Best Books 2022
STARRED REVIEW

December 2022

The Best Books of 2022

The editors of BookPage share their top titles of the year, across all genres and categories.

Share this Article:

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

With this story of two teens desperate to leave their small town, Tahir proves she’s just as skilled at contemporary fiction as she is at epic fantasy.

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

Beating Heart Baby by Lio Min

This epic tale of queer validation is an essential read for anyone searching for a blueprint of their soul.

Beating Heart Baby by Lio Min

The Epic Story of Every Living Thing by Deb Caletti

Introspective and profoundly engaged, Caletti’s new novel embraces imperfection and inspires empathy.

The Epic Story of Every Living Thing by Deb Caletti book cover

Hopepunk by Preston Norton

Norton’s stellar novel might be the most punk rock book ever written about religion and forgiveness.


I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

The most impressive accomplishment in McQuiston’s first YA book is complicated Shara Wheeler herself.

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

Man o’ War by Cory McCarthy

This exploration of queer identity ferociously resists the idea that coming out is a simple or straightforward process.

Man O' War by Cory McCarthy

Nothing Burns as Bright as You by Ashley Woodfolk

Woodfolk plumbs the depths of friendship and first love—and the grief that often comes with navigating both.

Nothing Burns as Bright as You by Ashley Woodfolk

Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf

Against the backdrop of a cutthroat Scrabble tournament, Alkaf explores loss, celebrates teen determination and sets up a nail-biting mystery.

Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf

Squire by Sara Alfageeh and Nadia Shammas

This heart-pounding fantasy graphic novel is filled with silly banter and fast-paced battles.

Squire by Nadia Shammas and Sara Alfageeh

We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds

Hammonds takes on two challenges—exploring the ugly legacy of racism and telling a moving love story—and succeeds at both.

Book jacket image for We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds

A Year to the Day by Robin Benway

A Year to the Day is simultaneously gut-wrenching and heartening, as grief and love so often are.

A Year to the Day by Robin Benway

Discover more of BookPage’s Best Books of 2022.

By the end of a YA book, we have watched as a teenage protagonist has taken a critical step from childhood toward adulthood. In the year’s best YA novels, no two of those steps were alike except for how honored we felt to witness them.

A Comb of Wishes by Lisa Stringfellow

In her beguiling debut, Stringfellow shows how fantasy tales can be more true than ordinary life.


Different Kinds of Fruit by Kyle Lukoff

This remarkable novel will be as meaningful to today’s young people as Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret was for earlier generations.

Different Kinds of Fruit by Kyle Lukoff

A Duet for Home by Karina Yan Glaser

Never forgetting the complexities of her characters’ lives, Glaser infuses A Duet for Home with sweetness and optimism.

A Duet for Home by Karina Yan Glaser

Golden Girl by Reem Faruqi

In spare, carefully chosen words, Faruqi builds an absorbing drama that rings with authenticity and emotion.

Golden Girl by Reem Faruqi

Hummingbird by Natalie Lloyd

With exceptional style and empathy, Hummingbird addresses weighty themes in a jubilant yet realistic way.

Hummingbird by Natalie Lloyd book cover

Invisible by Christina Diaz Gonzalez, illustrated by Gabriela Epstein

This cleverly conceived graphic novel celebrates both individuality and community while transcending language barriers.

Invisible by Christina Diaz Gonzalez and Gabriela Epstein book cover

The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat

The Last Mapmaker brims with adventure, surprises and action that moves faster than a ship under full sail.

The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat

Lolo’s Light by Liz Garton Scanlon

Liz Garton Scanlon’s compelling middle grade novel glows with empathy and understanding.

Lolo's Light by Liz Garton Scanlon book cover

A Seed in the Sun by Aida Salazar

This historical novel in verse is a skillfully crafted look at the life of a child working in dangerous conditions.

Book jacket image for A Seed in the Sun by Aida Salazar

Tumble by Celia C. Pérez

Tumble movingly reminds readers that sometimes heroes (and villains) are not who they seem—both in life and in a wrestling ring.

Tumble by Celia C. Perez book cover

Discover more of BookPage’s Best Books of 2022.

It’s a complicated, amazing world out there. The year’s best middle grade books find complexity and beauty in the great wide unknown—and within the hearts of their protagonists.

Berry Song by Michaela Goade

In her debut as an author, Caldecott Medalist Goade imbues nature with an enchanting, otherworldly beauty.

