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Turn Your Kids on to Reading This Summer

By Joan Kuersten and Derek Phillips

Where to Find the Books that Will Turn Your Kids On to Reading

Are you worried that your son or daughter will lose valuable reading skills during the summer? Are you curious about which books kids like to read?

The following organizations have published reading lists for children and teens, which may help you and your children choose some books for summertime reading.


International Reading Association (IRA)

The International Reading Association (IRA) annually publishes three lists of favorite books from among the hundreds of children's books published in North America each year. The lists include Children's Choices, Teachers' Choice, and Young Adults' Choices. Approximately 10,000 U.S. children, ages 5–13, select the top 100 titles for Children's Choices; about 4,500 U.S. young people in grades 7–12 select the 30 top picks as Young Adults' Choices, and as many as 200 reading professionals in each region of the country choose the 30 most popular books for the Teachers' Choices List. These three lists can be accessed from the IRA website.


American Library Association (ALA)

The American Library Association (ALA) offers several book lists including:

  • The Coretta Scott King Award Books, which are distinguished books by African-American authors and illustrators that promote the understanding and appreciation of the "American Dream" as interpreted by Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.
  • Best Books for Young Adults, a list of 84 books recommended for young people ages 12–18 and selected by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of ALA.
  • These and several other ALA book lists are available on the ALA website.


National Education Association (NEA)

The National Education Association (NEA) publishes the following book lists in conjunction with its Read Across America Project. They are available on NEA's website.


*Originally published in Our Children magazine, Vol. 27, No. 6, p. 11.