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Best Children's Books of 2009

Johnson County Librarians Debbie McLeod, Kate Pickett, and Dennis Ross share their picks for the best children's books of 2009. By Up to Date, Dec 14, 2009

Picture Books

Alphabeasties by Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss
Animals are formed using letters of the alphabet in different printing fonts.

Cow That Was the Best Moo-ther by Andy Cutbill
Although her baby looks mysteriously like a chick, Marjorie the cow proudly enters her in the "beautiful baby cow" contest.

King's Taster by Kenneth Oppell
The royal chef takes Max the dog - and official taster - on various international trips to find the perfect dish for the picky king.

Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
Almost wordless retelling of Aesop's tale of kindness rewarded.

Picture book Non-fiction

Moonshot: the Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca
Detailed water-color illustrations relate man's first landing on the moon.

Nubs: the True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle by Major Brian Dennis
True story of a Marine and the unwaveringly faithful dog he befriended in Iraq.

Testing the Ice: a True Story About Jackie Robinson by Sharon Robinson
Before his children and their friends are allowed onto an icy pond, Jackie Robinson steps out to test the ice.

J Fiction

Also Known As Harper by Ann Haywood Leal
Homeless Harper writes to express her feelings about various life situations, and hopes to use some of her poems to compete in her school's poetry competition.

Antsy Does Time by Neal Shusterman
Anthony "Antsy" Bonano learns a lot about life, death and more when he tries to help a terminally ill friend feel hopeful about the future.

Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Classic Christmas tale of an unusual family that somehow brings about the true meaning of Christmas.

Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
In 1899 Central Texas, young Callie Vee Tate comes to learn a lot about her family, love, the natural world, and what it means to be a "lady".

Georges and the Jewels by Jane Smiley
In the 1960's, Abby Lovett lives on her family's California ranch, training horses and trying to reconcile her own beliefs with that of her strict conservative parents.

Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
In early 20th century Paris, 10 year old orphaned Peter, who thought his sister was dead, finds out from a fortune teller that she is alive, and that he will need to follow the elephant to find her.

Unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech
In a small village in the Swiss Alps, an angel meets a young American girl named Zola, who, with the help of the angel, changes everything.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the "20,000 Pyramid", 12-year-old Miranda receives a series of mysterious notes that seem to defy the laws of both time and space.

Graphic Fiction

Little Vampire by Joann Sfar
An unusual friendship forms between a vampire and a human when Little Vampire leaves notes on homework Michael has left at school.

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett Krosoczka
The school lunch lady is a secret a secret crime fighter who uncovers an evil plot to substitute all the popular teachers with robots.

YA Fiction

Carter Finally Gets It ?by Brent Crawford
Awkward freshman Will Carter endures many painful moments during his first year of high school, but comes out learning that if you stay focused, it can all be well worth it!

Going Bovine by Libba Bray
16-year-old Cameron, who's been diagnosed with Mad Cow Disease, goes on a road trip with a death-obsessed, video gaming dwarf, looking for a cure.

Hate List ?by Jennifer Brown
16-year-old Valeria, whose boyfriend Nick committed a school shooting, struggles to cope with returning to school while wondering whether she is a hero or a villain.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
While in a coma after a car accident that killed her parents and younger brother, 17-year-old Nina weighs whether to live with her grief or die to be with her family.

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantasky
17-year-old Jessica learns she is descended from vampire royalty and is betrothed to a vampire prince.

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
In an alternative 1914, Austrian prince Alek on the run from the Clanker powers, allies with Deryn, a young girl disguised as a British airshipman serving aboard a biologically engineered flying beast. Steampunk science fiction.

Marcelo and the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
Marcelo, a 17-year-old high-functioning autistic, learns about the real world while working during the summer in the mail room of his father's law firm.

Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks
15-year-old Nina's boring vampire support group becomes anything but once one of their members is murdered.

Swim the Fly by Don Calame
15-year old Matt's goal for the summer is to swim the 100-yard butterfly in order to impress Kelly, the sizzling new star on the swim team.

List compiled by:
Debbie McLeod, Youth Collections Specialist
Kate Pickett, Young Adult Librarian
Dennis Ross, Youth Specialist, Central Library

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