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Booklists & Online Resources

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Booklists

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Pre-School, Pre Readers

  • Neurodivergent Characters – Picture Books

Discover a collection of picture books featuring neurodivergent characters to celebrate diversity and promote understanding. These engaging stories and vibrant illustrations highlight the unique strengths and experiences of neurodivergent individuals.


  • Immigration & Refugees – Picture Books

Picture books are a powerful and important tool for helping little ones to understand the world around them and the experiences of other people. These books for children focus on themes related to immigration & refugees, including the many kinds of journeys people make when moving to a new land, as well as some of the experiences that children in immigrant families experience.


  • LGBTQ+ Books – Picture Books

In this collection of over 30 picture books, you’ll find various representations of the LGBTQ+ community. These children’s books include characters who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, and/or gender non-conforming. And of course, these books aren’t just for families with a direct connection to LGBTQ+ issues; everyone can use these books’ messages of unconditional love and acceptance.


  • Latino Authors – Picture Books

This list includes titles written by Latino authors that highlight the diverse cultures, traditions, and stories across the Latino community. Many of these books are bilingual, or have separate English and Spanish editions. Featuring a wide range of stories, these books are great for any age!


  • Dinosaur Books – Picture Books

We have all the dinosaurs on this list! Shy dinosaurs! Tiny dinosaurs! Invisible dinosaurs! Hungry dinosaurs! And so many more! This list is for the dinosaur lover in your family (maybe its you!). We’ve left off the non-fiction books on this list, so it’s chock full of over 30 dinosaur picture books! Hopefully, it includes at least one or two you haven’t already read!


  • Modern Classics (Picture Books written from 2000-2022)

This lists includes over 50 titles, all published since 2000. We’ve included some of our favorite authors, like Mac Barnett & Mo Willems, as well as popular characters like Elephant & Piggie and Bruce! If your favorite isn’t on this list, it will be after you read some of these!


  • Oldies, But Goodies (Picture Books written before 2000)

Over 40 titles of classic picture books! Ones that we grew up with and want to share with kids. Reading through some of these will surely bring some nostalgic feelings, although some of these don’t seem like they could possibly be considered “oldies!?!”


  • Native American Books – Picture Books

This list includes OwnVoices selections from Native American authors or authors of Native American descent. Most are contemporary fiction or nonfiction, published within the last five years. This is a picture book list, our chapter book list is separate.


Elementary

  • Graphic Novels for Younger Readers

Do you have a brand new reader who is looking for graphic novels to read? On this list you’ll find beginner reader graphic novels. Most of these books will have only a few panels per page with larger text, and the content will be age appropriate. This list has books broken down into age ranges of 4-8 year olds, 6-8 year olds, & 6-10 year olds.


  • Branches Books

We call them “Branches Books” because they are a part of Scholastic’s Branches line of early chapter books. They are designed for those ready to read independently and helps them transition from early readers to chapter books. Many of these books will have red stars on the spine (meaning they have an AR level below 3.5). With an array of series featuring riveting stories, fun characters and engaging art, there is a Branches book for every reader.


  • Girls’ Club

For the most part, these books will have female protagonists, but we think they would be enjoyable reads for any eager reader. These books will range between 3rd-4th grade reading level, some will have red stars, some won’t. They may serve as good books to transition out of red star books (beginning chapter books).


  • Boys’ Club

For the most part, these books will have male protagonists, but we think they would be enjoyable reads for any eager reader. These books will range between 3rd-4th grade reading level, some will have red stars, some will not. They may serve as good books to transition out of red star books (beginning chapter books).


Middle Grade

  • Cozy Gentle Reads – Chapter Books

Explore our list of books filled with cozy, gentle reads perfect for young readers reading above their age level. These heartwarming stories provide comfort and delight for young readers seeking a peaceful literary adventure. The titles on this list would also serve as great family read-aloud books.


  • Immigration & Refugees – Chapter Books

These books focus on themes related to immigration & refugees, including the many kinds of journeys people make when moving to a new land, as well as some of the experiences that children in immigrant families experience. Keep in mind that some of the topics in these books may elicit strong feelings from children, especially those who have experienced some kind of trauma. Use discretion when choosing which titles to share with children in private or group settings.


