2024 Lists

The Golden Duck Notable Picture Books List

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: The Courage to Dream by Frederick Joseph, Illustrated by Nikkolas Smith. Marvel Press

In the high-tech world of Wakanda, Assata believes that her disability prevents her from joining the elite special protective forces, the Dora Milaje. Through a series of superhero style setbacks and a visit from another tribal leader, Assata realizes that her beliefs about herself are the only thing preventing her from reaching her dreams.

City Under the City by Dan Yaccarino. mineditionUS

Bix lives in a futuristic city where large eyes are always watching and helping people with their every need. One day she follows a rat beneath the city and discovers a buried city filled with old, long forgotten things, including a library filled with books.  

A Funny Thing Happened After School… by David Calì, Illustrated by Benjamin Chaud. Chronicle Books

Join Henry and Ali, two intrepid friends, on a cosmic homework adventure that’s anything but ordinary! As they encounter spaceship jams, moon detours, Mars alien exploration, and a once in a lifetime stop on the gravity-defying International Space Station, studying the solar system becomes a joyous rollercoaster of surprises. Will they triumph over the challenges of outer space and still complete their homework? 

How to Welcome an Alien by Rebecca Klempner, Illustrated by Shirley Waisman. Kalaniot Books

The Abraham family welcomes into their home mushroom-like aliens who have crash landed in a field behind their house. After giving the aliens food and drink and helping them repair the ship, the Abrahams receive a special gift in return. The story introduces children to the Jewish view of hospitality, known as hachnasat orchim.

Hush, Little Rocket by Mo O’Hara, Illustrated by Alexandra Cook. Feiwel & Friends

To the tune of the lullaby “Hush, Little Baby,” a rocket makes a journey through the solar system, starting with the sun and visiting each planet along the way, as we get sleepier and sleepier!

The Only Astronaut by Mahak Jain, Illustrated by Andrea Stegmaier. Kids Can Press

Avni loves traveling through the neighborhood in her homemade spaceship, imagining she is an astronaut. Her search for an assistant leads to numerous dead ends, until she meets Aya. But Avni soon finds Aya has an imagination of her own.

Pluto Rocket: New in Town by Paul Gilligan. Tundra Books

Pluto Rocket is on a secret mission to learn about life on Earth and meets Joe Pidge, a confident and stylish pigeon. As Joe shows Pluto Rocket around the neighborhood, they teach each other about tacos, sharing, and friendship in this early grades graphic novel.

Spacemanatee! by Katie Gilstrap, Illustrated by Alice Samuel. Magination Press

Anna Lee the Manatee is determined to prove there is a manatee on the moon, so she builds a kelp rocket and launches into space in this rhyming story about the power of believing in yourself. 

Stink in Space! by Mike Henson, Illustrated by Jorge Martin. Happy Yak

As the animals take off in the rocket ship, they all want to know who is making that stink! Each animal gets accused in turn, through a series of lift the flap, board book humor. Perfect for the youngest readers and for reading together!

Up Where the Stars Are by Ryan Jacobson, Illustrated by Michelle Hazelwood Hyde. Adventure Publications

Andrew was born with Angelman syndrome, so he is not able to do things other kids can do. But he can laugh and stargaze. During a night out with his parents, Andrew floats to the constellations and saves the day when Princess Andromeda is captured by a sea monster.


The Eleanor Cameron Notable Middle Grade Books List

Alebrijes by Donna Barba Higuera. Levine Querido

Living as an outcast in a society with an oppressive government is difficult for Leandro and his sister.  When his sister is caught stealing a strawberry, Leandro takes the fall, and his sentence is banishment. His consciousness is placed in an old hummingbird drone, and he sets out to search for other alebrijes like himself and a better way of life for his family and friends.

Billie Blaster and the Robot Army from Outer Space by Laini Taylor, Illustrated by Jim Di Bartolo. Amulet Books

Girl genius, Billie Blaster, has to save the galaxy from a robot invasion. It’s not her fault her nemesis, Hugo Glum, shot her self-replicating robot invention into space and now there is a whole robot army. Billie will find a way not to let the evil emperor alien, Emperor Mwahaha, take over the galaxy.

The Bright Family: Vacation by Gabe Soria, Illustrated by Ribs Rafa. Andrews McMeel Publishing

In this graphic novel, the Bright Family has been hard at work repairing space portals, and they’ve earned a vacation at a space resort! Unfortunately everything goes wrong when they arrive at the wrong planet. Hopefully these challenges are nothing the Bright Family can’t handle, especially when they work together as a team.

Futureland: Battle for the Park by H.D. Hunter. Random House Books for Young Readers

Step into the extraordinary world of Futureland, the most mind-blowing theme park ever created! For Cam Walker, the son of the park’s famous creators, Futureland has always been home. As the park makes a grand entrance in Atlanta, Cam is excited for the biggest opening yet. But as glitches disrupt park attractions and kids go missing, Cam must uncover the truth, clear his parents’ names, and rescue the vanished kids before it’s game over.

The Girl Who Built a Spider by George Brewington. Godwin Books

Theresa Brown just won the Charleston County Middle School Science Fair. Her prize? An invitation to Dr. Flax’s cutting-edge laboratory. Theresa and her new friends embark on a quest to unravel the mysteries concealed within his high-tech haven. The question remains: Is Dr. Flax’s mission genuine and can they uncover the truth behind the enigmatic experiments?

