39 Exceptional Titles to Start the New Year, Including Works by Dan Santat and Kwame Alexander| Starred Reviews, January 2023

2023 starts off with a good selection of starred reviews that range from picture books by Laeken Zea Kemp and David Bowles to the latest YA novel in verse by 2021 National Book Award for Young People's Literature finalist Amber McBride.

In Every Life (Frazee) ©2023 by Marla Frazee


Picture Books

Bowles, David. Ancient Night. ­illus. by ­David Alvarez. Levine ­Querido. 

Cordell, Matthew. Evergreen. Feiwel & Friends.

Fisher, Lalena. Friends Beyond Measure. HarperCollins. 

Frazee, Marla. In Every Life. S. & S./Beach Lane. 

Hest, Amy. Sometimes It’s Nice to Be Alone. illus. by Philip C. Stead. Holiday House/Neal Porter. 

Kemp, Laeken Zea. A Crown for Corina. ­illus. by Elisa Chavarri. Little, Brown. 

Krans, Angela Pham. Finding Papa. illus. by Thi Bui. HarperCollins. 

Peterson, Isaac. Gray Fox in the Moonlight. The Collective Book Studio. 

Siqueira, Ana. Abuela’s Super Capa. illus. by Elisa Chavarri. HarperCollins. 


Transitional Books

Applegate, Katherine. Doggo and Pupper Search for Cozy. illus. by Charlie Alder. Feiwel & Friends.

Medina, Juana. Elena Rides. Candlewick. 

Roe, Mechal Renee. I Am Born to Be Awesome! Random. 


Middle Grade

Giles, Chrystal D. Not an Easy Win. Random. 

Harrold, A.F. The Worlds We Leave Behind. illus. by Levi Pinfold. Bloomsbury. 

Korman, Gordon. The Superteacher Project. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. 

Vitalis, Jessica. The Rabbit’s Gift. Greenwillow. 

Winston, Sherri. Lotus Bloom and the Afro Revolution. Bloomsbury. 



Alyse, Charity. Other Side of the Tracks. S. & S./Denene Millner. 

Hardinge, Frances. Unraveller. Abrams/Amulet. 

McBride, Amber. We Are All So Good at Smiling. Feiwel & Friends. 

Miller-Lachmann, Lyn. Torch. Carolrhoda Lab.

Parsons, Mark H. The 9:09 Project. Delacorte. 


Graphic Novels

Santat, Dan. A First Time for Everything. First Second. 

Weinersmith, Zach. Bea Wolf. illus. by Boulet. First Second. 



Barretta, Gene. Starring Steven Spielberg: The Making of a Young Filmmaker. illus. by Craig Orback. Little, Brown/Christy Ottaviano. 

Joy, Angela. Choosing Brave: How Mamie ­­Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement. illus. by Janelle Washington. Roaring Brook. 

Levy, Dana Alison. Breaking the Mold: Changing the Face of Climate Science. Holiday House.

Raczka, Bob. You Are a Story. illus. by Kristen Howdeshell. Holiday House/Neal Porter. 

Vitkus, Jessica. Crafting Change: Handmade Activism, Past and Present. Farrar. 



Alexander, Kwame & Deanna Nikaido. How to Write a Poem. illus. by Melissa Sweet. HarperCollins/Quill Tree. 

Janeczko, Paul B. Where I Live: Poems About My Home, My Street, and My Town. illus. by Hyewon Yum. Candlewick.

Schechter, Robert. The Red Ear Blows Its Nose: Poems for Children and Others. illus. by S. Federico. Word Galaxy. 



Guillory, Sarah. Nowhere Better Than Here. narrated by Sophie Amoss. Blackstone Audio. 

Jewell, Tiffany. The Antiracist Kid: A Book About Identity, Justice, and Activism. narrated by Channie Waites. Harper Audio. 

King, Amy Sarig. Attack of the Black Rectangles. narrated by Pete Cross, Gretchen Bender, Amy Sarig King, Jane Yolen & others. Scholastic Audio. 

Konigsberg, Bill. Destination Unknown. narrated by Pete Cross. Scholastic Audio. 

Merritt, Tyler. A Door Made for Me. narrated by Tyler Merritt. Hachette Audio.

Moses, Shelia P. We Were the Fire: Birmingham 1963. narrated by Genesis Oliver. Listening Library. 

Weatherford, Carole Boston. Standing in the Need of Prayer: A Modern Retelling of the Classic Spiritual. narrated by Carole Boston Weatherford. Listening Library.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing