Books for Keeps – taking children’s books seriously for over 40 years
Books for Keeps celebrated our 40th anniversary in 2020. The magazine was first published in March 1980 and since then has reviewed many thousands of books for young readers, interviewed hundreds of authors and illustrators, and reported on every aspect of children’s literature and the interface between children and their reading.
With six issues a year and interviews, news and reviews published weekly on the website, the Books for Keeps readership is all those people, professional and otherwise, who are interested in the world of children’s literature. This covers teachers, students, publishers, booksellers, librarians, authors and illustrators as well as parents, carers and community groups.
We base our editorial policy on the premise that young readers deserve the very best reading material. Consequently, we believe that reviews of children’s books and coverage of issues relevant to children’s literature in general should be handled by writers with specialist knowledge, experience and expertise. Many of our contributors are practising teachers and librarians but they also include people with specialist knowledge of a broad range of areas relevant to books for children such as poetry, books in translation, readers with learning difficulties and diversity in children’s books to list just some of our interests. We have built up a contributors’ list that includes some of the world’s leading scholars in the field of children’s literature.
In her foreword to The Best of Books for Keeps, the great Margaret Meek described the magazine as: ‘a kind of social history of books, reading and childhood’ and the archive is one of the most significant children’s book resources on the World Wide Web, an enormously valuable research tool for students, academics, authors, illustrators and the media amongst others and it is our intention to improve the ability to search by genre, theme and age breakdown.
Our readers use the magazine as an authoritative guide on current issues in the world of children’s books and on what reading material to buy for the young people with whom they live or work.
The aims of Books for Keeps have not changed in its 40 years:
- To review as authoritatively as possible the broadest possible range of contemporary children’s books, actively seeking out the work of independent publishers and community publishers as well as the work of mainstream houses
- To reflect the nature of our society by reviewing work and dealing with issues relevant to diversity and disability
- To improve standards in reviewing, especially with regard to illustrated books
- To nurture the creativity of writers and illustrators by maintaining the highest critical standards
- To draw attention to new authors and illustrators, giving them necessary critical attention and exposure
- To re-examine our cultural heritage by featuring classic children’s books from the past
- To remain as accessible as possible to specialists and non-specialists alike and to remain at the forefront of new thinking about children’s literature.
Our new website is a work in progress and we are still working to add archive material to the new site. We remain free to all but invite donations to help us complete this important work.
If you would like to donate, you can do so here https://www.givey.com/booksforkeeps.
Thank you. With your support, we are excited about the next 40 years!