Children’s Books of the Year

A horse and a lighthouse

Children’s Books of the Year | Picture books of the year: Top choices show imagination, nobility
by Susan Olasky
Posted 2/14/19, 02:21 pm

Last January our committee of seven started on a hunt to find a picture book worthy of being WORLD’s Picture Book of the Year for 2018. Our mission: to find a book beautiful to look at, appealing to children, and full of wisdom.

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Auxier: Libby Hilf • Magoon: Curtis Sabir/WENN/Newscom

Restless souls

Children’s Books of the Year | Children’s novels of the year: When the ordinary becomes extraordinary
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 2/14/19, 02:19 pm

In Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier (Amulet, ages 10-14), Nan Sparrow’s first memories are of the gentle, quiet man who adopted her as an abandoned infant and taught her his trade. The Sweep added love and imagination to a life that, for most 19th-century chimney climbers, was unrelievedly grim. But now he’s gone, his only legacy a lump of charcoal that Nan can’t bring herself to toss away. Maybe it’s good luck, and she needs all the luck she can get working for Wilkie Crudd, the most heartless master in London. 

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Man in conflict

Children’s Books of the Year | Children’s nonfiction book of the year: One theologian’s struggle to understand God and defeat Hitler
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 2/14/19, 02:18 pm

Few “Christian heroes” attract the admiration of the modern age more than Dietrich Bonhoeffer. His courage in standing up to an obvious evil like Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich, his devotion to his family, and his musical and literary gifts are all virtues anyone, secular or religious, can appreciate. But our nonfiction winner presents a figure few secular readers can grasp: a man smitten by God from an early age. Perhaps the most sensitive treatment of this life can only come from an author or illustrator with similar leanings.

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