Menu

Books by Theme

Our Favorite Audio Books

We've gathered up dozens of terrific audio books, perfect for car trips, lazy summer afternoons, or any time a good story is in order. You'll connect with some familiar friends — Ramona, Cam Jansen, Alvin Ho, and Nate the Great — plus some new characters with adventures to share. Poetry, folktales, classics, and more in this carefully selected list for kids 3–12 years old. Audio books are also ideal for sharing, even when there are kids of many ages in one group. It's a great way to enjoy a good story and practice listening skills.

26 Fairmount Avenue

By: Tomie dePaola
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

The first in a series of autobiographical chapter books about Tomie dePaola's early years, this story focuses on his family's move from their apartment in Meriden, Connecticut, to the now famous address, 26 Fairmount Avenue. This Newbery Honor book is sprinkled with humorous sketches, and is ideal for reading aloud and for the sharing of family stories.

A Dog on His Own

By: Mary Jane Auch
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

K-10 no longer trusts humans but he's still a special kind of dog just as his mother told him. K-10's unique voice as well as that of the other canines come alive in this spirited narration.

A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans

By: Laurence Yep
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

Miss Drake, a strong-willed dragon, has a new pet, a girl named Winnie who thinks Miss Drake is her pet. When Winnie's sketches come to life, can dragon and girl work together to put things right? Read in an appealing British accent, this is sure to delight listeners of all ages.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee

By: Philip Stead
Illustrated by: Erin Stead
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Every day, Amos McGee goes to his job at the City Zoo where he's attentive to each of his animal friends' special needs. One day, however, Amos doesn't feel well and must miss work and so his friends visit to take care of him. Gentle, expressive illustrations expand this touching tale. (2011 Caldecott Medal Winner)

A Single Shard

By: Linda Sue Park
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Tree Ear, a homeless orphan, longs to work as a potter, a respected but competitive employment — especially for a boy who lives under a bridge. Set in 12th century Korea, this Newbery Medal winning novel is as relevant as if it were taking place today. (2002 Newbery Medal Winner)

Ace

By: Dick King-Smith
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

Farmer Tubb wants to sell Ace and his siblings when they reach eight weeks of age. Can Ace, a very bright porker, save them all?

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

By: Lewis Carroll
Illustrated by: Helen Oxenbury
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Lewis Carroll's classic story of Alice and her fantastic journey has been freshly illustrated. Gentle, full-color illustrations retain the original tone and make the story appealing and accessible for modern children.

Alice down the rabbit hole comes to life in this masterful, unabridged reading of the classic fantasy, bringing it to life all over again.

Alvin Ho Collection: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things

By: Lenore Look
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Although 2nd grader Alvin Ho admires superheroes, he is quite unlike them. In fact, he is afraid of everything! Alvin's disarming character is perfectly voiced in this two-book collection.

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters

By: Lenore Look
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The timid 2nd grader is back, this time fearful of an upcoming camping trip with his father. Alvin's siblings try to help him but actually create a different sort of disaster. Readers will enjoy laughing along with these memorable characters.

American Tall Tales

By: Mary Pope Osborne, Michael McCurdy
Illustrated by: Michael McCurdy
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Meet heroes (and heroines) in these well-told tales of fictitious and actual characters from American folklore. These tales are ideal for reading aloud, and are illustrated with strong-lined wood engravings.

Arthur: Anniversary Collection

By: Marc Brown
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Arthur's everyday world, both real and daydreamed, is presented through a lively narration of four books: Arthur's Mystery Envelope, Arthur Makes the Team, Arthur Accused!, and Arthur and the Lost Diary. Children and adults alike will recognize the concerns and the humor in these gentle sagas.

As Brave As You

By: Jason Reynolds
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

11-year-old Genie and his soon-to-be-14-year-old brother, Ernie, travel from their home in Brooklyn to spend the summer in rural Virginia with their grandparents. The boys are in for lots of surprises; they learn that their grandfather is blind, that there is no Internet, and more. Characters are distinct and vividly depicted as Genie narrates his satisfying story.

Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring

By: Jan Greenberg, Sandra Jordan
Illustrated by: Brian Floca
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The combined talent of three geniuses — Martha Graham's choreography, Isamu Noguchi's art, and Aaron Copland's music — brought the ballet "Appalachian Spring" to life in October 1944. Graceful illustrations combine with poetic, highly detailed narrative for a riveting account of this achievement. Notes and sources are included.

Barnaby Grimes: Curse of the Nightwolf

By: Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Barnaby Grimes is a "tick-tock lad," a messenger whose specialty is very fast deliveries, which he achieves by taking the most direct route over the rooftops otherwise known as "highstacking." In Barnaby's first adventure, his deliveries for the strange Dr. Cadwallader lead to his discovery of a monstrous secret. There are three additional books in the series.

Beautiful Blackbird

By: Ashley Bryan
Illustrated by: Ashley Bryan
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

In a story of the Ila people of Zambia, the colorful birds of Africa ask Blackbird, whom they think is the most beautiful of birds, to decorate them with some of his "blackening brew." The story line is simple and the rhythmic chants of the flock frequently interspersed throughout the text add drama and a rapper's cadence to this award-winning book that is ready-made for participative storytelling.

Beetle Boy

By: M.G. Leonard
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When Darkus’ entomologist father disappears, the boy moves in with eccentric Uncle Max. There, Darkus meets an extraordinary rhinoceros beetle (who he names Max), foils a plot by the evil Lucretia Cutter and her inept minions, and forges friendships. The fast pace unfolds with humor, ends with an entomologists’ dictionary, and will ultimately continue in another book.

Best Man

By: Richard Peck
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Archer has been in two weddings. He looks back on the first one — a disaster for the then six-year-old boy. At least Archer met Lynette Stanley, starting a friendship that has stuck. Now in 6th grade, Archer confronts bullies and what it means to be a man as he matures. Quirky characters combine with poignant and laugh-out-loud scenes in this memorable and ultimately touching novel.

