Center for Children’s Literature

Children’s Book Committee

CBC LogoThe Children’s Book Committee (CBC) was founded more than 100 years ago to help parents, teachers, and librarians choose the books that children will find captivating and transforming. Every year it produces comprehensive annotated book lists for children aged infant through 18.

Our Mission

The CBC reviews over 6000 titles each year for accuracy and literary quality and considers their emotional impact on children. It chooses the best 600 books, both fiction and nonfiction, which it lists with annotations according to age and category.

The Children’s Book Committee strives to guide librarians, educators, parents, grandparents, and other interested adults to the best books for children published each year. The list includes more than 600 titles chosen by reviewers for literary quality and excellence of presentation as well as the potential emotional impact of the books on young readers. Other criteria include credibility of characterization and plot, authenticity of time and place, age suitability, positive treatment of ethnic and religious differences, and the absence of stereotypes.

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Children's Book Committee December Pick

All That It Ever Meant
Author: Blessing Musariri

While grieving the death of her mother, Matiponesa, 14, shares her story with an invisible spirit guide as the family travels from England to Zimbabwe to mourn.

Our Young Reviewer Says:

“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. As the pieces all fell in place near the end, I started to find myself speeding through the book in stunned amazement of the author’s ability to weave so many elements together without me even realizing it.” Read more…

–Nikhil, age 16, Englewood, NJ.

Past Monthly Picks