Jun 23, 2023

Our Favorite Youth Reads of 2022!

 Our Favorite Reads of 2022!


Hi, friends! I know it has been a while since we published. We have undergone staffing changes, return to in-person programming and much more fun since the last time we posted! However, we thought that now that we are back to capacity and some sense of normalcy, it was the perfect time to start blogging again! And what better way to start off then by telling you all about our favorite Youth reads of 2022! From graphic novels and picture books to chapter books and YA, there is sure to be something on this list for everyone to enjoy, no matter your age :) 

We're so happy to see you again!

xoxo, Youth Services 

Maggie, Youth Services Librarian

Knight Owl by Christopher Denise

This was the first book of Summer 2022 that really caught my attention; I have recommended it to every person who comes into the library and wants a recommendation. Owl wants to become a real knight, but he is also told that he cannot because of his size and strength (or lack thereof). However when the kingdom is under nightly attacks, Owl learns that what makes him different is actually what makes him the best knight! Recommended for ages 3-5. 

The Cat I Never Named by Amra Sabic-El-Reyess

The year is 1992 and Amra is a teen living in Bosnia with her family during the Muslim genocide that was taking place in her hometown of Bihac. However, in the midst of overwhelming darkness in her everyday life, there is a glimmer of light: Maci (pronounced Maht-zee), a stray cat that wanders home with Amra. Learning that tragedy and injustice can fall to Amra at school, home, or even walking the streets strikes less of a blow with the unconditional love of her family, neighbors, and her beloved Maci.  Recommended minimum age for readers: 13-17. 

*I read The Cat I Never Named as an audiobook.

Pirates love underpants by Claire Freedman

For my first outreach theme in October, I decided to do a theme of pirates as a subtle nod to costumes, Halloween, trick or treating, etc. Since then, I ask the children that I visit what stories they think we’ll read, and every single month, I usually have at least one child per classroom guess the “Pirates and the underpants book.” I don’t know if it’s because it is a silly story featuring golden underpants and sharks with silly boxers, but the children loved reading this story! For our final session, I plan on bringing in some of their favorites of the year, including Pirates Love Underpants! Recommended for readers aged 2-6. 

Bathe the Cat by Alice McGinty

This has become yet another favorite of the outreach classroom group! The story is of an orange tabby cat who is not too happy with the list of chores that his family has, so he decides to give the chore list a little… revamping! This hilarious and wild story features a blended family, LGBTQ+ parents and flags, and BIPOC characters that are sure to delight families and readers of all ages! Recommended for readers aged 2-6 years old. 

Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas

Swim Team was such an impactful read for me! I haven’t read too many other graphic novels that pulled me in and genuinely made me feel something/learn something about myself, society, etc. Bree is anxious for her first day at a new middle school which is heightened when she is forced to take the only remaining elective -- Swim 101. Never mind that swimming is one of Bree’s greatest fears! With the help of her elderly neighbor, Etta, Bree begins to learn not only about swimming but the family and racial history that has fed into that skill being lost within her community. I always love when I learn something from a fictional story, and that is exactly what happened here! Recommended for readers aged 8-12 years old. 

Melissa, Youth Services Librarian

John’s Turn by Mac Barnett

Every Friday at school, there is an Assembly with a special performance by students; some tell jokes, some do magic, and some play instruments! But when it is John’s turn, he feels very nervous about what his friends will think; will he be brave enough to show off his special gift? Recommended for ages 4-8. 

Knight Owl by Christopher Denise 

(P.S. If this is not your sign that this was a great read that it was recommended by TWO Youth Services employees, I don’t know what is)

Don’t Eat Bees (Life Lessons from Chip the Dog) by Dav Petty, illustrated by Mike Boldt

Chip is seven years old so he knows a lot about a lot of things, especially what to eat (important papers, Grandpa’s teeth, etc.) and what not to eat (bees). Any reader with a fur-friend will be able to relate with this silly and fun picture book! Recommended for readers ages 4-7. 

Jessica, Youth Services Associate

Potato Pants by Laurie Keller

A potato and his eggplant nemesis struggle to find the perfect pair of pants in this hilarious, heartwarming tale of forgiveness by Geise-award winning creator, Laurie Keller. Recommended for readers aged 3-7 years. 

Who wet my pants? By Bob Shea, illustrated by Zachariah Ohora

Reuben the bear expected a certain kind of reaction when he showed up to give his friends free donuts. However, it wasn’t them staring at the wet spot in a specific area. “WHO WET MY PANTS?!” he shouts, and the blame game starts. A hilarious tale of blame, forgiveness, and compassion, a very embarrassed bear is reminded that accidents can happen-- but with good friends by your side, life goes on! Recommended for readers aged 4-8 years old. 

The World of Emily Windsnap series by Liz Kessler, illustrated by Joanie Stone

Emily Windsnap doesn’t know how to swim; her mother has always cautioned her to stay out of the water. But when swim class starts at school, Emily thinks that she will finally have a chance to learn until she jumps and her legs start feeling strange-- like they’re stuck together. When she tries it again in the sea, she discovers that she grows a beautiful mermaid tail! With her new tail and an entire ocean to explore, Emily finds her way to new friends and new adventures in this illustrated series. Recommended for readers age 6-9. 

Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by Kat Zhang, illustrated by Charlene Chua

The first in the Amy Wu series where we are introduced to the brave, tenacious, and funny Amy Wu. It is bao bun day at her house with her mother, father, and grandma, and Amy is determined to make the perfect bao! She watches her family carefully but cannot seem to make the perfect bao. But then, Amy has an idea that might finally result in the perfect bao-- will she succeed? Recommended for readers age 2-5. 

Itty Bitty Princess Kitty by Melody Mews, illustrated by Ellen Stubbings

Something exciting is happening in Lollyland! Itty Bitty Kitty’s eighth shooting star is about to arrive and that means she is going to become a princess! This new change brings excitement, but also some nervousness about how she will do as a princess. The first in a series of chapter books, this book will be sure to entertain the reading royal in your life! Recommended for ages 5-9 years.