Choosing the right book for your child to read can be incredibly important. It can reinforce their imaginations, strengthen their literacy skills, and give them a wholesome source of entertainment for hours. However, selecting a book that is on an appropriate reading level and with age-appropriate content can be a real challenge. The most popular stories may not always be appropriate for your child’s reading level or age group. Test their reading level and compare it with the reading level of the books they are reading. If it is too easy for them, their literacy rate will not increase. If it is too difficult for them, it will be challenging and reading will become more of a chore than a fun way to spend an afternoon. Use the resources below in order to gauge what reading level your child is, along with some recommended reading for children and teens.
Determining Reading Level
Understanding what age group a book is geared towards can be a helpful indicator of whether or not it is appropriate for your child. You want to select a book that is either on their reading level or slightly above it in order to encourage them to expand their vocabulary and comprehension skills. Try to determine whether your child is on par with classmates and their age group before selecting books that are specifically marked for one set of children. Look at the resources below for a better idea of what each reading level looks like.
Helping Children Choose – Reading specialist Mark Pennington explains some quick and easy tips for helping a child to choose a book that they can enjoy and learn from.
Reading Levels – Search for books to see their reading levels from Scholastic.
Readability – This article details what encourages children to read, as well as how to help them select an appropriate book.
Recommended Children’s Books
Many libraries will offer a list of books that are most popular for certain age groups. The titles that are highly recommended in a particular field or topic area can help you to determine a starting point for choosing an appropriate title. This method may motivate children to read more often in order to keep up with their peers or to finish stories that truly appeal to their interests. The sources below provide lists of recommended reading on a variety of topics for children.
Newbery Award Winners – View the books that have won the Newbery Award for great literature in the children’s section.
It is often much harder to keep track of what teenagers are reading and whether their choices are appropriate for their age and reading level. Take some of the work out of checking up on their choices by recommending books that you have researched and picked out already. The books below are popular among teenagers, but you can take a look and see if any of them might appeal to your teen. Look at the summaries and reading levels to determine which books are right for your child.
Categorical Choices – These favorite books are organized based on the genre and category of various novels.
Books for Older Teens – Help your older teen pick out appropriate books according to this list of classics and new favorites.
Must-Reads for Teens – Barnes & Noble gives a list of bestselling young adult books. These are popular books that every teen should look through.