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.

February’s Big Picture

When she is caught in the arms of Ares by her husband Hephaestus, the goddess Aphrodite offers up a tale of four people brought together during World War I as a justification for her actions, an explanation that true love is the realm of mortals, and gods and goddesses can make no claim to its power, in either lust or jealousy. This month’s Big Picture, Lovely War by Julie Berry, is a triumphant piece of historical fiction, a moving, brutal, and yes, lovely, story of the ways in which people find hope in a world gone mad, and why Love remains powerful, even when humanity is at its worst.

2018 Bulletin Blue Ribbons

We’re happy to share our annual Blue Ribbon list, celebrating the best and brightest of children’s and YA literature from the last year. It’s been a year of inspiring originality across the board, interlaced with some vivid new takes on classic stories. It’s a particularly good year for female subjects, with complex portrayals of girls dominating the fiction list and several compelling biographies (and one autobiography) scaffolding the nonfiction; picture books are strong on the celebration of bonds, whether with grandparents, parents, or new friends. Since only books that can stand as independent reads are eligible for Blue Ribbons, be sure also to check out our period Series Spotlight feature, where we highlight literary achievements whose impact requires two or more books for full force. In the meantime, you’ll find something for just about every young reader here.

Gryphon Award

http://ccb.ischool.illinois.edu/files/2019/01/Baby_Monkey_Private_Eye.jpgBaby Monkey, Private Eye, written by Brian Selznick and David Serlin illustrated by Brian Selznick (Scholastic Press, 2018), is the winner of the 2019 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.


The 2018 Guide Book to Gift Books is here!

The holiday season brings a host of gift giving opportunities and we’re here to help! Ourwrapped-package 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

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 art from What Every Girl Should Know: Margaret Sanger’s Journey © 2019 by Lisa Congdon. Reproduced by permission of Atheneum Books for Young Readers.