Gnome Is Where Your Heart Is by Casey Lyall. Greenwillow Books

Lemon Peabody is determined to prove that Grandpa Walt is telling the truth about meeting an alien who looked just like a garden gnome. Grandpa Walt is now in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s disease, so Lemon must keep her project a secret from her parents, but time is of the essence. Simultaneously, the crew of the Gnar Five crash lands on Earth and attempts to avoid detection while they repair their ship, but Ensign Gnedley is eager for an adventure.

I Am the Walrus by Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Fourteen-year-old Noah Prime’s DNA has been encoded with genetic information for all animal life on earth. Because his very existence is endangering the planet, he becomes the target of government agents, a mad scientist, and comically inept aliens.

Jurassic Jeff: Space Invader by Royden Lepp. Random House Graphic

In this adventure filled graphic novel, Space Academy cadet Jeff lands on prehistoric Earth when his fellow cadets prank his first solo mission. As Jeff tries to become the planet’s new leader, he learns more about friendship than he ever expected.

The Rhythm of Time by Questlove with S.A. Crosby. G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Rahim’s best friend Kaisa makes amazing gadgets, often with unintended consequences. When she builds Rahim a new phone, it ends up transporting him back in time to when his father was 12 years old. The race is on when Kaisa discovers her device unlocked a top secret technology that threatens their past, present, and future. 

The Ruby Code by Jessica Khoury. Scholastic Press

In near-future New York, Ash receives a disk with an old fantasy video game from a mysterious homeless man. One of the characters, Ruby the shopkeeper, seems more realistic than the others. Together, Ash and Ruby uncover the secret of who Ruby really is and try to keep her out of the clutches of an evil corporation.

The Hal Clement Notable Young Adult Books List

A Wilderness of Stars by Shea Ernshaw. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Long fabled twin stars in the sky. Recognizing the omen, Vega, the Last Astronomer, ventures beyond her valley to discover a world plagued by a mysterious illness. Vega’s astronomical knowledge could lead to a cure, but paranoia and threats follow her. Joined by Noah, they embark on a journey that blurs the lines between friend and protector. Vega faces the ultimate choice—safeguarding sacred knowledge or risking everything for a chance to save them all.

Star Splitter by Matthew J. Kirby. Dutton Books for Young Readers

Jessica Mathers is teleported to a planet 14 light years away from Earth to join her parents on an expedition. After her new body finishes printing, she awakes in a crashed shuttle. Soon she encounters someone with a highly familiar face, and the mystery of what happened to her only deepens.

Airlock by Tash McAdam. Orca Book Publishers

Brick, a young thief, must escape to the moon when a warrant for their arrest is issued. When space pirates take over the ship Brick has stowed away on, they must summon all their courage and resourcefulness to save themself, a fellow stowaway, and the ship’s crew.

Made of Stars by Jenna Voris. Viking Books for Young Readers

Shane and Ava are partners in crime who discover a military conspiracy that turns their heists into risky missions to expose the enemy that threatens their planet. Academy graduate Cyrus is on his first assignment when he encounters the pair and questions his own allegiances in this tension-filled space adventure. 

Stars, Hide Your Fires by Jessica Mary Best. Quirk Books

Cass is a scrappy thief who plans to get rich and help her ailing father by hitching a ride to a luxury planet, sneaking into the Emperor’s ball, and robbing as many rich people as she can. When the Emperor is found dead, a murder mystery ensues. Cass is now a suspect, and she finds herself working with an unlikely (and very attractive!) ally. 

The Infinity Particle by Wendy Xu. Quill Tree Books

Seeking a fresh start on Mars, Clementine Chang secures her dream job with Dr. Marcella Lin, an Artificial Intelligence pioneer. Clem encounters Kye, Dr. Lin’s humanoid AI assistant. Collaborating with Kye sparks a connection, but Dr. Lin’s resistance to Kye’s growing independence and the blurred boundaries between AI and human raise crucial questions for Clem.

The Space Between Here & Now by Sarah Suk. Quill Tree Books

Aimee Roh has Sensory Time Warp Syndrome and at any moment a scent could send her back in time to observe a moment from her own past. When an episode shows her new memories of her mother who disappeared years ago, Aimee decides to find answers in Korea, her parents’ homeland. The trip changes everything as she learns a lot about her mom, her family, and herself. 

A Song of Salvation by Alechia Dow. Inkyard Press

Zaira, the god Indigo reborn, must figure out how to harness the god’s powers that lie dormant within her. Wesley, the space smuggler, is trying to evade the people chasing him. When Zaira and Wesley’s paths cross, they are flung into an intergalactic war on their way to Earth, while trying to save the galaxy from the Ilori.

The Q by Amy Tintera. Crown

Maisie Rojas, has lived all of her seventeen years in The Q, a quarantine zone created after a pandemic. Lennon Pierce, the president’s son, is kidnapped and dropped in The Q. He has 72 hours to get out before it’s too late. As they try to find a way to get Lennon out of the Q, they learn that everything they were taught about life inside and outside The Q, might not be true.

This Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham. Sourcebooks Fire

A pathogen released from the melting arctic permafrost caused the Hollowing. Years later, scientists have invented synthetic flesh, allowing the afflicted, once known as ghouls, to be part of society again. Four friends are cut off from their supply at a music festival, putting humans back on the menu.