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See our FAQ for more details on how you can join the Book Week celebration.

About

What is Children’s Book Week and how can you join in the celebrations?

Children’s Book Week is the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading.
Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Every year, events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, and in homes — wherever young readers and books connect!

The 2021 Children’s Book Week will take place during two dedicated weeks of celebration, May 3-9 and November 8-14!

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions Section for more information on how to celebrate with us each spring and/or fall!

Receive emails about all our 2021 Book Week plans by signing up for our email list here.

History

Children’s Book Week originated in the belief that children’s books and literacy are life-changers. In 1913, Franklin K. Matthiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, began touring the country to promote higher standards in children’s books. He proposed creating a Children’s Book Week, which would be supported by all interested groups: publishers, booksellers, and librarians.

Mathiews enlisted two important allies: Frederic G. Melcher, the visionary editor of Publishers Weekly who believed that “a great nation is a reading nation,” and Anne Carroll Moore, the Superintendent of Children’s Works at the New York Public Library and a major figure in the library world. With the help of Melcher and Moore, in 1916, the American Booksellers Association and the American Library Association sponsored a Good Book Week with the Boy Scouts of America.

In 1944, the newly-established Children’s Book Council assumed responsibility for administering Children’s Book Week. In 2008, Children’s Book Week moved from November to May. At that time, the administration of Children’s Book Week, including planning official events and creating original materials, was transferred to Every Child a Reader, CBC’s charitable arm.

In 2019, the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book week was celebrated; learn more about it here.

2021 Children’s Book Week Highlights:

  • Exciting new resources and materials are being created now. What to expect?
    • A re-imagined celebration, both spring and fall, that allows kids to become directly involved, with adult supervision, as individuals and groups.
    • Official poster, with activities. The poster creator will be announced in late January and the poster art will be revealed in March.
    • Exclusive new 2021 bookmarks by six prominent children’s book illustrators.
    • Step-by-step drawing lessons from your favorite book illustrators
    • Activity pages featuring different languages to highlight this years slogan (to be announced in January).
    • During the May celebration we will announce the winner of the Anna Dewdney Read Together Award, a picture book prize in honor of the late author and illustrator.
    • A second week of celebrations, November 8-14, which focuses on engaging students at schools, libraries, and after-school programs. 2021 is the third year that two celebrations have been held with a special Educator Kit created just for the fall week.
    • Reformatted Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards with voting in the fall through November Book Week. Voting Kit and Media Tools will be available.
    • Free resources for Schools, Libraries, and Bookstores plus resources from our Partners.
    • Check back for more details to come as we unveil them!

More Resources and FAQs

What is Children’s Book Week and how can you join in the celebrations?

Tons of downloadable bookmarks, activities, and more for 2020 Book Week events. 2021 materials coming soon!

Press release templates, logos, and more for promoting 2020 Children's Book Week. 2021 resources coming soon!

Resources for our November 9-15, 2020 Book Week. Spring 2021 resources coming soon!

Information about our partners.

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