How to Find Great Books for Your Kids to Read

A boy lying on the floor with his feet up on a bookshelf as he is reading a book
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Are you looking for fiction books your kids might like to read? This is a difficult task. What interests us as their parents may not interest them.

Bridge this gap by finding a few genres that they like. If they don't know what they like, ask about their favorite books or movies. Figure out if they tend more toward adventure, fantasy, mystery, or another type of book.

Once you have a direction, go to https://www.pluggedin.com/book-reviews. Next to the words “Book Reviews” is a drop-down menu, beneath the word “Filter.” If you click on the arrow, you can find a specific genre that your child likes to read. Click on it and "Submit" to search only those books. By glancing through the reviews, you'll be able to tell fairly quickly whether the book is appropriate for your child's age, stage or interests. 

If that doesn't work, try reading the reviews for the following books to find a match for your child.

Books for 4- to 7-year-olds to read

Always read a book review to find a story that Is appropriate for your kids to read.

Adventure

Animal stories

  • The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto
    Gunnar is one of the 21 brave drivers of dogsled teams who bring diphtheria medicine to Nome, Alaska. Balto is his lead dog. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "B" for The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto — or read a review
          
  • Henry and Mudge: The First Book    
    Henry is lonely, with no siblings or other playmates on his street. His new puppy, Mudge, quickly grows to become his 180-pound best friend. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "H" for Henry and Mudge: The First Book — or read a review.          

Contemporary

  • First Day Jitters
    Sarah is nervous as she's ready to begin at her new school. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "F" for First Day Jitters — or read a review.  
             
  • Freckle Juice    
    Andrew wishes he had freckles like Nicky. When sneaky classmate, Sharon, overhears Andrew’s wish, she offers him a recipe for a freckle-producing drink. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "F" for Freckle Juice — or read a review.         

Historical fiction

  • #1 – Voyage With the Vikings 
    Cousins Patrick and Beth travel back in time to Viking-occupied Greenland, but while searching for an item that Mr. Whittaker asked them to bring back, they encounter a less-than-friendly Viking. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "V" for Voyage With the Vikings — read a review or buy it
          
  • The 18 Penny Goose
    In 1778, Letty Wright, 8, and her family — Pa, Ma, John and baby Sarah — have to leave their farm because British soldiers are headed toward them. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "0-9" for The 18 Penny Goose — or read a review
          
  • Boom Town
    Amanda, her parents, three brothers and a baby sister arrive in California during the Gold Rush. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "B" for Boom Town — or read a review.
                
  • Don't Forget Winona 
    Winona and her family move west by traveling on Route 66. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "D" for Don't Forget Winona — or read a review.

Humor

  • Amelia Bedelia
    It is Amelia Bedelia's first day as housekeeper for Mr. and Mrs. Rogers. She takes each of her employers' instructions literally, oblivious to the Rogers' true intentions. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "A" for Amelia Bedelia — or read a review.
             
  • Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa  
    Kate gets a cow horse named Cocoa. The two become fast friends, although Cocoa’s relentless demands for food usually hamper the young cowgirl’s plans. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "C" for Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa — or read a review.

Mystery

  • Nate the Great
    When Annie’s painting goes missing, she calls detective Nate the Great. He observes her friends, family and dog, and discovers who is to blame. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "N" for Nate the Great — or read a review
                
          
  • The Crazy Christmas Angel Myster      
    Eric can't believe it when his neighbor's Christmas angel comes to life. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "C" for The Crazy Christmas Angel — or read a review            
                

Books for 8- to 11-year-olds to read

Always read a book review to find a story that Is appropriate for your kids to read.

Adventure

  • Bible Kidventures: Stories of Danger and Courage*
    Kids remain engaged as you read them four Bible stories in this choose-your-own Kidventure. Spiritual topics include trusting God and the power of worship. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "S" for Stories of Danger and Courage — read a review or buy it.  
          
  • By the Great Horn Spoon!
    Loaded with adventure, 12-year-old Jack and his aunt's butler head to the California gold fields to get enough money to save Aunt Arabella's home. Character quality: resilience and zeal for life. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "B" for By the Great Horn Spoon — orread a review.
          
  • Stone Fox
    The excitement is gripping in this story that places a boy and his dog against an impossible task — getting the money to pay the taxes to save his family's farm. Character quality: perseverance. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "S" for Stone Fox — orread a review.  

Classic stories

  • Anne of Green Gables 
    Marilla Cuthbert and her brother, Matthew, want to adopt an orphan boy to help them care for their land. When Anne Shirley shows up by mistake, her imagination and personality change their lives. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "A" for Anne of Green Gables — or read a review   
                
             
  • Black Beauty 
    Black Beauty is born into a good situation with a kind master. He is a faithful, hardworking horse. When his master is forced to sell him, Black Beauty meets many unkind masters and hard situations.Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "B" for Black Beauty — or read a review.
                
                 
  • Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers 
    A young boy and his father start life on the Colorado frontier. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "L" for Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers — or read a review.
                
