Best books of 2022 for kids, teens, adults, according to New York Public Library –

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The New York Public Library (NYPL) released its Best Books of 2022 list, a keenly diverse selection of recommendations for kids, teens and adults curated by expert librarians.
Building on NYPL’s century-old tradition of recommending the best-loved titles published for children each year, the list of select noteworthy new books has expanded to encompass titles for teens and adults.
You can go the NYPL website to see the full list.
Here is a look at the top 10 book choices for each age group representing inclusive narratives from different backgrounds and time periods.
There are 75 remarkable books for adults chosen by NYPL librarians, covering serval topics, including health & medicine, LGBTQ+, immigration and more.
Here are top 10 book recommendations taken from across all genres.
Animal Castle, by Xavier Dorison
Best books of 2022 for kids, teens, adults, according to New York Public Library.
In this spiritual successor to Animal Farm, a group of animals live under the oppressive regime of bull President Silvio and his dog militia. But when a new visitor comes to the farm, the sparks of revolution soon fly.
Black Boy Smile: A Memoir in Moments, by D. Watkins
D. Watkins grew up in East Baltimore, Md., surrounded by violence and intergenerational trauma. Sprinkled with fleeting moments of joy, these personal essays track how he grew beyond societal expectations, surviving and thriving as a Black man of his own invention.
Wash Day Diaries, by Jamila Rowser
Best books of 2022 for kids, teens, adults, according to New York Public Library.
Four Black women share their experiences with lovers, friends and family through the ritual of hair washing. Authentic, relatable and artistically captivating through its palette of cool tones, this title teaches appreciation and commonality through the upkeep of hair.
The Many Deaths of Laila Starr, by Ram V
Best books of 2022 for kids, teens, adults, according to New York Public Library.
When a human is prophesied to unearth the key to immortality, Death is out of a job; now bound to a mortal form, she races against the clock to stop this discovery. This book reflects on death, its impact on people’s lives, and the importance of embracing life while you have it.
Siren Queen, by Nghi Vo
Great power comes with knowing names, and the magic of the silver screen is ancient and dark. Starlet Luli Wei’s only ambition is Hollywood fame, but the cost may be her soul.
Like a Sister, by Kellye Garrett
Lena is determined to find out the truth about her sister’s death in this love letter to the Bronx.
Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place, by Neema Avashia
Avashia brings out universal strands in her very particular experience of growing up in Appalachia as the queer child of first-generation Indian parents. Into her poignant ruminations on food, religion, sports, family and love, she weaves nostalgia, humor, sadness and empathy.
Dead Silence, by S.A. Barnes
Imagine finding the Titanic 20 years after it disappeared without a trace? Only it’s in outer space, and no one knows what caused its demise. Haunted by their past, a salvage crew discovers a missing luxury spaceship whose nightmare will haunt them into the future — if they can survive it.
The Fishermen and the Dragon: Fear, greed, and a Fight for Justice on the Gulf Coast, by Kirk Wallace Johnson
A gripping story of the Texas Gulf Coast fishing community in the late 1970s. Oil companies were polluting the water, white fishermen blamed the Vietnamese refugees who had recently arrived, and racist violence erupted. And the fight for justice landed in federal court.
The Genesis of Misery, by Neon Yang
If Joan of Arc and Ziggy Stardust had a baby, it would be Misery Nomaki, navigating the intersection of faith, truth and the fictions we weave for ourselves.
There are 50 noteworthy books for teens curated by librarians, with genres ranging from comics, New York City stories, poetry, comedy and more. Here are 10 books that dive into many realms — from observing queer behaviors in different animal species to the world of genetic manipulation, cloning and selective breeding.
All My Rage, by Sabaa Tahir
Two Pakistani teens, Salahudin and Noor, persevere through loss, trauma and Islamophobia in their tiny California desert town in this sweeping tale of love, family and forgiveness that spans generations.
Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese American, by Laura Gao
Best books of 2022 for kids, teens, adults, according to New York Public Library.
Laura Gao paints a breathtaking visual love letter to her first home — Wuhan, China — as she discovers her own different layers.
Queer Ducks (and Other Animals), by Eliot Schrefer
This humorous and educational dive into diverse queer behavior in the animal world demonstrates that there is nothing unnatural about being queer. A research-based exploration of queer behavior in different animal species is interspersed with personal anecdotes and interviews with scientists.
Run On Your New Legs, by Wataru Midori
After a mysterious accident takes Kikuzato’s leg, he’s offered a new lease on his athletic life by an eccentric prosthetics maker. Will his new leg reignite his spark?
