A librarian is a great resource that can help you locate books that match your child’s interest. When you combine your knowledge of your child’s likes and dislikes with a librarian’s expertise and experience, it typically results is some great finds. When choosing a book for your child, you must consider the content and level of difficulty.
- Content – choose a topic that interests your child, e.g. dinosaurs, princesses. My son loves sports so we gravitate to those books. My daughter enjoys any book but especially loves fairy tales.
- Level of difficulty – select a book that your child can read 95 percent of the words correctly, e.g. 19 out of 20 words.
For a list of books by grade, please reference our reading list, which contains a list of books ideal for during the school year or over summer break.
We offer reviews for the following types of books. Each list contains our favorite books.
Award-Winning Children’s Books
Every year both authors and illustrators are recognized for their extraordinary efforts. The following are three of the most prestigious awards: the Newbery Medal, the Caldecott Medal and the Coretta Scott King Awards.
Newbery Medal Winners
This award, honoring a distinguished author, began back in the 1920s to honor the eighteenth-century English bookseller John Newbery. The American Library Association (ALA) annually selects a distinguished author of an American children’s book published in the preceding year. ALA selects one medal winner and a few honorary books. The Newberry is consider the oldest and one of the most prestigious children’s book awards in USA. In 2011, Clare Vanderpool was the recipient of this prestigious medal in her book, Moon Over Manifest. The following authors received honorary awards:
- Jennifer L. Holm, Turtle in Paradise,
- Margi Preus, Heart of a Samurai,
- Joyce Sidman, Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, and
- Rita William-Garcia, One Crazy Summer.
Caldecott Medal Winners
This award, honoring a distinguished illustrator, began back in the late 1930s to honor the English children’s book illustrator, Randolph Caldecott. The American Library Association (ALA) annually selects a distinguished artist of an American picture book published in the preceding year. ALA selects one medal winner and a few honorary books. The Caldecott is consider one of the most prestigious children’s book awards in USA. In 2011, Erin E Stead was the recipient of this prestigious medal for her work in the book, A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead. The following illustrators received honorary awards:
- Bryan Collier, Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave , by Laban Carrick Hill,
- David Ezra Stein, Interrupting Chicken.
Coretta Scott King Award
These awards, honor both a distinguished African American author and illustrator, began back in the late 1960s to promote multicultural appreciation and understanding via children and young adult literature. This awards honors Coretta Scott King, an author, activist, civil rights leader and the wife of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Coretta Scott King Award is among one of the most prestigious book awards. In 2011, Rita William-Garcia was the recipient of this prestigious author award for her work in the book, One Crazy Summer and Bryan Collier was the recipient of this prestigious illustrator award for his work in the book, Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave written by Laban Carrick Hill. The following individuals received honorary awards:
- Walter Dean Myers, Lockdown,
- Jewell Parker Rhodes, Ninth Ward, and
- G. Neri, Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty.