Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Best Nonfiction of 2019 Roundup

Next Monday is a big day in children’s literature. The winners of the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards will be announced. So today seems like a good time to look back at some of the highly-regarded titles published last year.

There’s no doubt about it. 2019 was a phenomenal year for nonfiction, and it seems like more people were paying attention than ever before. 

Here’s a roundup of the lists I’m aware of. Please let me know if there are others I should add.

Mock Sibert Lists
Alyson Beecher at Kidlit Frenzy

The staff at Anderson’s Bookstore

My list

Individual Lists
Alyson Beecher at Kidlit Frenzy

Betsy Bird at A Fuse #8 Production: Nonfiction Picture Books

Betsy Bird at A Fuse #8 Production: Nonfiction Books for Older Readers

Betsy Bird at A Fuse #8 Production: Unique Biographies

Betsy Bird at A Fuse #8 Production: Science & Nature Books

Betsy Bird at A Fuse #8 Production: Math Books

My favorite STEM titles

Group Lists
ALA Notables 
(Scroll past fiction.)

AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize Finalists

CRA Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Awards

CybilsAward: Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction Finalists

CybilsAward: Junior/Senior High Nonfiction Finalists

Nerdy Book Club: Nonfiction Picture Books

Nerdy Book Club: Long-form Nonfiction

NCTE Orbis Pictus Award


NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students

Nonfiction Detectives: Best Books

SCBWI Golden Kites Awards

YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award

(Scroll alllllll the way down for nonfiction.

New York Public Library Best Books for Kids
(This link leads to a wide range of lists, but the nonfiction link isn’t properly populated. Let's hope they fix it.)

Review Journals
Booklist Editor’s Choice Books for Youth
(Would you believe nonfiction is first on this list? Hooray!)

Booklist Top Ten Sci-Tech Books for Youth

Horn Book Fanfare 2019  
(Scroll to bottom for nonfiction.)

Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book Biography of 2019

Kirkus Reviews Best Informational Picture Books of 2019

Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Nonfiction of 2019

SLJ Best Nonfiction of 2019

Now it’s time to look ahead to 2020. So far, it seems like we’re going to have another great year of nonfiction. Time to start reading!


  1. Thanks for compiling these best of lists, Melissa. It's great to have them all in one place :)