                 
  • Little House in the Big Woods
    Take a step back in time to learn about the adventures of the Ingalls family as they work on their 1871 homestead in Wisconsin. Theme: family life of pioneers. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "L" for Little House in the Big Woods — or read a review.

  • Little House on the Prairie
    The Ingalls family moves to the Kansas prairie, and readers can follow their adventures living in a log house in 1868. Character quality: resilience. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "L" for Little House on the Prairie — or read a review.     
          
  • Treasure Island 
    When sea captain Billy Bones dies at the Admiral Benbow Inn, young Jim finds the pirate’s map and embarks on a perilous journey in search of treasure. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "T" for Treasure Island — or read a review.

Contemporary 

  • Frindle 
    Nick Allen causes all sorts of problems with one simple word: frindle. How much can one word change an entire town? Sign in and click on "F" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.
  • Jones & Parker Case Files*
    There's something mysterious going on in everyone's favorite town . . . Odyssey, of course No mystery is too big or too small for Emily Jones and Matthew Parker. 
  • Mudsharks 
    Mudshark is smart, but is he smarter than a parrot? Sign in and click on "M" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title. 
  • The World According to Humphrey 
    Humphrey the Hamster learns all about the students in his class and has adventures as the classroom pet. Sign in and click on "W" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.
                
          
  • Asking for Trouble 
    Savannah (Savvy) Smith has moved to England with her family and is trying to fit into her new school, Wexburg Academy. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "A" for Asking for Trouble — or read a review.
                
           
  • Losers, Inc.
    Two friends form a new club for losers... except they're not losers. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "L" for Losers, Inc. — or read a review.
                
                  
  • Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer  
    Theo has plans of being a lawyer and must defend himself much earlier than expected. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "K" for Kid Lawyer — or read a review.

Fantasy

  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 
    When Alice follows the White Rabbit down a rabbit hole, she finds herself in a unbelievable land where she can change her size. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "A" for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland — or read a review.
                      
  • The BFG 
    Eight-year-old Sophie is snatched by a BFG. She must learn to survive in a kingdom of giants. Then one night, she comes up with a plan to destroy all mean giants. Sign in and click on "B" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.
                      
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 
    Charlie gets to tour Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "C" for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — or read a review.                  
        
  • The Chocolate Touch 
    John has a problem: everything he touches turns to chocolate! Sign in and click on "C" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.
                      
  • Holes 
    Stanley Yelnats' family curse may finally be over with the right decision. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "H" for Holes — or read a review.                     
                      
  • Inkheart 
    One simple reading releases an evil ruler from a book's pages. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "I" for Inkheart — or read a review.                       
                      
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe 
    Four siblings are sent to the countryside during World War II. Once there, they find their way into a magical land, but this unknown kingdom is in need of deliverance from evil.. Sign in and click on "L" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.
  • Nurk 
    A small shrew is on a quest to answer a mysterious plea for help. Sign in and click on "N" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.
      
  • Redwall  
    A young mouse apprentice must save the day. Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "R" for Redwall — or read a review.
  • The Whipping Boy  
    Prince Brat kidnaps Jemmy, but the kingdom looks for Jemmy, who is blamed for the prince's disappearance!. Sign in and click on "W" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.

Historical fiction

  • #2 – Attack at the Arena*
  • Mr. Whittaker’s ancestor Albert is in trouble and needs a monk’s silver chalice. Cousins Patrick and Beth travel back in time to Rome in the Imagination Station to find it. Sign in and click on "A" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.

  • #3 – Peril in the Palace*
    Cousins Patrick and Beth travel to ancient China in the Imagination Station and meet Marco Polo. They need to find the golden tablet of Kublai Khan to save Mr. Whittaker’s ancestor, Albert. Sign in and click on "P" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.
     
  • #4 – Revenge of the Red Knight* 
    The Imagination Station takes cousins Patrick and Beth to medieval England rather than returning them to Whit's End. They continue their quest to help Mr. Whittaker's ancestor while looking for a way home. Sign in and click on "R" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.
     
  • #5 – Showdown With the Shepherd* 
    Cousins Patrick and Beth saved Albert, but an evil man named Hugh escapes in the Imagination Station. They must find him and keep him from helping Goliath and the Philistines defeat the Israelites. Sign in and click on "S" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.
     
  • #6 – Problems in Plymouth*
    Cousins Patrick and Beth travel to Plymouth to keep a time-traveling villain named Hugh from changing history and ruining the first Thanksgiving. They must find a way to return him to his own time. Sign in and click on "P" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.

  • #7 – Secret of the Prince’s Tomb*
    Patrick and Beth try to help the Habiru people, who are being enslaved by the Egyptians. If they can't free them, they want to give them hope. Sign in and click on "S" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.

  • #8 – Battle for Cannibal Island* 
    The Imagination Station takes Patrick and Beth on an adventure on the high seas. They meet a ship’s captain and a missionary named James Calvert before coming face to face with cannibals. Sign in and click on "B" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.

