Wonderful Web Sites

To Help Your Kids Find Great Reading

ALA (American Library Association)/YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association. YALSA is the division of the ALA specifically targeting young adults. Although there is some overlap with The Children’s Literature Web Guide listed above, there are some great additional lists for the teenage reader. One of my favorites is the 100 Best Books for Teens from 1966 to 2000. As with most sites these days, you will find great links to other children’s and young adult’s web sites.

The Children’s Choice Book Awards. If you want to be a hero, this is the site to help you recommend great, kid-tested books to your children. The Children’s Choice Book Awards is the only national book awards program where the winners are selected by kids and teens of all ages. Conveniently arranged by age group, you can instantly see what books your child’s peers are enjoying.

The Children’s Literature Web Guide. This site has been developed, and is hosted, by the University of Calgary. If you want to know what the experts think are the best books for children, this site gives complete and easily printed lists of all the awards given for children’s literature each year. In addition to the well-known awards such as the Newbery and the Caldecott, you can find the awards lists for the best Latino literature for children, or the best African-American, or the best Fantasy and so on. There are also seemingly endless links to other great resources for kid’s lit.

The Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award. Ever wonder what kids like to read? Well this is the web site for you. The Colorado Blue Spruce Award recognizes the most popular books among middle- and high school students in the State of Colorado. Teens nominate their favorite titles and select the winner — adults do not vote.

Cricket Magazine. The venerable Cricket Magazine, undisputed champion in the field of children’s magazines, has recently entered the electronic fray. Targeted at the 9- to 14-year-old reader, you’ll find stories by leading authors (both print versions and audio), contests, biographies, a chat room to connect with other avid readers and, my personal favorite, a child-generated recommended reading list so that you can see what your child’s peers are enjoying.

DiverseCity. If you are looking for diversity, here are some wonderful web sites that recognize children’s writers and books from a variety of cultural backgrounds and genres, including Latino/Latina, Historical Fiction, African-American, Foreign Translations, Native-American & Mexican-American.

New York Public Library On-Lion for Kids (not a misspelling). As you might expect for the NYPL, this is a neat site with links to books & reading, science & technology, summer reading programs and information for parents and teachers. They have yet more recommended lists broken down by subject — i.e. fantasy, history, humor, biography, poetry etc. Happy foraging!

The New York Times—Children's Books. If you want to know which children’s books of today will be tomorrow’s classics, this is the site for you. Replete with feature articles, news and reviews by leading experts in children’s books, this site will keep you up to date on the very latest in children’s literature.

The Schneider Family Book Award. “When I was growing up, the librarian at the Michigan Library for the Blind was my hero. He sent me books in Braille and on records from the Library of Congress collection.”—Dr. Katherine Schneider. In 2003 Dr. Schneider and her family endowed this ALA award. The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.

Tales Told Tall Hey Dads! It’s no secret that there is a gender gap between boys and girls when it comes to reading. This amazing site will help you bridge that gap. Michael Sullivan is a teacher, librarian, author, storyteller and expert on boys and reading. You’ll find books to share with your son, read aloud to your son or just show him how savvy you are by recommending books that he will love.