Boxcar Children

By: Gertrude Chandler Warner
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Four orphaned children, Jessie, Henry, Violet and Benny, make a home for themselves in an abandoned red boxcar — that is, until they find they need a caring adult. This is the first in the gentle, ever-popular, now classic series.

Now more than 60 years since it was published, the story of four orphans who make their home in an old railroad car comes to life again.

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909

By: Michelle Markel
Illustrated by: Melissa Sweet
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

In the early 20th century, Clara Lemlick and her family immigrated to the United in search of a better life. The tough garment work in New York City didn't deter Clara who persevered and helped better life for both women and men workers. A simple text combines with mixed media illustrations for a glimpse into early activism and unions.

Brown Girl Dreaming

By: Jacqueline Woodson
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The early years of a girl who grows into a writer has been recreated from family stories combined with memory and presented in verse. Born in February 1963 in Ohio, Woodson's family soon moves to the South during turbulent years. The history of the writer, her family and a nation combine in rich, metaphorical language.

Bud, Not Buddy

By: Christopher Paul Curtis
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Young Bud runs away from the latest and worst foster home in search of his father. Though he doesn't find his father, Bud (not Buddy) does find family, music, and more on his long trek across Michigan during the Depression. In this Newbery-winning novel, both humor and Bud's naive voice make difficult issues accessible to younger readers. (2000 Newbery Medal Winner)

Chains

By: Laurie Halse Anderson
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Isabel, an enslaved 13-year old, and her younger sister are set to be freed but instead are sold to a ruthless Loyalist at the start of the Revolutionary War. Life in New York City during the time comes vividly alive as do the complexities of the war

Charlotte's Web

By: E.B. White
Illustrated by: Garth Williams
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The classic story of friendship and how a spider named Charlotte saves Wilbur, a small pig, from certain death with words in a web is now more than 50 years old. Nonetheless, it remains as fresh as the day it was first written.

Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale

By: Carmen Agra Deedy, Randall Wright
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

Dickens's England comes to life from the perspective of an alley cat.

Clementine

By: Sara Pennypacker
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Meet Clementine, a 3rd grader with enough energy to land her into trouble with great frequency. Her everyday adventures continue in other books.

Clementine and the Family Meeting

By: Sara Pennypacker
Illustrated by: Marla Frazee
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Clementine is afraid that she's in trouble but instead finds out that a new baby is on the way when the family meeting is called.

Clementine and the Spring Trip

By: Sara Pennypacker
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Clementine is looking forward to the school field trip to Plimoth Plantation and other signs of spring her family's Annual Spring Walk Through Boston Common. But things don't always go the way the lively 3rd grader anticipates in the latest story about likeable, energetic Clementine.

Cool Zone with the Pain and the Great One

By: Judy Blume
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Jake (aka The Pain), a first grader and his sister, 3rd grader Abigail (aka The Great One), share vignettes in alternating chapters about life and living in their school and at home. Though they are indeed sibling rivals, each child is fiercely loyal to the other and confronts familiar school problems as a duo with verve and humor.

Crispin: The Cross of Lead

By: Avi
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

In this Newbery Medal-winning novel, Crispin is falsely accused of murder and must flee his medieval town to save his life. But, just as he's leaving, he learns from the village priest that his parents' origins – and fates – might be more mysterious than he ever imagined… (2003 Newbery Medal Winner)

Criss Cross

By: Lynne Rae Perkins
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This story reads like a series of intersecting vignettes, all focused on 14-year-old Debbie and her friends as they leave childhood behind. The descriptive, measured writing includes poems, prose, haiku, and question-and-answer formats. Perkins brings a great deal of humor to this gentle story about a group of childhood friends facing the crossroads of life and how they wish to live it. (2006 Newbery Medal Winner)

Dark Day in the Deep Sea (Magic Tree House #39)

By: Mary Pope Osborne
Illustrated by: Sal Murdocca
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Travel back to the 19th century with Jack and Annie on another mission for Merlin — this one involving the South Pacific, sea travel with early scientists, and the search for a sea monster.

Dead End in Norvelt

By: Jack Gantos
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This humorous and heartwarming novel takes place during the summer of 1962, when narrator Jack Gantos turns 12 and has been "grounded for life" by his parents. He takes on a summer job writing obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his Utopian town, Norvelt. Gantos expertly mixes truth and fiction in this book. For mature readers 9-12 and teens. (2012 Newbery Medal Winner)

Diary of a Spider

By: Doreen Cronin
Illustrated by: Harry Bliss
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Sound effects and dramatic reading make the humorous saga of an eight-legged hero come to life. Based on the picture book of the same name.

Dominic

By: William Steig
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

On his adventures, Dominique, a singular canine, meets many mysterious creatures. His reputation builds and so do his stories which make this an ideal book to hear expertly read.

Double Fudge

By: Judy Blume
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When the Hatchers visit Washington D.C. so that money-obsessed Fudge can see where it is printed, they run into distant cousins who then invite themselves to stay with their relatives in New York City. Chaos ensues when the families share close quarters, all creating lots of laughs for readers.

Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom

By: David Neilsen
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Hardscrabble Street transformed when Dr. Fell moved into the old abandoned house. Only Jerry, Nancy and Gail seem to be immune to a web that captivated kids and grownups as they played on Dr. Fell’s amazing new playground.  Part mystery, part magic, this creepy story is not recommended for the fainthearted!

Dumpling Days

By: Grace Lin
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

In this 3rd book about Pacy, she and her family plan to go to Taiwan to celebrate her grandmother's birthday.

Emily's Fortune

By: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When 8-year old Emily is orphaned she heads west to find her kindly Aunt Hilda. Emily's rip-roaring adventure involves a dastardly uncle, a huge fortune, and a good friend. Each chapter ends with a cliffhanger sure to keep even the most reluctant reader reading!

