The Center for Children's Books


Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Best Books of 1999

A list of "Best Books" is sure to be subjective, sure to be incomplete, and sure to be misunderstood. A few ground rules: these are not necessarily the most aesthetically pleasing books of the year, nor are they necessarily the books that win awards and medals. The books on this list are the useful but not flashy books; the storytime books, the homework books, the "oh I know just how I'm going to use that book" sort of books. To make this list a title has to be practical, useful, and give the best-bang-for-their-buck.

As of September 2004, no further "Best Books" lists will be created. Instead, check out the Bulletin Blue Ribbons and Rs and Stars (R and R*) for a fairly complete list of the books worth buying for any given year.


Adler, David. How Tall How Short How Faraway; illustrated by Nancy Tobin. Holiday House, 1999.
Aliki. William Shakespeare & the Globe; HarperCollins, 1999.
Andersen, Hans Christian. The Ugly Duckling; ad. and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. Morrow, 1999.
Armstrong, Jennifer. Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The True Story of the Endurance Expedition; Crown, 1998.
Bacho, Peter. Boxing in Black and White; Holt, 1999.
Bang, Molly. When Sophie Gets Angry--Really, Really Angry;illustrated by author. Scholastic, 1999.
Billingsley, Franny. The Folk Keeper; Atheneum, 1999.
Blackstone, Margaret. This Is Soccer; illustrated by John O'Brien. Holt, 1999.
Bridges, Ruby. Through My Eyes; Scholastic, 1999.
Calabro, Marian. The Perilous Journey of the Donner Party; Clarion, 1999.
Cazet, Denys. Minnie and Moo Save the Earth; illustrated by author. DK Ink, 1999.
-----. Minnie and Moo Go to Paris; illustrated by author. DK Ink, 1999.
Charlip, Remy. Peanut Butter Party: Including the History, Uses, and Future of Peanut Butter; Tricycle, 1999.
Choi, Yangsook. New Cat; illustrated by author. Farrar, 1999.
Christelow, Eileen. What Do Illustratedtrators Do? illustrated by author. Clarion, 1999.
Cleary, Beverly. Ramona's World; Morrow, 1999.
Cooney, Caroline. Tune in Anytime; Delacorte, 1999.
Cowley, Joy. Red-Eyed Tree Frog; photographs by Nic Bishop. Scholastic, 1999.
Cuneo, Diane. Mary Louise Loses Her Manners; illustrated by Jack E Davis. Doubleday, 1999.
Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bud, Not Buddy; Delacorte, 1999.
Cutler, Jane. The Cello of Mr. O; illustrated by Greg Couch. Dutton, 1999.
Daly, Niki. The Boy on the Beach; illustrated by author. McElderry, 1999.
Dingus, Lowell. The Tiniest Giants: Discovering Dinosaur Eggs; illustrated with photographs. Doubleday, 1999.
Dörrie, Doris. Lottie's Princess Dress; illustrated by Julia Kaergel. Dial, 1999.
Dunbar, Paul Laurence. Jump Back, Honey/ Jump at the Sun; Hyperion, 1999.
Erdrich, Louise. The Birchbark House; Hyperion, 1999.
Faulkner, Keith. The Big YAWN; illustrated by Jonathan Lambert. Millbrook, 1999.
Fleming, Candace. A Big Cheese for the White House; illustrated by S. D. Schindler. DK Ink, 1999.
Florian, Douglas. Winter Eyes; illustrated by author. Greenwillow, 1999.
Freedman, Russell. Babe Didrikson Zaharias: The Making of a Champion; Clarion, 1999.
Garza, Carmen Lomas. Magic Windows/Ventanas magicas; illustrated by author. Children's Book Press, 1999.
Gay, Marie-Louise. Stella, Star of the Sea; illustrated by author. Groundwood/Douglas & McIntyre, 1999.
Gershator, Phillis. Tiny and Bigman; illustrated by Lynne Cravath. Cavendish, 1999.
Gorrell, Gena. Catching Fire: The Story of Firefighting; Tundra, 1999.
Gourley, C. Good Girl Work: Factories, Sweatshops, and How Women Changed Their Role in the American Workforce; Millbrook, 1999.
Gralley, Jean. Hogula: Dread Pig of Night; illustrated by author. Holt, 1999.
