Children’s Book Committee

Best Children’s Books of the Year

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 then 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.

2019 Edition

This edition includes more than 600 titles chosen by the Children’s Book Committee as the best of the best published in 2018. In choosing books for the annual list, reviewers consider 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. Each book accepted for the list is read and reviewed by at least two committee members and then discussed by the committee as a whole.

The Best Children’s Books of the Year 2019 Individual Reading Lists

Under Five (pdf)
Five to Nine (pdf)
Nine to Twelve (pdf)
Twelve to Fourteen (pdf)
Fourteen and Up (pdf)

Diversity Statement

In evaluating books for their literary merit, the Bank Street Children’s Book Committee (CBC) recognizes the importance of diversity in children’s literature and acknowledges and celebrates the voices and cultures of all of our readers. Diversity encompasses the varied and unique identities, experiences, perspectives, and cultural communities of a book’s main and supporting characters, whose attributes include (but are not limited to) race, ethnicity, gender, abilities, sexuality, class, religion, and family structure. All children benefit from seeing themselves reflected in what they read, and from seeing characters with different identities, depicted accurately and without stereotypes in texts and/or illustrations. The CBC values representations of characters who are change agents and advocates for social justice, inclusivity, and equity.

Nonfiction Statement

In accordance with the Committee’s goal of modeling proper sourcing of nonfiction writing, all listed information books for children nine and older must contain supporting references including, at a minimum, sources, quote attributions, and photo credits. Book annotations may also include the term “back matter” to indicate that there is additional reference material provided.


Best books of the year 2019

The Best Children's Books of the Year 2019

Print Edition
To purchase a print copy for $15.00, please contact Cindy Weill at cweill@bankstreet.edu (includes shipping).