Everything for a Dog

By: Ann M. Martin
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

Bone, a stray dog, narrates the sometimes harrowing tale of how he finds a permanent home, effectively and evenly read.

Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg

By: Gail Carson Levine
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

What happens in Neverland after Peter Pan and Wendy share an adventure? This tale gives us a glimpse into the world of fairies, when our old friend Tinkerbell shows a new fairy the ropes and rescues Neverland from certain doom.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

By: Roald Dahl
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Though the farmers on the three neighboring farms are quite different, each raises some type of poultry, each is very mean and ornery, and each shares their dislike of foxes. Can one fox outwit them? Only a very special, indeed fantastic Mr. Fox can — and does! A movie version of the book, just right for reading aloud, is due out in November 2009.

Feathers

By: Jacqueline Woodson
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Narrator Frannie keenly observes the changing dynamics in her classroom when a new white student arrives. Frannie also frets about her family — her deaf brother isolated from the hearing world and her pregnant mother prone to miscarriages.

Flat Stanley: His Original Adventure

By: Jeff Brown
Illustrated by: Macky Pamintuan
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Life as a paper-thin boy is not all bad as Stanley finds out. He was flattened by a bulletin board bit adjusts quite well with the help of his parents to his new dimensions — all of which makes for very funny reading (and travels in later books about Stanley and his family).

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

By: Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by: KG Campbell
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The small squirrel rescued from a super vacuum cleaner by 10-year old Flora emerges hairless but with new superpowers. Newly named Ulysses, the squirrel cracks Flora's protective cynicism as she copes with her parents' separation. Humor and pathos combine in text and illustration in this humorous, memorable and poignant novel. (2014 Newbery Medal Winner)

Freckle Juice & The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo

By: Judy Blume
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Children will recognize themselves and everyday problems in these two modern classics.

Frog and Toad

By: Arnold Lobel
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The four easy readers, modern classics, are effectively read by their author and sprinkled with music and sound effects.

Full of Beans

By: Jennifer Holm
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Times are tough for Beans and his family in Key West during the Great Depression. Can Beans and his friends trust the New Dealers who say that they have come to Florida to make their small, poor town a tourist destination? Bean’s saga is both humorous and poignant in his satisfying story.

Generation Fix: Young Ideas for a Better World

By: Elizabeth Rusch
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Young people see a need and work to better their world in this upbeat chronicle of youthful activists.

George Washington, Spymaster

By: Thomas Allen
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Espionage played an important role in defeating the British, as is demonstrated in this cleverly-formatted, intriguing book.

Ghost

By: Jason Reynolds
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Sophisticated listeners will enjoy the story of a track-running boy and his new team with runners from very different backgrounds.

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!

By: Laura Schlitz
Illustrated by: Robert Byrd
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Maidens, monks, and millers’ sons — in these pages, readers will meet them all. With a deep appreciation for the period and a grand affection for both characters and audience, Laura Amy Schlitz creates twenty-two riveting portraits and linguistic gems equally suited to silent reading or performance. (2008 Newbery Medal Winner)

Greek Myths

By: Ann Turnbull
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

Sophisticated listeners will appreciate the dramatic readings of Greek myths.

Green Eggs and Ham and other Servings of Dr. Seuss

By: Dr. Seuss
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Nine books by the tongue-tangling master of comedy come alive through animated readings, punctuated with music. Seuss' language is engaging to hear, even without his distinctive illustrations, in these adept and lively rhyming stories.

Green Is a Chile Pepper

By: Roseanne Thong
Illustrated by: John Parra
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Colors introduce foods and more Mexico and other Spanish-speaking counties. Naïve style illustrations accompany bouncy rhymes that incorporate Spanish words; all colors appear in both Spanish and English.

H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Imagination and Basketball

By: Christopher Myers
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The fun of friends playing a game of basketball comes to life.

Hattie Big Sky

By: Kirby Larson
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

For years, sixteen-year-old Hattie's been shuttled between relatives. Tired of being Hattie Here-and-There, she courageously leaves Iowa to prove up on her late uncle's homestead claim in Montana. Despite many hardships, Hattie forges ahead, sharing her adventures with her friends through letters and articles for her hometown paper.

Haunted Castle on Hallow's Eve (Magic Tree House #30)

By: Mary Pope Osborne
Illustrated by: Sal Murdocca
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Annie and Jack go back in time to Camelot to a haunted castle to find the Stone of Destiny. Their quest involves lots of spooky things as well as an apprentice wizard, Morgan LeFay's nephew.

Hiawatha and the Peacemaker

By: Robbie Robertson
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Sophisticated listeners will appreciate the reading of the story of Hiawatha who with the Peacemaker brings the Iroquois nations together. Be sure to listen with the handsomely illustrated book as one reading is with page turn signals.

Home of the Brave

By: Katherine Applegate
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This novel, written in free verse, tells the story of Kek, an eleven-year-old boy from the Sudan who arrives as a refugee to Minnesota in the middle of winter. In moments both amusing and heartbreaking, it is possible to see through Kek's eyes what it is like for new immigrants who come to this country and to think about the scars that war leaves on its youngest victims. Teacher's Guide available.

Hooray for Anna Hibiscus

By: Atinuke
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Anna Hibiscus and her life in contemporary Africa come to life occasionally using authentic-sounding accents to create a strong sense of place.

Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories

By: Dr. Seuss
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Classic Seuss rhymes and illustrations of stories that have only been published heretofore in magazines are put together in a new collection. Adults will appreciate the introduction by Seuss scholar, Charles Cohen, while children will enjoy seeing well-loved characters (Horton and the Grinch, for example) in "new" stories.

How to Catch a Bogle

By: Catherine Jinks
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Family

Bogle-catching in Victorian England is comes alive in this deliciously spooky tale effectively presented in an accented voice and a capella singing.

It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel

By: Firoozeh Dumas
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Zomorod Yousefzadeh prefers to be called “Cindy” (as in one of the Brady Bunch). She lives with her Iranian-born family in California where her father works. Their life, however, changes when a group of Iranian students take over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. The issues of the 1970s come into sharp focus (and are surprisingly timely) through Cindy’s often funny, sometimes insightful, always plausible narration. 

