Booklist is a publication of the American Library Association that provides critical reviews of books and audiovisual materials for all ages. Booklist’s primary audience consists of libraries, educators, and booksellers. The magazine is available to subscribers in print and online. Booklist is published 22 times per year, and reviews over 7,500 titles annually. The Booklist brand also offers a blog, various newsletters, and monthly webinars. The Booklist offices are located in the American Library Association headquarters in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood.

Booklist logo
Booklist 20181215 cover
December 15, 2018 issue
CategoriesBook reviews, Book industry, Library science
Frequency22 issues per year
PublisherAmerican Library Association
First issueJanuary 1905
CountryUnited States
Based inChicago, Illinois[1]
OCLC number1536781


Booklist, as an introduction from the American Library Association publishing board notes, began publication in January 1905 to "meet an evident need by issuing a current buying list of recent books with brief notes designed to assist librarians in selection."[2]

With an annual subscription fee of 50 cents, Booklist was initially subsidized by a $100,000 grant from the Carnegie Foundation, known for its public and university library endowments, and at first mainly contained the briefest 25- to 50-word summaries. In 1913, the Booklist offices were moved from Boston to the ALA headquarters in Chicago's McCormick mansion. By the 1930s the reviews had become more in-depth, and the journal began to include some articles. In October 1939, just a few weeks after the start of World War II, Booklist published an article entitled "Books for the 'Long and Calm View': On the Crisis, Its Background and Implications to the United States", intended to address "the demand for impartial books without the emotionalism of propaganda." Amidst a world crisis, the editor helped library patrons to have their questions answered while presenting various viewpoints. From the 1950s to the 1960s, Booklist reviews were limited to 150 words, generally three long sentences. Reviews were handwritten in pencil on yellow legal paper, edited and typed up for the printer. Artistic design choices for the magazine were minimal, with the only visual change between issues being the plain cover's solid colour.

The 1970s saw a great deal of change in the Booklist offices. As adolescent literature gained popularity, a Young Adult books editor was hired. The publication of such books as Judy Blume’s Forever, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Alice series, and S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders marked a need to evaluate books not meant strictly for either children or adults. In 1973, new editor-publisher Paul Brawley was the first to print editions of the magazine with recreated book jackets on the cover. Some Booklist subscribers protested the flashy new covers, supposedly claiming they liked the plain covers and the space they afforded for listing potential book orders. Under Brawley’s editorship, beginning with 16mm film strips and spoken-word recordings, Booklist began to accept submissions and print reviews of audiovisual products. During the 1980s and 1990s, Booklist began its Editors’ Choice reviews and its first feature column, “Manley Arts”, by Will Manley. The 1990s issues of Booklist were the first to be composed on in-office computers.

The June 2005 issue of Booklist marked the magazine’s 100th anniversary. To celebrate the centennial, the acting editors published a feature article entitled “The Booklist Century”, wherein they chose a book from each year of the preceding hundred to highlight its social impact — ranging from Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth (1905) to the 9/11 Commission Report.

Currently, the magazine can be found online and in print. The Booklist editorial team also creates supplemental products, such as Book Links, webinars and the Booklist Reader.[3] Booklist offices are located in the 50 E. Huron building at the ALA headquarters. Current editor Bill Ott is the seventh to hold the position since Booklist was founded.

Current masthead

  • Bill Ott - Editor & Publisher
  • Keir Graff - Executive Editor
  • Donna Seaman - Editor, Adult Books
  • Rebecca Vnuk - Editor, Collection Management and Library Outreach
  • Daniel Kraus - Editor, Books for Youth
  • Joyce Saricks - Editor, Audio[4]

Reviews and reviewers

Booklist Reviews Booklist reviews are said to be "the haiku of book reviewing." Reviews include a brief synopsis, plus mention of the most successful elements of style. Most reviews fall between 175 and 225 words.[5]

Starred Reviews The Booklist star indicates an outstanding title of a particular genre. All starred reviews are approved by the appropriate editor.

High-Demand Booklist recognizes that libraries wish to purchase new materials as soon as they become available, and therefore works to review titles as early as possible. The “High-Demand Backstory” symbol indicates titles likely to be surrounded by media coverage and patron popularity.