Zatanna: The Jewel of Gravesend, by Alys Arden
Best books of 2022 for kids, teens, adults, according to New York Public Library.
Zatanna Starr is not your average NYC teen. She lives in Coney Island’s Luna Park, with a giant pet bunny and a world-famous magician for a dad. But after a magic show goes wrong, she gets entangled in a dangerous rivalry.
I Must Betray You, by Ruta Sepetys
Betray and be betrayed. In 1989 Romania, Cristian is forced to become an informer for the tyrannical dictatorship that rules the country with a vicious iron grip.
Glowing Bunnies!?: Why We’re Making Hybrids, Chimeras, and Clones, by Jeff Campbell
Genetic manipulation, cloning, selective breeding, resurrecting extinct species, and even mind-controlling insects! This book explores not only how humans are doing this right now, but asks the often-ignored question: Why?
Hell Followed with Us, by Andrew Joseph White
Best books of 2022 for kids, teens, adults, according to New York Public Library.
Trans teen Benji is on the run from the religious cult that raised him and caused the apocalypse. When Benji is saved by teens from the local LGBTQ+ youth center, he works with their leader, Nick, an autistic boy with deadly aim, to fight back.
Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice, by Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes and Dawud Anyabwile
At the 1968 Olympics, gold and bronze medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their hands on the podium in the Black Power salute. Why was this so controversial? What festering injustices brought them to this moment, and what was the cost to their future?
When the Angels Left the Old Country, by Sacha Lamb
A whimsical read full of Yiddish folklore, gender exploration and heartfelt tales of immigration, family and love. This world welcomes you into all of its busy streets and quiet corners.
There are 135 exceptional kids books listed by NYPL. Here are 10 of various reading levels, exploring topics like depression, ancestral history and natural landforms on our richly biodiverse planet.
April & Mae and the Tea Party, by Megan Dowd Lambert
Best books of 2022 for kids, teens, adults, according to New York Public Library.
It’s teatime for April and Mae, but uh-oh! As April tries to show off a new skill, one of Mae’s favorite cups is accidentally broken. Can these two best friends work through their very first disagreement?
Bathe the Cat, by Alice B. McGinty
A diverse family frantically attempts to clean the house before Grandma visits. Things take a wacky turn when the family cat mixes up the chore list to avoid a dreaded bath. Playful text pairs with watercolor and pencil illustrations to tell this silly tale.
Beauty Woke, by NoNieqa Ramos
A positive and affirming poem about family and community coming together to help a child celebrate being Boricua. Bright illustrations bring the NYC backdrop to life.
A Blue Kind of Day, by Rachel Tomlinson
Coen is having the worst of days, and his family wants nothing more than to help cheer him up. In the end, they learn that what he really needs is for them to listen. An empathetic look at depression told with sparse yet powerful text and soft, realistic illustrations.
Caves, by Nell Cross Beckerman
Spectacular illustrations of caves all over the world will enthrall budding spelunkers and armchair adventurers alike. Brave readers explore the depths and mysteries of some of nature’s most hidden ecosystems.
The Civil War of Amos Abernathy, by Michael Leali
Amos volunteers at an historical site with his best friend, Chloe, and his new friend (and crush!) Ben. The trio’s idea for a new exhibition on local queer history upsets Ben’s family and others in the community. Who gets to decide which stories are told at the Living History Park?
The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza, by Mac Barnett
Best books of 2022 for kids, teens, adults, according to New York Public Library.
A mind-bending, laugh-out-loud story about a cat, a toenail-clipping robot and a lunar princess who are tasked with saving the moon from being eaten by a sea of rats. Will the moon be saved in time? Will the cat EVER get a slice?
Maizy Chen’s Last Chance, by Lisa Yee
Maizy is dreading summer in Last Chance, Minn., where she’ll help care for her ailing opa. But soon, Maizy is captivated by the history of her grandparents’ restaurant, her family story and how these narratives intertwine with the history of Chinese immigrants in America.
My Paati’s Saris, by Jyoti Rajan Gopal
Best books of 2022 for kids, teens, adults, according to New York Public Library.
In vibrant illustrations and joyful text, a young child helps her paati (the Tamil word for grandmother) get ready for a night of festivities, while admiring and finding refuge in all the beautiful textures and patterns of her many colorful saris.
Song in the City, by Daniel Bernstrom
Emmalene, a young blind girl, hears music in all the vibrant sounds of her busy city, but her Grandma only hears noise. Follow along as Emmalene shows Grandma Jean how to be present and hear the beautiful and joyful song of their city.
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