Jazz

By: Walter Dean Myers
Illustrated by: Christopher Myers
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Experience the explosion of color and movement of jazz as you pulsate with its beat in a vibrant series of poems and paintings. This father-and-son team explores a variety of jazz forms in an unforgettable book.

In 2008, the first Odyssey Award for distinguished children's/young adult audiobook was presented to this read-along title. This package brings together the illustrations of the book with the featured Jazz music.

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat

By: Simms Taback
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Readers learn how something can be made from almost nothing as Joseph transforms his amazing, but tattered, coat, into a jacket, a vest and a scarf. When there is only a button left remaining, he uses his imagination to find one more use. (2000 Caldecott Medal Winner)

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker

By: Patricia Hruby Powell
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Josephine Baker’s life and struggles of this performer and activist comes to life.

Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies

By: Emma Walton Hamilton, Julie Andrews
Illustrated by: Jim McMullan
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A range of poetic styles, some rooted in the authors' family, are shared in this handsome, easily accessible collection. Attractive illustrations are sprinkled throughout, building the joy when the poems are shared, even when listening to the beautifully read CD.

Just So Stories & Other Tales

By: Rudyard Kipling
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Find out why the camel has a hump, how the elephant got his trunk and how a small fish changed the whale's taste forever. Boris Karloff's distinctive voice and style breathe new life to the audio book version of these familiar tales.

Kira-Kira

By: Cynthia Kadohata
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This tender novel describes a loving Japanese-American family from the point of view of the younger sister. Personal challenges and family tragedy, particularly the older sister's struggle with lymphoma, are set against the oppressive social climate of the South during the 1950s and early 1960s. (2005 Newbery Medal Winner)

Kitten's First Full Moon

By: Kevin Henkes
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Children will delight in Kitten’s mistake. They know that what she thinks is a bowl of milk is really the moon’s reflection. Mostly black and white (and shades of gray) illustration expressively depict Kitten. Children enjoy the visual and verbal patterns throughout. (2005 Caldecott Medal Winner)

Last Stop on Market Street

By: Matt de la Peña
Illustrated by: Christian Robinson
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A slightly grumpy CJ asks his grandma why they have to take a bus across town every Sunday after church. Her answers are playful, wise, and effective; CJ admits he's glad they came to see their friends at the soup kitchen where they serve. Bright, stylized illustrations and rich, well-paced language presents a warm relationship and a diverse urban locale. (2016 Newbery Medal Winner)

Little House in the Big Woods

By: Laura Wilder
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

Meet Laura and her family in this first of the Little House series in their cozy Wisconsin log home. Setting and characters come alive through the vivid detail of family life and living in the 1870s. The calm narration mitigates the more explicit particulars of pioneer life.

Malcolm at Midnight

By: W. H. Beck
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

Malcolm the rat narrates his adventures in Mr. Binney's fifth-grade class. At night, the school comes alive with the Midnight Academy, a secret society of classroom pets that protects the school. When the leader (an iguana named Aggy) goes missing, Malcolm sets out to find Aggy to ensure her safety and to clear his name.

Marvin One Too Many

By: Katherine Paterson
Illustrated by: Jane Clark Brown
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Marvin's excitement about first grade quickly dwindles when his name doesn't appear on the list and the class is short one desk. Add to that the fact that he struggles to read, well, it's clear that he's just "one too many." Things improve when Marvin's parents find out what is going on and his father shares his difficulty learning to read.

Mary Poppins

By: Mo Willems
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The Banks family, their children, and a most amazing Mary Poppins are brought to life through the narrator’s spot-on British accent.

Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse

By: Marilyn Singer
Illustrated by: Josee Masse
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Everyone knows that there are two sides to every story. Read a cleverly illustrated poem one way for one side; read the same poem in reverse and learn the other. Well known fairy tales are presented through reversible poems sure to intrigue sophisticated readers of all ages. Each book comes with a CD, so pop it in and follow along!

Moo: A Novel

By: Sharon Creech
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Reena, her younger brother Luke and their parents leave New York City behind for a new life in Maine. The first summer in their new home, the siblings are asked to help old Mrs. Falala and her animals. Both the old lady and each of her four-legged charges have distinct personalities with unanticipated results for the children and parents. Humor and more serious topics unfold in gentle verse in an open format.

Moon Over Manifest

By: Clare Vanderpool
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby. I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I’d seen only in Gideon’s stories: Manifest—A Town with a rich past and a bright future. Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was. (2011 Newbery Medal Winner)

More, More, More Said the Baby

By: Vera Williams
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

In each of these three short, colorfully illustrated stories, the grandmother loves her Little Pumpkin as only a doting grandmother can. Chubby, multi-ethnic children are brightly portrayed in sparkling watercolors.

Mr. Popper's Penguins

By: Richard Atwater, Florence Atwater
Illustrated by: Florence Atwater
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When Admiral Drake sends a penguin named Captain Cook to the Popper family, Mr. Popper's dreams of seeing the world begin to come true. Humor abounds in this early Newbery Honor book as readers follow Mr. Popper and his penguins to Antarctica.

Muddle Earth

By: Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

With a bit of a nod to J.R.R. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings, Muddle Earth follows the quest of Joe, an ordinary boy from Earth who has been summoned to Muddle Earth by the wizard Randalf to fight evil in this realm where things are quite muddled and anything can happen — from stampeding silverware to exploding gas frogs.

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!

By: Candace Fleming
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Try as he might, Mr. McGreely cannot outwit three clever and hungry rabbits as they feast on his vegetable garden — muncha, muncha, muncha! But there's always something to be grateful for as both the gardener and the rabbits learn in this funny, alliterative tale.

