2023 Staff Picks

Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Lost Christmas!

Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Lost Christmas! By Alastair Heim; illustrated by Aristides Ruiz

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The Grinch is BACK and ready to prove to the residents of Who-ville that he's changed. This heartwarming sequel is written and illustrated in the style of Dr. Seuss's beloved holiday classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

The Grinch had been patiently waiting all year,
To celebrate Christmas and bring the Whos cheer,
And to show every Who he was DIFFERENT now.                         
“I’ve changed!” thought the Grinch,                                           
“And I’ll prove it! But HOW?” 

A year has passed since the Grinch stole Christmas from Who-ville. Now eager to prove to the Whos that his heart has grown to LOVE the holiday, the Grinch devises a plan to win Who-ville's Christmas Crown by making the largest, most spectacular Christmas tree the Whos have ever seen! 

But when things don't go as planned, the Grinch's heart turns ice cold, and he threatens to leave Who-ville for good...until one small, special Who reminds him that Christmas is NOT about winning.

Grow your heart three sizes MORE with this sequel to the timeless picture book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Featuring a foil-enhanced jacket and full-color illustrations rendered in the iconic style of the original, this new story makes a splendid gift and a must-have addition to the libraries of Grinch fans of all ages!

Hidden Systems

Hidden Systems By Dan Nott

We use water, electricity, and the internet every day--but how do they actually work? And what’s the plan to keep them running for years to come? This nonfiction science graphic novel takes readers on a journey from how the most essential systems were developed to how they are implemented in our world today and how they will be used in the future.

What was the first message sent over the internet? How much water does a single person use every day? How was the electric light invented?

For every utility we use each day, there’s a hidden history--a story of intrigue, drama, humor, and inequity. This graphic novel provides a guided tour through the science of the past--and reveals how the decisions people made while inventing and constructing early technology still affect the way people use it today.

Full of art, maps, and diagrams, Hidden Systems is a thoughtful, humorous exploration of the history of science and what needs to be done now to change the future.

Something Like Home

Something Like Home By Andrea Beatriz Arango

A moving novel in verse in which a lost dog helps a lonely girl find a way home to her family . . . only for them to find family in each other along the way. From the Newbery Honor Award-winning author of Iveliz Explains It All.

“Trust me: this book will touch your heart." —Barbara O’Connor, New York Times bestselling author of Wish


Titi Silvia leaves me by myself to unpack,
but it’s not like I brought a bunch of stuff.
How do you prepare for the unpreparable?
How do you fit your whole life in one bag?
And how am I supposed to trust social services
when they won’t trust me back?

Laura Rodríguez Colón has a plan: no matter what the grown-ups say, she will live with her parents again. Can you blame her? It’s tough to make friends as the new kid at school. And while staying at her aunt’s house is okay, it just isn’t the same as being in her own space.

So when Laura finds a puppy, it seems like fate. If she can train the puppy to become a therapy dog, then maybe she’ll be allowed to visit her parents. Maybe the dog will help them get better and things will finally go back to the way they should be.

After all, how do you explain to others that you’re technically a foster kid, even though you live with your aunt? And most importantly . . . how do you explain that you’re not where you belong, and you just want to go home?

My Father, The Panda Killer

My Father, The Panda Killer By Jamie Jo Hoang

A poignant coming-of-age story told in two alternating voices: a California teenager railing against the Vietnamese culture, juxtaposed with her father as an eleven-year-old boat person on a harrowing and traumatic refugee journey from Vietnam to the United States.

“A profoundly moving, achingly resonant story of love, family, and coming of age amid the lingering echoes of war; a luminous tapestry woven from the many threads of American dreams.”

―Jeff Zentner, award-winning author of The Serpent King and In the Wild Light


San Jose, 1999. Jane knows her Vietnamese dad can’t control his temper. Lost in a stupid daydream, she forgot to pick up her seven-year-old brother, Paul, from school. Inside their home, she hands her dad the stick he hits her with. This is how it’s always been. She deserves this. Not because she forgot to pick up Paul, but because at the end of the summer she’s going to leave him when she goes away to college. As Paul retreats inward, Jane realizes she must explain where their dad’s anger comes from. The problem is, she doesn’t quite understand it herself.

Đà Nẵng, 1975. Phúc (pronounced /fo͞ok/, rhymes with duke) is eleven the first time his mother walks him through a field of mines he’s always been warned never to enter. Guided by cracks of moonlight, Phúc moves past fallen airplanes and battle debris to a refugee boat. But before the sun even has a chance to rise, more than half the people aboard will perish. This is only the beginning of Phúc’s perilous journey across the Pacific, which will be fraught with Thai pirates, an unrelenting ocean, starvation, hallucination, and the unfortunate murder of a panda.

Told in the alternating voices of Jane and Phúc, My Father, The Panda Killer is an unflinching story about war and its impact across multiple generations, and how one American teenager forges a path toward accepting her heritage and herself.

Random House Teachers and Librarians