Recommended Reading

Our Award Winning & Notable Books and Media page is a good place to start looking for that next great read, but below you’ll find links to more lists of books and media for all ages and interests. Browse the lists and see what treasures you can uncover.

For Children   

Notable Children's Books - previous Notable Children's Books lists. Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children's books. This list includes the current year's Newbery, Caldecott, Belpré, Sibert, Geisel, Printz, Batchelder and Coretta Scott King Award and Honor books, as well as those that have been awarded the Schneider Family Book Award and/or were named a Best Book for Young Adults.

American Indian Youth Literature Awardprevious American Indian Youth Literature Award winners. The children's book award was created by the American Indian Library Association (AILA, an affiliate of ALA) as a way to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians.

(Mildred L.) Batchelder Award - previous Batchelder winners. The Batchelder Award is given to an American publisher for a children's book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originally published in a foreign language in a foreign country, and subsequently translated into English and published in the United States.

(Pura) Belpré Awardprevious Belpré winners. Established in 1996, this award is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

Building a Home Library. The ALA-Children’s Book Council (CBC) Joint Committee, with cooperation from the Quicklists Consulting Committee of ALA's Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC, a division of ALA), created this list to provide guidance to parents, grandparents, and others interested in assembling a high-quality library for their children at home.

(Randolph) Caldecott Medalprevious Caldecott winners - Translated Caldecott Titles. This award is given by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picturebook for children.

Coretta Scott King Book Awardsprevious King winners. Given to African American authors and illustrator for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions, the Coretta Scott King Book Award titles promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream.

Dealing with the Tragic Events of September 11, 2001. Resources that were compiled to aid parents, teachers and caregivers in discussing with children and teens the terrorist attacks that took place in New York City, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 -- including books on separation and loss.

(Theodor Seuss) Geisel Awardprevious Geisel winners. The Geisel Award is given annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States.

Great Early Elementary Reads. The ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children, a division of ALA) 2007-2008 School-Age Programs and Services Committee recommends these titles for children who are just learning to read and beginning to read on their own. The books included were published between 2005 and 2008. However, many are part of a larger series that young readers also will enjoy.

Growing Up Around the World. Books as Passports to Global Understanding for Children in the U.S. - Five Bibliographies by the ALSC International Relations Committee.

Hi-Lo Books for Upper Elementary Grades. The 2009 ALSC School-Age Programs and Services Committee recommends these titles to reluctant readers in grades 3-6.

(John) Newbery Medalprevious Newbery winners - Translated Newbery Titles. This award is given annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

Resources for Children and Their Parents and Educators Dealing with the Hurricane Katrina Tragedy. Compiled resources for children and their parents and educators dealing with the Hurricane Katrina tragedy in September 2005 by the Quicklists Consulting Committee of ALA's Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC, a division of ALA).

Schneider Family Book Awardprevious Schneider winners. The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.

(Robert F.) Sibert Informational Book Medalprevious Sibert winners. The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award is awarded annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in English during the preceding year. Information books are defined as those written and illustrated to present, organize, and interpret documentable, factual material for children.

(Laura Ingalls) Wilder Awardprevious Wilder winners. The Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.

 

For Young Adults/Teens   

2009 Best Books for Young Adults - 2009 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults - previous Best Books for Young Adults lists. The list presents books that are recommended reading for young adults 12 to 18. It is a general list of fiction and nonfiction titles selected for their proven or potential appeal to the personal reading tastes of the young adult.

2014 Alex Awards - previous Alex winners. The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.

Booklist Editors' Choice: Adult Books for Young Adults, 2013 (Jan 2014). Selected by the Books for Youth editors, the following titles constitute the year’s best personal reading for teenagers among adult books.

(Margaret A.) Edwards Award - previous Edwards winners. The Margaret A. Edwards Award, honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, that have been popular over a period of time.

Great Graphic Novels for Teens  - previous Great Graphic Novels for Teens lists. List of recommended graphic novels and illustrated nonfiction for those aged 12-18. Updated yearly.

Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners - previous Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners lists. The 2009 list is divided into five academic disciplines: arts and humanities, history and cultures, literature and language arts, science and technology, and social sciences. It is a combination of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. Titles were selected based on criteria including readability, racial and cultural diversity, balance of viewpoints, variety of formats and genres, and title availability. The previous 2004 list has similar sections, for history, humanities, literature and language arts, science and technology, and social sciences.

Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (all lists). A collection of lists by category, including read a-likes for stories like Harry Potter, Gossip Girl and Chronicles of Narnia. 2009 themes: Death & Dying, Fame & Fortune, Journey>Destination, and Spies & Intrigue.

(Michael L.) Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literatureprevious Printz winners. This is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers  - previous Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers lists. The list is for young adults (ages 12-18) who, for whatever reasons, do not like to read. The purpose of this list is to identify titles for recreational reading, not for curricular or remedial use.

Teens' Top Ten Books. Teens' Top Ten is a "teen choice" list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year during Teen Read Week.

For Adults   

Notable Books for Adults: The List for America's Readers - RUSA reveals Notable Books List winners in outstanding fiction, nonfiction and poetry (for 2014) - previous Notable Books for Adults lists (1998 to the present available online only). Since 1944, the goal of the Notable Books Council has been to make available to the nation's readers a list of 25 very good, very readable, and at times very important fiction, nonfiction, and poetry books for the adult reader.

Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction & Nonfiction - ALA unveils shortlist for 2014 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction - Longlist for 2014 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction announced - previous winners of the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were established in 2012 to recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. the previous year. The winners (one for fiction, one for nonfiction) are announced at an event at the ALA Annual Conference; winning authors receive a $5,000 cash award, and two finalists in each category receive $1,500.

Booklist Editors' Choice: Adult Books, 2013. The Adult Books editors have selected the following titles as representative of the year's outstanding books for public library collections. Our scope has been intentionally broad, and we have attempted to find books that combine literary, intellectual, and aesthetic excellence with popular appeal.

Choice Outstanding Academic Titles (OAT) - Outstanding Academic Titles, 2013. Celebrating the best in scholarly publishing, Choice's annual OAT list is widely recognized in the academic community for its sweeping coverage of the most significant scholarly titles published each year. Every year in the January issue, in print and online, Choice publishes a list of Outstanding Academic Titles that were reviewed during the previous calendar year. This prestigious list reflects the best in scholarly titles reviewed by Choice and brings with it the extraordinary recognition of the academic library community. The list is quite selective: it contains approximately ten percent of some 7,000 works reviewed in Choice each year. Choice editors base their selections on the reviewer's evaluation of the work, the editor's knowledge of the field, and the reviewer's record. The list was known as Outstanding Academic Books until 2000. The new name reflects an increase in reviews of electronic products and Internet sites.

Over the Rainbow Project - 2014 Over the Rainbow list recognizes quality GLBT fiction and non-fiction titles. Over the Rainbow Books is an ad hoc committee of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association. Each year, the Over the Rainbow Project creates a bibliography of books that exhibit commendable literary quality and significant authentic lgbt content and are recommended for adults over age 18.

The Reading List: Honoring the Best Adult Genre Fiction - RUSA's 2014 Reading List winners revealed: Librarians' top picks in genre fiction - previous Reading List compilations: Reading List 2013, Reading List 2012, Reading List 2011, Reading List 2010, Reading List 2009, Reading List 2008. This list from RUSA (Reference and User Services Association, a division of ALA) highlights outstanding genre fiction that merits special attention by general adult readers and the librarians who work with them.

The Sophie Brody Award - 'Like Dreamers' wins RUSA's Sophie Brody Medal winner for achievement in Jewish literature along with two honorable mentions (for 2014). The Sophie Brody Award from RUSA (Reference and User Services Association, a division of ALA) was first awarded in 2006, and includes a medal for the winner, as well as citations for selected honor books. It is funded by Arthur Brody and the Brodart Foundation, and is given to encourage, recognize and commend outstanding achievement in Jewish literature. List of winners, from 2006 to the present, at the bottom of the page.

Stonewall Book Awards - 2014 Stonewall Book Awards announced - Sloin, Duron and McConnell win Stonewall Book Awards for Adult Literature, Non-Fiction - Stonewall Book Awards List (1971 through the present). The Stonewall Book Awards of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table of ALA are given annually to English-language works of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience, and include the Stonewall Book Awards – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children's and Young Adult Literature Award, the Stonewall Book Awards – Barbara Gittings Literature Award, and the Stonewall Book Awards – Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award.

