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.

Book cover: A Black girl in a sweater vest stands in front of a library.May’s Big Picture

Children’s fantasy often gives both its characters and readers a magical world filled with adventure and shine, before returning them home with the yearning for adventure now put to rest. In this month’s Big Picture, author Kekla Magoon subverts this neat, stifling return to adult responsibility. While The Secret Library offers plenty of swashbuckling, time traveling, and fantastical action, it trusts its young readers with complexity and nuance rather than soothing tropes.

2023 Blue Ribbons

Our best books of the year list for 2023 is available! Whether young readers are looking for a belly laugh or a cathartic cry, they’ll find something to love with this year’s selection.

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 illustrations from THE SECRET LIBRARY. Jacket illustrations copyright © 2024 by Brittany Jackson. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.