December 2016 Children's & Teen Starred Review Book Releases
December 2016 Starred Review Books

Intro

The following is a list of books released in December 2016 that have received starred (exceptional) reviews from the professional review journals School Library Journal, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Horn Book, and The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books.  This list will continue to grow over the coming months as reviewers include additional starred reviews.  Please feel free to check back.

Also, please give our STARRED REVIEWS AND HIGHLY ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE CALENDAR and STARRED REVIEWS SPREADSHEET a try.  Both of these tools contain starred review book info for previous and future months, but the information is arranged in different ways, which you might find useful. 

 Seeing stars?  Professional book reviewers only award a star to exceptional books.  More than one star means experts from multiple organizations felt the book was outstanding. 

**A Note: To find out more about about a particular book, click on the book cover or READ MORE link. You'll find links to available online journal reviews, book trailers, if available, and more. You won't be redirected to another website.**

Popo's Lucky Chinese New Year Book Cover
PoPo's Lucky Chinese New Year
by Virginia Loh-Hagan
illustrated by Renné Benoit
Audience: Preschool to Grade 2 -- Picture Books
Published: December 1, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image Kirkus Reviews

When her Chinese grandmother comes to visit, a young Chinese-American girl learns of and participates in the customs and beliefs celebrating an authentic Chinese New Year.READ MORE

Calling the Water Drum Book Cover
Calling the Water Drum
by Latisha Redding
illustrated by Aaron Boyd
Audience: Preschool to Grade 2 -- Picture Books
Published: December 1, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image Kirkus Reviews

Henri and his parents leave their homeland, Haiti, after they receive an invitation from an uncle to come to New York City. Only able to afford a small, rickety boat, the family sets out in the middle of the night in search of a better life. Out at sea Henri...READ MORE

The Nian Monster
The Nian Monster
by Andrea Wang
illustrated by Alina Chau
Audience: Preschool to Grade 2 -- Picture Books
Published: December 1, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image Publishers Weekly

Tong tong! The legendary Nian monster has returned at Chinese New Year. With horns, scales, and wide, wicked jaws, Nian is intent on devouring Shanghai, starting with Xingling! The old tricks to keep him away don't work on Nian anymore, but Xingling is clever. Will her quick thinking be enough...READ MORE

I Heart You Book Cover
I Heart You
by Meg Fleming
illustrated by Sarah Jane Wright
Audience: Preschool to Grade 2 -- Picture Books
Published: December 6, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image Publishers Weekly

This tender, rhyming picture book is a lively celebration of love.



Little ones adore being independent and trying new things. But they also need Mom and Dad’s reassurance and snuggles. With her spare, lyrical text, debut author Meg Fleming captures the exuberance, the affection, and the...READ MORE

Lotus and Feather Book Cover
Lotus and Feather
by Ji-li Jiang
illustrated by Julie Downing
Audience: Preschool to Grade 2 -- Picture Books
Published: December 13, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image School Library Journal

A winter illness left Lotus, a little girl, without a voice and without friends. A hunter's bullet left Feather, a crane, injured and unable to fly. As Lotus nurses Feather back to health, their bond grows. Soon Feather is following Lotus everywhere, even to school! The bird dances to the...READ MORE

Hedgehugs and the Hattiepillar Book Cover
Hedgehugs and the Hattiepillar
by Steve Wilson
illustrated by Lucy Tapper
Audience: Preschool to Grade 2 -- Picture Books
Published: December 13, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image Kirkus Reviews  

In this sequel to Hedgehugs, Horace and Hattie return for another sweet story of friendship. 
It's spring! And everything is colorful―rainbows in the sky and flowers blossoming on trees. When Horace and Hattie Hedgehog see a caterpillar become a butterfly and take flight, they decide to try a transformation of...READ MORE

Lesser Spotted Animals Book Cover
Lesser Spotted Animals
by Martin Brown
Audience: Preschool to Grade 2 -- Picture Books
Published: December 27, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews

Bison? They're banned! Tigers? Taboo! Say good-bye to the gnu, cheerio to the cheetah, and peace to the panda.



