The Stealthy Book Nerd Review: 2019 Favorite Children’s Titles!

2019 has been another fantastic year in  the world of children’s literature! Since starting back up working as a children’s specialist at my favorite indie bookstore, Books Inc. Campbell, I’ve been throughly inundated with stacks and stacks (& stacks) of some of the best new children’s titles, and their authors! So after much discussion, my bookstore colleague, Robin Stern, and I, created this short, but stellar, list of our absolute favorite titles of 2019.


The Unbudgeable Curmudgeon by Matthew Burgess

Have you ever been in such a BAD mood that everything you do seems horrible? Then you, my friend, might be a curmudgeon. There must be some way to turn that frown upside now, though, right? Particularly, when your sister will do whatever it takes to get her happy-go-lucky brother BACK. And I mean, whatever it takes.

A favorite picture book of mine for toddler story-times, this delightful story will giggle its way into any child’s heart.

Ages 3+



Dandy by Amy Dyckman

A father desperate to destroy the lone dandelion marring his perfectly manicured lawn. A daughter fiercely attempting to save it. A lesson of love that all fathers can relate to.

With bright, eye-catching illustrations, this charming, and undeniably heart warming new picture book is the epitome of fatherhood, in the silliest way imaginable.

Ages 3+


Little Mole’s Wish by Sang-keun Kim

Delicate illustrations accompany this sweet story about Mole’s new friend, who happens to be a snowball.

Ages 3+


Truman by Jean Reidy

The new school year is right around the corner, and everyone’s pretty excited about it. Everyone except Truman the tortoise. So what’s a turtle to do when his favorite little human starts her first day of preschool? Why, he must be brave.

This book is as sweet as a donut, just like Truman!

Ages 3+


Why? by Adam Rex

A little girl’s persistent question draws out the true motivation behind super-villain Doctor X-ray: he really wants his daddy to love him!

Ages 3+


Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue by Paula Harrison

Are you ready for the next BIG chapter book series? The wait is over with this charming new adventure series by Paula Harrison!

Kitty’s mom is a superhero, and Kitty herself wants nothing more than to follow in her mother’s prestigious footsteps.

But when darkness falls, and things go bump in the night, is she ready to BE the superhero that she’s always dreamed of?

With an abundance of curiosity and gentle courage (& some spontaneous help from her amazing kitty friends), your little reader will fall in love with this new superhero character!

Case in point? My 6 year old LOVES this series, and has been caught re-reading book 1, in her room, in the dark (by nightlight), well past her bedtime.

Ages 6+


Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu

What would you do if the only way to move on was to leave everything behind? What would you be willing to give up to become someone new?

Eventown has all of the answers. Or so we’ve been led to believe. Because this sleepy little town of cookie cutter houses, and idyllic personalities is much more than what it seems.

With palatable suspense, and a surprising nudge towards science fiction, the story of Eventown will leave its mark upon you, long after the last page is turned.

Ages 9+


All the Impossible Things by Lindsay Lackey

Red is going to her latest foster home (despite causing terrible windstorms when she is upset), and discovers love, friendship, and how tortoises can be perfect companions.

This was a read-it-in-one-day, crying-smiling kind of book, and I loved it.

Ages 9+


Midsummer’s Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca

With a delightful introduction into a beloved Shakespeare’s tale, LaRocca’s Midsummer’s Mayhem, brings to vivid life the complexity of family love and the sweetness of culinary adventure! Brimming with heartfelt resolve and bold resourcefulness, you will stand up and cheer alongside the throughly endearing Mimi, while she unwittingly stumbles smack dab into the middle of an ancient fairy feud: one that might be her most challenging (& delectable) adventure yet!

Plus, there are three truly scrumptious recipes included in this bestselling novel, perfect for bakers of all ages.

Ages 9+


Strange Birds by Celia C. Perez

Girl power rules in this heartwarming story about four kids in Florida that band together to make friends, and end up becoming activists.

Ages 9+


The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

In an eerily realistic dystopian future, young girls are simply unlucky commodities, tossed around to the highest bidder. And very few fight back. Until now. Because this group of Good Luck Girls know their worth, and will stop at nothing to prove it.

With alluring characters, whose unique personalities draw you in like a moth to a flame, and gunslinging action on every page, this brilliant new novel might become your most favorite (& timely) story of the decade. It’s certainly mine.

Ages 12+


The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

In a century where women are only as fortunate as who they marry, 17 year old Jo Kuan wants nothing more than to feed her family, without losing her own scarcity of precious freedom. But the only way to do so, is by defying everything her society has ever stood for. In a way only she knows best: through pen and paper, word and wit, stealth and secrecy. Which will either make her. Or break her.

With lush world building, and a gentle smattering of romance, your teenage reader will adore the courageous passion within this sparkling new novel by bestselling author, Stacey Lee. Because here, revolution starts with one.

Ages 12+

See anything you’ve read and liked? What are your favorite children’s titles this year?

P.S. If you’re ever out and about in the Campbell area, swing by our store, Books Inc, for more recommendations!

Happy Reading, friends! xoxo

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