Shelf Awareness's Best Children's and Teen Books of 2021

While this year has brought more challenges, it also gave us some truly beautiful children's and young adult titles. Here are our top picks for 2021; scroll down to read our reviews of these excellent books. (Shelf Awareness's Best Adult Books will be announced November 30.)

The Midnight Fair by Gideon Sterer, illus. by Mariachiara Di Giorgio (Candlewick)
I Sang You Down from the Stars by Tasha Spillett-Sumner, illus. by Michaela Goade (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña, illus. by Christian Robinson (Putnam Books for Young Readers)
It Fell from the Sky by Terry Fan and Eric Fan (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Strollercoaster by Matt Ringler, illus. by Raúl the Third and Elaine Bay (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham (Roaring Brook Press)
The Me I Choose to Be by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, photographs by Regis and Kahran Bethencourt (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Too Small Tola by Atinuke, illus. by Onyinye Iwu (Candlewick)
Watercress by Andrea Wang, illus. by Jason Chin (Neal Porter Books/Holiday House)
Egg Marks the Spot: A Skunk and Badger Story by Amy Timberlake, illus. by Jon Klassen (Algonquin Young Readers)
The Genius Under the Table: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Eugene Yelchin (Candlewick)
Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids, edited by Cynthia L. Smith (Heartdrum/HarperCollins)
The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess by Tom Gauld (Neal Porter/Holiday House)
Gone to the Woods by Gary Paulsen (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Fallout: Spies, Superbombs, and the Ultimate Cold War Showdown by Steve Sheinkin (Roaring Brook Press)

Young Adult
Me (Moth) by Amber McBride (Feiwel & Friends)
Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore (Dial Books)
The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore (Feiwel & Friends)
A Sitting in St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia (Quill Tree Books)
Pumpkin by Julie Murphy (Balzer + Bray)

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