The world of Lesser Spotted Animals STARTS HERE!



Find out all about the amazing animals you need to know but never get to see, from...READ MORE

Before You Book Cover
Before You
by Rebecca Doughty
Audience: Preschool to Grade 2 -- Picture Books
Published: December 27, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image Publishers Weekly

I was a flower with no pot 

I was a polka with no dot   What did I do before you came along and changed the tune? 

     Through simple, yet lively text and whimsical illustration, the love from parent to child, or lover to lover, or friend to friend, is...READ MORE

The Bad Guys Book Cover
The Bad Guys (The Bad Guys #1)
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 2
by Aaron Blabey
Audience: Kindergarten to Grade 3 -- Early Readers,
Audience: Grades 4 to 6
Published: December 27, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image Kirkus Reviews

They sound like bad guys, they look like bad guys . . . and they even smell like bad guys. But Mr. Wolf, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Snake, and Mr. Shark are about to change all of that...

Mr. Wolf has a daring plan for the Bad Guys' first good mission....READ MORE

Word of Mouse Book Cover
Word of Mouse
by James Patterson
illustrated by Joe Sutphin
Audience: Grades 4 to 6
Published: December 12, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews

James Patterson's newest illustrated middle grade story follows the illuminating journey of a very special mouse, and the unexpected friendships that he makes along the way. 



What makes Isaiah so unique? First, his fur is as blue as the sky--which until recently was something he'd never...READ MORE

Silo and the Rebel Raiders
Silo and the Rebel Raiders
by Veronica Peyton
Audience: Grades 4 to 6
Published: December 13, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image Booklist

Ten-year-old Silo Zyco doesn't know much about his relatives -- his father was a mysterious stranger, and the rest of the Zycos were killed in a disaster involving a terrible wave and lots of mud. All he has inherited is a family reputation for thieving, and webbed feet. But Silo,...READ MORE

Sexual Assault: The Ultimate Teen Guide Book Cover
Sexual Assault: The Ultimate Teen Guide (It Happened to Me)
by Olivia Ghafoerkhan
Audience: Teens
Published: December 8, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image Booklist

Out of all reported cases of sexual assault, nearly 70 percent occur with victims who are under the age of seventeen, and it has been estimated that one in ten children will be sexually abused before they turn eighteen. Sexual assault has become an all-too-common occurrence among young adults. An...READ MORE

Iceling Book Cover
Iceling
by Sasha Stephenson
Audience: Teens
Published: December 13, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"A story that delivers action, conspiracy, and betrayal alongside a meditation on love, family connection, and humanity." —Publishers Weekly 

Sasha Stephenson's intriguing debut is a combination road trip story and sci-fi adventure about the strange, strong bond between two sisters. Fans of Under the Never Sky and The Darkest Minds will devour ICELING, the first book in...READ MORE

SP4RX
by Wren McDonald
Audience: Teens
Published: December 13, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image Kirkus Reviews

SP4RX is the story of mankind clawing for survival. Set in a future where a class system has emerged, the world is divided into four levels, with the elite ruling from the extravagant top level.

SP4RX, a young hacker who lives off grid, hacks into corporations and sells stolen data...READ MORE

Strong Inside Book Cover
Strong Inside (Young Readers Edition): The True Story of How Perry Wallace Broke College Basketball's Color Line
by Andrew Maraniss
Audience: Teens
Published: December 20, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image Booklist

The inspirational true story of the first African American to play college basketball in the deeply segregated Southeastern Conference--a powerful moment in Black history.



Perry Wallace was born at an historic crossroads in U.S. history. He entered kindergarten the year that the Brown v. Board of...READ MORE

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Hi!  I'm Sarah.  I'm a former librarian and mother of three -- a teen daughter, a preschool-aged son, and a newborn boy.  We love to play outdoors... and read.  :)

This site is all about discovering great books to share with kids and teens. ...Read more

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