Children’s Book Committee


Children’s Book Committee Awards 2023

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys
Josette Frank 2023
Choosing Brave
Flora Stieglitz Straus 2023
Augusta Savage: The Shape of a Sculptor's Life
Claudia Lewis 2023

Josette Frank Award
I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys (Penguin Young Readers Group).

From Our Young Reviewers

“The story arc of the main character, Cristian, is masterful. The mistrust and spy elements of the book kept me guessing and rooting for different characters at different parts of the story. All of the characters grow together as they respond to the political unrest of their country, community and families.”
Quade, 13, Encinitas, CA

“The plot was very meaningful, full of detail, and kept my attention through the entire thing. I felt the emotion of the main character through the entire book.”
Owen, 15, Lexington, MA

Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked a Civil Rights Movement by Angela Joy; illustrated by Janelle Washington (Roaring Brook Press).

From Our Young Reviewers

“The message of Choosing Brave and persevering, regardless of the tragedies that one is faced with, shines through in this book and encourages readers, young and old, to always do the right thing.”
Nikhil, 16, Englewood, NJ

Choosing Brave is a very good book. It is a sad story but people need to know about it so we can all be free.”
Chloe, 9, Eastchester, NY

Claudia Lewis Award
Augusta Savage: The Shape of a Sculptor’s Life by Marilyn Nelson (Christy Ottaviano Books; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers).

From Our Young Reviewers

“For my first time reading a biography in the form of poems, it was a moving and captivating way of telling the story of Savage’s life.”
Sarabeth, 16, New York, NY

“The language and structure made this book engaging because the poems in the book alternate between long and short stanzas, depending on the emotions that Savage is experiencing during each period of her life. Because of the varying of the language and structure, the poems are unique, and they make the book one that I couldn’t put down.”
Vimala, 15, Queens, New York, NY

The Josette Frank Award

This award for fiction honors a book or books of outstanding literary merit in which children or young people deal in a positive and realistic way with difficulties in their world and grow emotionally and morally. The award has been given annually since 1943. Josette Frank, the editor of anthologies for children, served for many years as the Executive Director of the Child Study Association of America of which this committee was a part.

The Flora Stieglitz Straus Award

Established in 1994 to honor Flora Straus, who led the Children’s Book Committee for many years, this award is presented annually for a distinguished work of nonfiction that serves as an inspiration to young people. Flora Straus stood for the values of courage, hard work, truth, and beauty while adapting to a changing world. She believed that books about varying cultures enrich and help all children in their growth. She championed diverse opinions and points of view and was a person of high principles, unfailing courtesy, and deep understanding.

The Claudia Lewis Award

The Claudia Lewis Award, given for the first time in 1998, honors the best poetry book of the year. The award commemorates the late Claudia Lewis, distinguished children’s book expert and longtime member of the Bank Street College faculty and Children’s Book Committee. She conveyed her love and understanding of poetry with humor and grace.