The Bulletin of 

the Center for Children's Books Image The Bulletin
of the Center for Children's Books

Blue Ribbons are chosen annually by the Bulletin staff and represent what we believe to be the best of the previous year's literature for youth. See the Blue Ribbon Archive for lists from 1990 through the present. Please fe el free to copy, download, or link to these lists. We ask only that you cite the source.

1990 Blue Ribbons

Over a long period of time, it's easy for professional reviewers to get jaded and even cynical from overexposure to thousands of children's books every year. What saves us from becoming overwhelmed by the glitz, the gimmicks, and the groaners are, of cou rse, the good books. But what is a good book? And by whose standards? Few critics agree on either question, in theory, yet we've noticed that particular books seem to reach out and grab us here at theBulletin. All three editors will burst out laughing at a picture book, or nod puffy-eyed at each other after nights up with novels we just couldn't put down. Bulletin Blue Ribbons is our list of books that woke us up or kept us awake. We don't claim that these are the best books publis hed in 1990-everyone will have different opinions about that. But we do claim that these are books that refreshed us with their ingenious crafting, emotional impact, and strength of imagination.

Each title is followed by a citation to the issue of the original review, where the book may or may not have been starred. Books are variously durable: some that knock you out on first encounter slip quickly from memory; others sneak up on you and stay forever. The books on this list make you remember. Of course, even this list is a consensus among editors who do not always agree. Each of us delighted over unanimous decisions and pined for choices lost to a vote. We were surprised to find that, alt hough high-quality picture books were in greater abundance than either fiction or nonfiction this year, enough great books surfaced in each genre to make a respectable showing. It's exciting to find first novels alongside veteran award-winners, to see th e range and depth of poetry, and to discover-once again-that some of the greatest books have inherent child appeal, while others will easily gain an audience with your enthusiastic support. --Betsy Hearne, Editor

Picture Books




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This page was last updated on July 1, 1997.