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Family Life: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about family life?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to family life. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about family life.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

We hope this list of kids books about family life can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Mr. Gedrick and Me
Written by Patrick Carman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

New York Times bestselling author Patrick Carman delivers a modern reimagining of the classic Mary Poppins tale in this story about family, grief, and healing–with a dash of magic! Stanley Darrow isn’t sure what to expect when the mysterious Mr. Gedrick appears on his doorstep. He is certain, however, that his family could use Mr. Gedrick’s help: Their lives–and their house–have been a mess since Stanley’s dad died.The strange new nanny quickly helps them transform their cluttered home into a sparkling and spotless version of its former self, but it’s going to take more than a clean house to help the Darrow family learn to live and love again.Can Mr. Gedrick help Stanley, his brother, Fergus, his sister, Amelia, and his mom find their way back to each other? And what secrets of his own is Mr. Gedrick hiding behind his crooked grin? –Jim Benton, New York Times bestselling author of the Franny K. Stein and Dear Dumb Diary series

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Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
Written by Margaret Sidney
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Five Little Peppers and How They Grew was originally serialized in an 1880 edition of Wide Awake, a children’s magazine. The publisher of the magazine, Daniel Lothrop, loved the Pepper stories so much that he published a hard-cover edition of the story – and married the author in 1881. In 1883 the couple moved to historic Concord, Massachusetts, and resided in a house called the Wayside, which had previously been home to Nathaniel Hawthorne and also to Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women.

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Little Women
Written by Louisa May Alcott
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 11-16

Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. Alcott wrote the books rapidly over several months at the request of her publisher. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood, and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters. Little Women was an immediate commercial and critical success, and readers demanded to know more about the characters. Alcott quickly completed a second volume (entitled Good Wives in the United Kingdom, although this name derived from the publisher and not from Alcott). It was also successful. The two volumes were issued in 1880 in a single work entitled Little Women. Alcott also wrote two sequels to her popular work, both of which also featured the March sisters: Little Men (1871) and Jo’s Boys (1886). Although Little Women was a novel for girls, it differed notably from the current writings for children, especially girls. The novel addressed three major themes: “domesticity, work, and true love, all of them interdependent and each necessary to the achievement of its heroine’s individual identity.”

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Echo Mountain
Written by Lauren Wolk
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

“Soothing and exquisitely written.” -People “Surely there has never been a better time to read about healing, of both the body and the heart.” -The New York Times Book Review”A supple tale of struggle, ingenuity and the restorative power of generosity even in bitter times. This is a book that will soothe readers like a healing balm.” -The Wall Street Journal “Brilliant.” -Lynda Mullaly Hunt, bestselling author of Fish in a TreeWhen the Great Depression takes almost everything they own, Ellie’s family is forced to leave their home in town and start over in the untamed forests of nearby Echo Mountain. Ellie has found a welcome freedom, and a love of the natural world, in her new life on the mountain. But there is little joy, even for Ellie, as her family struggles with the aftermath of an accident that has left her father in a coma. An accident unfairly blamed on Ellie. Determined to help her father, Ellie will make her way to the top of the mountain in search of the healing secrets of a woman known only as “the hag.” But the hag, and the mountain, still have many untold stories left to reveal and, with them, a fresh chance at happiness. Echo Mountain is celebration of finding your own path and becoming your truest self. Lauren Wolk, the Newbery Honor- and Scott O’Dell Award-winning author of Wolf Hollow and Beyond the Bright Sea weaves a stunning tale of resilience, persistence, and friendship across three generations of families, set against the rough and ragged beauty of the mountain they all call home.

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Little House in the Big Woods
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder & illustrated by Garth Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

Laura Ingalls’s story begins in 1871 in a little log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Four-year-old Laura lives in the little house with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their trusty dog, Jack. Pioneer life is sometimes hard, since the family must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But it is also exciting as Laura and her folks celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. And every night they are safe and warm in their little house, with the happy sound of Pa’s fiddle sending Laura and her sisters off to sleep. And so begins Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America’s frontier past and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.

