Tips for Parents

Helping your child find appropriate reading material requires your guidance and continued support. When choosing books for your child, take into consideration the following:

  • Pick up a book and have your child flip through the first few pages. Oftentimes, your child can tell you if there is too much text or if the words are too big.
  • Consider your child's two or three favorite books. Compare other books by this standard. Feel free to pick up a few that are slightly easier and slightly harder than their favorite titles!
  • Be sure that the subject matter is appropriate for your child's age and/or maturity level. Are they ready to learn about concepts such as manners, math, war or sexuality?
  • Be sure to choose books that will keep your child's interest. Are they bored by trucks and fascinated by dinosaurs? Try to choose materials that will make your child excited to read!

Need help getting started? Search our collection based on Reading Level.

Accelerated Reader & Other Reading Levels

Did you know that you can find library books based on the following reading levels?

  • Accelerated Reader (AR)
  • Lexile
  • Reading Counts

Start your search.

Note: Many publishers and independent companies organize books based on different reading level concepts, such as text difficulty, curriculum standards, reading comprehension, etc. Since there is no reading level or ratings standard for books (unlike movies, music, or video games), the library does not organize books based on reading levels. Instead, we organize titles based on general age groups, author and/or subject matter.

For more information about reading levels, visit these websites.

Library Terms, Demystified

  • Board Books: For infants and toddlers. The content ranges from basic concepts to simple stories. Board books are made out of hard cardboard, a durable choice for babies who like to rip pages out of books.
  • Picture Books: For two to six years old. Picture books are typically 32 pages long with illustrations that are integral to the story. These are often meant to be read aloud while the listener pores over the pictures. This collection includes alphabet and counting books.
  • Readers: For kindergartners through 2nd graders. These are books with limited vocabulary and scattered illustrations, designed to be friendly for those learning to read on their own.
  • Juvenile Fiction: For 2nd graders to 5th/6th graders. This is a collection of novels for children, often called chapter books. Note: The main difference between juvenile fiction and teen fiction is subject matter, not reading difficulty.
  • Juvenile First Chapter Books: For young readers ready to move from readers into chapter books. Characterized by having slightly larger print, more pictures and shorter chapters than books for older readers. Shelved by author unless a series has multiple authors.
  • Juvenile Non-Fiction & Biographies: For toddlers to teens. There is something for everyone in non-fiction! Be sure to flip through these books to gauge difficulty, and let your child pick out subjects that sound interesting. This collection includes fairy tales, folklore & poetry.
  • Juvenile Magazines: For toddlers through ‘tweens. Magazines are a great way to get reluctant readers on board! Subjects range from nature to popular culture to sports and humor.
  • Kids & Teen Audiobooks: Audiobooks are also a good alternative for reluctant readers. These titles usually mirror titles found within the juvenile fiction, juvenile non-fiction and teen sections. And don't forget about Playaways!
  • Teen Fiction & Non-Fiction: For 6th to 12th graders. This is mostly a popular collection, including comics and manga. The main difference between juvenile fiction and teen fiction is subject matter, not reading difficulty.
  • Teen Magazines: For 5th graders and up. Topics include popular culture and high interest titles such as Transworld Skateboarding, MAD and Seventeen.

For More Assistance

Need more guidance on choosing books?

Check out our Parent/Teacher collection (located behind the Youth Services desk) for books about books, including the ones linked below.

Online Collections for Book Selection

Get out your library card for this one; you're going to need it!

Books for Reluctant Readers

Having trouble getting your kid excited about reading?

These books combine juicy topics appropriate to your child/teen's age with easier vocabulary to help motivate kids who may be struggling with reading.

Websites with Suggested Book Lists

Still not sure what books to give your kids? Check out these websites for more suggestions.

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