Adult Books with YA Appeal As an additional source for librarians, Booklist reviews certain adult titles and labels them for YA appeal. These materials tend to have young protagonists or themes relevant to teenage readers.

Recommendation-only system Since its founding in 1905, Booklist has followed a recommendation-only system. This means that every title reviewed would make a quality addition to library collections.

Booklist Selection Policy The editors of Booklist magazine adhere to a selection policy consistent with the Library Bill of Rights. The process of choosing titles for reviews aims to promote readership, never censorship.

Booklist Reviewers Titles are reviewed by a corps of librarians, freelancers, journalists, and educators, as well as Booklist editors and staff.

Other products

Website Booklist Online is the website and archive of the Booklist print magazine.Within the database, subscribers have access to digital editions of the print magazine, an archive of over 170,000 reviews, and a host of feature content. Non-subscribers can read a Review of the Day and sign up for free monthly webinars. Booklist Online was developed in 2005, concurrent with the magazine’s centennial, and launched in early 2006.

Blog Launched in September 2014, The Booklist Reader is updated daily with feature content for both librarians and recreational readers. Articles often link to reviews found on Booklist Online.

Book Links A quarterly supplement to Booklist that is free to Booklist subscribers, Book Links magazine helps educators and youth librarians design topical literature-based curriculum. Book Links provides thematic bibliographies with related discussion questions and activities, author and illustrator interviews and essays, and articles written by educators on practical ways to turn children on to reading. Each issue includes specific suggestions for tying Common Core State Standards to books featured in the publication. Published in September, November, January, and April, each Book Links issue focuses on a different core curriculum area, including social studies, multicultural literature, language arts, and science. Book Links articles from October 2009 onward are available to Booklist subscribers on Booklist Online.

Webinars Booklist hosts 3-5 webinars per month with varying subject matter. Booklist webinars address such topics as curriculum design, how to increase reading rates, seasonal features, and publishing previews sponsored by various publishing houses and imprints. Anyone can sign up for a Booklist webinar, regardless of whether or not they subscribe to the publication.

Newsletters Booklist publishes a variety of monthly, bimonthly and quarterly newsletters, all of which are delivered in electronic form via e-mail.

  • 'REaD ALERT provides links to a chosen few reviews from the current issue of Booklist.
  • Booklist Online Exclusives offers links to the set of reviews and feature articles that are published exclusively on Booklist Online.
  • Booklandia offers links to popular YA reviews and feature content that highlights trends in the YA genre.
  • Quick Tips for Schools & Libraries provides discussion questions and activities for librarians and educators working to connect children with literature.
  • Corner Shelf provides content that addresses Readers’ Advisory and Collection Development, aimed at helping librarians find common ground between the two.
  • Top Shelf Reference offers recurring features such as "Real-Life Reference," "Talking Shop with . . ." and "Reference Site to Remember," in order to assist librarians with reference collection development.
  • Booklist Online Video Review is an overview of the most highly recommended video and audiovisual titles.
  • Bookmakers is a periodic e-newsletter that focuses on the history of a single publishing house.

The American Library Association sponsors and juries many annual literary awards, such as the Newbery Medal, the Caldecott Medal, and the Alex Award. Booklist itself sponsors three main awards: the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature, the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, and the Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production.

The Printz Award is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association. The Carnegie Medals are administered by an annually appointed selection committee, including a chair, three Booklist editors or contributors, and three former members of the RUSA CODES Notable Books Council. The Odyssey Award is jointly administered by the Association for Library Service to Children and the Young Adult Library Services Association.

Additionally, Booklist selects Editors’ Choice lists for adult books, young adult books, books for youth, adult audiobooks, and audiobooks for youth. The best title in each category is selected to a list known as Top of The List. Editors' Choice and Top of the List titles are announced in December and printed in the subsequent January 1 & 15 double issue of Booklist.[6]

See also


  1. ^ "Book Review Magazines". Book Market. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  2. ^ "Introduction". Booklist. 1 (1–2): 2. Jan–Feb 1905.
  3. ^ "About Us".
  4. ^ "General Info - Booklist Online".
  5. ^ "General Info - Booklist Online".
  6. ^ "General Info - Booklist Online".

