Robobaby by David Wiesner Selected to Represent NJ at the 2020 National Book Festival 

The New Jersey Center for the Book selected Robobaby (Clarion, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, 2020) by David Wiesner to represent New Jersey at the 2020 National Book Festival. The book was the state’s selection for the Festival’s “Discover Great Places Through Reading” map on the Library of Congress website Each state chose one book about the state or by an author from that state that is a good read for children or young adults. Clicking on New Jersey on the map will enable the reader to view all previous Great Read selections.

In Wiesner’s Robobaby, a family awaits the arrival of a new baby – only this is a family of robots – and baby Flange must be assembled from many parts. The adult robots are completely out of their depth and unwilling to admit it. It’s up to tech savvy big sister Cathode “Cath,” to come to their rescue. This chaotic story, reminiscent of a Marx Brothers movie, is laugh out loud funny. Gorgeously illustrated by Wiesner, a three-time Caldecott winner, it joyously celebrates girl ingenuity and maker culture in a fantastically fun way.

This year the National Book Festival was a virtual event held on September 25-27, 2020 at LOC.Gov/bookfest.  States featured videos of their Great Read selections in the festival’s virtual Roadmap to Reading exhibits. Selected state Great Reads videos are also featured on KidLit.TV.

Listen to Wiesner discuss his new book, Robobaby,


So, what's the deal with the Jersey Devil?

Is it myth or real?  Is it on the level?

Is it scary and mean?  Is it big, bad, and evil?

Has it ever been seen, our New Jersey Devil?

Quoted from The New Jersey Reader                               by Trinka Hakes Noble

Have you ever wondered about the Jersey Devil?  Now's your chance to find out.

Join the Jersey Trackers and Mr. C as they track the Jersey Devil, searching for clues all around New Jersey in this exciting mystery series, The Jersey Trackers and the Imagination Tree Mystery!  Click here

And if you love that, check out our second e-book, The Greatest Mystery in all of History!  Click here

Every story in the series features some of New Jersey finest publishing talents, with a general rule of one author and one illustrator per chapter. As such, Jill Mills, of the New Jersey Association of School Librarians, had this to say—

“New Jersey is rich with history and mystery, and amazing authors and illustrators who weave tales of each. The New Jersey Center for the Book brought together some of the state’s best writers for children to create two exciting stories that first take us all over the state and then throughout history to preserve the power of ideas and imagination. My students have loved hearing these stories as much as I have loved sharing them.”

To learn more about the Jersey Tracker series, Click here

Congratulations to Renee Becker Swartz, Board Chair of the New Jersey Center for the Book

At its 50th celebration, the Monmouth County Library Commission honored its longstanding chair, Renee Becker Swartz, by naming the Children’s Library of the Eastern Branch of the Monmouth Public Library in her honor and in recognition of the many contributions she has made to the library, state and nationally. Swartz was honored by the commission, Congressman Chris Smith, local civic leaders and family and friends at the Eastern Branch Library celebration.

Swartz has been a dedicated proponent of libraries as the heart of the community and books as agents of change, encouragement, entertainment, and education.  She has worked tirelessly to keep the Monmouth Library system as one of the leading libraries in the state, as well as supporting numerous programs throughout the state of New Jersey and nationally promoting education, books and libraries. At the national level  she has been appointed to several significant organizations to promote literacy and libraries throughout the country. Renee was a presidential appointee to the national Institute of Museum and Library Services Board, and a founding member of the Library of Congress Directors for the Center for the Book. At the state level she has served on the NJ Library Advisory Council from 1976 through 2011, as Chair of the Monmouth County Library Commission since 1975, and was the founding member and chair of the New Jersey Center for the Book.

Photo left to right:   Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, Swartz, Congressman Chris Smith, Library Director Judith Tolchin

Jacqueline Woodson, Library of Congress Ambassador for Youth Literature, Headlines Program

The New Jersey Center for the Book, the founder of  the Literacy Alliance of New Jersey, sponsored a statewide celebration of the renowned young people’s author Jacqueline Woodson, at The College of New Jersey campus, on October 16, 2019.  Ms. Woodson, the Library of Congress Ambassador for Youth Literature, 2018-19, met with 200 students in grades five through eight from Fisher Middle School, Ewing Township; Grace A. Dunn Middle School, Trenton; Luis Munoz-Rivera Middle School, Trenton; and Hedgepeth-Williams Middle School, Trenton.  Click here to read more.


NJ Center for the Book

Statewide Literary Celebration 350th Anniversary

The family morning session programs and activities offered a variety of activities for children. “The Mythmakers,” Richard Stillmand and Gerald Fierst, performed a fun-filled journey of stories and songs that captured the highlights of New Jersey’s history.
The New Jersey Center for the Book and The Newark Public Library presented a program in celebration of New Jersey’s 350th Anniversary on Saturday, January 18, 2014 from 11am to 4pm at The Newark Public Library.