of the Center for Children's Books
|Blue Ribbons are chosen annually by the Bulletin
staff and represent what we believe to be the best of the previous
year's literature for youth. See the Blue
Ribbon Archive for other lists from 1990 through the present.
Please feel free to copy, download, or link to these lists. We ask only
that you cite the source.
2007 Blue Ribbons
year the Blue Ribbons process is familiar yet surprising. This year we
struggled with the series issue—what to do with the Harry Potters or
Hungry Cities, wherein the final volume concluded a remarkable literary
achievement without necessarily being in the top literary rank
independently—and decided that we would attempt to address that
situation with a culminating series review when we felt the overall
achievement warranted. Then we turned our gaze to our sparse field of
nonfiction and decided that we’d rather sacrifice list length than
standards. What is strong this year are visuals: not only does the
fiction list contain three graphic novels, but also nonfiction is
dominated by graphic and picture-book narratives. So good news on the
state of illustration—let’s hope that the words take up the challenge.
Deborah Stevenson, Editor
Perhaps we’ve become honed by years of conjoined deliberation, but
year all our darlings were included, so we have no dissents.
Previous years’ Blue Ribbons and dissents are viewable via the archive
- Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time
illus. by Ellen Forney. Little. Gr. 7-10 (October)
Junior, a Spokane Indian, is caught between two conflicting worlds of
loyalty and identity when he leaves the rez in order to fulfill his
- Bang-Campbell, Monika. Little Rat Makes Music; illus. by
Bang. Harcourt. Gr. 2-3 (September)
In this charmingly illustrated and lively easy reader, Little Rat
encounters both the joys and frustrations of learning to play the
- Clement-Moore, Rosemary. Prom Dates from Hell. Delacorte.
This suspenseful, cleverly conceived horror story in full-on Buffy
tradition sends high-schooler Maggie after a demon targeting the
- Hest, Amy. Remembering Mrs. Rossi; illus. by
Candlewick. Gr. 2-4 (March)
This tender daily-life story focuses on the adjustment of
eight-year-old Annie and her father in the year following her mother’s
- Leavitt, Martine. Keturah and Lord Death. Front
Street, 2006. Gr.
When village maiden Keturah meets Lord Death, she bargains with him in
order to find her true love.
- Peet, Mal. Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and
Candlewick. Gr. 9-12 (May)
This sweeping historical novel explores the experiences of two young
men in the Dutch Resistance and their legacy two generations on.
- Sfar, Joann. The Professor’s Daughter; tr. by
illus. by Emmanuel Guibert. First Second/Roaring Brook. Gr. 7-12
An Egyptologist’s daughter falls for a (very old) young man in
swaddling clothing, and even their determined fathers can’t keep them
apart in this humorous graphic-novel adventure.
- Stewart, Trenton Lee. The Mysterious Benedict Society;
Carson Ellis. Tingley/Little. Gr. 6-9 (May)
After a series of curious tests, four children find themselves enrolled
in the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where they uncover
an evil plot to take over the world.
- Tan, Shaun. The Arrival; illus. by Shaun Tan.
Gr. 6 up (January 2008)
This wordless account of an immigrant’s experiences in a fantastical
new land puts the reader in the same position as the protagonist.
- Varon, Sara. Robot Dreams; illus. by Sara Varon.
Second/Roaring Brook. Gr. 3-8 (November)
This wordless graphic novel is both droll and perceptive in its tale of
a dog who creates a robot friend from a kit, only to lose him as a
result of his own carelessness.
- Debon, Nicolas. The Strongest Man in the World: Louis Cyr;
written and illus. by Nicolas Debon and with photographs.
Groundwood/House of Anansi. Gr. 3-6 (May)
A compact, triumphant, and poignant account of a nineteenth-century
celebrity unfolds in comic-book-styled panels and text.
- Levine, Ellen. Henry’s Freedom Box; illus. by
Scholastic. 6-9 yrs (April)
This compact account tells the true story of Henry “Box” Brown, who
made a successful and dramatic escape from slavery by having himself
nailed into a crate and mailed north.
- Lutes, Jason. Houdini the Handcuff King; illus.
by Nick Bertozzi.
Hyperion. Gr. 4-8 (June)
Fans of graphic novels and amazing capers will revel in this
illustrated story of one very intense day in the life of the world’s
greatest escape artist.
- Schlitz, Laura Amy. Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a
Medieval Village; illus. by Robert Byrd. Candlewick. Gr. 6-9
This original historical treat offers a set of thoughtful, evocative
readers’-theater-styled monologues from various medieval occupations
and walks of life.
- Sís, Peter. The Wall: Growing Up behind the Iron
written and illus. by Peter Sís. Foster/Farrar. Gr. 5-10
Noted artist Sís offers a compact, imaginative, visual evocation
of his life in Communist Czechoslovakia.
- Boelts, Maribeth. Those Shoes; illus. by Noah Z.
Candlewick. 5-9 yrs (December)
A kid yearning for the obligatory cool (and expensive) kicks that
nearly everybody else has struggles to find a solution that will make
him feel part of the crowd.
- Broach, Elise. When Dinosaurs Came with Everything;
David Small. Atheneum. 6-9 yrs (October)
A shopping trip with Mom suddenly becomes rewarding for our young
narrator when every purchase comes with a free, absolutely real live
- Gravett, Emily. Orange Pear Apple Bear; written and
Emily Gravett. Simon. 3-6 yrs (June)
The four words of the title rearrange themselves to form multiple
concepts and gently humorous situations.
- Issa, Kobayashi. Today and Today; comp. and illus.
by G. Brian
Karas. Scholastic. Gr. 3-6 (May)
Classic haiku by a traditional Japanese master combine with
illustrations to tell a simple story of a year of change.
- Perkins, Lynne Rae. Pictures from Our Vacation; written
illus. by Lynne Rae Perkins. Greenwillow. Gr. 2-5 (July/August)
A lovely vacation at the family farm doesn’t seem to be reflected in
the photographs taken by a young brother and sister.
- Pinkwater, Daniel. Bad Bears Go Visiting: An Irving &
Story; illus. by Jill Pinkwater. Houghton. Gr. 2-4 (June)
Pinkwater’s dopey miscreant bears take up the pleasant pastime of
visiting, and heaven help the neighborhood.
- Townsend, Michael. Billy Tartle in Say Cheese!; written
by Michael Townsend. Knopf. Gr. 2-4 (September)
This comic-book-styled story comedically combines an exuberant and
mischievous kid, class picture day, and a secret plan for mayhem.
- Van Fleet, Matthew. Dog; illus. with photographs by
Stanton. Wiseman/Simon. 2-5 yrs (February)
Big, little, fluffy, scruffy, wagging, wet, scratching, or just sitting
around, all kinds of dogs fill this book made special by flaps, tabs,
and textures and a bouncy rhyming text.
- Watt, Mélanie. Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend; written
illus. by Mélanie Watt. Kids Can. Gr. 2-4 (June)
Scaredy Squirrel is afraid of just about everything, but when he
ventures out of his tree—with a plan, of course—he makes a friend who
may be initially scary, but who proves to be lots of fun.
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