Education

Finding That Just Right Book

November 11, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

With the declining daylight hours and cooler weather hitting the Mid-Atlantic, it is a lot easier for me to get my kids to sit down with a book in the afternoons and evenings. What hasn’t been so easy is finding the books that will suck them in and keep them engaged beyond the obligatory 20- to 30- minute reading time each day.

I’ve searched library stacks and online education sites for recommendations, which have sometimes worked out well. My daughter, a 5th grader, has found a few that kept her up reading past bedtime, or left her sitting in the car to finish just one more chapter of a book she started at the beginning of a long ride. It’s been harder to find that kind of hook for my son, a 3rd grader. Or I should say, it’s harder to find books he likes that don’t feature Spiderman or Batman or Pokemon. I’m all for kids reading comic books and graphic novels, but would like them to balance out their book list with meatier tomes.

So I was glad to come across the annual Teachers’ Choices list from the International Reading Association that offers book ideas for the primary, intermediate, and advanced reading levels. There’s a good variety of fiction and nonfiction, picture and chapter books, as well as a diversity of subjects, characters, and eras.

I wish there was a bit more detail about which ages/grade levels are most appropriate for each book, but I realize there is so much variation among students that it is difficult to generalize on such a list.

I know there are other book lists out there, for children, youths, and adults. Feel free to share your favorite sources, as well as tips for finding those books that will send the kids under the covers with a flashlight way past bedtime.

Update: Here are a few additional lists, thanks to suggestions from readers. (You can read their full descriptions in COMMENTS to this item.)

American Library Association list of Young Adult titles

The Center for Teaching and Learning’s recommendations for K-8 and high school reading.

International Reading Association’s Children’s Choices and Young Adults’ Choices.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Challenging the Stigma: Emotions and STEM
STEM isn't just equations and logic. Join this webinar and discover how emotions fuel innovation, creativity, & problem-solving in STEM!
Content provided by Project Lead The Way

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 31, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education In Their Own Words The Stories That Stuck With Us, 2023 Edition
Our newsroom selected five stories as among the highlights of our work. Here's why.
4 min read
102523 IMSE Reading BS
Adria Malcolm for Education Week