Looking for great gifts for your loved ones this holiday season? Books always make for perfect presents, and librarians have expert reading recommendations for all your friends and family.
Below, you’ll find tons of links to librarian-curated book lists and awards, featuring a wide array of diverse titles for readers of all ages.
(To really spread joy this holiday season, purchase your picks from your local independent bookstore—small businesses need all the support they can get during the pandemic and beyond.)
Books for Adults
- The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction represent librarians and booksellers’ favorite books of a given year. The American Library Association recently released the longlist and the shortlist for this year’s award; you can also check out the lists of past years’ winners and finalists for even more recommendations.
- The librarian-run Stonewall Book Awards showcase exceptional books about the queer experience. Winners include fiction and non-fiction titles, and honors for YA and kids’ books are also given.
- For more outstanding LGBTQ titles, check out the Over the Rainbow Book List, curated by the Rainbow Round Table of the American Library Association.
- Earlier this year, the American Library Association’s Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association curated a list of comics relating to the Black Lives Matter movement. Picks for kids and teens are also available.
Books for Teens
- The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) recently released their 130-title Outstanding Books for the College Bound List, which features fascinating and thought-provoking picks for older teens.
- YALSA also released a list of the 71 best recent young adult novels, which includes diverse authors and stories.
- Earlier this year, librarians from the Feminist Task Force of the American Library Association's Social Responsibilities Round Table put together a list of their 10 recent favorite feminist books for youth. Some recommendations are for kids as well as teens.
- Librarians from the Library and Information Technology Association recently assembled an out-of-this-world list of sci-fi books for young people. The list also offers recommendations for children in addition to teens.
Books for Kids
- The Newbery and Caldecott Book Awards are among the nation’s most prestigious honors for children’s literature. Curated by librarians and dating back to the early twentieth century, these awards have highlighted dozens of stellar kids’ books over the years.
- The Coretta Scott King Book Awards honor outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults. Here are five excellent winners to start with, recommended by librarians who serve on the award committee.
- While the school year is already well under way, this massive list of summer reading recommendations from the Association for Library Service to Children is still a goldmine for finding great kids’ books.
- This list of social justice kids’ book recommendations from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children offers 60 picks for having challenging but necessary conversations with children from pre-K through eighth grade.
For more great reads at an amazing price, shop the Be The Change collection from Humble Bundle, the American Library Association, and the Freedom to Read Foundation; the set is full of diverse books and proceeds help support library social justice initiatives.