External links

Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction

The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were established in 2012 to recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. in the previous year. They are named in honor of nineteenth-century American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in recognition of his deep belief in the power of books and learning to change the world. The award is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and administered by the American Library Association (ALA). Booklist and the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) cosponsor the awards. The shortlist and winners are selected by a seven-member selection committee of library experts who work with adult readers. The annually appointed selection committee includes a chair, three Booklist editors or contributors, and three former members of RUSA CODES Notable Books Council.The winners, one each for fiction and nonfiction, are announced at an event in June at the American Library Association Annual Conference; winning authors receive a $5,000 cash award, and two finalists in each category receive $1,500.

Anna-Marie McLemore

Anna-Marie McLemore is a Mexican-American author of young adult fiction magical realism, best known for her Stonewall Honor-winning novel When the Moon Was Ours, Wild Beauty, and The Weight of Feathers.

Edge of Dark Water

Edge of Dark Water is a murder/mystery novel written by American author Joe R. Lansdale. It was published by Mulholland Books in March 2012. A limited edition has been issued by British publisher PS Publications. It was recognized as a Booklist Editors' Choice: Adult Books for Young Adults by the American Library Association.

Emily Windsnap

Emily Windsnap is a series of children's fantasy novels written by British author Liz Kessler, inaugurated by The Tail of Emily Windsnap in 2003 and continuing as of 2015. It is illustrated primarily by Sarah Gibb and published by Orion in Britain, Candlewick in America. The series originated as a poem that Kessler was writing about a "little girl who lived on a boat but had a big secret"; an editor recommended that Kessler turn the poem into a book.Alternatively Emily Windsnap is the main character of the series a girl who is half mermaid.

Encyclopedia of the Central Intelligence Agency

Encyclopedia of the Central Intelligence Agency is a 2003 book by W. Thomas Smith Jr. It is an encyclopedic work on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the only independent agency of the United States federal government that is tasked with intelligence-gathering. The work chronicles the history of the agency from its founding in 1947 through the War on Terror, which began after September 11, 2001. The encyclopedia's chronology ends in 2003. It provides approximately 550 entries across 282 pages on topics including notable contributors, intelligence operations, historical events, and depictions of the CIA in fictional media.

The encyclopedia was praised by the School Library Journal for its reference value and comprehensiveness. Booklist recommended the encyclopedia be placed in academic, public, and high school libraries as a helpful resource. Publishers Weekly was critical of the author's objectivity, suggesting that the encyclopedia was biased in favor of the agency's intelligence operations, but concluded that the book was still a useful reference tool.

Farewell Summer

Farewell Summer is a novel by American writer Ray Bradbury, published on October 17, 2006. It was his last novel released in his lifetime. It is a sequel to his 1957 novel Dandelion Wine, and is set during an Indian summer in October 1929. The story concerns a mock war between the young and the old in Green Town, Illinois, and the sexual awakening of Doug Spaulding as he turns 14. With Something Wicked This Way Comes, they form a trilogy of novels inspired by Bradbury's childhood in Waukegan, Illinois.

The first chapter, also titled Farewell Summer, appeared in The Stories of Ray Bradbury in 1980. Jonathan R. Eller and William F. Touponce discuss a draft of the unpublished novel in some detail in their book, Ray Bradbury: The Life of Fiction (2004).

Publishers Weekly called the novel a "poignant, wise but slight 'extension' of the indefatigable Bradbury's semiautobiographical Dandelion Wine" and concluded, "Bradbury's mature but fresh return to his beloved early writing conveys a depth of feeling." Kirkus Reviews found it "a thin work, heavily reliant on dialogue, but one that serves as an intriguing coda to one of Bradbury's classics." Booklist said, "A touching meditation on memories, aging, and the endless cycle of birth and death, and a fitting capstone, perhaps, to a brilliant career."

Forest of Secrets

Forest of Secrets is a children's fantasy novel, the third book in the original Warriors series, written by Cherith Baldry under the pen name of Erin Hunter. The plot is about Fireheart, a ThunderClan warrior, attempting to prevent his best friend Graystripe from falling in love with Silverstream, whom Graystripe is not allowed to fall in love with. Silverstream later dies giving birth to Graystripe's kits. When RiverClan claims the kits, Graystripe makes the difficult decision to join RiverClan. Fireheart also becomes deputy after Tigerclaw, the deputy, attempts to kill the leader, Bluestar. The main theme of the book is forbidden love. Forest of Secrets takes place in a fictional forest based on many natural locations.