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  • Furia - A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB YA PICK Recipient of the 2021 Pura Belpré Young Adult Author Medal One of BuzzFeed’s Must-Read YA Books of 2020 A Best Book of the Year: Cosmopolitan Kirkus Reviews SheReads * New York Public Library “An engrossing #OwnVoices novel.” –PopSugar “This book will set your dreams on fire . . . It’s fabulous.” – Reese Witherspoon A powerful contemporary YA for fans of The Poet X and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter set in Argentina, about a rising soccer star who must put everything on the line–even her blooming love story–to follow her dreams. In Rosario, Argentina, Camila Hassan lives a double life. At home, she is a careful daughter, living within her mother’s narrow expectations, in her rising-soccer-star brother’s shadow, and under the abusive rule of her short-tempered father. On the field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse of skill and talent. When her team qualifies for the South American tournament, Camila gets the chance to see just how far those talents can take her. In her wildest dreams, she’d get an athletic scholarship to a North American university. But the path ahead isn’t easy. Her parents don’t know about her passion. They wouldn’t allow a girl to play fútbol–and she needs their permission to go any farther. And the boy she once loved is back in town. Since he left, Diego has become an international star, playing in Italy for the renowned team Juventus. Camila doesn’t have time to be distracted by her feelings for him. Things aren’t the same as when he left: she has her own passions and ambitions now, and La Furia cannot be denied. As her life becomes more complicated, Camila is forced to face her secrets and make her way in a world with no place for the dreams and ambition of a girl like her. Filled with authentic details and the textures of day-to-day life in Argentina, heart-soaring romance, and breathless action on the pitch, Furia is the story of a girl’s journey to make her life her own.

  • Little Bear - Celebrate the timeless warmth of a mother’s love with the very first ever I Can Read book. Meet Little Bear, a friend to millions of children. And meet Mother Bear, who is there whenever Little Bear needs her. When it is cold and snowy outside, she finds just the right outfit for Little Bear to play in. When he goes to the moon, she has a hot lunch waiting for him on his return. And, of course, she never forgets his birthday. This classic from Else Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak was written in 1957 and remains as beloved today as it was then. An ALA Notable Children’s Book, this Level One I Can Read is full of warm and lovingly playful stories that are perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences.

  • We Love Soccer! - The Berenstain Bears win big for their family in this exciting addition to the classic New York Times bestselling series.From passing the ball to scoring goals, there’s enough excitement on the soccer field to fill a sunny afternoon! But when Mama starts getting too involved, it’s up to the cubs to remind her what playing soccer is really all about.The Berenstain Bears: We Love Soccer! is a Level One I Can Read book, which means it’s perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences. Whether shared at home or in a classroom, the short sentences, familiar words, and simple concepts of Level One books support success for children eager to start reading on their own.

  • A Place to Hang the Moon - For fans of The War That Saved My Life and other World War II fiction, A Place to Hang the Moon is the tale of three orphaned siblings who are evacuated from London to live in the countryside with the secret hope of finding a permanent family. It is 1940 and William, 12, Edmund, 11, and Anna, 9, aren’t terribly upset by the death of the not-so-grandmotherly grandmother who has taken care of them since their parents died. But the children do need a guardian, and in the dark days of World War II London, those are in short supply, especially if they hope to stay together. Could the mass wartime evacuation of children from London to the countryside be the answer? It’s a preposterous plan, but off they go– keeping their predicament a secret, and hoping to be placed in a temporary home that ends up lasting forever. Moving from one billet to another, the children suffer the cruel trickery of foster brothers, the cold realities of outdoor toilets and the hollowness of empty stomachs. They find comfort in the village lending library, whose kind librarian, Nora Müller, seems an excellent choice of billet, except that her German husband’s whereabouts are currently unknown, and some of the villagers consider her unsuitable. A Place to Hang the Moon is a story about the dire importance of family: the one you’re given, and the one you choose. A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

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A Thousand Splendid Suns
Written by Khaled Hosseini
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 18-

Propelled by the same superb instinct for storytelling that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, the #1 New York Times bestseller A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once an incredible chronicle of thirty years of Afghan history and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, faith, and the salvation to be found in love. “Just as good, if not better, than Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling first book, The Kite Runner.”–Newsweek Khaled Hosseini returns with a beautiful, riveting, and haunting novel that confirms his place as one of the most important literary writers today. Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul-they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman’s love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival. A stunning accomplishment, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a haunting, heartbreaking, compelling story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love.

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Matilda
Written by Roald Dahl & illustrated by Quentin Blake
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-12

From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG!

Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it!

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Bedtime Bonnet
Written by Nancy Redd & illustrated by Nneka Myers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

This joyous and loving celebration of family is the first-ever picture book to highlight Black nighttime hair traditions–and is perfect for every little girl who knows what it’s like to lose her bonnet just before bedtime. In my family, when the sun goes down, our hair goes up!My brother slips a durag over his locs.Sis swirls her hair in a wrap around her head.Daddy covers his black waves with a cap.Mama gathers her corkscrew curls in a scarf.I always wear a bonnet over my braids, but tonight I can’t find it anywhere! Bedtime Bonnet gives readers a heartwarming peek into quintessential Black nighttime hair traditions and celebrates the love between all the members of this close-knit, multi-generational family. Perfect for readers of Hair Love and Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut!

