Children’s Book Committee

Young Reviewers Program

The Young Reviewers Program includes children—from toddlers through high school students—who read and review books that are currently being considered by the Children’s Book Committee (CBC) for our Best Children’s Books of the Year list and Children’s Book Awards. Some Young Reviewers have been in the program for years and many have highlighted their experience on school and scholarship résumés.

Started more than 20 years ago, the program supports the CBC’s longstanding mission to evaluate books for children, parents, librarians, and educators by focusing on how books can affect young readers. Members of the CBC have a wide range of experience in the world of education, writing, and book publishing, but the voices of children through the Young Reviewers Program provide the committee with valuable insights into the literature we read throughout each year. Reviews are shared with committee members at weekly meetings and, at the end of the year, the CBC will consider many criteria when compiling the Best Children’s Books of the Year List, including the thoughts of our Young Reviewers. Excerpts from some reviews are shared on social media and at our awards ceremony in the spring.

For more information about our program, please email

Children's Book Committee January Pick

Author: Varsha Bajaj

While studying for final exams, Minni, 12, discovers a theft ring depriving her poor Mumbai neighborhood of needed water. Despite growing family responsibilities, she combats the injustice.

Our Young Reviewer Says:

“I liked that the book taught me about water shortages and it also had suspense.The main character was an interesting person and she had many challenges.The book also had an interesting plot. Something that made the plot interesting was that the story was so different from what happens here. I did not know that in some places you can’t just turn the sink on. You need to collect the water, boil the water and strain the water. It made me feel grateful for what I have. That is why I LOVED this book. The plot, setting, language and characters helped me enjoy the book because the setting was a hot place so it had water shortages, which created suspense.The characters encouraged Minni as she was going through tough times. The main character grows throughout the book because her family starts to rely on her more so she becomes very responsible.”

–Sebastian, 5th Grade, Eastchester, NY.

Past Monthly Picks