The book was first published in the United States as a hardcover on October 14, 2003. It was later published in paperback and as an e-book, and in countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada. It has also been translated into other languages such as Japanese, French, and Russian. The book received positive reviews from trade publications such as Horn Book review and Booklist, which praised the plot line of divided loyalties, betrayals, trust and the balance between the plot and everyday life.

Into the Wild (novel)

Into the Wild is a fantasy novel written by Erin Hunter after concepts and outlines created and developed by Victoria Holmes. The novel was published by HarperCollins in Canada and the United States in January 2003, and in the United Kingdom in February 2003. It is the first novel in the Warriors series. The book has been published in paperback, and e-book formats in twenty different languages. The story is about a young domestic cat named Rusty who leaves his human owners to join a group of forest-dwelling feral cats called ThunderClan, adopting a new name: Firepaw. He is trained to defend and hunt for the Clan, becomes embroiled in a murder and betrayal within the Clan, and, at the end of the book, receives his warrior name, Fireheart, after a battle with another Clan. He must face the evil Tigerclaw. The novel is written from the perspective of Fireheart (previously known as Rusty for a short time, then, for most of the book, Firepaw).

The series began in 2003 when HarperCollins requested Holmes to write a book on feral cats. After creating one storyline Holmes brought in Kate Cary to finish writing the book as Holmes went behind the scenes to edit and supervise the details. Holmes has compared the style of the book to a different language as the books are written by three separate authors. She feels that Erin Hunter must have a consistent voice the entire series. The story uses a lexicon with words such as "twoleg" substituted for "human" or "new-leaf" for "spring". The style has been compared to the Harry Potter series, J.R.R. Tolkien and Brian Jacques. Themes include family, loyalty, death, courage, and survival. Into the Wild was critically well received. Booklist believed the book would appeal to followers of Brian Jacques' Redwall series. Among other awards, it claimed third place in the 2006 Young Reader's Choice Award.

Lady of Sherwood

Lady of Sherwood is a 1999 historical fiction novel by American author Jennifer Roberson. It is a sequel to her 1992 novel Lady of the Forest, and follows Robin Hood, Lady Marian, and their associates, as they fight injustices in the wake of the death of King Richard. They must fight the machinations of Prince John, who is competing for the throne against his young nephew, Arthur of Brittany.

The novel was published in November 1999 by Kensington Books with cover art illustrated by Anne Yvonne Gilbert. It has garnered a generally positive reception. Booklist positively compared Lady of Sherwood to the Marion Zimmer Bradley work The Mists of Avalon, while others praised Roberson's engaging characters and attention to historical detail.

Man and Power

Man and Power: the Story of Power from the Pyramids to the Atomic Age is a science book for children by L. Sprague de Camp, illustrated with documents and photographs, and with paintings by Alton S. Tobey, first published in hardcover by Golden Press in 1961.

Michael L. Printz Award

The Michael L. Printz Award is an American Library Association literary award that annually recognizes the "best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit". It is sponsored by Booklist magazine; administered by the ALA's young-adult division, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA); and named for the Topeka, Kansas, school librarian Mike Printz, a long-time active member of YALSA.Up to four worthy runners-up may be designated Honor Books and three or four have been named every year.

Elizabeth Acevedo won the 20th Printz Award (2019) for The Poet X, published by HarperTeen. It was announced during the ALA midwinter meeting, January 28, 2019, when three Honor Books were also named (below).

Moonrise (novel)

Moonrise is a children's fantasy novel, the second book in the Warriors: The New Prophecy series. The book, which follows the adventures of four groups of wild cats (called Clans), was written by Erin Hunter (a pseudonym used by Victoria Holmes, Cherith Baldry, Kate Cary, and Tui T. Sutherland), with cover art by Wayne McLoughlin. Moonrise follows six cats, Brambleclaw, Squirrelpaw, Crowpaw, Feathertail, Stormfur, and Tawnypelt, as they return to their forest home from a journey to the ocean. They travel through the mountains, where they meet the Tribe of Rushing Water, a new group of cats first introduced in this novel. The Tribe cats are being attacked by a savage mountain lion called Sharptooth. The Clan cats eventually agree to help the Tribe get rid of Sharptooth. Series editor Victoria Holmes drew inspiration from locations such as the New Forest and the Scottish Highlands.