Griffith, Helen. Cougar; Greenwillow, 1999.
Guarnieri, Paolo. A Boy Named Giotto; illustrated by Bimba Landmann. Farrar, 1999.
Hamanaka, Sheila. In Search of the Spirit: The Living National Treasures of Japan; Morrow, 1999.
Hamilton, Virginia. Bluish; Blue Sky/Scholastic, 1999.
Hawes, Louise. Rosey in the Present Tense; Walker, 1999.
Hesse, Karen. Come On, Rain! illustrated by Jon J. Muth. Scholastic, 1999.
Hobbie, Holly. Toot & Puddle: You Are My Sunshine; illustrated by author. Little, 1999.
Hodges, Margaret. Joan of Arc: The Lily Maid; illustrated by Robert Rayevsky. Holiday House, 1999.
Hoobler, Dorothy. Real American Girls Tell Their Own Stories; Atheneum, 1999.
Hoobler, Dorothy. The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn; Philomel, 1999.
Horenstein, Henry. A Is For…? : A Photographer's Alphabet of Animals; Gulliver/Harcourt, 1999.
Horvath, Polly. The Trolls; Farrar, 1999.
Howe, Norma. The Adventures of Blue Avenger: A Novel; Holt, 1999.
Huang, Chungliang Al. The Chinese Book of Animal Powers; illustrated by author. HarperCollins, 1999.
Jam, Teddy. The Stoneboat; illustrated by Ange Zhang. Groundwood/Douglas & McIntyre, 1999.
Jendresen, Erik, ad. Hanuman: Based on Valmiki's Ramayana; illustrated by Li Ming. Tricycle, 1999.
Jenkins, Martin. The Emperor's Egg; illustrated by Jane Chapman. Candlewick, 1999.
Johnson, Angela. The Wedding; illustrated by David Soman. Orchard, 1999.
Johnston, Tony. An Old Shell: Poems of the Galápagos; illustrated by Tom Pohrt. Farrar, 1999.
Kauchak, Therese. Good Sports: Winning, Losing, and Everything in Between; American Girl, 1999.
Kehret, Peg. Shelter Dogs: Amazing Stories of Adopted Strays; Whitman, 1999.
Ketcham, Sallie. Bach's Big Adventure; illustrated by Timothy Bush. Orchard, 1999.
Kimmel, Elizabeth Cody. Ice Story: Shackleton's Lost Expedition; Clarion, 1999.
Kimmel, Eric, ad. Sword of the Samurai: Adventure Stories from Japan; Harcourt, 1999.
Koss, Amy Goldman. The Ashwater Experiment; Dial, 1999.
Kostyal, K. M. Trial by Ice: A Photobiography of Sir Ernest Shackleton; National Geographic, 1999.
Krishnaswami, Uma, ad. Shower of Gold: Girls and Women in the Stories of India; illustrated by Mariam Selven. Linnet, 1999.
Kuhn, Betsy. Angels of Mercy: The Army Nurses of World War II; Atheneum, 1999.
Kvasnosky, Laura McGee. Zelda and Ivy and the Boy Next Door; illustrated by the author. Candlewick, 1999.
Lauber, Patricia. What You Never Knew about Fingers, Forks, & Chopsticks; illustrated by John Manders. Simon, 1999.
Lawrence, Iain. The Smugglers; Delacorte, 1999.
Left Hand Bull, Jacqueline. Lakota Hoop Dancer; illustrated with photographs. Dutton, 1999.
Lester, Julius. What a Truly Cool World; illustrated by Joe Cepeda. Scholastic, 1999.
Lourie, Peter. Lost Treasure of the Inca; Boyds Mills, 1999.
Lowery, Linda. Aunt Clara Brown: Official Pioneer; illustrated by Janice Lee Porter. Carolrhoda, 1999.
Lowry, Lois. Zooman Sam; illustrated by Diane de Groat. Houghton, 1999.
Lynch, Chris. E xtreme Elvin; HarperCollins, 1999.
Lynch, Wayne. Penguins!illustrated with photographs. Firefly, 1999.
Maestro, Betsy. The Story of Clocks and Calendars: Marking a Millennium; illustrated by Giulio Maestro. Lothrop, 1999.
Marrin, Albert. Terror of the Spanish Main: Sir Henry Morgan and His Buccaneers; Dutton, 1999.
Masoff, Joy. Emergency!Scholastic, 1999.
Mazer, Norma Fox. Good Night, Maman; Harcourt, 1999.
McKay, Hilary. Dolphin Luck; McElderry, 1999.
McKissack, Jr., Fredrick. Black Hoops: The History of African Americans in Basketball; Scholastic, 1999.
McMahon, Patricia. One Belfast Boy; illustrated with photographs. Houghton, 1999.
Meister, Cari. Tiny's Bath; illustrated by Rich Davis. Viking, 1999.
Miller, Brandon Marie. Dressed for the Occasion: What Americans Wore, 1620-1970; Lerner, 1999.
Mills, Claudia. You're a Brave Man, Julius Zimmerman; Farrar, 1999.