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The Sloth Who Slowed Us Down
Written by Margaret Wild & illustrated by Vivienne To
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

When the speediest family in the world finds a sweet, slow sloth on their doorstep, they take him in. But, little do they know, their new pet has quite a bit to teach them. For Amy’s family, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Mom rushes through her work. Dad rushes through his chores. Even little Amy rushes through dinner. But Sloth does things slowly. He likes to take long, leisurely baths with lots and lots of bubbles. He plays drawn-out, imaginative games. He eats his food slowly, enjoying one small bite at a time. After a few weeks of caring for their new pet, Amy’s family finds that they actually do have enough time to tell one another stories or go for long walks together after dinner—so long as they stop rushing around so much. The Sloth Who Slowed Us Down is a celebration of slowing down and remembering the important things in life.

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Black Brother, Black Brother
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

From award-winning and bestselling author, Jewell Parker Rhodes comes a powerful coming-of-age story about two brothers, one who presents as white, the other as black, and the complex ways in which they are forced to navigate the world, all while training for a fencing competition.Framed. Bullied. Disliked. But I know I can still be the best. Sometimes, 12-year-old Donte wishes he were invisible. As one of the few black boys at Middlefield Prep, most of the students don’t look like him. They don’t like him either. Dubbing him “Black Brother,” Donte’s teachers and classmates make it clear they wish he were more like his lighter-skinned brother, Trey. When he’s bullied and framed by the captain of the fencing team, “King” Alan, he’s suspended from school and arrested. Terrified, searching for a place where he belongs, Donte joins a local youth center and meets former Olympic fencer Arden Jones. With Arden’s help, he begins training as a competitive fencer, setting his sights on taking down the fencing team captain, no matter what. As Donte hones his fencing skills and grows closer to achieving his goal, he learns the fight for justice is far from over. Now Donte must confront his bullies, racism, and the corrupt systems of power that led to his arrest. Powerful and emotionally gripping, Black Brother, Black Brother is a careful examination of the school-to-prison pipeline and follows one boy’s fight against racism and his empowering path to finding his voice.

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  • Fall of Giants - Ken Follett’s magnificent new historical epic begins as five interrelated families move through the momentous dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage. A thirteen-year-old Welsh boy enters a man’s world in the mining pits. . . . An American law student rejected in love finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House. . . . A housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with a German spy. . . . And two orphaned Russian brothers embark on radically different paths when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution. From the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty, Fall of Giants takes us into the inextricably entangled fates of five families–and into a century that we thought we knew, but that now will never seem the same again. . . . Look out for Ken’s newest book, A Column of Fire, available now.

  • The Saturdays - Meet the Melendys! The four Melendy children live with their father and Cuffy, their beloved housekeeper, in a worn but comfortable brownstone in New York City. There’s thirteen-year-old Mona, who has decided to become an actress; twelve-year-old mischievous Rush; ten-and-a-half-year-old Randy, who loves to dance and paint; and thoughtful Oliver, who is just six. Tired of wasting Saturdays doing nothing but wishing for larger allowances, the four Melendys jump at Randy’s idea to start the Independent Saturday Afternoon Adventure Club (I.S.A.A.C.). If they pool their resources and take turns spending the whole amount, they can each have at least one memorable Saturday afternoon of their own. Before long, I.S.A.A.C. is in operation and every Saturday is definitely one to remember. Written more than half a century ago, The Saturdays unfolds with all the ripe details of a specific place and period but remains, just the same, a winning, timeless tale. The Saturdays is the first installment of Enright’s Melendy Quartet, an engaging and warm series about the close-knit Melendy family and their surprising adventures.

  • The Truth about Forever - Macy’s summer stretches before her, carefully planned and outlined. She will spend her days sitting at the library information desk. She will spend her evenings studying for the SATs. Spare time will be used to help her obsessive mother prepare for the big opening of the townhouse section of her luxury development. But Macy’s plans don’t anticipate a surprising and chaotic job with Wish Catering, a motley crew of new friends, or … Wes. Tattooed, artistic, anything-but-expected Wes. He doesn’t fit Macy’s life at all–so why does she feel so comfortable with him? So … happy? What is it about him that makes her let down her guard and finally talk about how much she misses her father, who died before he eyes the year before? Sarah Dessen delivers a page-turning novel that carries readers on a roller coaster of denial, grief, comfort, and love as we watch a broken but resilient girl pick up the pieces of her life and fit them back together.

