How to Choose the Best Books to Get Kids Reading
For every kid, there’s a book out there that could spur a lifelong love of reading. This realization is both empowering and terrifying. Empowering, because there’s hope for every lil’ reader! Terrifying, because no amount of time spent staring at the Barnes & Noble young adult section will tell you how which book will unlock that love.
Luckily, we live in the interconnected era of the internet! Almost any morsel of information is available to those who know how to look. Don’t worry—we’re not here to send you on a scavenger hunt! Instead, we’ve compiled some great resources for selecting books for young readers.
Children’s Choice Book Awards
Adults are often the one selecting and curating kids’ book lists. The Children’s Choice Book Awards are refreshing because, as the name suggests, kids and teenagers are the ones who make the final choices! They select all manner of books for kids ages four through fourteen, so you should be able to find something to fit most any taste.
The CCBA are sponsored by the Children’s Book Council, which is a great resource in and of itself. Their book search tool is perfect for finding titles that fit just what you’re looking for, or for making broader searches to discover something new!
While it’s nice to hear straight from the source (AKA the kids), some parental insight is actually quite useful. Enter StorySnoops, a site that revolves around parents’ reviews of books. In their words, they are “a literary community offering balanced, informative book reviews from a parent’s perspective.”
Each listed book comes with a brief synopses of the story’s plot and content, a number of parental reviews, and a group of keywords that you can use to search for books with similar subject matter! In short, everything you need to decide whether a book will hook a prospective young reader.
Reading Rockets does more than compile kids books. It’s an incredible resource that delves into how kids learn to read and why so many struggle on it. The volume of content and other resources on the site is incredible! This is the perfect place to turn when a kid’s aversion to reading is rooted in more than just book choice. It’s a great resource for teaching reading, for teachers and parents alike.
What did parents and teachers do before Pinterest? The snazzy social media platform makes discovering and saving ideas easier than ever. This doesn’t just apply to cupcake recipes, cute DIY furniture and inspiring home decor. There’s plenty on the platform regarding education and development, including—you guessed it—kids’ books!
A simple search should set you in the right direction. Or, if you’d prefer an easier starting point, you can dive right into our board, Books Kids Love!
Head to your Local Library
We know, we know. A library? In this interconnected internet age? Why not download an eBook to your Kindle, or load up a Morgan Freeman-narrated audiobook on Youtube, or just transmit the collective mythos of every children’s book ever directly to your hippocampus via a biological file transfer protocol?
While that’s all great, sometimes skipping technology the simplicity of borrowing a physical book can be a game-changer. Plus, librarians are often bookworms themselves; many would love nothing more than to give you a golden recommendation on a kids book!
Teachers and parents, do you have any go-to resources when it comes time to pick new books for your kids or students? Let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments below!