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Join us for a literary concert with Newbery Award Winner, Kwame Alexander

July 20, 2017


Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess with a copy of their new book Solo (Blink 2017)


Thursday, August 3,  2017
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Bank Street College of Education, Tabas Auditorium
Join us for a special evening of poetry and rock ’n’ roll!  Poet, Kwame Alexander will present excerpts from his new young adult novel Solo.  Musician Randy Preston will perform music composed for the book.  The music video for Excuse Me, an original song from Solo will be premiered.

A Q&A will follow with Kwame and his co-author Mary Rand Hess.

After the event, the authors will sign copies of Solo, available for purchase through the Bank Street Bookstore.

The event is free and open to the public.  Please RSVP.

Bank Street College of Education is located at 610 West 112th Street between Broadway and Riverside.



July 20, 2017





Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 28th for the 46th Annual BookFest at Bank Street College of Education.

We are thrilled to announce that Carmen Agra Deedy, winner of the Jane Addams, Pura Belpré and Irma Black awards will be our keynote speaker.

Other participants include Caldecott medalists David Wiesner,  Jerry Pinkney and Barbara Lehman as well as authors: Jon Scieszka, Carole Boston Weatherford, Rita Williams Garcia and Candace Fleming including author/illustrators: Stephen Savage, Eric Velasquez and Don Tate.

More details and registration information soon!

Participate in the Irma Black and Cook Prize Award Selections

June 29, 2017



Elementary School Teachers, Make Selection of a Prestigious

Bank Street Children’s Book Award Part of Your

2017 – 2018 Academic Year Curriculum


Want your students to practice their reasoning, persuasive speaking and to sharpen their visual skills while they participate in the selection of Bank Street’s Center for Children’s Literature’s annual best picture and best science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) book?

First and Second grade classes may participate in selection of The Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature (Irma Black Award). The award goes to an outstanding book for young children – a book in which text and illustrations are inseparable, each enhancing and enlarging on the other to produce a singular whole. The Irma Black Award is unusual in that children are the final judges of the winning book.


Follow the links for more information about the Irma Black Award  and to see a list of 2017 winners.  Registration



Third and Fourth grade classes are invited to jury the Cook Prize 2018.  The Cook Prize honors the best STEM book of the year published for children eight to ten. It is the only national children’s choice award honoring a STEM title. Follow the links for more information about the Cook Prize and a list of 2017 winnersRegistration.

Please share this information with your fellow educators and librarians.  Everyone is invited to participate.

2017 Summer Reading Lists

June 13, 2017

Allie Jane Bruce’s 2017 Summer Reading Lists are here!  They include her tips for making summer reading a non-chore and information about visiting the Bank Street Library if you’re in town.  Print, share, and enjoy!

Children’s Book Committee-June 2017 Pick

June 8, 2017

The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas



Young, black, unarmed, killed by police.  And sixteen year old Starr Carter was there. She has to tell her story and fight back but how?

Ages 16 – 18

Our Young Reviewer Says:

Without a doubt, The Hate U Give is an important novel. Angie Thomas effectively imparts the message of the pernicious effects of discrimination, especially police brutality. She does so primarily through the characterization of her protagonist, Starr Carter. Thomas describes Starr in two ways: as a regular high school student with teenage angst and as a girl struggling to find her identity. The two faces of Starr not only emphasize the validity of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education that separate facilities cannot be equal, but also make Starr normal enough that readers easily identify with her and extraordinary enough that readers can make a hero out of her. So, as Starr realizes that she cannot remain silent about the unjust killing of her friend, Khalil, the readers understand her thought process and wish to be brave enough to emulate her. In addition, the realistic plot aids in conveying the message. For example, because Khalil reached for a comb in his car, the police could claim that Officer Brian felt threatened, a common excuse for police departments. Thomas shows that the excuse is just that: an excuse. Police officers should rely on their firearms as absolute last resorts, not just as tools to make themselves feel safer.

However, the anti-discrimination message in The Hate U Give is not delivered perfectly. The major problem is the portrayal of Hailey, Starr’s erstwhile best friend. Hailey is ignorant that many of her comments are micro-aggressions that hurt her two minority friends, and her friendship with Starr is ruined when she attempts to defend Officer Brian. Eventually, Starr and her other friend, an Asian-American girl, form a “minority alliance” against Hailey and the white culture that she represents. Unfortunately, this alliance seems antithetical to the novel’s message of acceptance. To overcome our race-related issues, alliances must be based on a shared belief in equality, not on skin color.

Foster, Age 17, Anchorage, Alaska

Young people who are interested in reviewing are invited to do so as we welcome the individual perspective of our age appropriate readers.  If you are interested in being a reviewer,  contact




Notes from the Bank Street Writers Lab

May 30, 2017

The Center for Children’s Literature is delighted to announce that the Writers Lab is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year.

On Thursday, September 28th the Lab will receive the 2017 Mentor award from The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA.  The Carle Honors Mentor award recognizes editors, designers, educators, librarians, scholars and others who champion picture books and picture book art.  The BSWL will receive the award in recognition of its leadership and support of writers and artists throughout its long history.

The Bank Street Writers Lab was created by founder Lucy Sprague Mitchell in 1937 to provide a supportive workshop where published authors could critique each other’s works-in-progress and strive for excellence.  Margaret Wise Brown of Goodnight Moon was an early member.  Later Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are and Mordecai Gerstein, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, became members too.

The Lab is profoundly grateful to Bank Street College for supporting and encouraging its efforts for eight decades.

As in past years, Lab members have or will publish numerous books for children in 2017

Below is a sampling of these new books by Lab Members.



Amy Hest will publish Buster and the Baby and On the Night of the Shooting Star (Candlewick)


Caron Levis will publish May I Have a Word  (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux)


 Selene Castrovilla (Caulkins Creek) will publish Revolutionary Rogues: John André and Benedict Arnold in September

Sing, Don’t Cry written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez (Henry Holt) and  Lola Levine and the Vacation Dream  and Lola Levine and the Halloween Scream (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) illustrated by Angela Dominguez

Robin Newman authored, The Case of the Poached Egg (Creston Books) and wrote the picture book adaptation of Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas, based on the script by Geri Cole (Running Press Book Publishers)


Cinco Puntos Press, re-issued Cynthia Weill’s series, “First Concepts in Mexican Folk Art” as board books (Not shown, Animal Talk)


Doreen Rappaport published 42 is Not Just a Number (Candlewick Press)

Stand Up and Sing! cover FINAL

Susanna Reich published Stand Up and Sing! Pete Seeger, Folk Music and the Path to Justice (Bloomsbury)

Martis Song for Freedom front cover hi res

Emma Otheguy will publish the bilingual Marti’s Song for Freedom: Martí  y sus versos por libertad (Lee and Low).  This is Emma’s first published picture book.

Congratulations to Emma and Congratulations to all!

Children’s Book Committee-May 2017 Pick

May 3, 2017




Digitized art captures the iconic creations of a young artist who drew on vinyl, streets, buildings, and subway walls- all inspired by breakdancing. Back matter.
Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing
by Kay A. Haring; Illustrated by Robert Neubecker
Our Young Reviewer Says:
I love this book! His drawing are great. Really great. I like that some of his drawings are funny. I like the drawings because they made the world more special. Some of the drawings are complicated and confusing like a maze, and some of the drawings are very simple. The drawings are art. I like his idea that art is for everyone. I like his idea that no one can think that art is right or wrong, because it is just your own drawing. That idea makes me feel very happy because no one is the best or worst drawer in the world. Everyone draws how they are. I also like the idea that he just kept drawing because I just keep dancing, writing, drawing and painting so I understand.
Annette, age 6, Brooklyn
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