National Read a Book Day is officially celebrated every September (this year it falls on September 6) but in our humble opinion, every day is a great day to curl up with a favorite book or three.
If you are like me, however, sometimes my addled parent brain draws a complete blank when faced with rows and rows of fresh-faced book covers at the bookstore or welcoming aisles of the library. What was the name of that picture book my girls loved so much? What was that YA fiction series that sounded so fantastic?
Never fear, as we have compiled a helpful and comprehensive list of some of the best book lists around for young readers, from toddlers who love to grab the chunky pages of picture books to teens who dog ear their favorite novel.
Best Books for Kids, From Toddlers to Teenagers
Picture books are always a favorite with beginning readers. The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist who illustrated the most distinguished American picture book for children.
Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children’s books. According to the Notables Criteria, “notable” is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children’s books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children’s interests in exemplary ways.
Two great lists compiled by Publisher’s Weekly, a trade news magazine targeted at publishers, librarians, booksellers and literary agents since 1872. Check out the best picture books for babies and toddlers and the top choices for middle school kids.
Amazon editors select the top 20 books in various categories for readers of all ages for this annual compilation.
Goodreads is the largest site for readers and book recommendations in the world
National Public Radio (NPR), privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization, presents its best books in various categories, including recommendations for children, each year.
Mighty Girl is all about girl power. They publicize their site as featuring the largest collection of books and movies for smart, confident, and courageous girls. We love their book recommendations for girls.
The editors of Scholastic’s Parent & Child magazine present their top 100 books for kids in this comprehensive list.
The New York Public Library, which opened in 1911, presented this list of the 100 top children’s books as compiled by staff in conjunction with the acclaimed exhibition The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter.
Great list for the reluctant teen reader who would rather be texting than tearing through a great book compiled by The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).
What are some of your all-time favorite children’s books? Are we missing any lists?
Did you know you can privately share all your kids’ milestones, such as their first trip to the library, with friends and family through the free Families Connect app? Sign up today and start sharing your favorite childhood moments.
Jamie Reeves is a Nashville-based writer, editor, and lover of all things social media. She and her husband Alan have two daughters, two dogs, and too much laundry. This busy soccer mom can typically be found cheering from the sidelines or in her car on the way to school or sports practices. She loves traveling with her family and exploring fun things to do in Middle Tennessee. Jamie has been pontificating about poop and pinot noir at Blonde Mom Blog, since 2005.