Nate the Great Series

By: Marjorie Sharmat
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Nate the Great has been delighting beginning readers for 30 years. The quirky characters and simple, clever storylines are a big hit with kids – all of whom love to solve each mystery alongside the most popular sleuth in the business.

Once Upon a Timeless Tale Collection

By: Miriam Margolyes
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

Familiar tales such as "Little Red Riding Hood" and "The Princess and the Pea" have been faithfully retold and dramatically read.

One Half from the East

By: Nadia Hashimi
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Obeyda becomes a bacha posh (a girl who assumes the role of a boy) named Obeyd when she and her family leave Kabul to be nearer to family in the country. As bacha bosh, Obeyd has much more freedom and is sure to bring luck to the family since her policeman father could no longer support his family after he lost a leg in a car bombing. This story of contemporary Afghanistan is compelling and illuminating.

Only Passing Through

By: Anne Rockwell
Illustrated by: Anne Rockwell
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

This brief biography begins when 9-year-old Isabella is sold at a slave auction in Kingston, New York. It continues as she transforms into the woman best known as Sojourner Truth, an outspoken critic of slavery and proponent of women's rights. Also included are a dramatic reading of Truth's famous "Ain't I a Woman" speech and a stirring hymn written and often sung by Truth.

Our Only May Amelia

By: Jennifer Holm
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Twelve-year-old tomboy May Amelia Jackson, the youngest of seven children and the only girl in a Finnish immigrant family, lives in the wilderness along the Nasel River in Washington State in 1899. Through May Amelia's travels, readers witness the diverse ways of life in the expanding West: peaceful relations with the Chinook Indians, the dangers posed by the neighboring logging camp, her aunt's life in the nearby boomtown of Astoria, Oregon, as well as the rhythms of the seasons.

Penny from Heaven

By: Jennifer Holm
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

It’s 1953 and 11-year-old Penny dreams of a summer of butter pecan ice cream, swimming, and baseball. This coming-of-age story is populated by a cast of vivid family characters and it explores the things that tear them apart and the things that bring them back together. The book includes an Author's Note with photographs and additional background on World War II, Internment camps, and 1950s America.

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods

By: Rick Riordan
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon and a human woman (and title character in the Olympian series of novels) retells traditional Greek myths. His voice is informal and chatty, adding contemporary insight and drama. The tellings are punctuated by handsome, theatrical illustrations in a satisfyingly large format.

Pete the Cat: Old MacDonald Had a Farm

By: James Dean
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Pokerfaced Pete the cat sings the traditional song with his guitar as he travels the farm in a red pickup truck and his big green tractor. Deadpan illustrations add verve and humor to the familiar tune and farm animal sounds.

Poems and Folktales

By: Ashley Bryan
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Have you ever wondered why there is thunder and lightning? Hear this Nigerian folktale and other tales (as well as original poems) retold and shared by a master storyteller, artist, and writer. Ashley Bryan's distinctive style and resonant voice echo the techniques of traditional griots.

Princess Posey and the Tiny Treasure

By: Stephanie Greene
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Posey learns about consequences firsthand when her much-loved toy is taken away in school. The gentle story is pleasantly narrated.

Rabbit Ears Treasury of World Tales: Volume Two

By: Rabbit Ears
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Listen in to these two classic tales — about princes and princesses — read with character and energy by Oscar-winning actors Williams and Thompson.

Ralph S. Mouse

By: Beverly Cleary
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ralph is a mouse who speaks human and lives at the Mountain View Inn run by Ryan’s family. The fun starts when Ralph’s motorcycle breaks and he convinces Ryan to take him to a mysterious place called school. Characters come to life through the lively narration.

Ramona and Her Father

By: Beverly Cleary
Illustrated by: Beverly Cleary
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Seven-year old Ramona tries to take charge when her dad loses his job and her mother goes back to work out of the house full-time.  Readers will see themselves in the Quimby household and are sure to chuckle at Ramona’s antics. 

Ramona Quimby, Age 8

By: Beverly Cleary
Illustrated by: Beverly Cleary
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

Ramona is ready for the challenges of a new school — without her older sister. It's a year of change for the Quimby family and if everyone else can adjust, so can Ramona. The normal challenges of family life come alive here with verve and humor.

Ramona's World

By: Beverly Cleary, Tracy Dockray
Illustrated by: Tracy Dockray
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ramona, now starting 4th grade, gets a teacher who is a stickler for proper spelling. Ramona is propelled into writing a letter when she finds an error in an advertisement — all with the verve and humor readers expect of Ramona.

Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits

By: Donalyn Miller
Age Level: Adult
Reading Level: Professional

A companion to the bestselling The Book Whisperer, Reading in the Wild explores whether or not we are truly instilling lifelong reading habits in our students and provides practical strategies for teaching "wild" reading. Based on survey responses from over 900 adult readers and classroom feedback, Reading in the Wild offers solid advice and strategies on how to develop, encourage and assess key lifelong reading habits, including dedicating time for reading, planning for future reading, and defining oneself as a reader. Includes advice for supporting the love of reading by explicitly teaching lifelong reading habits. Contains accessible strategies, ideas, tips, lesson plans and management tools along with lists of recommended books. [Amazon review]

Revolution (The Sixties Trilogy)

By: Deborah Wiles
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A full cast voices this production which brings to life the summer of 1964 and the changes that were taking place in Greenwood, Mississippi.

Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook

By: Shel Silverstein
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Runny Babbit talk is created by spoonerisms, switching the first sound in a pair of words, so a "silly book" becomes a "billy sook." Kids build their phonemic awareness without even trying! The audio book narrator's slightly gravelly voice is ideal for sharing these funny poems (completed though not published before the popular poet's death in 1999).

Scarecrow and His Servant

By: Phillip Pullman
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A not-too-bright scarecrow accompanies Jack on the adventure of a lifetime, far away from the field and birds.

Shiloh

By: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Family

Eleven year old Marty must decide whether or not to return an abused beagle to its rightful owner, an unkind man. His dilemma includes hiding the dog, Shiloh, telling his parents the truth, and more in this riveting, award-winning novel which is ideal to read aloud with slightly sophisticated listeners. It was adapted into a live action film in 2000.

