REMARKABLE WOMEN OF VISION, GRIT, AND GUTS by Leah Tinari
    This was one of four books I read near the end of the year that highlighted women in some fashion. Artist Leah Tinari created a book of portraits of 24 American women she considers to be powerful role models for both girls and boys – for anybody, regardless of gender.
  • LITTLE DREAMERS: VISIONARY WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD by Vashti Harrison
    This is another one of the four books about women. This one includes women from around the world.
  • THE A-Z OF WONDER WOMEN by Yvonne Lin
    And this is yet another one of those four books. This one is quite short, and is written as an alphabet book.
  • ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES: YOUNG READERS EDITION by Sara K. Joiner
    This is a shortened version of Charles Darwin’s ground-breaking book about evolution. Author Sara K. Joiner took what Darwin had written, shortened it and added many wonderful photographs and sidebars to enhance the text and make it exciting for kids to read.
  • IT'S UP TO YOU, ABE LINCOLN by Leila and Tom Hirschfeld
    In this different type of biography, co-authors Leila and Tom Hirschfeld, who are father and daughter, tell the story of Lincoln by showcasing 10 challenges Lincoln faced in his life and how he handled those challenges. It was an interesting way to write a biography.
  • THE RACE TO SPACE: COUNTDOWN TO LIFTOFF by Ben Thompson and Erik Slader
    Authors Ben Thompson and Erik Slader take a humorous look at the world's race to conquer outer space, with its many triumphs and tragedies. Lots of illustrations, plenty of humor and tons of information about the space race make this a must-read for youngsters who are interested in space.
  • DO NOT OPEN THIS MATH BOOK: ADDITION + SUBBTRACTION by Danika McKellar
    Of course you are going to open this book, and you should. It is packed with lots of math problems, but they are easy to understand and fun to work through. Imagine that: Math can be fun!
  • A GRAIN OF RICE by Helena Clare Pittman
    This is not only a great ancient Chinese story, it is also a math lesson disguised as fiction. The reader learns the magic of the concept of exponentiation. That doesn’t sound like much fun, but it really is.
  • THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF ESTHER THE WONDER PIG by Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter
    Speaking of fun, if you like animals, particularly pigs, and you like reading a good, true story, then this is the perfect book for you. Authors Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter tell the story of how Esther came into their lives and then turned everything upside down.

 

Dana Cuadrado

 

Brianna Robinson

  • AQUICORN COVE by Katie O’Neill
    I’ve been in love with Katie O’Neill since THE TEADRAGON SOCIETY. Her illustrations are lovely and adorable and this book was no different.
  • IVY ABERDEEN'S LETTER TO THE WORLD by Ashley Herring Blake
    Hopeful in a way that kid lit should be. I loved Ivy’s strength and her voice and Ashley Herring Blake became an instant favorite author when I was done.
  • BREAKOUT by Kate Messner
    BREAKOUT is a well-written mixed media novel told in emails, diary entries, comics and transcripts about a prison break in a little mountain town in upstate NY. Messner confronts prejudice, racial injustice, criminal justice and social and economic disparities in a middle grade novel that also managed to be amusing and fast-paced. I loved how right this felt (as I’ve dealt with family incarceration, I can attest to some of the feelings that characters in this shared) and should be required reading for adults and kids to understand differences that aren’t talked about.

 

Rebecca Munro

 

Matthew Burbridge

 

Maya Gittelman

  • DACTYL HILL SQUAD by Daniel José Older
    I can't with how much I love this book. Black and brown children and youth telling their own stories in American history. Fighting for justice. Fighting against bigoted institutions of power. And all while riding dinosaurs. It's excellent in every way and I love every single character!
  • DRUM ROLL, PLEASE by Lisa Jenn Bigelow
    Music camp and queer wlw self-discovery! I love this one so much. 
  • FRONT DESK by Kelly Yang
    A beautiful, brave story about identity and immigrant experience that I'm so grateful is on shelves.
  • HURRICANE CHILD by Kheryn Callender
    Magical, lyrical and eye-opening. Such a must-read!
  • THE HIDDEN WITCH by Molly Knox Ostertag
    Beautiful visuals and a world and cast of characters that fills my heart!
  • YOU DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING, JILLY P! by Alex Gino
    Awise, honest, big-hearted story about tackling race, disability and privilege as it manifests for kids. Gino knows how to write complex issues into full and funny middle grade stories.