  • Stories of Survival

For fans of Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet or the I Survived Series, these books follow a story of survival. In the wilderness, at sea, or in the desert, each character faces life or death situations with incredible courage and perseverance. Some books on this list are based on actual people, and actual stories of survival.


  • Dog Man Read Alikes – graphic novels & chapter books

Are you a fan of Dog Man? Have you read the whole series and now looking for something new to read. Try out some of these books and series! On this list you’ll find both graphic novels and traditional chapter books.


  • LGBTQ+ Books

A mix of new and popular titles that amplify young LGBTQ+ voices and experiences. This list includes many award winning books & authors, a collection of short stories, and graphic novels.


  • Christian Fiction

This list includes familiar titles and authors like, Adventures in Odyssey & Chronicles of Narnia, Karen Kingsbury & Colleen Coble, as well as, hopefully, new (to you) titles. The list is broken up in to three categories: books for younger readers, realistic fiction, & fantasy fiction.


  • Novels in Verse

Novels in verse are novels written in stanzas. They look like poetry, and sometimes they are, but not always. They generally use simpler language and more accessible language. And while they sometimes lack the level of detail found in prose novels, they still tell a full story with wonderful dialogue, plot, & character. The books on this list include many different topics and genres.


  • Asian Authors

The books on this list include a range of genres, themes, and character ethnicities. The authors are all of Asian descent, and while many are Asian-American, some live outside the US, and the same goes for their characters and settings. Check the #’s accompanying each book on this list for a peek at the themes and genres of the book.


  • Native American – Chapter Books

This list includes OwnVoices selections from Native American authors or authors of Native American descent. There is a mix of historical and modern day settings. This is a middle grade/chapter book list, our picture book list is separate.


  • Latino Authors

On this list you will find only books written by Latino authors. There is a mix of realistic fiction and magical realism, along with mystery, adventure, and historical fiction. Included on this list are many Pura Belpré Award and Honor winners (awarded annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth).


  • Neurodivergent Characters

You’ll find books by OwnVoices and non OwnVoices authors on this list. And protagonists with kinds of neurodiversity including sensory processing disorder (SPD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), dyslexia, ADHD, learning difficulties, and autism spectrum disorder in general (ASD).


  • Black Authors & Characters

On this list you will find only books written by Black authors, featuring Black protagonists. Most books are contemporary fiction, but we’ve included a few historical fiction, as well as sci-fi & fantasy.


  • Beware! Scary Books

Beware! The books on this list are full of ghosts, monsters, haunted dolls, mysteries, and more! Hopefully, they are just the right amount of scary, creepy, and spooky…but maybe don’t read them just before bed.


  • Little House on the Prairie Alternatives

While it is important to read Little House on the Prairie with a critical lens, the books on this list may offer some alternative narratives with more varied perspectives during Laura’s era. Many of the characters in these books have a similar plucky and adventurous nature to Laura.


  • Ready for Adventure

Looking for a good adventure? Look no further, these books have spies, treasure hunters, explorers, & so much more! Most of these will be magic-free, think more Sherlock Holmes & Indiana Jones than Harry Potter & Lord of the Rings.


  • Feel Good

Hopeful plots, beautiful writing, characters to root for, and stories without heavy themes. This list has some of the best feel-good middle grade books — stories that will leave you with a smile on your face and a desire to hug the book. Some of them feature kids going through a rough patch, but it’s never anything too traumatic.


  • “Rick Riordan Presents” Books (updated – July 2022)

All these books utilize the mythology of various cultures and countries in its storytelling similair to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians. They aren’t written by Rick Riordan, but they have his stamp of approval.


  • Harry Potter Read-Alikes

Have you read Harry Potter and are looking for another series to love? All of the books on this list are first books in a series. They may not be exactly like Harry Potter, but we think they have a similar vibe!


Online Resources

Homework Help

Provides on demand, anytime, anywhere eLearning for all ages and levels. Personalized homework help available in core subjects (math, reading, writing, science and social studies) including SAT preparation. Adult Learning Center offers help with high school equivalency exams, citizenship tests, Microsoft Office help, and resume writing. Spanish-speaking tutors available. Access anywhere with your GPL card number.


Language Books

LOTE (Languages Other Than English) offers a collection of digital books for kids in 65+ languages, with English translations. Download the LOTE4Kids App today! Access anywhere with your GPL card number.