Shrek!

By: William Steig
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Ugly ogre parents make an even uglier ogre son named Shrek. Of course Shrek seeks (on the back of a donkey) and finds a bride — an ogress even uglier than he! Enjoy the rich language used in the now 20-years-old and still-funny picture book that inspired a movie adaptation.

So You Want to Be President?

By: Judith St. George
Illustrated by: David Small
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

One president was too big to get himself into a bathtub; another's legacy was unknown — but once more is known about the men who have become U.S. President, more may aspire to it! Little known facts about presidents are presented in lively tidbits augmented by Small's droll cartoons. The Caldecott medal winning book has been updated to include the current president. (2001 Caldecott Medal Winner)

Songs from the Baobab

By: Chantal Grosleziat
Illustrated by: Elodie Nouhen
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

This handsomely illustrated book is accompanied by a CD of songs and lullabies from various parts of Africa.

Stallion by Starlight

By: Mary Pope Osborne
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Siblings Jack and Annie time travel to ancient Greece to help Alexander the Great, successfully read by the book's author.

Stink the Incredible Shrinking Kid

By: Megan McDonald
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Stink's real name is James, just like President James Madison. And like Madison, Stink is short — a notion constantly reinforced by his older sister Judy. Stink, however, learns how to cope with it while along the way learning about U.S. presidents.

Stink: Solar System Superhero

By: Megan McDonald
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

"Honk if you love Pluto!" The latest adventures of Stink, Judy Moody's rambunctious little brother, will make young listeners laugh out loud.

Superfudge

By: Judy Blume
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Peter is now 12 and still tormented by younger brother, Fudge. And then he learns that his parents want to leave New York City for some time in the country — and a new baby in the family. One Fudge is bad enough, but how will Peter cope with yet another? Humor abounds in this recognizable tale.

T. Rex

By: Vivian French
Illustrated by: Alison Bartlett
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A child and his grandfather visit a museum to meet the T. Rex and explore what happened to the creature. Additional information is included on the CD.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

By: Judy Blume
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Meet the Hatchers through the voice of Peter, the oldest of son, tormented (as all siblings are) by his younger and perennially "cute" brother, Farley (better known as Fudge). Their life in an apartment in New York City sparkles with humor and plausible family scenes in this first of the stories of Peter, his family, and ultimately his neighbors.

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend

By: Dan Santat
Illustrated by: Dan Santat
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

This magical story begins on an island far away where an imaginary friend is born. He patiently waits his turn to be chosen by a real child, but when he is overlooked time and again, he sets off on an incredible journey to the bustling city, where he finally meets his perfect match and-at long last-is given his special name: Beekle. (2015 Caldecott Medal Winner)

The Bippolo Seed & Other Lost Stories

By: Dr. Seuss
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Seven stories published only before in magazines have been put together in a fresh volume introduced by a Seuss scholar and sure to delight the doctor's fans.

The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child

By: Donalyn Miller
Age Level: Adult
Reading Level: Professional

Donalyn Miller is a dedicated teacher who says she has yet to meet a child she couldn't turn into a reader. In this book, Miller takes us inside her sixth grade classroom to reveal the secrets of her powerful but unusual instructional approach. Rejecting book reports, comprehension worksheets, and other aspects of conventional instruction, Miller embraces giving students an individual choice in what they read, combined with a program for independent reading. She also focuses on building a classroom library of high-interest books, and above all on modeling appropriate and authentic reading behaviors. Her zeal for reading is infectious and inspiring, and the results speak for themselves. No matter how far behind Miller's students may be when they start out, they end up reading an average of forty books per year, achieving high scores on standardized tests, and internalizing a love for reading that lasts long after they've left her class. [Amazon review]

The Bunnicula Collection: Books 1 to 3

By: Deborah and James Howe
Illustrated by: Deborah and James Howe
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Family

Harold the family dog narrates three stories of life with supernatural suspicions which begins with Bunnicula, the bunny with fangs. In the Howliday Inn while boarding at the Chateau Bow-Wow, Harold and Chester (the Monroe cat) encounter a werewolf, perhaps. Chester and Harold must stop zombie vegetables when the Celery Stalks at Midnight. Over-the-top humor is very appealing to a broad range of listeners (including adults!).

The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken: The Next Misadventure (The Chicken Squad, Book 2)

By: Doreen Cronin
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The Chicken Squad is back, here for another funny mystery just right for younger listeners.

The Crossover

By: Kwame Alexander
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The Bell twins are stars on the basketball court and comrades in life. While there are some differences — Josh shaves his head and Jordan loves his locks — both twins adhere to the Bell basketball rules: In this game of life, your family is the court, and the ball is your heart. When life intervenes in the form of a new girl, the balance shifts and growing apart proves painful. Alexander eloquently mashes up concrete poetry, hip-hop, a love of jazz, and a thriving family bond. The effect is poetry in motion. It is a rare verse novel that is fundamentally poetic rather than using this writing trend as a device. There is also a quirky vocabulary element that adds a fun intellectual note to the narrative. This may be just the right book for those hard-to-match youth who live for sports or music or both. (2015 Newbery Medal Winner)

The Doll People

By: Ann M. Martin, Laura Godwin
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

The first in the series of adventures shared between Annabelle Doll and Tiffany Funcraft and their families is well-voiced in a light British accent.

The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island

By: Dana Alison Levy
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The four Fletcher boys (each from a different background; each adopted) and their two fathers vacation in New England. Together the boys and their neighbors, the Galindo girls, help solve the mystery of the closed lighthouse in this fast-paced novel with recognizable events and personalities. The characters in this stand-alone book were first introduced in The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher.