  • Mission Unstoppable - The most exciting road trip in history begins! In this action-packed, New York Times bestselling adventure, twelve-year-old twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald embark on a family vacation you’ll have to read to believe.Coke McDonald and his twin sister, Pepsi, think their family’s cross-country RV vacation is nothing to get excited about…until they’re chased off a cliff, locked in a burning school, and receive mysterious messages in codes and ciphers. From California to Wisconsin, it’s a race against time to find out who’s after Coke and Pep, who’s leaving the notes…and just what being a part of The Genius Files entails!With the real-kid humor that has earned Dan Gutman millions of fans around the world, and featuring weird-but-true American tourist destinations, The Genius Files is a one-of-a-kind mix of geography and fun.As Coke and Pep dodge nefarious villains from the Pez museum in California all the way to the Infinity Room in Wisconsin, black-and-white photographs and maps put young readers right into the action.And don’t miss the next leg of the journey in The Genius Files: Never Say Genius!

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Violet Mackerel's Brilliant Plot
Written by Anna Branford & illustrated by Elanna Allen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Introducing Violet Mackerel, a charismatic new chapter book star with a zest for life and an endearing, relatable voice akin to Ramona Quimby and Junie B. Jones. Violet is a seven-year-old with a knack for appreciating the smallest things in life: her “Theory of Finding Small Things” states that the moment of finding a tiny treasure usually coincides with the moment of having a genius idea. This creative little girl always strives to think outside the box, so when she spots a small china bird that she desperately wants, she forms an imaginative plan for getting it–and her methods are anything but ordinary! Violet Mackerel’s Brilliant Plot is the first book in an irresistibly charming series starring Violet and her family that has pitch-perfect perspective and plenty of laugh-out-loud humor.

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Tuesdays at the Castle
Written by Jessica Day George
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“A shape-shifting castle, a missing king and queen, and the young princess who must save her family and her kingdom. This is a clever, page-turning adventure for young fantasy readers.” - Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor

Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie’s favorite days. That’s because on Tuesdays the castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing. No one ever knows what the castle will do next, and no one-other than Celie, that is-takes the time to map out the new additions. But when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and their fate is unknown, it’s up to Celie, with her secret knowledge of the castle’s never-ending twists and turns, to protect their home and save their kingdom. This delightful book from a fan- and bookseller-favorite kicks off a brand-new series sure to become a modern classic.

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The Red Pyramid
Written by Rick Riordan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a “research experiment” at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them–Set–has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe–a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

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Stone Fox
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Little Willy has a big job to do. When his grandfather falls ill, it is up to Willy alone to save their farm from the tax collector. But where can a ten-year-old get five hundred dollars in a hurry? Then Willy sees the poster for the National Dogsled Race. The race pits Willy against the best dog teams in the country, including the Indian Stone Fox and his five beautiful Samoyeds, who have never lost a race. And Stone Fox wants the prize money as badly as Willy does. Willy’s dog, Searchlight, is every bit as fast as the competition, and Willy knows the terrain better than anyone. But can one boy and one dog be a match for the unbeatable Stone Fox?

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My New Boy
Written by Joan Phillips & illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Illus. in full color. “Designed for children who are just beginning to readindependently, this humorous story has very large print, simple vocabulary, andlively, amusing illustrations. Should be appealing, whether used for readingalone or reading aloud.”– “Bulletin, Center for Children’s Books.”

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  • The White Giraffe - After a fire kills her parents, eleven-year-old Martine must leave England to live with her grandmother on a wildlife game reserve in South Africa, where she befriends a mythical white giraffe.

  • The Littles - The Littles is a timeless favorite that’s been enjoyed for decades. Ready to grab the attention of a new generation, fresh cover art brings an updated look to this classic series.The Littles live in the walls of the Biggs’ house. But when the Biggs go on vacation a messy family comes to stay, the trouble begins. Mice! Cats! How much can one small family take? Will Tom and Lucy, the littlest Littles of all, be able to save the day

  • The Namesake - “Dazzling…An intimate, closely observed family portrait.”–The New York Times “Hugely appealing.”–People Magazine “An exquisitely detailed family saga.”–Entertainment Weekly Meet the Ganguli family, new arrivals from Calcutta, trying their best to become Americans even as they pine for home. The name they bestow on their firstborn, Gogol, betrays all the conflicts of honoring tradition in a new world–conflicts that will haunt Gogol on his own winding path through divided loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs. In The Namesake, the Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri brilliantly illuminates the immigrant experience and the tangled ties between generations.

  • Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris’ move to Paris from New York inspired these hilarious pieces, including the title essay, about his attempts to learn French from a sadistic teacher who declares that every day spent with you is like having a caesarean section. His family is another inspiration. You Can’t Kill the Rooster is a portrait of his brother, who talks incessant hip-hop slang to his bewildered father. And no one hones a finer fury in response to such modern annoyances as restaurant meals presented in ludicrous towers of food and cashiers with six-inch fingernails.

