As this difficult year draws to an end, critics, reviewers, websites, and awards committees have been highlighting the positive by revealing their roundups of this year’s favorite titles. We’ve assembled a list of the more prominent best-of-the-year lists for children’s and YA books published in 2020.
Publishers Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of 2020: Curated from PW’s reviews of children’s and YA books published in 2020, these were our selections for the top 50 books of the year for readers of all ages.
The New York Times: The Times presented 10 picture books, 10 middle grade selections, and five YA novels on its list of “The 25 Best Children’s Books of 2020.”
School Library Journal Best Books 2020: SLJ shared its top books of 2020 including picture books, chapter books, middle grade, YA, nonfiction, and graphic novels.
Booklist’s 2020 Top of the List: The editors shared their top picks for children and young adults across genres.
The Horn Book Fanfare: A list of the picture, fiction and nonfiction books that Horn Book editors and reviewers have selected as the best of 2020.
Kirkus’s Best Picture Books of 2020: Kirkus editors’ picks for the year’s best picture books.
Kirkus’s Best Middle Grade Books of 2020: Kirkus’s selection of top middle grade books published this year.
Kirkus’s Best YA Books of 2020: The year’s best books for teens, chosen by Kirkus.
NYPL Best Books of 2020 for Kids: NYPL’s librarians selected the best 110 books of 2020 for kids.
NYPL Best Books of 2020 for Teens: NYPL’s librarians shared their top 50 books for teens this year.
Chicago Public Library: CPL’s best of the best in children’s and teen books.
Bank Street’s Best Children’s Books of the Year: The children’s book committee at Bank Street College of Education compiled more than 600 titles for its year-end lists, organized by age range.
The Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature Best Books 2020: This list of outstanding diverse books was curated by Dr. Claudette Shackelford McLinn, Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada, Lettycia Terrones, Dr. Sujin Huggins, and Dr. Naomi Caldwell.
American Indians in Children’s Literature Best Books of 2020: AICL revealed its selections for the best books for young readers by Native and First Nations writers and illustrators.
Time: Time’s 10 best YA, middle grade, and children’s books of 2020.
The Washington Post: Authors and reviewers shared their favorite middle grade, nonfiction and picture books.
The Wall Street Journal: Meghan Cox Gurdon presented her selection of best children’s books of 2020.
Today: 25 best books for kids, tweens and teens in 2020.
NPR: The editors and producers of NPR compiled a list of their top books of 2020 in the Book Concierge.
Quill & Quire’s 2020 Books of the Year: Books for Young People: Selections from the Canadian magazine’s editors of its top titles.
Waterstones: A roundup of the U.K.’s best books in children’s fiction this year.
Goodreads Choice Awards 2020: The year’s best books in 20 categories, as voted on by Goodreads users.
Amazon’s Best Children’s Books of 2020: Amazon editors picked the top 20 books of the year for readers of all ages, and the top 20 in each category.
Barnes & Noble’s Best Books of 2020: B&N named its best books of 2020 for adults, teens and kids.
The New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Book Award for 2020: The award was canceled due to Covid-19, and will resume in fall 2021.
100 Scope Notes: Travis Jonker shared his list of best children’s books of the year.
Book Riot: Book Riot assembled its guide to the must-reads of 2020.
Book Riot Top Children’s Books 2020: Kelly Jensen’s picks for best middle grade and children’s books of 2020.
BuzzFeed: BuzzFeed’s Farrah Penn shared her standout YA picks of the year.
Parents Top Children’s Picks of 2020: Parents named its top 30 children’s books of 2020, selected by the magazine’s editorial team.
Parents Best Books for Teens of 2020: Parents’ editors presented their top 10 teen reads.
Cosmopolitan: The 20 best YA books of 2020.
Tor: Librarian and author Alex Brown compiled a list of best young adult science fiction and fantasy books published in 2020.
Smithsonian: Editor Megan Gambino’s top 10 children’s books of the year.
Marie Claire: Rachel Epstein shared her best 105 books of the year for teens and adults.
Brightly’s Best Board Books of 2020: The Brightly editors revealed their top picks for toddlers ages up to three, kids ages three to five, younger readers ages six to eight, tweens, and teens in five specially curated lists.