Librarians from across the system selected 240 titles from thousands of books

The New York Public Library announced today its Best Books of 2023, a curated list of 240 recommended titles published this year for children, teens, and adults. 

For nearly a century NYPL’s expert librarians have been providing New Yorkers with their year-end recommendations, celebrating books that inspire a love of reading. This year’s list was selected by eight individual committees, which reviewed nearly three thousand books for various ages and genres, including comics, romance, mystery, and poetry.     

The books have been sorted into four categories:

  • Best Books for Kids (100 titles)
  • Mejores libros para pequeños / Best Books for Kids in Spanish (20 titles)
  • Best Books for Teens (50 titles)
  • Best Books for Adults (70 titles)

The recommended titles can be found at and are available to check out at branches across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island—with no late fees!—or, in many cases, through the Library’s free e-reader app, SimplyE. Recommendations can also be found year-round by visiting your local branch, contacting AskNYPL, tuning in to NYPL’s podcast, The Librarian Is In, or online at

The top 10 books for each category are listed below (in alphabetical order):  

Top 10 Books for Children

  • Ancestory: The Mystery and Majesty of Ancient Cave Art by Hannah Salyer
  • Cape by Kevin Johnson, illustrated by Kitt Thomas
  • Doodles from the Boogie Down by Stephanie Rodriguez
  • I’m From by Gary R. Gray, Jr., illustrated by Oge Mora
  • Parachute Kids by Betty C. Tang
  • Ruby Lost and Found by Christina Li
  • Search for a Giant Squid: Pick Your Path by Amy Seto Forrestor, illustrated by Andy Chou Musser
  • The Skull: A Tyrolean Folktale by Jon Klassen
  • The Swifts: A Dictionary of Scoundrels by Beth Lincoln, illustrated by Claire Powell
  • Window Fishing by DK Dyson, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez

Mejores libros para pequeños/Best Books for Kids in Spanish

  • Benita y las criaturas nocturnas by Mariana Llanos, illustrated by Cocoretto
  • Con la cabeza en alto: cómo una comunidad amazónica protegió la selva by Patricia Gualinga y Laura Resau, illustrated by Vanessa Jaramillo
  • Juego de libertad: Mestre Bimba y el arte de la capoeira by Duncan Tonatiuh
  • Magia by Mirelle Ortega
  • ¿Me ayudas a dibujar un pato? by Jose Carlos Andrés, illustrated by Pupé
  • Mil mariposas blancas by Jessica Betancourt-Perez y Karen Lynn Williams, illustrated by Gina Maldonado
  • Nena, y Roberta ¿dónde está? by Marie Biskai
  • Nuestro techo es azul by Sara E. Echenique, illustrated by Ashley Vargas
  • El rebaño by Margarita del Mazo, illustrated by Guridi
  • Wepa by J de la Vega

Top 10 Books for Teens

  • America Redux: Visual Stories from Our Dynamic History by Ariel Aberg-Riger
  • Chloe and the Kaishao Boys by Mae Coyiuto
  • Dear Medusa by Olivia A. Cole
  • The Fall of Whit Rivera by Crystal Maldonado
  • Gorgeous Gruesome Faces by Linda Cheng
  • In Limbo by Deb JJ Lee
  • The Making of Yolanda La Bruja by Lorraine Avila
  • Monstrous: A Transracial Adoption Story by Sarah Myer
  • Only This Beautiful Moment by Abdi Nazemian
  • Saints of the Household by Ari Tison

Top 10 Books for Adults

  • The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by S.A. Chakraborty
  • Bad Kids by Zijin Chen
  • The Bee Sting by Paul Murray
  • Knockout by Sarah Maclean 
  • Land of Milk and Honey by C Pam Zhang 
  • Last On His Feet: Jack Johnson and the Battle of the Century by Adrian Matejka, art by Youssef Daoudi 
  • The New Guy by Sarina Bowen 
  • Short Film Starring My Beloved’s Red Bronco by K. Iver
  • Shubeik Lubeik by Deena Mohamed
  • When Crack Was King by Donovan X. Ramsey

“At the heart of The New York Public Library lies an invaluable asset: our dedicated team of librarians and staff, whose expertise and diverse perspectives enrich our collections and our communities. We interact with readers of all ages every single day. Each year, our most passionate book enthusiasts discuss and handpick titles that mirror the essence of our diverse neighborhoods and our patrons’ varied tastes and needs. Our goal is to captivate even the most hesitant readers, to offer a starting point into new worlds and genres, and to surprise even the most avid of book lovers,” said Emily Pullen, Manager of Reader Services. “Whether seeking a meaningful gift, something that will make your 6-year-old snicker, a dystopian fantasy to escape to, or simply wanting to become a more well-rounded reader, our Library’s selection of Best Books caters to all preferences.”

About The New York Public Library

For over 125 years, The New York Public Library has been a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With over 90 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at 

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