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The Good Earth
Written by Pearl S. Buck
chapter book
Recommend Ages: -

Wang Lung, rising from humble Chinese farmer to wealthy landowner, gloried in the soil he worked. He held it above his family, even above his gods. But soon, between Wang Lung and the kindly soil that sustained him, came flood and drought, pestilence and revolution…. Through this one Chinese peasant and his children, Nobel Prize-winner Pearl S. Buck traces the whole cycle of life, its terrors, its passion, its persistent ambitions and its rewards. Her brilliant novel beloved by millions of readers throughout the world is a universal tale of the destiny of men. This great modern classic depicts life in China at a time before the vast political and social upheavals transformed an essentially agrarian country into a world power. Nobel Prize-winner Pearl S. Buck traces the whole cycle of life its terrors, its passions, its ambitions, and its rewards.”

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Franny and Zooey
Written by J.D. Salinger
chapter book
Recommend Ages: -

Perhaps the best book by the foremost stylist of his generation (New York Times), J. D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey collects two works of fiction about the Glass family originally published in The New Yorker.Everything everybody does is so–I don’t know–not wrong, or even mean, or even stupid necessarily. But just so tiny and meaningless and–sad-making. And the worst part is, if you go bohemian or something crazy like that, you’re conforming just as much only in a different way.A novel in two halves, Franny and Zooey brilliantly captures the emotional strains and traumas of entering adulthood. It is a gleaming example of the wit, precision, and poignancy that have made J. D. Salinger one of America’s most beloved writers.

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Walk Two Moons
Written by Sharon Creech
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

“How about a story? Spin us a yarn.” Instantly, Phoebe Winterbottom came to mind. “I could tell you an extensively strange story,” I warned. “Oh, good!” Gram said. “Delicious!” And that is how I happened to tell them about Phoebe, her disappearing mother, and the lunatic. As Sal entertains her grandparents with Phoebe’s outrageous story, her own story begins to unfold–the story of a thirteen-year-old girl whose only wish is to be reunited with her missing mother. In her own award-winning style, Sharon Creech intricately weaves together two tales, one funny, one bittersweet, to create a heartwarming, compelling, and utterly moving story of love, loss, and the complexity of human emotion.

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Delirium
Written by Lauren Oliver
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 14-18

Ninety-five days, and then I’ll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It’s hard to be patient. It’s hard not to be afraid while I’m still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn’t touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t. Lauren Oliver astonished readers with her stunning debut, “Before I Fall.” In a starred review, “Publishers Weekly” called it “raw, emotional, and, at times, beautiful. An end as brave as it is heartbreaking.” Her much-awaited second novel fulfills her promise as an exceptionally talented and versatile writer.

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The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
Written by Karina Yan Glaser
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From New York Times best-selling author Karina Yan Glaser comes one of Times’ Notable Children’s Books of 2017: “In this delightful and heartwarming throwback to the big-family novels of yesteryear, a large biracial family might lose their beloved brownstone home, but win it back with an all-out charm offensive.” The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It’s practically another member of the family. So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home.

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  • The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate - In this witty historical fiction middle grade novel set at the turn of the century, an 11-year-old girl explores the natural world, learns about science and animals, and grows up. A Newbery Honor Book. “The most delightful historical novel for tweens in many, many years. . . . Callie’s struggles to find a place in the world where she’ll be encouraged in the gawky joys of intellectual curiosity are fresh, funny, and poignant today.” –The New YorkerCalpurnia Virginia Tate is eleven years old in 1899 when she wonders why the yellow grasshoppers in her Texas backyard are so much bigger than the green ones. With a little help from her notoriously cantankerous grandfather, an avid naturalist, she figures out that the green grasshoppers are easier to see against the yellow grass, so they are eaten before they can get any larger. As Callie explores the natural world around her, she develops a close relationship with her grandfather, navigates the dangers of living with six brothers, and comes up against just what it means to be a girl at the turn of the century. Author Jacqueline Kelly deftly brings Callie and her family to life, capturing a year of growing up with unique sensitivity and a wry wit. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly was a 2010 Newbery Honor Book and the winner of the 2010 Bank Street - Josette Frank Award. This title has Common Core connections. This is perfect for young readers who like historical fiction, STEM topics, animal stories, and feminist middle grade novels. Don’t miss the sequel!The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate To follow Calpurnia Tate on more adventures, read the Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet chapter book series: Skunked! Counting SheepWho Gives a Hoot?A Prickly Problem Praise for The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate: “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is the most delightful historical novel for tweens in many, many years. . . . Callie’s struggles to find a place in the world where she’ll be encouraged in the gawky joys of intellectual curiosity are fresh, funny, and poignant today.” –The New Yorker, Book Bench section “In her debut novel, Jacqueline Kelly brings to vivid life a boisterous small-town family at the dawn of a new century. And she especially shines in her depiction of the natural world that so intrigues Callie. . . . Readers will want to crank up the A.C. before cracking the cover, though. That first chapter packs a lot of summer heat.” –The Washington Post “Each chapter of this winning . . . novel opens with a quotation from ‘On the Origin of Species’–a forbidden book that her own grandfather turns out to have hidden away. Together they study Darwin’s masterpiece, leading to a revolution in Callie’s ideas of what she might accomplish on her own.” –New York Times Book Review “Callie’s transformation into an adult and her unexpected bravery make for an exciting and enjoyable read. Kelly’s rich images and setting, believable relationships and a touch of magic take this story far.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review “Interwoven with the scientific theme are threads of daily life in a large family–the bonds with siblings, the conversations overheard, the unspoken understandings and misunderstandings–all told with wry humor and a sharp eye for details that bring the characters and the setting to life. The eye-catching jacket art, which silhouettes Callie and images from nature against a yellow background, is true to the period and the story. Many readers will hope for a sequel to this engaging, satisfying first novel.” –Booklist, Starred Review “Readers will finish this witty, deftly crafted debut novel rooting for Callie Vee and wishing they knew what kind of adult she would become.” –Kirkus, Starred Review “A charming and inventive story of a child struggling to find her identity at the turn of the 20th century. . . . there’s no uncertainty over the achievement of Kelly’s debut novel.” –School Library Journal, Starred Review “Narrator Calpurnia’s voice is fresh and convincing, and Granddaddy is that favorite relative most readers would love to claim as their own. Historical fiction fans are in for a treat.” –The Bulletin “Kelly, without anachronism, has created a memorable, warm, spirited young woman who’s refreshingly ahead of her time.” –The Horn Book Review “That rare book that will appeal to child and adult alike.” –Austin American-Statesman “Introduces a turn-of-the-20th-century heroine for modern times.” –Shelf Awareness

