Notable Children's Books

About the Notable Children's Books
Each year the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best of children's books on the Notable Children's Books list.

Administered by:

Association for Library Service to Children logo

Award and Frequency

Annual recognition of titles is made via publication of the list on the ALSC web site, in Booklist magazine, and announcement of the list in a press release.
This award is given out on an annual basis.


To be eligible for consideration a book must:

  1. Be a book for which children are a potential audience. See criteria for age range.
  2. Have been published in the United States during the year preceding the Midwinter Meeting at which the selection is made. This means that the book was published in that year, was available for purchase in that year, and has a copyright date no later than that year. A book might have a copyright date prior to the year under consideration but, for various reasons, was not published until the year under consideration.

NOTE: There is no limitation as to format. A book may be in hard or paper covers, spiral bound, in portfolio, etc. It is expected that books will have a collective unity of story-line, theme, or concept developed through text or pictures or a combination thereof.


Application Instructions

To submit works for consideration for the Notable Children's Book List:

  • Review the terms and criteria below.
  • Send one copy of the work to the ALSC office (ATTN: Notable Children's Books Submission, 50 East Huron, Chicago, IL 60611-2795).
  • Submit one copy of the work to the committee chair.  If you are able, send one copy of the work to each committee member. 
  • Deadline for submitting works is December 31 of the publication year.  However, we encourage you to submit your books early so that the committee members have ample time for review.

The  2012 Notable Children's Books Committee is considering works published in the 2011 calendar year. Please e-mail to request further submission information.

Contact Information

If you need more information, feel free to contact the ALA Library Reference Desk by telephone: 800-545-2433, extension 2153; fax: 312-280-3255; e-mail:; or regular mail: ALA Library, American Library Association, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611-2795.

Selection Criteria

Notable is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children's books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (through age 14) that reflect and encourage children's interests in exemplary ways.
The evaluative criteria to be used are:

   1. literary quality;
   2. originality of text and illustration;
   3. clarity and style of language;
   4. excellence of illustration;
   5. excellence of design and format;
   6. subject matter of interest and value to children;
   7. the likelihood of acceptance by children.

BOARD ACTIONS: "The ALA Notable Children's Books List, compiled by the ALSC Book Evaluation Committee, shall include the annual selections of the Newbery and Caldecott Award and Honor Books." - (July 1976)

"The ALA Notable Children's Books List, compiled by the ALSC Notable Children's Books Committee, shall include the books selected annually by the Batchelder Award Committee." - (July 1981).

"Beginning with 2004, include the Sibert medal and honor books, and the Belpré medal and honor books with a copyright date of the previous year, on the annual Notable Children's Books List" - (November 2003).

"Include the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner and honor books automatically on the list of books created by the Notable Children's Books Committee, starting with the first award in 2006." - (January 2006)