Each year, our staff has read their agreed upon favorites ranging from picture books to novels, fiction and non fiction-- and come up with a title that stands out as the one we can't stop talking about.

Hicklebee's Book of the Year, 2023!

Winners ~ 2023

This year we are proud to announce that we have two new winners--one a graphic memoir and one an illustrated book. And the winners are ...

Graphic memoir - Family Style by Thien Pham

A moving young adult graphic memoir about a Vietnamese immigrant boy's search for belonging in America, perfect for fans of American Born Chinese and The Best We Could Do!

Thien's first memory isn't a sight or a sound. It's the sweetness of watermelon and the saltiness of fish. It's the taste of the foods he ate while adrift at sea as his family fled Vietnam.

After the Pham family arrives at a refugee camp in Thailand, they struggle to survive. Things don't get much easier once they resettle in California. And through each chapter of their lives, food takes on a new meaning. Strawberries come to signify struggle as Thien's mom and dad look for work. Potato chips are an indulgence that bring Thien so much joy that they become a necessity.

Behind every cut of steak and inside every croissant lies a story. And for Thien Pham, that story is about a search-- for belonging, for happiness, for the American dream.


About the Author

Thien Pham is a graphic novelist, comic artist, and educator based in Oakland, CA. He is the author and illustrator of the graphic novel Sumo and did the art for the middle-grade graphic novel Level Up, written by Gene Luen Yang, and is an ongoing comic contributor to Eater SF. Currently Pham is working on his next graphic novel, teaching, and eating. A lot. Follow Thien on Twitter and Instagram.



Illustrated Book -  When the Fog Rolls In by Pam Fong

When a thick fog rolls in, an irresistible little puffin is lost in unfamiliar territory. When the Fog Rolls In is an exceptional picture book about navigating uncertainty, opening your mind, and finding your way back to your flock.

On a clear day, it’s easy to see your way. But when the fog rolls in, it’s hard to know which way to go. Sometimes the only way to escape the fog is to go through it, knowing that the big, bright world is waiting for you on the other side.

With a sensitive, layered text and atmospheric, lush illustrations, author-artist Pam Fong has crafted a tenderhearted story about a lost puffin finding its way through foggy circumstances. This expressive picture book will help readers—and their parents—talk about feeling lost, making decisions, and broadening their perspectives. 

As in the acclaimed A Spark in the Dark, Pam Fong’s When the Fog Rolls In masterfully tackles nuanced emotions in a way that’s accessible for young children. When the Fog Rolls In is an excellent choice for social and emotional learning for readers of Cori Doerrfeld’s The Rabbit Listened and Dan Santat’s After the Fall


About the Author

Pam Fong earned a degree in Visual Arts and Art History from the University of California, San Diego, and a Masters of Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University. She then had a successful career in arts management and curation before turning to her own projects. Pam Fong is the creator of two picture books, Rou & the Great Race and Once Upon a Forest (Spring 2022). She lives in San Diego, California.










Family Style: Memories of an American from Vietnam By Thien Pham Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250809711
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - June 20th, 2023

Family Style: Memories of an American from Vietnam By Thien Pham Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250809728
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - June 20th, 2023

When the Fog Rolls In By Pam Fong, Pam Fong (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Pam Fong, Pam Fong (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780063136540
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - October 10th, 2023