Center for Children’s Literature

Children’s Book Committee

CBC LogoThe 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.

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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Children's Book Committee April Pick

Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom
Author: Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrator: Michele Wood

After his enslaved family is sold, Henry Brown decides to mail himself to freedom with the help of his friends. Colorful mixed-media collage illustrations. (9-12)

“This distinctive book of poetry tells the story of Henry Brown’s life. Brown was born into slavery.  As an adult, he escaped from slavery with the help of the Underground Railroad, by getting himself sent north in a wooden box.  The poems portray Brown’s enslavement, loss of his wife and children–who were sold further south–and journey to freedom in sorrowful yet hopeful tones. As a narrative, Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom is very gripping. Brown’s nineteenth-century voice is blended with modern vocabulary, causing each poem to be both simple and powerful.” Read more…

–Eliana, 14 years old, Manhattan, NY.

Past Monthly Picks