Books, Magazines & Guides

Please check locally first for booksellers in your area below, if possible!

Go here for American Independent Booksellers Association
Go here for Northern California Independent Booksellers
Go here to find local booksellers for Santa Cruz County.

(scroll down for audiobooks, magazines and books for sale) 

Guides and Book Lists

30 Books About Being Different
From the website: “These children’s  books all celebrate children who are a little or a lot different . Some characters stand tall from the start and others have a wobbly road but find their legs as they go, all will inspire children to embrace who they are.”  Most of the books are for younger readers.

50 Books for an 11-Year-Old (50 Books Every Child Should Read)
Nice list with introductory article, book images, and links to more about each book, as well as reader’s comments below.

50 Books to Read in High School
“This is a list generated by the teen services team with input from librarians from the Fayette County Public Schools.  The list is intended to either reflect the life experiences of local teenagers, or to broaden your world view.  On this list, you’ll find classics as well as cultural phenomena, and you may find something you wouldn’t have immediately picked out for yourself. ” – Lexington Public Library

67 Books Every Geek Should Read to their Kids Before Age 10 – by Erik Wecks
GeekDad’s list of adventure, fantasy, science, and others that stir the imagination.

100 Best Chapter Books of All Time – Booklist
Good list of classic and recent , serious and humorous, bestsellers and lesser known titles, all with an image of the bookcover and paragraph description about the book.

ALA (American Library Association)
Newberry Medal Awards (past and present)

ALA (American Library Association) or YALSA (Young Adult Library Association)
Best Books for Young Adults

Arrowhead Library System – College Bound Reading List (and classics for lifelong learners)

Avant Parenting – Local Books for Santa Cruz Kids
See Suki’s list of 10 books whose stories are are centered around the Monterey Bay Area.

Books in Verse by Allen County Public Library
Books in Verse are typically novel-length stories that are written in verse or poetry rather than prose.  The books on this list are predominantly fiction, but also include a few nonfiction, biographical, and autobiographical titles.” – Allen County Public Library

Books Set In… Book Search List
{NOTE: These may be mostly suitable for adults (or possibly teens) – Please check out the list before allowing your child to select books.} Do a search for a place name and find up to 20+ pages for some places, such as Africa or New York or perhaps just one page for Taiwan.  I include this site as some parents have found it useful to read about a place they are studying or will be traveling to soon.

The Bookshelf – Vintage Books
Select a category to view vintage titles which can be purchased (usually for a low price) or just use their site as a good list for older titles which provide a look into our culture of the past and that may or may not be more suitable to some young readers than modern day titles.

Book List for Boys – “I Hated to Read Until I Read This!”
James Patterson’s list from
This list is for boys who have not previously enjoyed reading or who have been more interested in motion, building, and other pursuits but the author of this list suggests that if you can find out what their interests are –  models, animals, spaceflight, or just about anything – you can find books about their interests.  Find some suggestions on this list!

Caldecott Medal Awards (past and present)
Find classic award-winning picture books for young children, listed by year, starting in 1938 and into the present.

Children’s Book Cooperative
Offers: booklists for children and adolescents, links to annual Book Awards lists, guide to authors and illustrators, podcasts, resource links and more.

Children’s Books Guide
Offers a guide to books, including several lists, such as Top 100 Books for Children, Children’s Books of Nature, Best Baby Books of All Time, Booklists by Subject, and several others.

Children’s Literature Classics
Offers suggestions for children’s classics around these Fiction categories: Adventure, Realistic, Animal, Historical, Toy, and Fantasy.

Gifted Young Readers Book List: from Examiner Info 101, by Suki Wessling
Compiled from parents groups, “This list was created by a group of moms who wanted a list of books appropriate for young readers (through 7 years old) who are ready to read long chapter books but are emotionally sensitive.”   This list links each book to more information at Amazon but be sure to check out local sources for books too!

Read an article by the above author that explains how to choose books for young sensitive gifted readers.

Gifted Pre-Teen Book List by Info 101 and Suki Wessling
Offers list of books for young teens who may also be sensitive and gifted readers.

Gifted Kids, Gifted Characters, and Great Books
Good list!

Good Reads Popular Elementary School Reading List 
Over 500 books listed (scroll down and click through pages) with an image of the book and a link to read a brief description and any reviews posted below.  One problem is the suggested books feature pop-up that may offer adult level books as “suggestions.”

Historical Novels Guide
Offers blog, reviews, and list of over 5,000 historical novels for young adults and adults, listed by time and place.

Hoagies Gifted Education – Books and Magazines Lists
Magazines list for gifted or curious kids

Reading lists for gifted or curious students, as well as books on giftedness

Homeschool Literature
“Literature and stories about homeschoolers! A directory with reviews by homeschoolers, study guides, and ideas for further study.”

