Welcome to The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

We are one of the nation’s leading children’s book review journals for school and public librarians. We provide concise summaries and critical evaluations to help you find the books you need for your library’s collection.

January’s Big Picture

Cover for Catherine's War by Julia BilletThe graphic novel format makes a brilliant vehicle for Catherine’s War, this month’s Big Picture. Set in France during World War II, the story focuses on the experience of Jewish teenager Rachel (renamed Catherine), who is whisked away from home to a boarding school, a Catholic convent, a country farm, and an orphanage before eventually returning to Paris after the city is liberated. Throughout her travels, she relies on her camera and skills as a photographer to observe her situation with a comforting distance, nonetheless capturing the grief, sorrow, and heroism that surround her. Young adult readers ensconced in a camera culture of selfies and Instagram may in fact feel validated in their desire to document their own lives, and Catherine’s story may prompt reflection on the possible roles of citizen photographers during moments of war, crime, or civil unrest.

2019 Bulletin Blue Ribbons

It’s that reflective time of year again, when we cast our eyes back to the books of the past twelve months and see which ones hold magic for us from this perspective.  It was an especially glorious year for history, both fiction and nonfiction, while the picture books offered superb originality. You may not have known you needed a book about the Greek gods and World War I, the birth of food safety laws, or a wolf merchant’s trip to the marketplace, but 2019’s Blue Ribbons proves that we all do.

The 2019 Guide Book to Gift Books is here!

The holiday season brings a host of gift-giving opportunities and we’re here to help! Our latest Guide Book to Gift Books is updated and revised edition to assist you with all your shopping needs–because who gives anything besides books, right? With over one hundred titles, annotated and organized by age group, our choices are sure to please even your most challenging recipient–and there’s always the bonus of adding a few books to your own TBR list to use that gift card on.

Gryphon Award

This Is MY Fort! and What Is Inside THIS Box?, written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Olivier Tallec, and published by Scholastic Press, are the winners of the 2020 Gryphon Award for Children’s Literature. The prize is awarded to the author of an outstanding English language work of fiction or non-fiction that is exemplary in its bridging of the gap in difficulty between books for reading aloud to children and books for practiced readers.

ALA Awards

The American Association has announced its Youth Media Awards. You can check out the full list here or at the ALA website.

The Center for Children’s Books

The Bulletin is partnered with the Center for Children’s Books, a research center whose mission is to facilitate the creation and dissemination of exemplary and progressive research and scholarship related to youth-focused resources, literature, and librarianship.

Cover illustration by Claire Fauvel from Catherine’s War copyright © 2020 and reproduced by permission of HarperCollins.