Moonrise has been released in hardcover, paperback, and e-book formats, and has been translated into French, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, German and Polish. The book received mostly positive comments from reviews published in Booklist and Horn Book Review, which praised the plot and cliffhanger ending. However, a reviewer for Kirkus Reviews criticized the characters' confusing names and the writing style. Moonrise held the number two spot on The New York Times Best Seller list for children's chapter books for two weeks.

Odyssey Award

The Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production is an annual award conferred by the American Library Association upon the publisher of "the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States". It is jointly administered by two ALA divisions (Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)) and sponsored by Booklist magazine. It recognizes production quality in all respects, considering such things as narration, sound quality, background music and sound effects. It is named for Homer's eighth century BCE epic poem Odyssey, which was transmitted orally, to remind us modern people of the ancient roots of storytelling.The award was inaugurated in 2008.

For many reasons indicated in the 2008 manifesto, "it is essential for ALSC and YALSA to provide the same level of support for this nonprint format that they have historically provided for print materials, by creating an annual award for the best audiobooks in the field."

Prime Books

Prime Books is an independent publishing house, specializing in a mix of literary/commercial anthologies, collections, novels, and previously two magazines: Fantasy Magazine and Lightspeed Magazine (both sold November 2011).

Some of its established and new authors / editors have included

Prime releases have made the top ten lists of Amazon, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly.

T. Michael Martin

T. Michael Martin (born May, 1984) is best known for his work as an American author of Young Adult fiction and as a YouTube creator and host. His debut novel, a YA thriller called The End Games, was released in May 2013. The End Games received critical praise from, among others, Voice of Youth Advocates magazine, who called it "a tale of terror worthy of the early, great Stephen King." It was also chosen by John Green as the best YA novel of Summer 2013, was named Booklist’s Top Youth Horror Novel of 2013, and earned Martin the top spot on Booklist’s "Insanely Talented First Novelists" list.Martin is also a YouTube vlogger, a YouTube Content Strategist employed at Google, and the co-creator and former showrunner and co-host of "How to Adult," a YouTube educational channel produced by Vlogbrothers Hank and John Green.

The Best of L. Sprague de Camp

The Best of L. Sprague de Camp is a collection of writings by American science fiction and fantasy author L. Sprague de Camp, first published in hardback by Nelson Doubleday in February 1978 and in paperback by Ballantine Books in May of the same year. The book was reprinted by Ballantine in May 1986. It has also been translated into German.The book contains short works of fiction and poetry by the author, together with an introduction by fellow science fiction writer Poul Anderson.

Trump 101

Trump 101: The Way to Success is a book credited to Donald Trump and written by ghostwriter Meredith McIver. The first edition was published in hardcover format by Wiley in 2006. The book contains twenty-four chapters imparting advice on business acumen with quotations included from Trump. The authors caution the reader about the inherent risks seen in business deals, and advise individuals to promptly deal with conflicts. Trump recommends other books including The Art of War and The Power of Positive Thinking, as well as his company Trump University.Trump discussed the writing process for Trump 101 in a deposition during his lawsuit against The New York Times journalist Timothy O'Brien regarding his work about Trump, TrumpNation. When questioned under oath by a lawyer, Trump asserted he had been unaware of mistakes his ghostwriter made about his debt in Trump 101, because he had read the book "very quickly" before publication.Booklist acknowledged the work served a public relations function for Trump, and concluded it contained some useful advice. Other reviews were negative, and pointed out quotes from the book which were seen as sexist.

Young Adult Library Services Association

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), established in 1957, is a division of the American Library Association. YALSA is a national association of librarians, library workers and advocates whose mission is to expand the capacity of libraries to better serve teens. YALSA administers several awards and sponsors an annual Young Adult Literature Symposium, Teen Read Week, the third week of each October, and Teen Tech Week, the second week of each March. YALSA currently has over 5,200 members. YALSA aims to expand and strengthen library services for teens through advocacy, research, professional development and events.

awards and

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