Book Recommendations by Reading Level

Reading Level Resources

Looking for books for your child but not sure where to start? Finding the right book can help your reader stay engaged and eager to read more. We have provided some book recommendations based on reading level, from pre-readers to tweens.  

Children of all ages can benefit from reading side by side with a more experienced reader (parent, sibling, friend, etc.) This “buddy reading” benefits both the more experienced reader as well as the emerging reader! Additionally, older children may often enjoy going back to "old favorites" that they may have enjoyed when they were younger. All great ways to support a reader! 

Note: When searching for books in the catalog, opens a new window, you’ll notice the call number of all children’s books start with the letter “J” which stands for Juvenile. 

A few of our favorite picture books!


Very Beginning Readers, opens a new window  

  • Understands some basic concepts of print and the books may have 10 words or less per page (see booklist, opens a new window for more traits of a very beginning reader) 
  • Recommended: Early reader books (J Reader) 

Beginning Readers, opens a new window  

  • Knows a small number of words by sight  
  • Can name most letters and sounds (see booklist, opens a new window for more traits of a beginning reader) 
  • Recommended: Early Reader books (J Reader)

Now You're Reading, opens a new window

  • Often knows a large core of words by sight  
  • Reads books with brief stories that have a beginning (see booklist, opens a new window for more traits of a developing reader) 
  • Recommended: Early reader books (J Reader)

Reading On Your Own, opens a new window

  • Reads Early Reader books with longer stories 
  • Relies more on print than illustrations (see booklist, opens a new window for more traits of an expanding reader) 
  • Recommended: Both Early Reader & Beginner Series books (J Reader & J Series)  

Second & Third Grade  

  • Beginning series books are an excellent option for this age group. Explore our series books on the library catalog or check out this booklist of beginner series books. 
  • Recommended: Both Series and Fiction books (J Series & J Fiction) 

Fourth & Fifth Grade 

Explore our middle grade booklists for this age group: 

Is This Book Age Appropriate for My Child?  

If your child is reading above their grade level, keep in mind that higher level books may come with mature subject matter. Find reviews from both parents and kids on Common Sense Media. Books, as well as other media, are reviewed for age appropriateness.  

Do you have a reluctant reader?  

Read Along books are a great way to get reluctant readers interested in reading! You and your child can follow along while listening to professional audio narration. Check out our Vox and Wonderbooks, with the audio built into the book! These types of books are available in reader, picture book, chapter book, and nonfiction book formats. 

What about Tweens?  

If you have a Tween who is looking for book recommendations, check out these lists: 

Get personalized recommendations for any reader through our Shelf Made service! 

Alicia Hulten, Youth Services Librarian, Mitchell Park Library | Follow @MissAlicia on Bibliocommons