The Game of Silence

By: Louise Erdrich
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Like its predecessor The Birchbark House, this long-awaited sequel is framed by catastrophe, but the core of the story, which is set in 1850, is white settlers' threats to the traditional Ojibwe way of life. Omakayas is now nine and living at her beautiful island home in Lake Superior. But whites want Ojibwe off the island: Where will they go? In addition to an abundance of details about life through the seasons, Erdrich deals with the wider meaning of family and Omakayas' coming-of-age on a vision quest. — Booklist

The Graveyard Book

By: Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by: Dave McKean
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place—he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him. (2009 Newbery Medal Winner)

The Heart of a Chief

By: Joseph Bruchac
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Chris's life is complicated. At school, he's been selected to lead a project on sports teams with Indian names. At home, where his father is battling alcoholism on the Penacook reservation, the Indians are divided about building a casino. It would destroy the beautiful island Chris thinks of as his own. What can one sixth-grade boy can do in the midst of so many challenges?

The Hello, Goodbye Window

By: Norton Juster
Illustrated by: Chris Raschka
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The window at Nanna and Poppy's house looks like a regular window, but it's really a doorway to the child's world and a celebration of the special bond between grandparents and grandchildren. Celebrate family with this Caldecott Medal-winning book. (2006 Caldecott Medal Winner)

The Higher Power of Lucky

By: Susan Patron
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ten-year old Lucky lives in a small California desert town with her guardian Brigitte, her father's ex. Lucky's "family" also includes the adults at the 12-Step meetings she eavesdrops on. When Lucky begins to worry that Brigitte will return to her native France, she searches for her own "higher power." This title is a Newbery Award winner. (2007 Newbery Medal Winner)

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

By: Brian Selznick
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Image and text combine in a unique presentation to tell the story of an orphan boy who lives between the walls of a Paris train station and repairs its clocks. Monochromatic illustrations change perspective and move in and out, and alternate with text to tell this mysterious, breathtaking, and riveting tale. Winner of the 2008 Caldecott Medal. (2008 Caldecott Medal Winner)

The Land of Forgotten Girls

By: Erin Entrada Kelly
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Soledad and Ming have migrated to Louisiana from the Philippines. Their father has returned to their homeland leaving the girls with Vea, the girls’ unhappy, mean-spirited stepmother. As their world expands and fact and fantasy collide, the real world, friendships, and understanding also expand.

The Lightning Thief

By: Rick Riordan
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Percy Jackson is a 21st century son of the ancient Greek god Poseidon on the biggest adventure of his young life — a quest to find out who stole Zeus's lightening bolt! Together with his trusted friends, Percy travels through the United States, battling monsters and hunting the elusive title character.

The Lion and the Mouse

By: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The well-known fable about how the smallest creature — a mouse — saves the majestic lion is a tale of kindness returned. Here it is effectively recast as a wordless story in a new setting. Stunning illustrations are expressive and emotive, evoking Africa's Serengeti while retaining the tale's power. (2010 Caldecott Medal Winner)

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

By: C.S. Lewis
Illustrated by: C.S. Lewis
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When siblings, Peter, Susan, Lucy and Edmund are sent away from London air-raids during World War II, they are placed with an old man in the country. There, they enter another time and place through an old wardrobe found by Lucy. This early installment in the Narnia Chronicles has been lovingly adapted into a sophisticated 2005 movie.

The Lorax

By: Dr. Seuss
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This powerful, classic fable from Dr. Seuss deftly sums up the cost of human progress to the natural environment, including the destruction of animals, trees, and fresh water and air. A glimmer of hope is left at the end, however: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." Related lesson plans and limited Spanish copies available.

The Magic Tree House Collection: Books 1-8

By: Mary Pope Osborne
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Join siblings Annie and Jack on their first eight magical adventures as read by the author.

The Meanest Doll in the World

By: Ann M. Martin, Laura Godwin
Illustrated by: Brian Selznick
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Family

Because of a mix-up, best doll friends Annabelle and Tiffany are sent to the wrong house where they must deal with Mimi, a doll who thinks she's the queen of all and whose behavior is perfectly ghastly. Readers who were first introduced to these characters in Doll People will enjoy seeing them again.

The Mercy Watson Collection: Volume 1

By: Kate DiCamillo
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Mercy, the delightful pig adopted by the Watson family, gets mixed up in all kinds of humorous adventures in this collection from Newbery winner Kate DiCamillo.

The Moffats

By: Eleanor Estes
Illustrated by: Eleanor Estes
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

Joe, Jane, Sylvie, and young Rufas — the Moffat children — live with their widowed mother on New Dollar Street in Cranbury, Connecticut. Though they live in the early 20th century, the clear characterizations bring each Moffat alive for a new generation and provide a reminder that family life and laughter can be timeless.

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette

By: Jeanne Birdsall
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This summer vacation is different without father and the oldest Penderwick but offers lots of laughs along the way.

The Penderwicks in Spring

By: Jeanne Birdsall
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Spring holds many surprises for each of the Penderwicks in this latest adventure.

The People Could Fly: The Picture Book

By: Virginia Hamilton
Illustrated by: Diane Dillon, Leo Dillon
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

To escape the horrors of slavery, some people who remembered the old magic flew away from their enslavement. This is a richly illustrated homage to the reteller of the folktale (that first appeared in a 1985 collection) and to the dignity and history of African Americans.

The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation (Princess in Black, Book 4)

By: Shannon Hale, Dean Hale
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Younger children will enjoy the latest adventure of the mask wearing, monster fighting princess who attempts to take a restful vacation.

The Shoe Bird: A Musical Fable

By: Barbara M. Joosse
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

An absurd but satisfying fantasy based on Eudora Welty's only children’s work, is presented in lively music and narration.

The Tale of Despereaux

By: Kate DiCamillo, Timothy Basil Ering
Illustrated by: Timothy Basil Ering
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Family

Distinct stories which involve a mouse, a human princess, and a rat seamlessly come together to surprise and absorb readers as they see the struggle between light and dark in this Newbery-winning novel. (2004 Newbery Nedal Winner)

The Thief Lord

By: Cornelia Funke
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When orphans Prosper, age 12, and Bo, age 5, run away to Venice, they find themselves in the company of a gang of teens who live in an abandoned movie theater and rob the rich to survive. A little bit of mystery, a little bit of fantasy, and a lot of the Venetian setting.

