Every year the American Library Association (ALA) releases an excellent list of notable children’s books, considered the best of the best judged on quality, creativity and illustrations that encourage children’s interests and imaginations in exemplary ways.
The list is long and filled with a wide variety of genres, from alphabet books to historical non-fiction. We’ve pulled the Fantasy genre titles from this list to feature them for you here. This is a great summer reading list or classroom reading list for teachers who love fantasy books as much as we do! Find the entire 2009 ALA list here.
You might also like this pick from Amazon: Teaching Fantasy Novels: From The Hobbit to Harry Potter.
Stinky by Eleanor Davis. Stinky, the swamp monster, is at first determined to rid his beloved “muddy, slimy, smelly swamp” of Nick, only to realize that this dreaded “kid” is not the appallingly clean intruder he supposes him to be. (2009 Geisel Honor Book)
Ghosts in the House! By Kazuno Kohara. Faced with a houseful of ghosts, a little girl and her cat come up with a creative solution for repurposing them. Orange and black linocuts, collaged with rice paper “ghosts,” complete this appealing package for very young children.
The Hinky Pink by Megan McDonald. Until the young seamstress Anabel finds the perfect bed for the Hobbledy-gob Hinky-Pink, she will get no sleep and the Princess’s dress will never be ready in time for the ball.
|Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book by Yuyi Morales. Vibrant jewel-tone colors masterfully capture the story of Señor Calavera’s quest to find the perfect birthday gift for Grandma Beetle. Part ghost story, part trickster tale, the book features motifs from Mexican culture that represent each letter of the Spanish alphabet. (2009 Belpré Illustrator Award Book and Author Honor Book)|
|Masterpiece by Elise Broach. An artistic beetle with a yen for adventure and a lonely 11-year-old boy team up to catch the thief who has stolen a priceless Albrecht Durer from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.|
|The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. A child marked for death by an ancient league of assassins escapes into an abandoned graveyard, where he is reared and protected by its spirit denizens. A delicious mix of murder, fantasy, humor and human longing, Gaiman’s tale is told in magical, haunting prose. (2009 Newbery Medal Book)|
|Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale. In a vibrantly illustrated graphic novel set in a make-believe frontier land, an untraditional Rapunzel escapes the tower, uses her long braids as weapons, and takes revenge on the wicked Mother Gothel.|
|Savvy by Ingrid Law. This rich first-person narrative draws readers into a wild bus ride, winding through the countryside on a journey of self-discovery for Mibs Beaumont and her companions. (2009 Newbery Honor Book)|
|Way Up and Over Everything by Alice McGill. Stylized watercolors illustrate A storyteller’s account of the five newly purchased Africans who escaped the horrors of slavery by flying away from the Georgia plantation where her great-grandmama’s mama lived and worked.|
|Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman by Marc Tyler Nobleman. Part picture book, part graphic novel, this is the fascinating story of how two high school friends created a superhero that endures to this day.|
|How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz. Recounting memories of his family’s flight from the Warsaw Blitz and his years as a refugee during World War II, Shulevitz employs watercolor and ink to depict a boy liberated from his dreary existence through flights of fancy inspired by the map his father buys in the village market. (2009 Caldecott Honor Book)|
|Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko Uehashi. Balsa, a female warrior, accepts the task of protecting a young prince from demons and his father’s assassins. Prince Chagum is the Moribito, the guardian of the sacred spirit. Together they must find in each other the source of strength they need to prevail. (2009 Batchelder Award Book)|
|The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. In a science-fiction cliffhanger, Katniss takes her younger sister’s place as one of twenty-four youths who are turned over to the Capitol in a deadly annual reality game in which only one can survive.|
|Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve. Reeve places his Arthur in the Dark Ages of the sixth century where Myrddin embellishes his story by creating a modern spin on this ancient tale that combines wishes, lies, and dreams into the now familiar legend.|
This fall, one of the greatest fantasy books of all time is being made into a movie. So get ready for Where the Wild Things Are with these activities, lesson plans, and games!