New York City is full of inspiration—from fashion and beauty to architecture and literature—the Big Apple is homage to great works of art. From Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh to M. Sasek’s This Is New York, our friends over at the New York Public Library gathered 10 of their favorite children and young adult books that will help you connect to the heart and soul of this beautiful city we call New York:
1. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
“This is a book that speaks to my inner child about the simplicity of being a kid and enjoying the snow. Peter, the child protagonist, being able to enjoy the feel of the cold snow…crunching against his feet,” says Christel Ellis from the George Brune branch.
2. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
NYPL’s Anna Taylor says this 1964 classic children’s book will help you “learn how to be a NYC snow spy.”
3. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Appropriate for kiddos 9-12 years old, Carmen Nigro of the Millstein Division says this is “one of the best and most legitimate portrayals of NYC with great characters.”
4. This is New York by M. Sasek
“A gorgeous, timeless picture book about our bustling city and all of its sights and sounds,” says Leslie Tabor from the Yorkville branch.
5. Ollie & Moon Fuhgeddaboudit by Diane Kredensor
Jenny Baum from the Jefferson Market branch loves this “darling picture book where Ollie and Moon tour the sights of New York City.”
6. The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh
Maura Muller, who works at the NYPL Volunteers Office, enjoys this young adult novel that’s about a young boy who discovers the city’s underworld. “It reminds me of one of my favorite things about NY, secret places. I’ve lived here all my life yet there are always new places to discover, or something you’ve walked past a million times, but one day actually notice.”
7. So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane
“Britain’s not the only places that features aspiring wizards! So much fun to read, with a wildly dark alternate NYC that our heroes must travel to in search of a legendary book … this was the story that made me love urban fantasy,” says Stephanie Whelan from the Seward Park branch.
8. Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle
“[This book] sees New York City through the fresh eyes of a boy who has run away to audition for a Broadway musical. The story is sweet, clever, and relatable if you, too, fled suburbia to pursue a passion or find your tribe,” says Kyle Butler, who works in the NYPL’s Strategy Office.
9. Oddkins: A Fable for All Ages by Dean Koontz
Joshua Soule from the Spuyten Duyvil branch, first thought this book was just chalk-full of kid stuff. “The tale of toys created for needy children pulled me in as they made their way through the dark, stormy streets of New York. That they are opposed by evil toys lead by Rex, the wicked marionette, added delicious chills to this book’s heady flavors of gothic writing.”
10. Subway by Anastasia Suen; New York, Baby! by Ward Jenkins; Say Hello! by Rachel Isadora
“These capture the bustling, vibrant city we live in from a child’s perspective, from taking a rollicking ride on the F train (I love to point out the way everyone is smiling on a totally packed train!), to touring all the famous and fabulous sights around the city, to meeting people from all cultures and walks of life (and saying hello, hola, bonjour, ni hao!),” says Susie Tucker Heimbach from the Mulberry St. branch.