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 April Pick

Kin: Rooted in Hope
Author: Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrator: Jeffrey Boston Weatherford

Through free verse, an author seeks and shares the story of her family tree, which has been shaped by enslavement and liberation. Expressive black and white scratchwork illustrations.

Our Young Reviewer Says:

“I liked that the author wrote it in flowing prose and you could really visualize the place that the people were in and at the same time have the fullness of the topic hit you head-on and really make you understand the resistance, the hope, the sadness, the desire for freedom of a people who had and have been oppressed for so long.

I thought that this book was incredibly special because you got a look at so many different perspectives, from the child of an enslaver to the famous abolitionist, Frederick Douglass and you were able to see how enslavers tried to make enslaving seem completely okay by deeming enslaved people as “not people the same way they were”, yet enslaved people were filled with hope and a steely resistance that kept them going no matter what and they fought the unfair bonds that they were held under.”

–Maya 12, Boston, MA.

Past Monthly Picks