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Best Kids Books of 2013

The Children’s Book Review | November 20, 2013

The moment you have been waiting for … as picked by the editors and contributors of The Children’s Book Review, here are the best kids books of 2013.

Best Board Books

ColorsTouchThinkLearn: Colors

By Xavier Deneux

Introducing TouchThinkLearn books, a format unlike any other. Combining scooped-out die-cuts with raised, shaped elements, each book is designed to offer the youngest learners an irresistible opportunity to explore their universe in a hands-on, multisensory way. Seeing the image, tracing its shape, saying its name: these modes of perception combine in a dynamic way to stimulate understanding of essential concepts. Experience green both in the beauty of a raised leaf’s surface as well as in the caterpillar that munches on the leaf’s edge. Celebrate a moon rising into the night, while simultaneously a sun sets deep into the mirroring page. Translating abstract thought into tangible knowledge, groundbreaking TouchThinkLearn books give early learning new dimension.

Ages 0-4 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | July 23, 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-1452117263

Check out the full list of the best board books of 2013.

Best Picture Books


By Aleksandra Mizielinska & Daniel Mizielinski

Travel the world without leaving your living room.

This book of maps is a visual feast for readers of all ages, with lavishly drawn illustrations from the incomparable Mizielinskis. It features not only borders, cities, rivers, and peaks, but also places of historical and cultural interest, eminent personalities, iconic animals and plants, cultural events, and many more fascinating facts associated with every region of our planet.

Ages 7-10 | Publisher: Big Picture Press | October 8, 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-0763668969

Check out the full list of the best picture books of 2013.

Best Elementary & Middle Grade Books

Counting By 7s CoverCounting by 7s

By Holly Goldberg Sloan

In the tradition of Out of My MindWonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family.

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now.

Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.

Ages 10 and up | Publisher: Dial | August 29, 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-0803738553

Check out the full list of the best elementary and middle grade books of 2013.

Best Young Adult Novels

17262236Rose Under Fire 

By Elizabeth Wein

While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbr ck, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?

Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.

Ages 15 and up | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | September 10, 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-1423183099

Check out the full list of the best YA books of 2013.

Best Series with 2013 Release(s)

House of HadesHeroes of Olympus

By Rick Riordan

Ages 10 and up

Check out the full list of the best kids series books of 2013.

We hope you’ve enjoyed checking out this list of Best Kids Books from 2013. When you’re all done searching through the best books, don’t forget you can search Books by Age to discover even more great titles.

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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