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Choosing and Using Kids’ Books

When it comes to deciding what books to share with the young readers in your life, there is so much to choose from! Get pointed in the right direction with our themed booklists and articles on choosing and using children’s books at home and in the classroom.

On this page:

Getting started

Use our Book Finder tool to create your own customized list of fiction and nonfiction books. Search through more than 5,000 books on Reading Rockets — by author, illustrator, age, reading level, genre, format, and topic. Browse our themed booklists, tips on matching children with ‘just right’ books, how to select great read aloud books for kids at different ages, and more.

How to choose books for kids

Get connected to more great book recommendations and advice on selecting titles from those who know the very best in children’s books—teachers, librarians, literature experts and kids!

Advice for finding good books


If we really want our students to become wild readers, independent of our support and oversight, sometimes the best thing we can do is get out of the way.

Donalyn Miller, Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer’s Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits

Kinds of books to choose from

Accessible formats

For children with print-based reading disabilities, accessible formats provide alternate versions of print-based books that function in much the same way as a print-based textbook. Learn about the different kinds of accessible formats, including digital talking books, enlarged text, electronic publications, and more. 


Audiobooks are a great way to enjoy a good story and practice listening skills. They are also ideal for sharing, even when there are kids of many ages in one group. Learn more about the benefits of audiobooks for all readers and find Ideas for Teachers to encourage students to become better listeners and readers through audiobooks.


Digital stories for children come in several forms, including e-books, enhanced e-books and apps (opens in a new window), and provide different experiences for the reader. Learn more about how to Read an E-book with Your Child and find tips for Teaching with Interactive Picture E-Books in Grades K–6. We also recommend this article, Getting Smarter About E-Books for Children (opens in a new window), adapted from Tap, Click, Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens by Lisa Guernsey and Michael H. Levine, as helpful for understanding the pros and cons of e-books.

Picture books

Picture books are a wonderful way to share rich language, complex images, and sophisticated ideas with both the young and old. Meet the creators of great picture books in Reading Rockets’ Video Interviews with Children’s Authors and Illustrators, learn more about how parents and teachers can share wordless picture books, and how picture books can help connect kids to people, places, and times they might not otherwise experience.


Kids are interested in real people, places, and events, yet most kids read a lot more fiction than nonfiction. Introduce kids to a new world of information and help them build essential background knowledge with nonfiction books. Our resources can help you use nonfiction to help turn a reluctant reader into a motivated one!

Graphic novels

Graphic novels tell any kind of story in any genre using both words and pictures and invite readers to take time to explore the pictures together with the text for a rich reading experience. This compelling storytelling format is popular with kids, help foster critical reading skills, and gives struggling readers books they can be successful with. Browse graphic novel booklists and learn more about this unique format.


Playing with words and exploring rhythm and rhyme help to build and strengthen kids’ reading skills and boost reading and learning fun. Help kids discover the delight of having words dance in their mouths and tickle their tongues. Visit our National Poetry Month section for poetry resources.

High/low books

High interest/low reading level books can motivate struggling readers by providing books on topics that their peers are reading, but targeted toward their reading level. High/low books can help build reading fluency, vocabulary, background knowledge and interest in reading. Find recommended high/low books as well as links to publishers who offer a wide range of titles in the section High/Low Books for Children.