The Center for Children's Books

Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Reading Corner

This Month's Newsletter

July/August Newsletter

This Month's Bibliographies

Inside the Dragon's Den: Dangerous and Delightful Tails

Meta Reads: Self-Aware Stories

Storytelling Bibliography:

Sláinte! Folktales and Legends of Ireland

Check out more annotated bibliographies sorted by topic or date.

Youth Lit Book Club

This summer, our Youth Lit Book Club will be based around Alaine Martaus' Fantasy YA Lit class. Our next book Club will be Wednesday, July 29 at 6pm, where we will read The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black.

Summer II Hours

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 12:30pm-6:30pm
Wednesday: 3:30pm-7:30pm
Thursday: 1:30pm-6:30pm
Friday: Closed

Icon used under Creative Commons license by mfinleydesigns.

Upcoming CCB Closures

The CCB will be closed from Tuesday, July 21 through Tuesday, August 4, with the exception of our regular Youth Lit Book Club on Wednesday, July 29. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please contact us at with any questions or concerns.

Summer Youth Lit Book Club

Due to popular demand, we are going to be switching up Youth Lit Book Club a bit this summer - everything will be fantasy! (Don't worry, if this isn't your thing we will be switching back to our normal format in the fall.) We will be basing our book list off of instructor Alaine Martaus' popular fantasy literature class. Book Club will be held every other Wednesday at 6:00, and the schedule is as follows:

June 3: The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) by Philip Pullman
June 17: Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, Book 1) by Tamora Pierce
July 1: Graceling by Kristin Cashore
July 15: Sabriel (The Abhorsen Trilogy, Book 1) by Garth Nix
July 29: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
August 12: Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Thanks to everyone who shared feedback! Happy reading!

Summer Hours

The semester may be over, but the CCB will be open all summer! From Monday, June 15 through Friday, August 14, the hours are:

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 12:30pm-6:30pm
Wednesday: 3:30pm-7:30pm
Thursday: 1:30pm-6:30pm
Friday: Closed

Upcoming CCB Events

View Full Calendar

Annual Storytelling Festival

On Saturday, April 4, the CCB hosted the 2015 Storytelling Festival at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Coordinated this year by Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Kate McDowell and GSLIS alum, CAS student, and Uni High School Librarian Amy Atkinson, the Festival featured both new performers and returning seasoned storytellers sharing age-old folklore, personal stories, and everything in between, followed by a decidedly impressive open mic that lasted long into the evening. Thanks to everyone who made the event a success!

Video highlights are below, audio of each story can be found here, or you can listen to the full program here.

U of I News Interview: Fairy Tales on the Big Screen

Have you seen Cinderella yet? Check out this great U of I News interview featuring our resident fairy tale expert (and Assistant Editor of the Bulletin) Kate Quealy-Gainer in a discussion about the lasting appeal of fairy tales, Disney and otherwise. Click here to read the interview from the U of I newsroom.

2015 Gryphon Lecture

On Friday, March 6th, Rebekah Willett, Assistant Professor of Library and Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, presented the 2015 Gryphon Lecture, "Research on Children, Youth and Media: Applications for LIS Education and Practice." A reception in the GSLIS East Foyer followed the presentation.

Dr. Willett conducts research on children’s media cultures, focusing on issues of gender, play, literacy, and learning. Her publications include work on playground games, amateur camcorder cultures, young people’s online activities, and children’s story writing.

The Gryphon Lecture series is hosted every spring semester by the Center for Children's Books and features a leading scholar in the field of youth and literature, media, and culture. Gryphon Lectures are free and open to students and the public. A reception to discuss issues raised, network across departments, and meet with the speaker follows each lecture. Illinois educators are eligible to receive CPDU recognition for participation.

Audio from this presentation is available here. For more information about the program, please see our Gryphon Lecture page.

2015 Gryphon Award Recipient

We are pleased to announce that Skateboard Party, written by Karen English, illustrated by Laura Freeman, and published by Clarion Books, is the winner of the 2015 Gryphon Award for Children’s Literature. For more on this year's winner and honor titles, please see our Gryphon Award page. A press release from the GSLIS Newsroom is also available.

Calling all interested libraries and schools!

Would you like to work with the CCB on our three-year national-level App Author project where we use libraries and schools as sites to teach youth, especially in underserved populations, to create apps and team with younger kids to use them?

Deborah Stevenson, director of the CCB, and Kate McDowell, Associate Professor at GSLIS, are following our Closing the App Gap IMLS-funded project with a proposal to involve youth in app creation at several sites across the country to strengthen digital opportunities, and we’re looking for possible partners. We’re not asking for commitment yet, just possible interest, so if you’d like to consider being a site, drop us a line. Send your name and that of your library/school (preferably with a link to the website) to, and we’ll be in touch as the proposal evolves.

Behind the Scenes at the Bulletin

Ever wonder why the CCB is closed on Wednesdays? The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, a nationally recognized review journal of children’s books and the source of most of the CCB’s collection, is the only major reviewing periodical for children’s literature whose entire reviewing staff meets regularly and reads everyone else’s reviews for the issue. Check out this video to learn more about our Bulletin reviewing team!


Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out

In celebration of the 2014 Banned Books Week, an annual event sponsored by the American Library Association and other like-minded organizations, we hosted a banned book read-in on Monday, September 22. Participants chose their favorite banned books and read them out loud on camera in support of the ALA Virtual Read-Out. Check out our videos below, or take a look at the Banned Books Week YouTube channel for read-ins from around the world. Thanks to all of our wonderful readers!


Center Mission

The Center for Children’s Books (CCB) at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) is a crossroads for critical inquiry, professional training, and educational outreach related to youth-focused resources, literature and librarianship. The Center’s mission is to facilitate the creation and dissemination of exemplary and progressive research and scholarship related to all aspects of children’s and young adult literature; media and resources for young (age 0-18) audiences; and youth services librarianship.

In partnership with The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books—an authoritative analytic review journal—the Center aims to inspire and inform adults who connect young people with resources in person, in print, and online. The Center sponsors activities and hosts interdisciplinary research projects involving both theory and practice. In its dual role as research collection and educational community, the Center has national impact on the future of reading and readers.

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