Best Books of 2020

In this post we showcase some of the best in children’s and young adult literature in 2020 by curating links to award announcements and end-of-year lists.

We are also adding and featuring many of these titles in our ‘Best of 2020’ collection in Sora. Log in with your student number or staff username and current password to browse and borrow the ebooks and audiobooks.

‘Best of 2020’ Collection in Granite’s Sora – Screenshot

Expect updates as more awards are announced, and feel free to point out other good lists in the comments. Happy Reading!

Awards

Morris Award (ALA Youth Media Awards)

“The William C. Morris YA Debut Award, first given in 2009, honors a book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.”

ALA-YALSA Morris Award Website

These are the finalists for the 2021 Morris Award. The winning title will be announced in January as part of the the ALA Youth Media Awards.

2021 Morris Award Finalists - Book Covers

National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

The 2020 winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature is King and the Dragonflies, by Kacen Callender. You can borrow the ebook or audiobook in Granite’s Sora. You can see all the finalists and longlisted books for the award here.

National Book Award for Young People’s Literature 2020 Winner and Finalists – Screenshot

Young Adult Nonfiction Award (ALA Youth Media Awards)

YALSA’s Award for Excellence in Nonfiction honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a Nov. 1 – Oct. 31 publishing year.

ALA-YALSA Nonfiction Award Website

These are the finalists for the 2021 Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction Award. The winning title will be announced in January as part of the the ALA Youth Media Awards.

Book Lists

Kirkus Reviews: The Best Books of 2020

Kirkus Reviews has an extensive number of best-of lists sorted into the primary categories of Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Teens & YA (coming soon). Examples include “Best Picture Books of 2020 To Get Kids Thinking” and “Best Middle-Grade Books of 2020 About Immigration and Refugees.”


Publishers Weekly: Best Books 2020

Publishers Weekly provides lists of best books in three categories: Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult.

Publishers Weekly Best Books 2020 - Screenshot

School Library Journal: Best Books 2020

School Library Journal has created Best of 2020 lists in the categories of Picture Books, Chapter Books, Middle Grade, YA, Nonfiction, and Graphic Novels, with top 10s for Audiobooks and Manga coming soon. You can browse the lists on their web page or in their print magazine, or download a PDF of their best books here.

School Library Journal Best Books 2020 - Screenshot

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