International Digital Children’s Library
This is an amazing resource of vintage and other books from all over the world and in various languages.  Go to NEW VISITOR section and click on “Read Books” and from there, select your country and language to use their easy search page by choosing from 22 buttons to narrow your search (age range, bookcover color, length and type of book, as well as recently added or other feature.  Then click on the book to see it’s original cover and read the photocopied pages online.  Books can be saved in an account you create, if you like!

Library Booklists
Comprehensive lists by age group and by topics within each group.

National Audubon Society First Field Guides
Click on: Amazon list of available guides for nicely photographed kid-friendly books on many nature topics such as shells, trees, insects and more.  Use them to learn about and I.D. specimens.

National Geographic Kids and Little Kids Magazine

National Wildlife Federation Kids Magazines
Magazines for kids of different ages, such as Ranger Rick and Your Big Backyard

Novels in Verse – by Austin Public Library “Connected Youth”
This list of novels appears to be geared toward the 13 and over crowd.

PBS Bookfinder List of Children’s Books
Search by age or topic through this massive list of books recommended by PBS.

Poway Library Book Lists:
Large compilation of reading lists including civil rights movement, banned books, U.S. History, and many more categories.

School Library Journal – One Hundred Books that Shaped the Country
Classics, award-winners, and good reads for children and teens.

Stories about Girls – by GeekDad
Article, list, book cover images, and reviews of the books – all about great female characters.

What We’re Reading at the National Homeschool Book Awards
Choose to search all winning books and/or those books with homeschoolers in them.

Audio Books, Popular Books, and Magazines

Audible (An Amazon Company)
Large selection of downloadable books for all ages, available for purchase for use on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone and Kindle users ( with audio capability.)

Black Books Galore Online Bookstore
Founded by three African American mothers, who had difficulty finding books reflecting positive images for their children, this site offers everything from picture and preschool books to teen fiction, with poetry and music books and holiday books on Kwanzaa and Christmas.

Books on Tape
Purchase books on tape or find out how to get your child’s school to purchase audiobooks.

Books Should be Free – Audio Downloads
Choose free downloadable audio books from over 85,000 titles of all genres, including children’s and young adults books, with popular classics like Anne of Green Gables, The Odyssey, and War and Peace, all shown with their cover image.

Boomerang! Audio Magazine for Kids
Boomerang! is an hour-long audio program for kids 6-12. Kids present stories about science, current events, history, economics, poetry, geography, jokes, mysteries and more.  Subscribe for CD or online download.  Use also for kids with reading challenges and for family car trips.

Chinaberry Books
Offers a selection of hand-picked quality books and other items for children, teens and young adults, as well as for the whole family, that encourage imagination and understanding of our world.  Nice long descriptions of each book or item.

Cliffs Notes Study Guides for almost any academic and technical subject, geared toward high school, AP, and college level learning preparation for tests.

Cricket Magazines
Offers 14 different award-winning magazines (such as Ladybug, Dig, Cobblestone, and more) and related online material for various ages and interests of children and teens.

Dorling Kindersley Books
All Categories:

Known for their educational content (with differing levels of books) presented with quality photographic images and displayed in a manner for the visual learner.

Click here for the DK Eyewitness books at Amazon

Click here for Fandex Knowledge Cards
Purchase these nicely illustrated cards that fold out like a fan to learn about: trees, butterflies, cats, dogs, and birds; presidents, first ladies, explorers, or American Indians; and many more nature, history and other topics.  Use them at home, in the car, or on the go.

Kumon Reading Leveled Book Lists 
Suggested reading list based on their leveled classes, up through high school selections.

New Moon Girls Magazine
Advertisement-free, with focus on ‘inner beauty,’ world cultures, women’s history and inspirational content for girls age 8 and up, all about “helping girls discover and honor their true selves, engage in meaningful pursuits and dialogue, and express their voices in ways that matter.”

Parents Choice: Magazines for Children
Lists recommended books, magazines,  software, websites, DVD’s and more, of their annual award winners.

Petersen First Guides (Amazon’s List)
Click here to see the list of nature study guides

QuickStudy Academic and Reference Laminated Charts – Amazon’s List
Click here to see their extensive list which includes information and ‘how to’ charts for all mathematics areas, anatomy, biology, biochemistry, physics, languages and grammar, Western Civilization, SAT tips, nursing and medical terminology and other useful charts for middle school children through college students.

Scholastic Books
Scholastic books website.  Search for any Scholastic Books.
Also search for:
Rookie Read-About 
(non-fiction leveled books for emerging readers on science, social studies, health, and other topics.)
Scholastic True Books 
(Series which includes tons of social studies, science, and many other categories of topics, for mostly 8+ years.)
I SPY Books - popular books for toddlers through 8 years old, which not only have fun verse but are great for building important visual skills for beginning readers that require children to use visual discrimination skills to find hidden objects around themes.

Teen Ink
“Magazine, website & books written by teens {must be age 13-19} since 1989, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and graphics submissions.  It is devoted entirely to teenage writing, art, photos and forums.”  Those interested can also check with their schools to see if they distribute the magazine to their students.