  • Turtle in Paradise - Life isn’t like the movies and 11-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple. She’s smart and tough and has seen enough of the world not to expect a Hollywood ending. After all, it’s 1935 and money and sometimes even dreams are scarce. So when Turtle’s mother gets a job housekeeping for a lady who doesn’t like kids, Turtle says goodbye and heads off to Florida to live with relatives. Florida’s like nothing Turtle’s ever seen before though. It’s full of rag tag boy cousins, family secrets to unravel . . . and even a little bit of fun. Before she knows what’s happened, Turtle finds herself coming out of her shell and as she does, her world opens up in the most unexpected ways. Inspired by family stories, three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm blends family lore with America’s past, in this charming, gem of a novel rich in history, humor, and the unique flavors of Key West.

  • A Very Fuddles Christmas - Fuddles—the fat, pampered cat—weathers a wintry wonderland in this holiday story of merry misadventures! The way Fuddles, the overly indulged feline, sees the world, it’s better to receive than give! And what better gift for Fuddles than Christmas? One winter day, he wakes up to the smells and sights of the holiday: a juicy turkey dinner, sweet gingerbread, and a tree decorated with shiny, glittering toys—all for him! But when Fuddles tries to climb the tree, his family chases him away. He runs outside to escape, smack into cold and ice and snow! Will Fuddles ever make it back home in time to celebrate the merriest time of the year?

  • Fox on Wheels - Mom is cramping Fox’s style. First he has to baby-sit for his little sister Louise. Then he has to do the shopping. Can Fox do it all, and still remain the fastest Fox on wheels? Gangway!

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The Bell Rang
Written & illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2019

A young slave girl witnesses the heartbreak and hopefulness of her family and their plantation community when her brother escapes for freedom in this brilliantly conceived picture book by Coretta Scott King Award winner James E. Ransome.

Every single morning, the overseer of the plantation rings the bell. Daddy gathers wood. Mama cooks. Ben and the other slaves go out to work. Each day is the same. Full of grueling work and sweltering heat. Every day, except one, when the bell rings and Ben is nowhere to be found. Because Ben ran. Yet, despite their fear and sadness, his family remains hopeful that maybe, just maybe, he made it North. That he is free.

An ode to hope and a powerful tribute to the courage of those who ran for freedom, The Bell Rang is a stunning reminder that our past can never be forgotten.

