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

April Newsletter

This Month's Bibliographies

Quick Fixes: Short Stories for the Reading Commitment-Phobe

Dinosaur: A Compilation of Prehistoric Publications

Storytelling Bibliography:

Tales as Tall as the Trees: Arboreal Stories from Around the World

Check out more annotated bibliographies sorted by topic or date.

Youth Lit Book Club

We will be reading Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard for our meeting on April 15th in the CCB from 5-6pm.

Spring Hours

Monday: 10am-5pm
Tuesday: 12pm-7pm
Wednesday: 1pm-7pm
Thursday: 10am-7pm
Friday: 10am-5pm

Icon used under Creative Commons license by mfinleydesigns.

Christine Jenkins and GSLIS Queer Library Alliance: LGBTQ Realism

On Monday, April 13, associate professor and CCB affiliate Christine Jenkins gave a presentation entitled, "LGBTQ Realism: A Brief History of YA Books with LGBTQ Content, 1967-2015," held at the CCB by the GSLIS Queer Library Alliance. In her presentation, she discussed the evolution of various frameworks for inclusion in young adult literature as they moved from homosexual visibility to gay assimilation and eventually queer consciousness and community. In addition to investigating the statistical evolution of LGBTQ content in YA literature, Jenkins cited numerous examples from the 1960s until today, all of which you can find on her presentation slides here (in PDF). For full audio of the recording with the PowerPoint presentation, click here to open the presentation with Blackboard Collaborate.

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!

Audio of each story can be found here, while video highlights will be posted shortly--come back soon!

Erica Eis telling "The Magic Horse" Amanda McFarlane telling "*NSYNC and Outta Touch" Gretchen Croll telling "The Three Sons of Fortune
Tellers Erica Eis, Amanda McFarlane, and Gretchen Croll at the Storytelling Festival.

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.

Upcoming CCB Events

View Full Calendar

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.

Spring Semester Schedule

Our schedule has changed for the new semester! Starting on Tuesday, January 20, our hours will be as follows:

Monday: 10am-5pm
Tuesday: 12pm-7pm
Wednesday: 1pm-7pm
Thursday: 10am-7pm
Friday: 10am-5pm

We look forward to seeing you around!

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!


2014 Storytelling Festival

The 2014 Storytelling Festival was held on Saturday, April 12 from 7-9 in room 126 of GSLIS. The festival was a student-run evening of tales ranging from skillful imaginings age-old folklore to innovative uses of new media...and everything in between! Audio from this year's festival and video highlights are now available! Also check out the festival archives for audio and video of past events.

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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