Our Purpose

Books are just worlds waiting to be discovered.

This idea has been passed down through generations. Children and teenagers are frequently encouraged to open a book and discover the new world waiting in its pages.

However, new worlds don’t just exist on pages anymore. They are in theaters, television screens, phones, tablets, and computers. Whether it's in books, movies, apps, or websites, children have hundreds of thousands of new worlds to discover at their fingertips.

But not every world is safe for every child. And with so many within easy reach, how do they find the right worlds?

The Children’s Book and Media Review is here to help.

The Children’s Book and Media Review (CBMR) helps busy adults select quality entertainment and educational materials for the children in their lives. We review books, plays, movies, TV shows, apps, and websites for children and teenagers.

We understand that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to children’s media. No one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers. Our reviews provide objective analysis and information to help you find the right materials for your child. Whether it’s educational or just entertaining, the CBMR will help you find the right worlds for your child to explore.

What our reviews cover

The purpose of our reviews is to find high-quality entertainment for young people. These reviews are aimed to help adults and children find entertainment that fits the individual child’s maturity, reading, and comprehension level. Because each child is different, reviews are meant to provide critical analysis and a description of the work so that adults can help determine what is appropriate for their child. Reviews also contain warnings about sensitive topics such as violence, sexual content, substance abuse, etc.

Rating: The rating is determined by the reviewer based on their opinion of the quality of the work. Our rating guidelines are:

Outstanding. Exceptional quality or merit. Book deserves special recognition.
Excellent. Book will add strength to a library and should find wide acceptance among readers.
Dependable. A reliable but not outstanding work. Recommended for libraries that need additional books in a specific genre or subject. 
Significant Shortcomings. Limited appeal.  Book will have appeal for some readers/audiences despite significant shortcomings.
Cannot Recommend. Book includes poor literary content, inaccurate information, presentation of a topic and content not appropriate for intended audience.

Reading/Interest Level: This is meant to help determine both a typical child’s ability to understand and use the material, as well as what a child of this age group might be interested in. These categories are:

Toddler. Ages 1-3
Preschool. Ages 3-5
Primary. Ages 6-9
Intermediate. Ages 9-12
Young Adult. Ages 13+

Sensitive Content: If there is language, violence, sexual content, substance abuse, or other questionable material, we note the severity of it at the end of the review.

Mild: A few swear words, but no vulgar swear words.
Moderate: Uses multiple swear words and/or 1 vulgar word once.
Severe: Uses multiple vulgar, swear words.

Sexual Content
Mild: Sexual relationships implied but not discussed. (i.e., sexual relationships are not plot points, etc.).
Moderate: Sexual relationships are discussed. (i.e., fade-to-black sex scenes, sexual plot points, etc.)
Severe: Sexual relationships are described. (i.e., explicit sex scenes)

Mild: Fights, battles, wars, etc. occur but are not described in detail.
Moderate: Fights, battles, wars, etc. and the injuries, feelings, emotions from those events are described in detail.
Severe: Graphic descriptions of fights, battles, wars, injuries, and feelings are given.

Substance Abuse
Mild: Drug/alcohol use is mentioned briefly but is not a primary element of plot or character development, etc.
Moderate: Main characters use somewhat frequently, substance abuse is a minor plot point, etc.
Severe: Substance abuse is a major plot point, discussed in great detail, etc.

Many of the books we review are sent to us for free by publishers. However, we remain unbiased and analyze the quality of the work. Our goal is to provide all the information necessary for children and adults to select the best entertainment for themselves and their families. 


Established in 1980 as a joint effort of the Department of Teacher Education, the Department of Theatre and Media Arts, and the Harold B. Lee Library of Brigham Young University, the Children’s Book and Play Review (CBPR) was founded to help busy adults select quality reading materials for classroom, library, and home use. It began as a printed journal, then changed to electronic format in 1997. In 2015, the CBPR was changed to the Children’s Book and Media Review (CBMR) in order to meet changed needs in entertainment for children. It now reviews books, plays, movies, TV shows, apps, and websites for young people.