Storied City: New York

"To some people," sighs the worldly, wisecracking 12-year-old Peter Hatcher of Judy Blume's Superfudge, "there's no place like Nu Yuk. And I guess I'm one of them." As America's real-life Oz, "Cross-roads of the World," and publishing epicenter, New York City remains an enduring source of inspiration for authors of books for children and teens.

Mark Twain, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Ludwig Bemelmans, H. A. and Margret Rey, Langston Hughes, Robert McCloskey, Roald Dahl, Maurice Sendak, and Blume herself all called New York home at one time or another. Providing more than mere residency, however, New York and its culture of superlatives—its tall tale-ish appetite for newests, biggests, and bests—has made it a natural backdrop for the exploits of colorful characters, from Eloise and Harriet the Spy to Lyle Crocodile.

In the same spirit, writers and artists have celebrated the city's iconic landmarks; chronicled its historic role as a seaport, arts mecca, and immigrant destination; and zoomed in tightly on its endlessly evolving honeycomb of culturally diverse neighborhoods. New York's openness to change is doubtless the main reason it has inspired its own flourishing subgenre of young people's literature, with stories to tell about growing up, venturing out, and becoming one's own person.

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Little Toot

Written and illustrated by Hardie Gramatky


Sunshine: A Story About the City of New York

Written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans


All-of-a-Kind Family

Written by Sydney Taylor

Illustration by Helen John



Written by Kay Thompson

Illustrated by Hilary Knight


The Cricket in Times Square

Written by George Selden

Illustrated by Garth Williams


James and the Giant Peach

Written by Roald Dahl

Illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert


The Snowy Day

Written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats


Harriet the Spy

Written and illustrated by Louise Fitzhugh


The Pigman

Written and illustrated by Paul Zindel


In the Night Kitchen

Written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak


Tar Beach

Written and illustrated by Faith Ringgold


The Block

Written by Langston Hughes

Illustrated by Romare Bearden


145th Street: Short Stories

Written by Walter Dean Meyers



Written and illustrated by Peter Sis


Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale

Written and illustrated by Mo Willems


Henry and the Kite Dragon

Written by Bruce Edward Hall

Illustrated by William Low


Storied City: New York