Mollel, Tololwa. My Rows and Piles of Coins; illustrated by E. B. Lewis. Clarion, 1999.
Montgomery, Sy. The Snake Scientist; photographs by Nic Bishop. Houghton, 1999.
Mora, Pat. The Rainbow Tulip; illustrated by Elizabeth Sayles. Viking, 1999.
Muller, Eric. While You're Waiting for the Food to Come: A Tabletop Science Activity Book. Orchard, 1999.
Munsch, Robert. We Share Everything!illustrated by Michael Martchenko. Cartwheel/Scholastic, 1999.
Myers, Christopher. Black Cat; illustrated by author. Scholastic, 1999.
Myers, Walter Dean. Monster; HarperCollins, 1999.
Nye, Naomi Shihab,comp. What Have You Lost?illustrated with photographs. Greenwillow, 1999.
O'Malley, Kevin. Leo Cockroach, Toy Tester; illustrated by author. Walker, 1999.
Opdyke, Irene Gut. In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer;with Jennifer Armstrong. Knopf, 1999.
Opie, Iona,comp. Here Comes Mother Goose; illustrated by Rosemary Wells. Candlewick, 1999.
Pak, Soyung. Dear Juno; illustrated by Susan Kathleen Hartung. Viking, 1999.
Pennebaker, Ruth. Conditions of Love; Holt, 1999.
Perkins, Lynne Rae. All Alone in the Universe; Greenwillow, 1999.
Peterson, Cris. Century Farm: One Hundred Years on a Family Farm; illustrated with photographs. Boyds Mills, 1999.
Platt, Richard. Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess, Page; illustrated by Chris Riddell. Candlewick, 1999.
Prelutsky, Jack. The Gargoyle on the Roof; illustrated by Peter Sís. Greenwillow, 1999.
Priceman, Marjorie. Emeline at the Circus; illustrated by author. Knopf, 1999.
Robbins, Ken. Trucks: Giants of the Highway; illustrated with photographs. Atheneum, 1999.
Rockwell, Lizzy. Good Enough to Eat: A Kid's Guide to Food and Nutrition; HarperCollins, 1999.
Rodowsky, Colby. Not My Dog; Farrar, 1999.
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Scholastic, 1999.
-----. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban;Scholastic, 1999.
Ryden, Hope. Wild Horses I Have Known; illustrated with photographs. Clarion, 1999.
Sandburg, Carl. The Huckabuck Family and How They Raised Popcorn in Nebraska and Quit and Came Back; illustrated by David Small. Farrar, 1999.
Say, Allen. Tea with Milk; illustrated by author. Houghton, 1999.
Schachner, Judith Byron. The Grannyman; illustrated by author. Dutton, 1999.
Schertle, Alice. A Lucky Thing; illustrated by Wendell Minor. Harcourt, 1999.
Schmandt-Besserat, Denise. The History of Counting; illustrated by Michael Hays. Morrow, 1999.
Settel, Joanne. Exploding Ants: Amazing Facts about How Animals Adapt; Atheneum, 1999.
Sierra, Judy, ad. Tasty Baby Belly Buttons; illustrated by Meilo So. Knopf, 1999.
Sís, Peter. Trucks Trucks Trucks; illustrated by author. Greenwillow, 1999.
Stanley, Diane. Raising Sweetness; illustrated by G. Brian Karas. Putnam, 1999.
Stevens, Janet. Cook-a-Doodle-Doo!illustrated by author. Harcourt, 1999.
Stevenson, James. Candy Corn; illustrated by author. Greenwillow, 1999.
Thomas, Frances. What If?illustrated by Ross Collins. Hyperion, 1999.
Tolstoy, Aleksei. The Gigantic Turnip; illustrated by Niamh Sharkey. Barefoot Books, 1999.
Valgardson, W. D. The Divorced Kids Club and Other Stories; Groundwood/Douglas & McIntyre, 1999.
Vande Velde, Vivian. There's a Dead Person Following My Sister Around; Harcourt, 1999.
Ward, Helen, ad. The Hare and the Tortoise: A Fable from Aesop; illustrated by author. Millbrook, 1999.
Whybrow, Ian. Sammy and the Dinosaurs; illustrated by Adrian Reynolds. Orchard, 1999.
Wiesner, David. Sector 7; illustrated by author. Clarion, 1999.
Williams, Carol Lynch. My Angelica; Delacorte, 1999.
Willner-Pardo, Gina. Figuring Out Frances; Clarion, 1999.
Winter, Jeanette. Sebastian: A Book about Bach;illustrated by author. Browndeer/Harcourt, 1999.

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