Daily Archives: March 10, 2009

The 2009 Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts

Selected by a seven-member national committee of NCTE’s Children’s Literature Assembly, these thirty titles demonstrate uniqueness in the use of language or style; involve word play, word origins, or the history of language; and invite child response or participation.  They will be featured (along with many of their authors and illustrators) at the NCTE and IRA conventions as well as in the publications Journal of Children’s Literature and Language Arts.


Bryant, Jen. (2008). Ringside 1925. New York: Alfred A. Knopf/Random House.

Giovanni, Nikki. (2008). Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks.

Greenberg, Jan. (2008). Side by Side: New Poems Inspired by Art from Around the World. New York: Abrams.

Thomas, Joyce Carol. (2008). The Blacker the Berry. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. New York: Amistad/HarperCollins.

Westen, Robert Paul. (2008). Zorgamazoo. New York: Razorbill/Penguin Group.

Historical and Realistic Fiction

Almond, David. (2008). The Savage. Illustrated by Dave McKean. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick.

Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. (2008). The Boy Who Dared. New York: Scholastic.

Bauer, Joan. (2008). Peeled. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Group.

Nicholls, Sally. (2008). Ways to Live Forever. New York: Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic.

Giff, Patricia Reilly. (2008). Eleven. Wendy Lamb/Random House.


Alley, Zoe B. (2008). There’s a Wolf at the Door. Illustrated by R.W. Alley. New York: Roaring Brook/Holtzbrinck.

Berk, Ari. (2008). The Secret History of Giants. Cambridge, MA: Templar Company/Candlewick.

Lowry, Lois. (2008). The Willoughbys. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

Morales, Yuyi. (2008). Just in Case. New York: Roaring Brook/Holtzbrinck.

Prineas, Sarah (2008). The Magic Thief. New York: HarperCollins.

Reeve, Philip. (2008). Here Lies Arthur. New York: Scholastic.


Bryant, Jen. (2008). A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Deneberg, Barry. (2008). Lincoln Shot: A President’s Life Remembered. New York: Feiwel and Friends/MacMillan.

Dray, Philip. (2008). Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells: The Daring Life of a Crusading Journalist. Illustrated by Stephen Alcorn. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree.

Nelson, Scott Reynolds, & Aronson, Marc. (2008). Ain’t Nothing but a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry. Washington, DC: National Geographic.

Prelutsky, Jack. (2008). Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem. New York: Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins.

Scieszka, Jon. (2008). Knucklehead. New York: Viking/Penguin.

Picture Books

Chen, Chih-Yuan. (2008). Artie and Julie. Alhambra, CA: Heryin.

Choung, Eun-Hee. (2008). Minji’s Salon. New York: Kane/Miller.

Cottin, Menena. (2008). The Black Book of Colors. Illustrated by Rosana Faria. Toronto, Canada: Groundwood.

Gravett, Emily. (2008). Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Johnson, Stephen T. (2008). A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Reibstein, Mark. (2008). Wabi Sabi. Illustrated by Ed Young. New York: Little Brown.

Rumford, James. (2008). Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad. New York: Roaring Brook/Holtzbrinck.

Seeger, Laura Vaccaro. (2008). One Boy. New York: Roaring Brook/Holtzbrinck.

2009 Committee:  Deanna Day, Chair, Monica Edinger Past Chair
Mary Lee Hahn, Janelle Mathis, Jonda McNair, Mary Napoli, Kathy Short, Edward Sullivan


Filed under Children's Literature, NCTE