Center for Children’s Literature

Children’s Book Committee

The Children’s Book Committee 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 16.

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Our Mission

The Committee 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.
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We Are All That's Left

Children's Book Committee January Pick

We Are All That’s Left
Author: Carrie Arcos

Her mother in a coma after an explosion at a farmer’s market, Zara seeks to uncover her tragic past. Chapters alternate between modern Rhode Island and 1990s Bosnia.

We Are All That’s Left by Carrie Arcos is a very compelling story that portrays a very strong message about the importance of staying strong through hard times, and not assuming things about people. Although the story does start off fairly slowly, it quickly picked up and became very exciting. I especially liked that parts were based in Bosnia when Nadja [the mother] was narrating, as it was the most action-packed part of the book, for you had no idea who could die next. I think the two different settings of the story combine very nicely, since the Bosnian part answers a lot of questions about the US part, and vice versa. I think the amount of violence was right where it should be, too little and the story would feel bland, and too much would result in it being very gore-y. All in all, I think this story is great for Junior High students, and it portrays an important message.”

Ben, 15 years old, Emporia, KS.

Past Monthly Picks