A List of Lists! 52 Best Children’s Book Lists for 2021
It’s that time of year again on The Classroom Bookshelf: time for the list of the Best Children’s Books Lists of 2021! For school librarians and teachers building their collections, for families looking for just the right book for a special child – these lists are for you.
Whether you’re at the library or the bookstore, or shopping online from the comfort of your own home, pull up The Classroom Bookshelf to peruse these lists, or our entries from throughout the year, to find some of the best children’s books of 2021.
We’ve tried to categorize these lists in ways that may be most helpful to you. The first set are lists that include all genres and age levels. From there we curate by format and age range (picture books, beginner reader, transitional reader, graphic books, middle grade) and a few by genre (poetry, nonfiction & biography).
We know that educators everywhere are weary from all that you have been carrying. Thank you for all that you do all year long for young people. Rest up this holiday season. We’ll be back in January to share the titles that seem ripe for classroom explorations in 2022.
Best of 2021
Please click on each title for a link to the full list.
General Best Children’s Book Lists of 2021
Picture Books for Babies and Toddlers
School Library Journal: Best Picture Books of 2021 (requires login)
School Library Journal: Best Chapter Books of 2021 (requires login)
School Library Journal: Best Graphic Books of 2021 (requires login)
Nonfiction & Biography
School Library Journal: Best Nonfiction of 2021 (requires login)
Middle Grade Books
School Library Journal: Best Middle Grade Books of 2021 (requires login)
About Mary Ann Cappiello
Mary Ann is a professor of language and literacy at Lesley University. A former public school language arts and humanities teacher, she is a passionate advocate for and commentator on children’s books. Mary Ann is the co-author of Teaching with Text Sets (2013) and Teaching to Complexity (2015) and Text Sets in Action: Pathways Through Content Area Literacy (Stenhouse, 2021). She has been a guest on public radio and a consultant to public television. From 2015-2018, Mary Ann was a member of the National Council of Teachers of English's Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction (K-8) Committee, serving two years as chair.
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