  • #9 – Escape to the Hiding Place*
    Patrick and Beth arrive in World War II Holland in the farm country. The children learn to appreciate the bravery and sacrifice of everyday people who helped the Jews. 

  • #10 – Challenge on the Hill of Fire*
    Beth and Patrick meet St. Patrick teaching the Irish about Christianity. In Ireland, druids control the people through fear until the king and his people accept St. Patrick’s God. Sign in and click on "C" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.

  • #11 - Hunt for the Devil’s Dragon*
    If you're brave, follow cousins Beth and Patrick to Libya in the 13th century. The town of Silene is being terrorized by a vicious animal that is eating livestock.

  • #12 - Danger on a Silent Night*
    Patrick and Beth ponder the origins of giving gifts at Christmas. Whit uses the Imagination Station to introduce them to the wise men who sought Jesus. Sign in and click on "D" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.

  • #13 - The Redcoats Are Coming*
    Cousins Patrick and Beth find themselves in the first battles of the Revolutionary War. They must avoid the loyalists and not be mistaken as spies while trying to deliver a letter to Paul Revere. Sign in and click on "R" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.

  • #14 - Captured on the High Seas*
    Beth and Patrick become prisoners of war on a British ship during the American Revolution. They try to help an American officer and an African American sailor escape. Sign in and click on "C" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.

  • #15 - Surprise at Yorktown*
    Beth and Patrick help slaves escape at Yorktown. They also track a suspected spy and meet Generals Cornwallis, Lafayette and Washington during negotiations for the surrender of the British army. Sign in and click on "S" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.

  • #16 - Doomsday in Pompeii*
    When Patrick takes a trip alone in the Imagination Station, he ends up in Pompeii in 79 A.D. a day before Mount Vesuvius erupts 

  • #17 – In Fear of the Spear*
    Dr. Silva and Beth escape a jaguar and are captured by tribesmen. They learn about Kimo, the first Auca to know Jesus, and Kimo baptizes Dr. Silva. Sign in and click on "I" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.

  • #18 - Trouble on the Orphan Train*
    Patrick and Beth arrive on an orphan train, heading west. They befriend an orphan who is falsely accused of being part of a train robbery.

  • #19 - Light in the Lion's Den*
    Beth and Patrick learn about Babylon and how Daniel chose to serve God even when it meant disobeying an earthly king. Sign in and click on "L" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.

  • #20 - Inferno in Tokyo*
    Eugene tells Patrick and Beth they need to find Nicholas Tesla. They do not know who he is, but find themselves in Tokyo, Japan, during a 1923 tsunami, earthquake and fire. They help the survivors. Sign in and click on "I" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.

  • #21 - Madman in Manhattan*
    Nikola Tesla has taken Beth, and now he wants to use the Imagination Station to go back in history and register his patents for inventions before Thomas Edison and Henry Ford can register theirs. Sign in and click on "M" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.

  • #22 - Freedom at the Falls*
    Patrick and Beth help Sally, a slave on the Underground Railroad, escape, as they ride the Lincoln Special, a train that is taking Abraham Lincoln, his family and friends to his inauguration. Sign in and click on "F" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.

  • #23 - Terror in the Tunnel*
    Beth and Patrick near Washington, D.C., on a train with Abraham Lincoln, who is heading to his first inauguration. But a band of assassins plan to meet Lincoln in Baltimore and end his presidency before it starts. Can the cousins help get him through the city safely and on to his big history-making day?

  • The Boxcar Children 
    Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny search for a place to call home after their parents die. Sign in and click on "B" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.
  • A Lion to Guard Us 
    In 1609, preteen Amanda and her younger siblings do whatever they can to reach their father who is awaiting them in the New World. Sign in and click on "L" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.
           
  • Raiders From the Sea
    Briana O'Toole (Bree) and her brother are kidnapped by Viking marauders. Will God help them escape and return home? Sign in to get parent-child discussion questions — under "R" for Raiders From the Sea — or read a review.   
  • Strawberry Girl 
    The Boyer family moves from the mountains of northern Florida to the state's southern lakes area in the early 1900s. They raise cattle, tend an orange grove and plant a variety of crops — including strawberries. Sign in and click on "S" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.

  • The Wheel on the School 
    The storks of Shora are gone, and children of the village try to draw them back. Sign in and click on "W" to get parent-child discussion questions for this story — or go to PluggedIn.com to read a book review for this title.

Books for 12- to 14-year-olds to read

Always read a book review to find a story that Is appropriate for your kids to read.

Adventure

Classic stories

Contemporary

Creative Nonfiction

Fantasy

Historical fiction

Books for older kids

Always read a book review to find a story that Is appropriate for your kids to read.

Classic stories

Creative Nonfiction

Fantasy

Historical fiction

Sheila Seifert is an author, speaker and the editorial director of parenting content at Focus on the Family. She has a Masters degree in English, has taught literature and writing courses at various colleges and universities, and has written or co-written many books for children. Her most recent is Bible Kidventures: Stories of Danger and Courage.  

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