STS Oberly Award for Bibliography in the Agricultural or Natural Sciences. The STS (Science & Technology Section) Oberly Award was established in 1923 in memory of Eunice Rockwood Oberly, librarian of the Bureau of Plant Industry, United States Department of Agriculture from 1908 to 1921. She was the Bureau of Plant Industry's representative to the Congressional Joint Commission on Reclassification of Government Employees and was instrumental in gaining a fairer recognition of library activities. This biennial award is given in odd-numbered years for the best English-language bibliography in the field of agriculture or a related science.

W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction. This is an award honoring the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. It recognizes the service of American veterans and military personnel and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction for young adults or adults.

General Lists (across two or more age groups)   

Amelia Bloomer List - Amelia Bloomer Project. The list presents well-written and well-illustrated books with strong feminist messages that affirm positive roles for girls and women. The works are recommended for young people from birth through eighteen years of age.

Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. The Asian Pacific American Librarians Association presents awards to books that promote Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage in three categories: Adult Non-Fiction, Illustration in Children's Literature, and Young Adult Literature.

Booklist Editor's Choice: Books for Youth, 2008 (Jan 2009). Committed to providing a broad selection of outstanding books that mixes popular appeal with literary excellence, the Books for Youth editorial staff has chosen the titles as best-of-the-year fiction, nonfiction, and picture books for children from preschool through 12th grade.

Rainbow List - Rainbow Project. Annual reading list of books for beginning readers through 12th grade that validate same-gender lifestyles, including portraying GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or questioning) characters in a realistic and prominent manner.

Reference Books (for children, teens, and adults)   

Booklist Editor's Choice: Reference Sources, 2013. Selected by the Reference Books Bulletin section of Booklist, these titles are the year's best publications and databases for specific subjects, topics, and events.

Booklist Fall E-reference Update, 2013: Databases and E-books (November 1, 2013 issue of ALA's Booklist). We asked publishers “What's new?” and they responded with the following information about their new reference databases, e-books, and e-book platforms as well as significant updates and enhancements to existing products. Information is effective August 2013 through January 2014. Contact the publishers for information on trials and pricing details.

Booklist Spring E-reference Update, 2014: Databases and E-books (April 15, 2014 issue of ALA's Booklist). We asked publishers “What's new?” and they responded with the following information about their new reference databases, e-books, and e-book platforms as well as significant updates and enhancements to existing products. Information is effective January 2014 through July 2014. Contact the publishers for information on trials and pricing details.

Dartmouth Medal - 'Mammals of Africa' named RUSA's Dartmouth Medal winner for distinguished reference publication; also named two honorable mentions (for 2014). Established in 1974, this medal from RUSA (Reference and User Services Association, a division of ALA) honors the creation of a reference work of outstanding quality and significance, including, but not limited to: writing, compiling, editing, or publishing books or electronic information. Complete list of winners, from 1975 to the present, at the bottom of the page.

Outstanding Reference Sources - RUSA announces 2014 Outstanding Reference Sources List. The Outstanding Reference Sources Committee of RUSA (Reference and User Services Association, a division of ALA) was established in 1958 to recommend the most outstanding reference publications for small and medium-sized libraries. Previous Outstanding Reference Sources lists (2002 to the present available online only): 2013 Outstanding Reference Sources, 2012 Outstanding Reference Sources, 2011 Outstanding Reference Sources, 2010 Outstanding Reference Sources, 2009 Outstanding Reference Sources, 2008 Outstanding Reference Sources, 2007 Outstanding Reference Sources, 2006 Outstanding Reference Sources, 2005 Outstanding Reference Sources, 2004 Outstanding Reference Sources, 2003 Outstanding Reference Sources, 2002 Outstanding Reference Sources.

Check out more recommendations from ALA:

ALA Recommended Listening
List of links to ALA's recommended music and spoken-word recordings and audiobooks for all ages, sorted by age group.

ALA Recommended Viewing
List of links to ALA's recommended DVDs and videos for all ages, sorted by age group.

ALA Recommended Websites
List of links to ALA's recommended web sites for all ages, sorted by age group.