The Watsons Go To Birmingham - 1963

By: Christopher Paul Curtis
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Fourth-grader Kenny goes with his older brother Byron and his parents on a road trip from Flint, Michigan to the South, where Byron will be spending the summer with his grandparents, away from the temptations of city life. Curtis mixes humor with the volatility of the South in the summer of 1963.

The Willoughbys

By: Lois Lowry
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Sophisticated readers (and fans of Lemony Snicket) will appreciate the sly humor and word play in this outrageously funny take-off on novels of yesteryear. Here, the Willoughby children must overcome their self-centered parents who ultimately meet their rightful — and very satisfying — end.

The outrageous, old-fashioned tale is read skillfully for maximum humor and effect.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

By: Frank Baum
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

This beloved fantasy begins in Kansas when Dorothy Gale and her dog, Toto, are transported to another land by way of a cyclone. There she meets the Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman, and Cowardly Lion as well as a host of other extraordinary characters. The movie classic, released in 1939, retains the essence of this quintessentially American tale which was first published in 1900.

They All Saw a Cat

By: Brendan Wenzel
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

As a cat walked through the world, “with its whiskers, ears, and paws…” a child, a mouse, a dog, and others see the cat — each from its own unique perspective. The mouse sees all claws and teeth, the worm sees echoes in the ground, and so on. The repeating refrain combines with original and stunning illustrations to create a book to examine multiple times.

Think of an Eel

By: Karen Wallace
Illustrated by: Mike Bostock
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

An eel from the Sargasso Sea is a fascinating subject as presented in this brief look at an eel's lifecycle. Further information is included on the CD.

This Is Not My Hat

By: Jon Klassen
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The narrator, a very small fish, snitches a much larger fish's hat and hides out where he thinks no one can see him. The wordless conclusion is humorous and satisfying in this stylized, expressively illustrated book sure to generate conversations among readers. (2013 Caldecott Medal Winner)

This Land is Your Land

By: Woodie Guthrie, Kathy Jakobsen
Illustrated by: Kathy Jakobsen
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Guthrie's folk song begins a journey across the United States. Highly detailed, richly colored illustrations done in folk art style encourage readers to follow Woodie as he travels from coast to coast. A concluding note by Pete Seeger is informative, putting the period and person into an historical context.

Three Tales of My Father's Dragon

By: Ruth Stiles Gannett
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

This trilogy begins with Elmer rescuing a baby dragon and continues by following their adventures, which range from humorous to heroic. The first in the series, "My Father's Dragon" is a Newbury Honor book.

Tom

By: Tomie dePaola
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The simple, plain text tells of the close relationship between Tommy and his namesake grandfather, Tom. They read the comics together, act out poems, make up stories, and play practical jokes.

Treasury for All Seasons: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year

By: Julie Andrews, Emma Walton Hamilton
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

There's something for every member of the family in this carefully selected and expertly performed poetry by a well-known mother-daughter team.

Ugly

By: Robert Hoge
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When he was born, he had a face that even his mother had trouble loving. But Hoge eventually came home, survived multiple operations, and gained a strong sense of self.  This is a touching, true story told by the Australian who has gone on to lead a successful and full life. It is told with humor, pathos, and an appreciation of what is truly important.

When the Sea Turned to Silver

By: Grace Lin
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Children of all ages will enjoy the story of Pinmei and her quest to find her grandmother, the storyteller. Inspired by Chinese folklore, this stand-alone tale is a companion to the author’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky.

When We Were Very Young & Now We Are Six

By: A.A. Milne
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Milne's classic glimpse of childhood and childhood activities comes to life again through the narrator's rich and varied voice. Humor and insight abound in the range of poems, with an occasional visit from Pooh and Christopher Robin.

When You Reach Me

By: Rebecca Stead
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Bits and pieces in Miranda's life in New York City in 1978 mysteriously come together to reveal a surprising whole in which Miranda’s favorite book, Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time, figures prominently. (2010 Newbery Medal Winner)

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

By: Grace Lin
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Minli embarks on a journey to change the luck of her family and their village. Traditional stories inspired by Chinese folklore combine with a rousing adventure for an altogether satisfying tale. Richly-hued illustrations decorate and enhance the handsome novel.

Where The Wild Things Are

By: Maurice Sendak
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Max's imaginative adventure begins the night he wears his wolf suit and makes some mischief. When he is sent to his room to cool off, he travels to the land of the Wild Things, where he is crowned king. This beloved Caldecott-winning classic is also available in Spanish.

Go on a reading adventure with Reading Rockets' Where the Wild Things Are family literacy bag, available in English and Spanish!

Whistle for Willie

By: Ezra Keats
Illustrated by: Ezra Keats
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Oh, how Peter wished he could whistle to call his dog, Willie. Try as he might, he just couldn’t seem to make the sound come out — until one day he could! The simple description of a child’s yearning is told in natural language and charming collage illustrations.

Winnie-the-Pooh

By: A.A. Milne
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The adventure of Christopher Robin, his friends, Pooh ("the bear of very little brain"), and the other animals in the Hundred Acre Wood remain as fresh as Milne's language and Shepard's line illustrations, presented here on sturdy, cream-colored pages. The narrator's voice of the audio book is well-matched for the tone of A. A. Milne's writing.

Proceeds from the sale of books purchased at Amazon.com help support the Reading Rockets project. Thank you!

Sign up for our free newsletters about reading

Lindamood-Bell Learning Centers

Our Literacy Blogs

Maria Salvadore
Maria Salvadore
December 6, 2016
June Behrmann
June Behrmann
December 1, 2016

Start with a Book: Read. Talk. Explore.

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." — Emilie Buchwald