Welcome to the Bank Street Children's Book Committee's (CBC) Searchable Best Books List, a tool designed to help educators, families, librarians, and others access developmentally appropriate and engaging books for young readers (ages birth - 18).

Our online Searchable Best Books List draws from the committee's annual Best Children's Books of the Year-beginning with the list of books published in 2000-with each featuring more than 600 high-quality titles for young readers.

To share feedback about the tool, please feel free to email bookcom@bankstreet.edu. To learn more about the CBC, visit https://www.bankstreet.edu/cbc/.

How to Perform a Search and Save a List

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Ain't Burned All the Bright
Jason Reynolds
Illustrator: Jason Griffin
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
A powerful look at the life of a Black family during what appears to be the COVID pandemic. Striking, impassioned mixed-media illustrations in Moleskine notebooks.

Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round: My Story of the Making of Martin Luther King Day
Kathlyn J. Kirkwood
Illustrator: Steffi Walthall
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
In free verse, Kirkwood relates her lifelong involvement with the civil rights movement and the establishment of the national holiday honoring Dr. King. Greyscale drawings, archival photographs, and documents.

Air
Monica Roe
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
Twelve-year-old daredevil Emmie, determined not to be defined by her disability, longs for a state-of-the-art sports wheelchair. Will a local fundraiser make her dream come true?

Alias Anna: A True Story of Outwitting the Nazis
Susan Hood, with Greg Dawson
Illustrator: Balbusso Twins
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
Two Ukrainian Jewish sisters, both piano prodigies, use their wits and the help of heroic strangers to hide in plain sight in Nazi-occupied Europe. Greyscale illustrations. Maps, photos, letters, sources.

Alte Zachen/Old Things
Ziggy Hanaor
Illustrator: Benjamin Phillips
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
Shopping in New York with Bubbe Rosa for Shabbat dinner, Benji, 11, learns about his grandmother's past in Nazi Germany, lost love, and immigration. Soft, stylized watercolor illustrations.

Answers in the Pages
David Levithan
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
White and LatinX kids, first loves, and homophobia are woven into a story about how fifth graders react to the attempt to ban an adventure novel featuring gay characters.

Antiracist Kid, The: A Book About Identity, Justice, and Activism
Tiffany Jewell
Illustrator: Nicole Miles
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
This primer on equity work encourages readers to reflect on themselves, examine power and bias issues, and become change advocates. Boldly colored spot illustrations. Extensive back matter.

Attack of the Black Rectangles
Amy Sarig King
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
Mac's sixth-grade class, assigned an award-winning novel about the Holocaust, finds that words in the book are crossed out. Can he challenge the censorship while dealing with his dad's growing mental health issues?

Be Real, Macy Weaver
Lakita Wilson
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
Lonely Black sixth grader Macy copes with an unexpected change of hometown and school. Then her secret interest in fashion design leads to collaboration with a new friend. Spot black-and-white art.

Best Liars in Riverview, The
Lin Thompson
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
Aubrey and Joel, seventh graders, enjoy the freedom of a nearby Kentucky nature preserve. Societal expectations concerning sexual and gender identity weigh heavily on them and lead to the possibility of an escape.

Black Bird, Blue Road
Sofiya Pasternack
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
To save her twin who has leprosy, Ziva, 12, sets out to defeat the Angel of Death. Rich exploration of Jewish culture and mythology in the ancient empire of Khazaria. Historical notes.

Blanket of Butterflies, A (The Spirit of Denendeh series)
Richard Van Camp
Illustrator: Scott B. Henderson, color by Donovan Yaciuk
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
Shinobu traces his grandfather's samurai sword and armor to remote Fort Smith of the Dene Nation in Canada. Dynamic full color illustrations. Back matter.

Bluest Sky, The
Cristina Diaz Gonzalez
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
In 1980 H├ęctor, 11, must leave Cuba for political reasons, though he longs to compete in the International Math Olympiad for his country. Spanish-English glossary.

Booked (The Crossover series)
Kwame Alexander
Illustrator: Dawud Anyabwile
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
Dynamic, full-page illustrations showcase the inner turmoil of 12-year-old Nick, a middle school student who prefers soccer to scholarship, is bullied, and is too shy to approach his crush.

Book of Questions: Libro de las preguntas
Pablo Neruda
Illustrator: Paloma Valdivia
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
Profound thought-provoking musings by the Chilean Nobel Laureate poet. Dreamlike, folkloric illustrations. Bilingual in Spanish and English.

Bright
Brigit Young
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
Feeling inadequate compared to her high-achieving older sister, Marianne zones out in school. But then she is compelled to join the Quiz Quest team. Can she compete?

Caprice
Coe Booth
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
After spending the summer at a girls' leadership program, twelve-year-old African American Caprice is forced to confront an overwhelming secret from her past.

Chester Keene Cracks the Code
Kekla Magoon
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
Biracial Chester's defensive rigidity is challenged by a riddle his distant father has posed. A girl offers to help. A light-hearted adventure with a serious undercurrent.

Cinder & Glass
Melissa de la Cruz
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
Cendrillon, ingenue of the court of France, struggles with her father's death and the loss of stature and freedom under her stepmother's treacherous guardianship.

Civil War of Amos Abernathy, The
Michael Leali
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
Amos, 13, a U.S. Civil War reenacter, researches queer history, and discovers gay and transgender figures. His friendship with Ben, from a conservative religious home, is threatened. Back matter.

Code Name: Serendipity
Amber Smith
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
Misunderstood by her brother and two moms, Sadie meets a stray dog with whom she can communicate telepathically. But adopting him becomes a problem.

Complete Cookbook for Teen Chefs, The: 70+ Teen-Tested and Teen-Approved Recipes to Cook, Eat, and Share
America's Test Kitchen Kids
Illustrator: Kevin White, Joe Keller, and Steve Klise
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
A mouth-watering collection, for both novices and experienced cooks, of recipes for main meals and snacks. Global cuisines and vegetarian dishes featured. Includes cooking and safety tips. Color photos.

Consider the Octopus
Nora Raleigh Baskin and Gae Polisner
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
A stowaway on a research vessel and the son of a scientist team up to publicize efforts to clean up a floating island of garbage in the Pacific Ocean.

Crafting Change: Handmade Activism, Past and Present
Jessica Vitkus
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
Full-color photographs accompany a history of craftivists, artistic social justice advocates who create empowering, inspiring, and sometimes iconic objects through mediums such as embroidery, architecture, sculpting, and knitting.

Different Kinds of Fruit
Kyle Lukoff
Ages: 12+
Published: 2022
Rising seventh grader Annabelle deals with gender and sexual identities in her family and community -- including learning that her much-loved father is trans.