Center for Children’s Literature

Center for Children's Literature Blog

Young Reviewers

Children’s Book Committee – June 2024 Pick

I like the scary squid. I want to cuddle the penguin babies. The seals are funny. The words are funny. Read again, again, Grandma.

Young Reviewers

Children’s Book Committee – May 2024 Pick

“At the End of the World” by Nadia Mikail beautifully explores the journey of coming to terms with one’s emotions. Aisha, the protagonist, struggles with her emotions after her father dies and her sister leaves home.

Young Reviewers

Children’s Book Committee – April 2024 Pick

To honor National Poetry Month, a Young Reviewer shares their thoughts about Kin: Rooted in Hope by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Jeffrey Boston Weatherford.

Gary Schmidt Josette Frank 2024 acceptance letter

Josette Frank Award 2024 Acceptance Letter: Gary D. Schmidt

Dear Children’s Book Committee, Since hearing the news of the Josette Frank Award from the Center for Children’s Literature of Bank Street College, I’ve been going through the lists of past winners, sort of reveling in the memories of past winners that I read as a kiddo. 

Young Reviewers

Children’s Book Committee – March 2024 Pick

The Lost Year is a historical fiction coming-of-age story told through three entwining timelines. It is at the top of my “best books of 2023” list. The story occurs in the early 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and the 1930s Holodomor in Soviet-occupied Ukraine.

one-chicken-nugget-YR Feb 24
Young Reviewers

Children’s Book Committee – February 2024 Pick

Young Reviewers: Mason 7, Napali 8, Nora 7, and Penny 7, from New York City (and their wonderful teacher) give their thoughts on Tadgh Bentley’s book “One Chicken Nugget.”

Young Reviewers

Children’s Book Committee – January 2024 Pick

Judit Polgár does a great job of showing kids how anything is possible. What happened was that a girl was taught how to play chess and she went to tournaments with very underrated odds and crushed adults with her skills.

All that it ever meant book cover
Young Reviewers

Children’s Book Committee – December 2023 Pick

The element that makes this book so captivating is the lack of a complete story until the very end. As the book progresses, many seemingly random flashbacks come together to form one cohesive whole. Throughout the book, you might find yourself questioning what really is happening and wondering if there’s something more to the relatively simple story of a family grieving.

Holey Moley cover
Young Reviewers

Children’s Book Committee – November 2023 Pick

I liked the part where Gus said so many rhyming words. I find it special because my grandma gave it to me. I could tell that Mavis Mole was frustrated that Gus wouldn’t listen. The rhymes are fun.

Cover for You Are Here: Connecting Flights
Young Reviewers

Children’s Book Committee – October 2023 Pick

The story’s plot is expertly crafted, skillfully weaving together individual experiences and intricate connections that support the overall narrative. The book engaged me as a reader, as I was drawn to the small details (like a red hair bow), that tied it all together.

Simon Sort of Says
Young Reviewers

Children’s Book Committee – September 2023 Pick

The characters in the book were very well written, I felt myself being mad/sad/happy for or at them, which is the marking of a clever book. The main character, Simon, went from a lonely, traumatized boy, to a happy, sociable, traumatized boy.

The Most Daring Girl in Berlin
Young Reviewers

Children’s Book Committee – August 2023 Pick

I really liked the plot. I found it very interesting and heart-warming. I loved how it shows the main character throughout a year as she discovers her sexuality and finds a family.

Choosing Brave cover
Young Reviewers

Children’s Book Committee – July 2023 Pick

This book inspires young people to stand brave in the face of fear and injustice by highlighting a touching example of a mother who had to do the same. It shows young readers the racism and prejudice of the time while encouraging them to keep making change in the present. It is both educational and encouraging, while not shying away from darker themes.

Young Reviewers

Children’s Book Committee – June 2023 Pick

I  enjoyed the shifts between poetry and prose, depending on the character the author was writing about. I also enjoyed how the poetry about Savage’s sculptures were coupled with photographs of the sculptures.

A Day for Sandcastles
Young Reviewers

Children’s Book Committee – May 2023 Pick

I liked the book because I think it is cool that it doesn’t have any words so you can make up different versions of the story. The illustrations helped me understand what they are doing and how they are doing, and I think the pictures are very detailed so you can understand them well.