Book jacket image for Berry Song by Michaela Goade

Emile and the Field by Kevin Young, illustrated by Chioma Ebinama

This impressionistic story highlights the importance of having a place to relax, roam and be yourself.

Emile and the Field by Kevin Young and Chioma Ebinama

Everywhere With You by Carlie Sorosiak, illustrated by Devon Holzwarth

Carlie Sorosiak and Devon Holzwarth’s flawless picture book rings with a tender truth: When you are with the ones you love, everywhere you go is home.

Everywhere With You by Carlie Sorosiak and Devon Holzwarth

Farmhouse by Sophie Blackall

Two-time Caldecott Medalist Blackall offers a sophisticated, openhearted ode to what truly makes a house a home.

Farmhouse by Sophie Blackall book cover

John’s Turn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Kate Berube

This wise, warm picture book explores the abundant and everyday courage of children with a light touch.

John's Turn by Mac Barnett and Kate Berube

Knight Owl by Christopher Denise

In this tale of dreams, dragons and determination, a tiny owl becomes an unexpected hero.

Knight Owl by Christopher Denise

The Legend of Gravity by Charly Palmer

This riveting rocket of a tall tale makes readers feel like they have courtside seats to an epic basketball game.


Love in the Library by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, illustrated by Yas Imamura

Based on the life of the author’s grandparents, this exquisite piece of historical fiction is a love story for the ages.


Maya’s Song by Renée Watson, illustrated by Bryan Collier

Through lyrical poems and lavish artwork, Maya’s Song creates a moving biography of Maya Angelou.

Maya's Song by Renee Watson and Bryan Collier book cover

Monsters in the Fog by Ali Bahrampour

Understated humor has never been so laugh-out-loud funny as in this perfectly paced, playful picture book.

Monsters in the Fog by Ali Bahrampour

Discover more of BookPage’s Best Books of 2022.

The year’s best picture books reveal the power of simplicity—the perfectly placed word, the stroke of a paintbrush at just the right spot—to capture the most complex of emotions and stories. In other words, they’re exquisite.

The Angel of Rome by Jess Walter, read by Edoardo Ballerini & Julia Whelan

Ballerini and Whelan infuse Walter’s engaging, heartwarming stories with warmth and surprise.

The Angel of Rome audiobook cover

Gathering Blossoms Under Fire by Alice Walker, edited by Valerie Boyd, read by Aunjanue Ellis & Janina Edwards

Gathering Blossoms Under Fire makes for an insightful and intriguing audiobook. The best part: Walker reads the postscript, emphasizing the personal nature of publicizing her journals.

Gathering Blossoms Under Fire audiobook

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston, read by Natalie Naudus

Naudus voices more than a half-dozen significant characters in McQuiston’s young adult debut, imparting individuality and personality to teens embracing a variety of identities.

I Kissed Shara Wheeler audiobook cover

In Love by Amy Bloom, read by the author

Bloom’s narration of her memoir is simple and even-keeled, except for small cracks in her voice during the narrative’s most harrowing moments.

In Love audiobook cover

Inciting Joy by Ross Gay, read by the author

Gay reads his book in a comforting, softly gravelly voice, inviting us to consider not only joy but also every emotion around it, including sorrow and rage. 

Inciting Joy audiobook cover

Liberation Day by George Saunders, read by a full cast

Through the triumphant performances of an all-star cast of comedians and actors, Saunders’ short story collection transforms into a darkly funny audiobook with a satirical yet redemptive twist. 

Book jacket image for Liberation Day by George Saunders

The Milky Way by Moiya McTier, read by the author

McTier’s down-to-earth style makes science approachable, giving listeners the opportunity to form their own romance with the Milky Way.

Book jacket image for The Milky Way by Moiya McTier

Run, Rose, Run by James Patterson & Dolly Parton, read by a full cast

With narration from country stars Dolly Parton and Kelsea Ballerini, Run, Rose, Run is a must-listen ensemble audiobook.

Run Rose Run audiobook cover

This Is Not a Book About Benedict Cumberbatch by Tabitha Carvan, read by Tanya Schneider

Voice actor Schneider convincingly articulates Carvan’s argument that women need to share their passions publicly. Both funny and profound, this is a deeply enjoyable audiobook.

This Is Not a Book About Benedict Cumberbatch audiobook cover

Discover more of BookPage’s Best Books of 2022.

This was an outstanding year for audiobooks, from seamless cast productions to heartfelt performances by author-narrators.

Sign Up

Sign up to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres!

 

Recent Features

Sign Up

Sign up to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres!