Basically, a scam. They ask teachers and administrators to nominate their top students for it, and mysteriously everyone nominated gets "accepted".

Being accepted into the book means you get a little five line blurb about yourself in a book the size of a decent encyclopedia.

It's free.

Oh wait, you want a picture of yourself in there too? That'll cost you $25.

Oh wait, you want a copy of the book? That'll cost you $50. Per copy. The first one is not free.

The monetary figures are approximate, but you get the idea. It basically preys on most American parents' willingness to pay any amount in order to see something about their child in print. A disturbing percentage of the time, it works.

For another example of this, see Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans.