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CCB Newsletter
December 2011/January 2012

In this Newsletter…

News and Updates

Winter Break at the CCB

During the holiday season, the CCB will have reduced hours.  Regular semester hours will resume Tuesday, January 17.  We already have some events planned for January, so mark your calendars now! To be notified about other events that will be scheduled for late January and early February, be sure to “like” our Facebook page and subscribe to our email listserv

Looking Ahead: Galley Give-Away and Book Sale

The CCB invites you to our second galley giveaway of this academic year, which will begin Wednesday, January 18 and last through Friday, January 20. The giveaway will occur during normal CCB hours.  Drop by to get your hands on free pre-publication versions of books for children and young adults!  We’ll send out an email via our listserv letting you know what kinds of galleys we have to give away.  Come early for the best selection!

The CCB’s Eleventh Annual Book Sale will run from Monday, February 20 through Wednesday, February 22, 2012. We will be selling thousands of brand new children’s books for youth from birth through high school.  Thousands of new children's books will be available for youth ages birth through high school. The titles available represent the full spectrum of children's publishing in fiction and nonfiction: board books, picture books, easy and transitional readers, chapter books, series fiction, novels, activity books and kits, nonfiction series, mass-market paperbacks, and more! 

Attend our pre-sale and get first dibs on our wide selection of books. The pre-sale will be held on Sunday, February 19 from 1-4 p.m. Admission for the pre-sale will be $20 per person. To attend, you must make a reservation by either calling the CCB at 217-244-9331 or by emailing at We will be accepting reservations from January 30-February 13.  All proceeds support the Center for Children's Books and The Bulletin of The Center for Children’s Books.

December/January Calendar

Monday, December 12-Friday, December 16: Finals Week Hours at the CCB
                                                Open from 10-3 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
                                                Closed Wednesday

            Monday, December 19-Friday, January 6: CCB closed

            Monday, January 9-Friday, January 13: Reduced hours at the CCB
                                                Open from 10-3 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
                                                Closed Wednesday
            Monday, January 16: CCB closed

            Tuesday, January 17: Regular semester hours resume

            Wednesday, January 18-Friday, January 20: Galley Giveaway

            Thursday, January 26: Youth Lit Book Club

Events take place at the CCB unless otherwise noted. For complete descriptions of events, visit the calendar on our website.

New Bibliographies on the CCB Website

Wanted: Books about the West
Created by Anna Holland and Laurel Halfar

Picture Books about Imagination and Play
Created by Lauren Chenevert

Feature: Letter from CCB Director Deborah Stevenson

Hello, and happy upcoming New Year!

            As usual, it’s been a busy fall here at the CCB, as you all know if you’ve been reading our newsletter.  I’ve been to conferences in Russia and Rosemont, we’ve had brown bags on graphic novels and Spanish language books, we’ve been partners with after-school groups and fellowship grants focusing on youth advocacy. Our Storytelling Festival hit the televisual airwaves (well, televisual cable, anyway), and our highlights trailer is about to hit the GSLIS YouTube channel.  Oh, and the new Guide Book to Gift Books is posted for download.
            The upcoming semester will be, if anything, even more active.  I’ll be at ALA in Dallas in January, Dominican University’s “The Truth about Choice” conference outside of Chicago on February 25, and the Illinois Reading Council conference in Springfield in March, plus the Children’s Literature Association conference in Boston in June.  On the home front, we’ve got the Gryphon Lecture (to be delivered by the estimable Dr. Margaret Mackey) in March and the 2012 Storytelling Festival in April, in addition to our regular brown bags and research workshops.  Of course, the biggest event is the annual book sale in February, and we’re beginning to step up our preparations for that right now.
            That’s quite a joyous list to contemplate. Thanks for coming to our events, reading our newsletter, and for sharing our devotion to literature and services for youth, and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

- Deborah Stevenson 


Our Affiliates Out and About 

GSLIS Associate Professor Dr. Kate McDowell will be serving as Co-Chair for the Youth Services special interest group) at the 2012 ALISE (Association for Library and Information Science Education) Conference, January 17-20, 2012, in Dallas, Texas.  Dr. McDowell also served as the Graduate Student Travel Award committee chair. 

Keep an eye out for CCB and GSLIS affiliates, including CCB Director Deborah Stevenson, at the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 20-24, in Dallas, Texas!   

New Books We Just Had to Read
Every month, the CCB Graduate Assistants highlight books reviewed in the most recent issue of the Bulletin that we were excited to read.  These decisions are based on personal preference, but all books listed are Recommended by the Bulletin. For complete reviews, visit the Bulletin website ( to learn how to subscribe.