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The Fourteenth Goldfish
Written by Jennifer L. Holm
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-11

Believe in the possible . . . with this New York Times bestseller by three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm. A perfect read about a child’s relationship with her grandfather! Galileo. Newton. Salk. Oppenheimer. Science can change the world . . . but can it go too far? Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He’s bossy. He’s cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this gawky teenager really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth? With a lighthearted touch and plenty of humor, Jennifer Holm celebrates the wonder of science and explores fascinating questions about life and death, family and friendship, immortality . . . and possibility. Look for EXCLUSIVE NEW MATERIAL in the paperback–including Ellie’s gallery of scientists and other STEM-appropriate features. And don’t miss the much-anticipated sequel, The Third Mushroom! “Warm, witty, and wise.” –The New York Times “Written in a clean, crisp style, with lively dialogue and wit, this highly accessible novel will find a ready audience.” –Booklist, Starred “Top-notch middle-grade fiction.” –Publishers Weekly, Starred * “Ellie’s memorable journey into the world of science will inspire readers to explore the world around them and celebrate the possible.” –Shelf Awareness, Starred “Awesomely strange and startlingly true-to-life. It makes you wonder what’s possible.” –Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal-winning author of When You Reach Me25 STATE AWARD LISTS including the Sunshine State!

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Wuthering Heights
Written by Emily Brontë
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 14-99

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read Wuthering Heights, first published in 1847, the year before the author’s death at the age of thirty, endures today as perhaps the most powerful and intensely original novel in the English language. “Only Emily Brontë,” V.S. Pritchett said about the author and her contemporaries, “exposes her imagination to the dark spirit.” And Virginia Woolf wrote, “It is as if she could tear up all that we know human beings by, and fill these unrecognisable transparencies with such a gust of life that they transcend reality. Hers, then, is the rarest of all powers. She could free life from its dependence on facts, with few touches indicate the spirit of a face so that it needs no body; by speaking of the moor make the wind blow and the thunder roar.”

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Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
Written by Kate Douglas Wiggin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Kate Douglas Wiggin’s beloved classic of children’s literature was an immediate bestseller when it was first published in 1903. The author spent part of her childhood in rural Maine, where Kate Douglas Wiggin sets the book. The optimistic and spirited main character, Rebecca Rowena Randall is sent to live with her two strict and dour aunts in the fictional town of Riverboro, Maine. Though she is, according to her aunts, more like her shiftless father than her accomplished mother, Rebecca’s joy of life, in the end, inspires them. The enormously popular story was adapted for a Broadway play in 1907, and was made into several films, including a 1938 version starring Shirley Temple. Wiggin spent her life dedicated to children’s welfare. She headed the first free kindergarten in California, in the slums of San Francisco, and established a kindergarten teachers’ training school with her sister. Her writing career, which began as a means of raising money for her school, spanned four decades. After the death of her first husband in 1889, she relocated back to Maine, where her summer home in Hollis is now the home to the town’s Salmon Falls Library.

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The Sound and the Fury
Written by William Faulkner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: -

Backgrounds begins with the appendix Faulkner wrote in 1945 and sometimes referred to as another telling of The Sound and the Fury and includes a selection of Faulkner’s letters, excerpts from two Faulkner interviews, a memoir by Faulknerís friend Ben Wasson, and both versions of Faulkner’s 1933 introduction to the novel. Cultural and Historical Contexts presents four different perspectives on the place of the American South in history. Taken together, these works–by C. Vann Woodward, Richard H. King, Carolyn Porter, and Robert Penn Warren–provide the reader with valuable contexts for understanding the novel. Criticism includes seventeen essays on The Sound and the Fury that collectively trace changes in the way we have viewed this novel over the last four decades. The critics are Jean-Paul Sartre, Irving Howe, Ralph Ellison, Olga W. Vickery, Cleanth Brooks, Michael Millgate, John T. Irwin, Myra Jehlen, Donald M. Kartiganer, David Minter, Warwick Wadlington, John T. Matthews, Thadious M. Davis, Wesley Morris and Barbara Alverson Morris, Minrose C. Gwin, André Bleikasten, and Philip M. Weinstein. A revised Selected Bibliography is also included.

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  • Liar & Spy - Seventh-grader Georges adjusts to moving from a house to an apartment, his father’s efforts to start a new business, his mother’s extra shifts as a nurse, being picked on at school, and Safer, a boy who wants his help spying on another resident of their building.

  • The Catcher in the Rye - The brilliant, funny, meaningful novel (The New Yorker) that established J. D. Salinger as a leading voice in American literature–and that has instilled in millions of readers around the world a lifelong love of books.If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caufield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days.

  • The Elevator Family - The four members of the Wilson family decide to spend their holiday in one of the elevators at the San Francisco Hotel.

  • The Glass Menagerie - Menagerie was Williams’s first popular success and launched the brilliant, if somewhat controversial, career of our pre-eminent lyric playwright. Since its premiere in Chicago in 1944, with the legendary Laurette Taylor in the role of Amanda, the play has been the bravura piece for great actresses from Jessica Tandy to Joanne Woodward, and is studied and performed in classrooms and theatres around the world. The Glass Menagerie (in the reading text the author preferred) is now available only in its New Directions Paperbook edition. A new introduction by prominent Williams scholar Robert Bray, editor of The Tennessee Williams Annual Review, reappraises the play more than half a century after it won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award: More than fifty years after telling his story of a family whose lives form a triangle of quiet desperation, Williams’s mellifluous voice still resonates deeply and universally. This edition of The Glass Menagerie also includes Williams’s essay on the impact of sudden fame on a struggling writer, The Catastrophe of Success, as well as a short section of Williams’s own Production Notes. The cover features the classic line drawing by Alvin Lustig, originally done for the 1949 New Directions edition.

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Forest World
Written by Margarita Engle
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

From award-winning author Margarita Engle comes a lively middle grade novel in verse that tells the story of a Cuban-American boy who visits his family’s village in Cuba for the first time–and meets a sister he didn’t know he had. Edver isn’t happy about being shipped off to Cuba to visit the father he barely knows. The island is a place that no one in Miami ever mentions without a sigh, but travel laws have suddenly changed, and now it’s a lot easier for divided families to be reunited. Technology in Cuba hasn’t caught up with the times, though, and Edver is expecting a long, boring summer. He was NOT expecting to meet a sister he didn’t know he had. Luza is a year older and excited to see her little brother, until she realizes what a spoiled American he is. Looking for something–anything–they might have in common, the siblings sneak onto the Internet, despite it being forbidden in Cuba, and make up a fake butterfly. Maybe now their cryptozoologist mother will come to visit. But their message is intercepted by a dangerous poacher, and suddenly much more than their family is at stake. Edver and Luza have to find a way to overcome their differences to save the Cuban jungle that they both have grown to love.

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Hands Up!
Written by Breanna J McDaniel & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This triumphant picture book recasts a charged phrase as part of a black girl’s everyday life–hands up for a hug, hands up in class, hands up for a high five–before culminating in a moment of resistance at a protest march. A young black girl lifts her baby hands up to greet the sun, reaches her hands up for a book on a high shelf, and raises her hands up in praise at a church service. She stretches her hands up high like a plane’s wings and whizzes down a hill so fast on her bike with her hands way up. As she grows, she lives through everyday moments of joy, love, and sadness. And when she gets a little older, she joins together with her family and her community in a protest march, where they lift their hands up together in resistance and strength

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Trouble Magnet
Written by Graham Salisbury & illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

A humorous chapter book about a fourth-grade boy, full of the fun of growing up in Hawaii. Calvin Coconut lives near the beach in Kailua, Hawaii, with his mom and his little sister. All his friends live there, too. Mom says: You’re the man of the house, Cal. Which means: Be responsible. Calvin tries, but fun–and trouble–follows him wherever he goes, even in the classroom, also known as Mr. Purdy’s Fourth-Grade Boot Camp. And how can he be the man of the house after teenage Stella-from-Texas arrives to be the live-in babysitter and steps all over Calvin’s turf? Award-winning author Graham Salisbury welcomes younger readers to a lively new series with great illustrations by Jacqueline Rogers.

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...And Now Miguel
Written by Joseph Krumgold & illustrated by Jean Charlot
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-18

He wanted to be treated like a man, not a child.

Every summer the men of the Chavez family go on a long and difficult sheep drive to the mountains. All the men, that is, except for Miguel. All year long, twelve-year-old Miguel tries to prove that he, too, is up to the challenge, that he, too, is ready to take the sheep into his beloved Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

When his deeds go unnoticed, he prays to San Ysidro, the saint for farmers everywhere. And his prayer is answered . . . but with devastating consequences.

When you act like and adult but get treated like a child, what else can you do but keep your wishes secret and pray that they’ll come true.

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Foreverland
Written by Nicole C. Kear
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Endless rides, endless junk food, and endless adventure? Who wouldn’t want to live in an amusement park? Foreverland is sure to be a big hit with young readers.–Suzanne Selfors, national bestselling author of Wish Upon a Sleepover and Fortune’s Magic Farm Nicole C. Kear’s Foreverland is a bighearted coming-of-age story about being lost, and finding your way back home again. Margaret is tired of everything always changing. Middle school has gone from bad to worse. Her best friend is becoming a stranger. And her family–well, it’s not even a family anymore. So Margaret is running away to Foreverland, her favorite amusement park. Hiding out there is trickier than she expects–until she meets Jaime, a thrill-seeking, fast-thinking runaway who teaches Margaret how to stay one step ahead of the captain of security. At first, this after-hours, all-access pass to the park is a dream come true: sleepovers in the Haunted House, nonstop junk food, and an unlimited ticket to ride. But as the runaways learn each other’s secrets, they must face the reasons they left their normal lives behind. With the Captain closing in and Jaime’s future on the line, can Margaret finally take control? Foreverland is an exhilarating story about riding life’s rollercoaster–figuring out how to hang on and learning when to let go. An Imprint Book

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