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From the book room assistants who download publisher submissions to the reviewers who read and assess each title to the designers who make the lists look as beautiful online as they do on the page, so many people have a hand in making our Best Books list possible. Most important are the 22 educator committee members who read every book starred by SLJ, and then some, and meet multiple times in the space of two months to deliberate thoughtfully and present a list that can be both useful and inspirational, timely and timeless. Each discussion is led by one of our five indispensable reviews editors, who guide, shepherd, instigate, and encourage our reviewers to fashion the best Best list they can to meet the needs of our readers and the readers they serve. But it doesn’t stop there. We have copyeditors and proofers and image gatherers, making sure every ISBN is correct and every period is where it should be. Plus, our talented creative director assigns our iconic, star-filled Best Books cover to one of the illustrators highlighted and somehow, miraculously, comes up with a cover each year that is somehow more stunning than we could have imagined. We hope that you find a lot to cherish in these 155 titles. Above all, we hope that every one of your readers will find among these pages that thing that rings true, sparks something inside, and shines a light in the darkness the way only a book can.

 SLJ's December Best Books 2022 "Stars" cover.
Illustration by Guojing

SLJ’s Best Books: 20212020, 2019, 2018, 2017


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