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BookWeek100 Overview Download the overview of Children's Book Week 100th Anniversary


Since 1919, Children’s Book Week has been celebrated across the United States. The longest running literacy initiative in the country, this celebration of books and reading for young people is closely connected with the rise and cultural importance of children’s literature itself. 

Leonard Marcus’ introduction in 100 Years of Children’s Book Week Posters, published by Random House, provides many fascinating details of Children’s Book Week and the cultural and social changes happening in America that made a celebration like this possible. The program began thanks to a passionate group of librarians, educators, booksellers, and journalists. The very first Children’s Book Week was launched in November of 1919 and was the brain child of Franklin K. Mathiews, librarian for the Boy Scouts of America. With the help of New York Public Library’s Anne Carroll Moore and Publisher’s Weekly editor Frederic G. Melcher, this national celebration had its start with an amazing poster created by Jessie Wilcox Smith and the slogan, “More Books in the Home!”

Since then, Children’s Book Week has evolved and changed in many ways – including moving from its original November timing to May –  but the essence of the program has remained constant. At its core, Children’s Book Week is a wonderful opportunity for kids and teens to connect with books and book creators, and to give teachers, librarians, booksellers, and educators a structured but fun annual occasion to celebrate the love of reading that takes place coast to coast all in one glorious week.

A 100th anniversary only comes around once, so this is a big year with a lot of new partnerships, resources, and events happening throughout 2019. Every Child a Reader, the organization that has had stewardship of the program since 2008, understands the importance of honoring the past, celebrating in the present, and looking towards the future. This is a celebration for kids after all, whose futures are bright and shinning before them. That’s why this year’s slogan is: Read Now ● Read Forever.

100th Anniversary Highlights:

  • Official poster, with activities, illustrated by award-winner Yuyi Morales and inspired by the 2019 slogan, Read Now ● Read Forever. Free posters will be available at all events!
  • KidLit TV’s new CREATOR CORNER – are 100 three-to-five minute videos of children’s book authors and illustrators speaking about their favorite character creations to be released throughout 2019.
  • Spokesperson for the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week, Ayesha Curry.
  • An original twelve-artist collaborative poster, to be revealed in stages throughout 2019, with some of the biggest children’s books illustrators.
  • Exclusive new bookmarks by six prominent children’s book illustrators.
  • A new Children’s Book Week Comic Book Activity Kit featuring art from amazing children’s graphic novel creators.
  • Two dedicated celebration weeks with events taking place nationwide, April 29-May 5 and November 4-10
  • An Educator Kit specifically designed to connect kids with the 100th anniversary and provide fun activities perfect for the classroom.

Join us as we honor this beloved program throughout 2019. Schools, public and school libraries, and after school programs are invited to sign-up as official event locations for our November week between May and September. Learn more here.


Everything you need to know about our upcoming celebration!

Downloadable bookmarks, activities, and more for 2024 Book Week events coming soon.

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

Explore the amazing themes, materials, and events of the past.

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