Fanfare 2020 Booklist

Below is Fanfare, a list of the books that the Horn Book editors and reviewers have selected as the best of 2020. The annotated list will be published in the December issue of Notes from the Horn Book (sign up!) and in the January/February 2021 issue of the Horn Book Magazine (subscribe!). Happy reading!


Picture Books


I Am Every Good Thing

written by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James; Paulsen/Penguin

In the Woods

written by David Elliott, illustrated by Rob Dunlavey; Candlewick

A Girl like Me

written by Angela Johnson, illustrated by Nina Crews; Millbrook

Black Is a Rainbow Color

written by Angela Joy, illustrated by Ekua Holmes; Roaring Brook

The Camping Trip

written and illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann; Candlewick


written and illustrated by Pete Oswald; Candlewick

A New Green Day

written and illustrated by Antoinette Portis; Porter/Holiday

The Old Truck

written and illustrated by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey; Norton

I Talk like a River

written by Jordan Scott, illustrated by Sydney Smith; Porter/Holiday

Our Little Kitchen

written and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki; Abrams




Clap When You Land

written by Elizabeth Acevedo; Quill Tree/HarperCollins

Fighting Words

written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley; Dial

King and the Dragonflies

written by Kacen Callender; Scholastic


written and illustrated by Mike Curato; Godwin/Holt


written by Varian Johnson, illustrated by Shannon Wright; Graphix/Scholastic

We Dream of Space

written by Erin Entrada Kelly; Greenwillow

Loretta Little Looks Back: Three Voices Go Tell It

written by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney; Little, Brown

Kent State

written by Deborah Wiles; Scholastic

Echo Mountain

written by Lauren Wolk; Dutton




Sharuko: El arqueólogo Peruano Julio C. Tello / Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello

written by Monica Brown, illustrated by Elisa Chavarri, translated into Spanish by Adriana Domínguez; Children’s/Lee

Your Place in the Universe

written and illustrated by Jason Chin; Porter/Holiday

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

written by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann; Porter/Holiday

The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh

written by Candace Fleming; Schwartz & Wade/Random

The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America’s Presidents

written by Kate Messner, illustrated by Adam Rex; Chronicle

How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure

written and illustrated by John Rocco; Crown

Chance: Escape from the Holocaust

written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz; Farrar

Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks

written by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera; Abrams

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team

written by Christina Soontornvat; Candlewick

How to Find a Bird

written by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Diana Sudyka; Beach Lane/Simon

Dragon Hoops

written and illustrated by Gene Luen Yang, color by Lark Pien; First Second/Roaring Brook

Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.
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Kevin Oberhausen

Would love to know if Land of the Cranes by Aida Salazar was considered. I don't read tons of juvenile fiction, but that one really landed.

Posted : Dec 18, 2020 09:14


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