What makes a book a “Star”?

If you ask the SLJ reviews editors, they’ll tell you, it’s more feeling than formula.

A star “stays with you,” says Florence Simmons. “You’re thinking about it [long] after you’ve read the book. It’s a gut reaction.”

Kimberly Fakih says, “It’s when we are reading book after book, assigning one galley after another, and a review comes in, and we open up that book, and we stop being editors and start being readers again.”

She adds, “For the first time in days, or even weeks, we sit down and read and give ourselves over to the book, the pictures, the story, and we say—‘what a great book. That’s a star. It stopped me in my tracks, and it will do that for young readers, too.’ ”

We try to get to the bottom of how to define a “star” every year, but it’s proved elusive, once again. Instead, we present you a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most dazzling books of 2024, profiles of contributors to lauded works who often go unsung, and what’s trending this year.

Most importantly, we present our ginormous set of Verdicts for the 276 starred books of 2024, thus far. Each icon will lead you to the list for each format. On July 22, we'll also post a downloadable spreadsheet of all the titles. Enjoy!

 

ILLUSTRATION BY MATT SCHU

                                        

.gsheet download icon

Check back on July 22
for the downloadable spreadsheet
of all titles.

SLJ July Cover

ILLUSTRATION BY MATT SCHU
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