Smithsonian Notable Books for Children 2009

Our annual list of children's books highlights the most fascinating titles published in the past year

Smithsonian magazine's 2009 Notable Books for Children. (Candlewick Press / Little, Brown Books for Young Readers / Lee & Low Books, Inc. / Holiday House, Inc.)

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Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle by Major Brian Dennis, Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery
A dog marooned by the Iraq war sets out on an incredible journey across the sands to find the Marines who had shown him the only kindness he had ever known. For anyone who wants to believe that compassion, loyalty and courage transcend all barriers, this book will restore your faith.

Camping with the President by Ginger Wadsworth, illustrated by Karen Dugan
In 1903, Teddy Roosevelt sent the Secret Service packing and dismissed the press when he joined naturalist John Muir for four days of roughing it in Yosemite. The president returned home determined to create the national park system.

Tumtum & Nutmeg by Emily Bearn, illustrations by Nick Price From inside a broom cupboard, two intrepid mice take on the world and protect their human charges. Old-fashioned stories in the best sense of the word.

Dinothesaurus: Prehistoric Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian
With his signature whimsy and wordplay, the author takes a jaunty excursion into a long, long lost world.

Lin Yi’s Lantern by Brenda Williams, illustrated by Benjamin Lacombe
As the Moon Festival approaches in China, one small boy makes a brave choice and finds that his generosity is repaid in away he least expected.

African Tales retold by Gcina Mhlophe, illustrated by Rachel Griffin
From Namibia to Ethiopia and beyond, magic and healing, kindness and resourcefulness abound: the collected stories merit many a re-reading.

Scat by Carl Hiaasen
The author brings his comic timing and passion for Florida’s wilderness to the suspenseful tale of two kids who decide to investigate after an undeniably unpopular biology teacher disappears after a field trip to a swamp.

Cezanne and the Apple Boy by Laurence Anholt
In his artful introduction to Impressionist painting and his affecting portrayal of a father and son, Anholt pays homage to the power of individual vision. For aspiring young artists everywhere.

Peaceful Heroes by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Sen Addy
From Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King to lesser-known figures—including Ginetta Sagan, a founder of Amnesty International—individuals have risked their lives to forge a better world. The profiles in courage inspire action and light the way into the future.

Classic Animal Stories chosen by Sally Grindley
From Aesop’s Fables to Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals, this splendid anthology limns all the wonders of the wild creatures’ world.


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