'Tis the season for all of the Best Of... Lists for Children's Books. I love reading these lists and seeing which titles I have read and which titles I should hunt down and read before the end of the year. In the past, I never thought about what nonfiction titles were or were not included on these lists. As I have been reading more and more children's nonfiction, I have started to look for my favorite nonfiction books. I was a bit surprised to see how few were included on most lists and many were the same titles over and over again.
Here is a run down on the Best Of lists and how they stand on nonfiction:
AAAS/Subaru SB&F: Finalists for the 2015 Children's Science Book Category - Similar to NSTA (see below), the focus of this list is science nonfiction. There is also a Young Adult Category and the finalists can be found here.
Chicago Public Library: Librarians Pick Best Books of 2014 - Under KIDS, the division is by Fiction and Informational Text (nonfiction) and by younger and older readers. Teen Picks are divided into Fiction, Nonfiction, and Graphic Novels. There are a total of 54 nonfiction titles on this list.
Horn Book Fanfare 2014 - Horn Book divides books into picture books, fiction, folklore, poetry, and nonfiction. Though the nonfiction is a bit heavier on biographies, there are several titles listed that are not popping up on all of the other lists.
Huffington Post's Best Picture Books of 2014 - Creative categories and some fun biographies and history selections, but no science titles.
Kirkus Review Best Children's Books of 2014 - Kirkus wins for the most categories and best category names. There are 14 titles under informational picture books and another 11 under Middle Grade nonfiction. If I was giving stars out, Kirkus would get one for the variety of nonfiction books represented on their list.
NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books for K-12 2015 (Books published in 2014) - If you are looking for some truly outstanding science nonfiction, hurry on over to this list.
New York Times Best Illustrated Books of 2014 - Books are divided into several categories, not much for nonfiction, but a great list of art picture book biographies.
New York Times Notable Children's Books - Books are divided into Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult. Fiction and nonfiction are mixed together and the nominal number of nonfiction titles are ones that are visible on every other list.
NPR's Book Concierge: Guide to 2014's Great Read - NPR has an interesting way of dividing up books. The best that I can see is seven out of the twenty-nine children's titles were nonfiction. Most were biographies and memories. Even under the "Science & Society" category, science took a backseat to the social science.
Publishers Weekly's Best Children's Books of 2014 - Books are divided into three categories - Children, Middle Grade, and Young Adult. Fiction and nonfiction is mixed together. Once again, biographies & memoirs, and history rule. So, where are the science books?
School Library Journal's Best Books of 2014 - Books are divided into four categories - Picture Books, Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Nonfiction. Next to Kirkus, this is the most nonfiction titles on any individual lists.
YALSA 2015 Nonfiction Finalists - Though this is a short list of books, I thought I would include it for those who might be interested.
Please know that I am a fan of many of the books - fiction and nonfiction - included on the lists above. This post was not meant in anyway to be disrespectful of the work of the staff who create these lists. The purpose of this post was just to bring a little attention to the oversight of the many amazing nonfiction books that are published each year. Teachers and Librarians check out these lists on a yearly basis. Maybe it's time to make room for a few more titles, nonfiction titles. Stop by next week for my Best of Children's Nonfiction for 2014 and see what made my list. And I hope that others who have participated in the #nfpb2014 challenge will join in and add their favorite titles from 2014. Updates to the list made on 12/11/14.
For additional Best Of lists, check out Watch.Connect.Read. John Schumacher or Mr. Schu is keeping an update list of BEST OF lists on his site. You can click here for an on-going updated list.
Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews: