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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

Spanish Speaking Author and Illustrator Series Featuring Angela Dominguez

April 18, 2017
The Center for Children’s Literature and the Graduate School of the Bank Street College of Education are proud to announce a new program in Spanish:

Ciclo de Autores e Ilustradores Hispanoparlantes/ Spanish Speaking Authors and Illustrators Series

Conversations with Spanish-speaking children’s book authors and illustrators

Two time Pura Belpré winning author/illustrator Angela Dominguez will speak in Spanish about her children’s books at the Bank Street College Library on Friday, May 19th, 2017 from 5:00-6:30 pm. Dominguez is a native of Mexico City. She is the author and illustrator of numerous works including: Santiago Stays, Marta Big & Small, Knit Together, How Do You Say?/¿Cómo se Dice? and Let’s Go Hugo.

After the event, guests will mingle over refreshments and purchase autographed copies of Angela’s books through the Bank Street Bookstore.

Both native and non-native speakers are welcome to attend!

You may be able to receive field work credit from your institution for attending this function.

Register now ››

For more information about Angela go to:

Friday, May 19th, 2017
5:00-7:00 pm
Bank Street College Library, 5th Floor

The Children’s Book Committee’s 2017 Best Book List Is Now Available!

April 11, 2017


The Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2017 Edition includes more than 600 titles chosen by the Children’s Book Committee as the best of the best published in 2016. In choosing books for the annual list, committee members 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.

We are very pleased to announce The Best Children’s Books of the Year is back in print! Purchase a print copy of the 2017 Edition for your collection for $10.00 (plus $3.00 shipping). Please contact to place your order.

PDFs of the 2017 list by age range are available online.

Best English/Spanish and Spanish Language Books 2007-2017 created by The Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education

April 11, 2017


The Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education has developed an online list entitled “Best English/Spanish Bilingual and Spanish Language Books 2007 – 2017 for books published 2006 – 2016”. Created from yearly selections by the Children’s Book Committee, the list was posted online at the same time as the Committee’s annual list of the Best Children’s Books of the Year.

We are requesting the submission of books, published in 2017,  to be considered for the 2018 edition.  We are seeking bilingual and Spanish language literature for children in all genres and for all ages. Submissions will be reviewed by Spanish-speaking members of the Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College. Work should be of excellent literary quality, engaging, culturally authentic, and accurate in translation.

If you have books you would like reviewed please send copies to:

The Children Book Committee, Bank Street College of Education, 610 West 112th Street, New York, New York 10025


Dr. Cynthia Weill, Center for Children’s Literature, Bank Street College of Education, 610 West 112th Street, New York, New York 10025

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