There’s something really special about finding the perfect book for a young reader and watching them fall in love with books and stories. When my seventh grade students would tell me they didn’t like to read, I would always say “You just haven’t found the right book.” Well, today I’m doing my part to help young readers find the right book! These are ten of my favorite books for children–but in reality there are way more than ten books represented here, since many that I’ll list are part of a series!
As I started writing this post, I realized just how many excellent books there are for young readers. This post will probably be the first in a series as I continue to remember what great children’s literature is out there! Most of these books are appropriate for young readers–children anywhere from 7-13, and maybe younger depending on your child’s maturity level and reading ability. The ages that I’ve included are just my best guess at reading level–they aren’t super exact! These books aren’t presented in any particular order, and there are definitely books that I haven’t included because I didn’t want this post to turn into a novel! Keep checking back as I add more great books for young readers.
Kate DiCamillo’s Books (ages 9-12)
I wrote quite a bit about Kate DiCamillo’s books on Tuesday. They are wonderful stories, and they’d be really excellent to read together as a family. These books are also easy enough for younger readers, but they offer a lot of depth for older children and adults as well.
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (ages 6-8)
These fun stories all center around a magical (?) woman named Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. She lives in an upside down house, bakes wonderful cookies, and has a special knack for teaching children how to behave.
E.B. White’s Books (ages 6-9)
These classic children’s books will delight your young readers. They’re suitable for younger kids, and they would also be excellent “read aloud” books. The illustrations in each are excellent, and the characters will live on in your memory for a while.
This delightful series of books is about a group of exceptional children who work together to solve mysteries. Each one includes a zany villain, some puzzles to solve, and other fun adventures. These would be great for older kids or even young teens.
Roald Dahl’s Books (ages 8-10)
Roald Dahl is the author of a lot of great books for children, including The BFG, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and more. These books are a little wacky and zany, but they’re classics!
The Borrowers (ages 9-12)
The Borrowers is about a family of tiny people who live in the house of a regular-sized family. They are small enough to borrow things like chess pieces, needles, and paperclips to make their homes comfortable. This book is a little old-fashioned in terms of the language, so I would recommend it for older children.
Harry Potter (ages 11-14)
I loved reading the Harry Potter books when I was in college, and now that they are making illustrated versions, I know that they will be books I read aloud to my kids, at least at first. The later books get pretty dark, so I would definitely read these beforehand and make sure you’re okay with the content.
The Chronicles of Narnia (ages 7-12)
These books are wonderful, and they remain some of my favorites. C.S. Lewis is so skilled at creating a completely unique and lovely world. These would also be great read aloud books, since there are a lot of potentially spiritual lessons to glean from this series of seven books. They can also span across different ages if you read them out loud!
Dear America (Ages 9-12)
These diary-style books were some of my all-time favorites as a kid! You can find them for almost every era of American history, and there’s even a male series called My America that would be great for young men. I think these books were what helped me begin to love American history
Percy Jackson and the Olympians (ages 12-14)
These books are really fun for younger readers, but like Harry Potter, they have some material that you might not want your youngest kids to read. They also focus a lot on Greek and Roman mythology, so it’s important to discuss what they’re reading with them and ensure that they know what mythology is, why it’s important, and why it’s not the foundation of our beliefs today.
So there you have it! Ten great book ideas for your young readers. But the list doesn’t stop there! There are so many other titles that I thought of while brainstorming for this post–from A Wrinkle in Time to A Little Princess or the Little House series. You can be sure that I’ll be back with another round of books for young readers. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a great resource, check out The Story Warren. Their motto is “Allies in Imagination,” and their website is a great resource for fostering imagination and a love of learning in your children.