Children in grades TK–5th, range in age from 4–11 years old. Parents and caregivers can look into the various milestones of this age group to support their child's growth. The library offers families a variety of literacy-based programs, activities, and spaces for social interaction.
Check out age-specific milestones here:
- Preschool/TK (ages 3–5), opens a new window
- Middle Childhood (ages 6–8)
- Middle Childhood (ages 9–11)
Early and Beginning Readers
- For children who are beginning their journey in reading, I Can Read has a great breakdown of what books are suitable for readers as they grow their early and beginning reading skills. These books, usually called readers, are generally suited for ages 4–8. Children at this level are building their connection to reading, building upon their knowledge of phonics (matching sounds and letters) and early comprehension.
- Looking for book recommendations for readers? Check out this blogpost with recommendations by reading level.
- Readers at this age level may also enjoy picture books. Like Readers, they offer visual interest, often featuring bright and colorful images, in a larger format. The library offers Read Together Storytime Kits, that offer a selection of picture books, based on a specific theme, that can be checked out in a handy backpack. Themes include everything from dealing with the news to exploring different cultures.
- From ages 7–9, children generally become more independent readers. During this time, they can improve their ability to read, expanding vocabulary and comprehension. Shorter chapter books with images or series books, are generally best for this age. Check out this list for beginner series books.
Middle Grade Readers
- As children reach their middle grade years, they tend to choose their books more independently, and can think more critically about what they are reading. This generally takes place from ages 9–12. Here are some fun fantasy recommendations for middle grades. You can also find more recommendations on our blog.
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.
The library offers several events to help support your child's literacy and growth. Check out these events and regular programs for TK-5th Grade Audiences:
- Family Storytimes, geared toward ages 2–11
- Lego Sundays for your young engineers
- Second Saturdays at the Gamble Gardens for all ages
- Family Crafts
- Steam LAB Saturday
- Staff recommendation booklists for all age ranges.
- Check out this blogpost to find out what books are right for your child.
In addition to print materials, Palo Alto City Library has online resources to enhance literacy learning skills.
- Bookflix, opens a new window: Pairs classic video storybooks with related nonfiction: Animals and Nature, Family and Community, Celebrations.
- Tumblebook Library, opens a new window: An online collection of eBooks for kids, which include animated, talking picture books.
- Check out eBook collections on Overdrive/Libby. Fans of Pete the Cat, Peppa Pig, and Berenstain Bears are sure to find something. Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? Head over to the Kids Collection to find eBooks and audiobooks for all ages!
- Log in to your Hoopla account and turn on Kids mode to find audiobooks, eBooks, movies, and more! When you turn on Kids Mode, you’ll only see content recommended for kids 12 and younger.