Sometimes, it can be difficult to make literature selections for our home school. Mostly, there are just too many good books – so many books, so little time. It is difficult to narrow things down and pick the very best books, while also providing a nice variety of reading material. In addition, I like to keep each child’s unique tastes and learning traits in mind. So I like to refer to recommended reading lists before making literature selections. There are tons of lists out there, some are better than others, but here are some good ones that I have used over the years:
- 100 Favorite Children’s Books (New York Public Library) – This list is grouped by type and geared towards 2nd – 6th grades
- 100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know (New York Public Library)
- 101 Great Books Recommended for College-Bound Readers (College Board)
- A Book in Time Reading Lists – there are two lists, one for world history and one for U.S. history. The lists are broken up into historical periods with short reviews and age recommendations. This is a great resource to use to enrich your history lessons with fiction or use a “living books” approach to teach history.
- Book Adventure (Sylvan) – Your child can earn small trinkets for reading with this program, but I just use it for recommendations for grades K-8. It lets you enter your child’s grade level, reading level, and interests. It then generates a list based on the information you’ve provided, sometimes it has annotations. It also has short quizzes about the books that your child can take.
- College Bound Reading List (Peterson’s)
- Historical Fiction (Anchorage Public Library) – This is a list of historical fiction, broken up into time periods, with short descriptions.
- Holiday Reading – This list is categorized by holidays and age group, with some short descriptions.
- KidsReads.com – This site groups books by age and then either “classic” or “new fave”.
- King County Library System – This is my library system. It seems like a lot of library systems have good recommended reading list. King County’s is grouped into categories and age groups.
- Lexile Framework for Reading – the Lexile system rates books on reading difficulty, rather than grade level. This site helps you find books for your child’s actual reading level.
- The Literate Mother – This site offers book reviews by mothers about books for children and young adults. It focuses more on content appropriateness (i.e sexual content, violence, etc.).
- Literature to Supplement History (Paula’s Archives) – This is an extensive list, categorized by time period, with age recommendations.
- Salt Lake County Booklists – As I mentioned before, a lot of library systems have recommended reading lists, but Salt Lake County’s stands out as one of the best. The books are grouped by grade levels and categories. The listing also includes a picture of the book, a short synopsis, and the call number.
- Summer Classics Reading List – This extensive list was put together by another homeschooling blogger. It is a list of classic books, by grade level for grades 4-12.
- Teens Read Too – Book reviews by and for teens. This site is focused more on popular fiction, than classics.
- Young Adult Library Services Association – A branch of the ALA, this site focuses more on current books that have won various awards. It also has some categories of recommended reading for teens.