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Announcing the 2023 Excellence in Children’s and Young Adult Science Fiction Notable Lists

Core presents the 2023 Excellence in Children’s and Young Adult Science Fiction Notable Lists. The lists are composed of notable children’s and young adult science fiction published between November 2021 and October 2022 and organized into three age-appropriate categories. The annotated lists are available posted on the website at

The Golden Duck Notable Picture Books List is selected from books intended for pre-school children and very early readers, up to 6 years old. Recognition is given to the author and the illustrator:

  • A Case of the Zaps by Alex Boniello and April Lavalle, Illustrated by James Kwan. Abrams Books for Young Readers
  • You’re Out of This World by Bay Clarkson, illustrated by Katie Cottle. Hazy Dell Press
  • Rover and Speck: This Planet Rocks! by Jonathan Roth. Kids Can Press
  • Oscar Goes to the Moon by Helen Tanner. Ninewise Publishing
  • Stella, Star Explorer by Kelly Leigh Miller. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • Captain Cat Goes to Mars by Emma J. Virjan. Simon Spotlight

The Eleanor Cameron Notable Middle Grade Books List titles are chapter books or short novels that may be illustrated. They are written for ages 7 – 11. This list is named for Eleanor Cameron, author of the Mushroom Planet series.

  • A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga. Balzer + Bray
  • The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Shawn Harris. Katherine Tegen Books
  • Tiger Honor by Yoon Ha Lee. Rick Riordan Presents
  • Ruby Finley vs. the Interstellar Invasion by K. Tempest Bradford. Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR)
  • Trex by Christyne Morrell. Delacorte Press
  • The Aquanaut by Dan Santat. Graphix
  • Player Vs Player: Ultimate Gaming Showdown by M.K. England. Random House Books For Young Readers
  • Tales of a Seventh-Grade Lizard Boy by Jonathan Hill. Walker Books US
  • The Area 51 Files by Julie Buxbaum, illustrated by Lavanya Naidu. Delacorte
  • Let the Monster Out by Chad Lucas. Amulet
  • Nothing Interesting Ever Happens to Ethan Fairmont by Nick Brooks. Union Square Kids

The Hal Clement Notable Young Adult Books List contains science fiction books written for ages 12 – 18 with a young adult protagonist. This list is named for Hal Clement, a well-known science fiction writer and high school science teacher who promoted children’s science fiction.

  • Alone Out Here by Riley Redgate. Disney-Hyperion
  • Cake Eater by Allyson Dahlin. HarperTeen
  • Pixels of You by Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota, illustrated by J.R. Doyle. Amulet
  • Waking Romeo by Kathryn Barker. Flatiron Books
  • Tasting Light: Ten Science Fiction Stories to Rewire Your Perceptions edited by A. R. Capetta and Wade Roush. MITeen Press
  • Spin Me Right Round by David Valdes. Bloomsbury YA
  • The Upper World by Femi Fadugba. HarperTeen
  • Across a Field of Starlight by Blue Delliquanti. Random House Graphic
  • Buckhead by Shobo Coker, illustrated by George Kambadais. Boom! Box
  • At the End of Everything by Marieke Nijkamp. Sourcebooks Fire

Please note some of these books are published by HarperCollins. The HarperCollins Union has been on strike since November 10, 2022, to get a fair contract for their workers. Visit the HarperCollins Union linktree to learn more.

Selections are made by the Core Committee Recognizing Excellence in Children’s and Young Adult Science Fiction each January.

About Core
Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures is a community of library professionals in core functions of management and leadership, technical services, and technology shaping the future of the profession by aspiring library leaders, preserving library resources, and empowering libraries through technology. Core is a division of the American Library Association. Follow us on our Blog, Instagram, or on Twitter.

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