Laurel’s Choice: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Reading Level: Gr. 7-10

Pages: 409

Publisher and Year: Scholastic, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-545-22490-1

Price: $17.99

Life can be unforgiving on the small island of Thisby, but for those who call it home, pride and tradition run deep. Each November, deadly water horses, or capaill uisce, are cast from the sea onto the island. The capaill uisce are beautiful, fast, and bloodthirsty. Islanders capture and train them in order to compete in the annual and often deadly Scorpio Races. Kate “Puck” Connolly and her two brothers lost their parents to the water horses and have been struggling to make ends meet. With the risk of losing their home imminent, Puck enters the races on her land horse, Dove, hoping to win the grand prize. Sean Kendrick, also an orphan, gets by working as a stable hand for the powerful, Benjamin Malvern. Sean has an enormous talent with the capaill uisce and is the reigning race champion. This year Sean has struck a special deal with his boss: if he comes in first, he will finally be allowed to buy Corr, the beloved water horse he’s trained for years. In alternating perspectives, we see Sean and Puck’s relationship develop as they prepare for race day. But with so much at stake for both, it’s hard to forget there can only be one winner.

Anna’s Choice: Desert Angel by Charlie Price
Reading Level: Gr. 9-12
Pages: 236
Publisher and Year: Farrar, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-374-31775-1
Price: $16.99

Fourteen-year-old Angel has no choice but to disappear or be silenced forever. Angel’s meth-addict mother has never had the best choice in men. She and Angel drift from one lowlife boyfriend to the next, slipping in and out of abusive relationships until Angel wakes up at their desert trailer home one morning to find her mother murdered. She knows the killer is her mom’s latest hookup, Scotty, an expert tracker and huntsman. Forced to flee before Scotty can cover his tracks (by murdering her, the only witness), Angel is thrust out into the harsh landscape where trusting others is her only hope. As the gripping drama unfolds, Angel must face her guilt and fear and allow herself to trust the Mexican-American family that risks their lives to protect Angel from her pursuer.  Price’s poignant and tight prose makes this thriller a high-strung emotional journey filled with hope, sadness, and the struggle to find compassion and love in a dark world.   

Lauren’s Choice: Caleb’s Wars by David L. Dudley
Reading Level: Gr. 9-12
Pages: 263
Publisher and Year: Clarion Books, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-547-23997-2
Price: $16.99

Growing up in World War II-era Georgia, fifteen-year-old Caleb has plenty to worry about.  His older brother, Randall, joined the army and will soon be shipped off to Europe to fight.  Caleb and his father have never really gotten along, and it just seems to be getting worse as Caleb gets older.  Plus, ever since his recent baptism, Caleb could swear he can hear God’s voice speaking to him.  Then, of course, there’s the matter of skin color: Caleb and his family are African American, living in a segregated, racist rural Georgia town.  In the summer of 1944, Caleb feels unbearably constricted by this life.  He takes a menial job at the Dixie Belle, the local upscale whites-only diner, in a futile attempt to claim some independence.  The Dixie Belle becomes an even thornier microcosm of racial injustice when Mr. Lee Davis decides to employ an enemy German POW from the camp outside of town.  In this character-driven novel, Caleb tries to resolve his mounting anger with this oppressive society by standing up for himself—yet learns that, wretchedly, it’s still not enough. 

Highlighted Book from Our Wish List

Winter, Jeanette. Josefina. Harcourt Children’s Books, 1996. 36p. 978-0-15-201091-1.

This picture book about Mexican potter Josefina Aguilar also functions as a Spanish/English bilingual counting book.  Josefina sculpts what she sees in the world around her and counts: “One sun, two angels, three houses…”

For more book selections or to order this one, visit the CCB’s Amazon Wish List.

CCB Spring Hours and General Information

Note: Spring semester hours begin Tuesday, January 17.  See calendar for finals week and winter break hours. 

Monday: 10 am – 5 pm
Tuesday: 10 am – 7 pm
Wednesday: 3 pm – 7 pm
Thursday: 10 am – 7 pm
Friday: 10 am – 5pm

For more information about the CCB and our collection, please visit the About Us page on our website.

To stay up-to-date with CCB events and news, be sure to ‘like’ our brand-new Facebook page

ListServ Information
To start, stop, or modify your subscription, please visit

The Center for Children's Books | Graduate School of Library and Information Science | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
501 E. Daniel St. | Champaign, IL 61820 | 217-244-9331 |