Our Top 10 Kids' Books of 2020
Posted by Erik McManus on
There were so many amazing books that came out last year and we really wanted to highlight some of the best middle grade/kids' books since we have written our own kids books and are a part of that community! So we have created our list of the top 10 kids' books from 2020! All the books below will have a brief synopsis and a link to Goodreads so that you can go get them for yourself if you want to! Lets get started with our list!
1. Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
Synopsis: How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma:
* Grab a Suitcase: Prepacked from the big spring break trip that got CANCELLED.
* Fasten Your Seatbelt: G'ma's never conventional, so this trip won't be either.
* Use the Green Book: G'ma's most treasured possession. It holds history, memories, and, most important, the way home.
What Not to Bring:
* A Cell Phone: Avoid contact with Dad at all costs. Even when G'ma starts acting stranger than usual.
Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the American South, take a trip with New York Times bestselling Nic Stone and an eleven-year-old boy who is about to discover the world hasn't always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren't always what they seem--his G'ma included.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49917829-clean-getaway?from_choice=true
2. The One And Only Bob by Katherine Applegate
Synopsis: Bob sets out on a dangerous journey in search of his long-lost sister with the help of his two best friends, Ivan and Ruby. As a hurricane approaches and time is running out, Bob finds courage he never knew he had and learns the true meaning of friendship and family.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48613333-the-one-and-only-bob?from_choice=true
3. We Dream Of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly
Synopsis: It's January 1986. The launch of the Challenger is just weeks away, and Cash, Fitch, and Bird Nelson Thomas are three siblings in seventh grade together in Park, Delaware.
Cash loves basketball, Dr. J, and a girl named Penny; he's also in danger of failing seventh grade for a second time. Fitch spends every afternoon playing Major Havoc at the arcade and wrestles with an explosive temper that he doesn't understand. And Bird, his twelve-year-old twin, dreams of being NASA's first female shuttle commander, but feels like she's disappearing.
The Nelson Thomas siblings exist in their own orbits, circling a tense, crowded, and unpredictable household, dreaming of escape, dreaming of the future, dreaming of space. They have little in common except an enthusiastic science teacher named Ms. Salonga—a failed applicant to the Teacher in Space program—who encourages her students to live vicariously through the launch. Cash and Fitch take a passive interest, but Bird builds her dreams around it.
When the fated day arrives, it changes everything.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52515165-we-dream-of-space?from_choice=true
4. From The Desk Of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
Synopsis: Zoe Washington isn’t sure what to write. What does a girl say to the father she’s never met, hadn’t heard from until his letter arrived on her twelfth birthday, and who’s been in prison for a terrible crime?
A crime he says he never committed.
Could Marcus really be innocent? Zoe is determined to uncover the truth. Even if it means hiding his letters and her investigation from the rest of her family. Everyone else thinks Zoe’s worrying about doing a good job at her bakery internship and proving to her parents that she’s worthy of auditioning for Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge.
But with bakery confections on one part of her mind, and Marcus’s conviction weighing heavily on the other, this is one recipe Zoe doesn’t know how to balance. The only thing she knows to be true: Everyone lies.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38884301-from-the-desk-of-zoe-washington
5. Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega
Synopsis: Coco meets Stranger Things with a hint of Ghostbusters in this action-packed supernatural fantasy.For Lucely Luna, ghosts are more than just the family business. Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd's witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse to save the town and Lucely's firefly spirits before it's too late. With the family dynamics of Coco and action-packed adventure of Ghostbusters, Claribel A. Ortega delivers both a thrillingly spooky and delightfully sweet debut novel.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36601937-ghost-squad
6. Rick by Alex Gino
Synopsis: Rick's never questioned much. He's gone along with his best friend Jeff even when Jeff's acted like a bully and a jerk. He's let his father joke with him about which hot girls he might want to date even though that kind of talk always makes him uncomfortable. And he hasn't given his own identity much thought, because everyone else around him seemed to have figured it out.
But now Rick's gotten to middle school, and new doors are opening. One of them leads to the school's Rainbow Spectrum club, where kids of many genders and identities congregate, including Melissa, the girl who sits in front of Rick in class and seems to have her life together. Rick wants his own life to be that ... understood. Even if it means breaking some old friendships and making some new ones.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44660928-rick
7. How To Make Friends With The Sea by Tanya Guerrero
Synopsis: Pablo is homesick.
He’s only twelve years old, but he’s lived in more countries than he can count. After his parents divorced, he and his mother have moved from place to place for years, never settling anywhere long enough to call it home. And along the way, Pablo has collected more and more fears: of dirt, of germs, and most of all, of the ocean.
Now they’re living in the Philippines, and his mother, a zoologist who works at a local wildlife refuge, is too busy saving animals to notice that Pablo might need saving, too. Then his mother takes in Chiqui, an orphaned girl with a cleft lip—and Pablo finds that through being strong for Chiqui, his own fears don’t seem so scary.
He might even find the courage to face his biggest fear of all…and learn how to make friends with the sea.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38724629-how-to-make-friends-with-the-sea
8. King And The Dragon Flies by Kacen Callender
Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family.
It would be easier if King could talk with his best friend, Sandy Sanders. But just days before he died, Khalid told King to end their friendship, after overhearing a secret about Sandy—that he thinks he might be gay. "You don't want anyone to think you're gay too, do you?"
But when Sandy goes missing, sparking a town-wide search, and King finds his former best friend hiding in a tent in his backyard, he agrees to help Sandy escape from his abusive father, and the two begin an adventure as they build their own private paradise down by the bayou and among the dragonflies. As King's friendship with Sandy is reignited, he's forced to confront questions about himself and the reality of his brother's death.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44575111-king-and-the-dragonflies
9. Chirp by Kate Messner
Synopsis: When Mia moves to Vermont the summer after seventh grade, she's recovering from the broken arm she got falling off a balance beam. And packed away in the moving boxes under her clothes and gymnastics trophies is a secret she'd rather forget.
Mia's change in scenery brings day camp, new friends, and time with her beloved grandmother. But Gram is convinced someone is trying to destroy her cricket farm. Is it sabotage or is Gram's thinking impaired from the stroke she suffered months ago? Mia and her friends set out to investigate, but can they uncover the truth in time to save Gram's farm? And will that discovery empower Mia to confront the secret she's been hiding--and find the courage she never knew she had?
In a compelling story rich with friendship, science, and summer fun, a girl finds her voice while navigating the joys and challenges of growing up.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44281037-chirp
10. A Home For Goddesses And Dogs by Leslie Connor
Synopsis: Lydia knows more about death than most thirteen-year-olds. Her mother was already sick when her father left them six years ago. When her mother dies, it is Lydia who sits by her side.
Fully orphaned now, Lydia follows the plan her mother made with her. She uproots to rural Connecticut to live with her “last of kin.” Aunt Brat, her jovial wife Eileen, and their ancient live-in landlord Elloroy welcome Lydia. Only days after her arrival the women adopt a big yellow dog.
Lydia is not a dog person—and this one is trouble! He pees in the house, escapes into the woods, and barks at things unseen. His new owners begin to guess about his unknown past.
Lydia doesn’t want to cause trouble for her new family—and she does not mean to keep secrets—but there are things she’s not telling . . .
….like why the box of “paper stuff” she keeps under her bed is so important…
….and why that hole in the wall behind a poster in her room is getting bigger…
…..and why something she took from the big yellow dog just might be the key to unraveling his mysterious past—but at what cost?
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35178355-a-home-for-goddesses-and-dogs
And those are all the books we have for you on our top 10 list! We hope you pick up some of these and read them with your kids. Enjoy the good stories!