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Pre-School, Pre Readers
- 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.
- 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).
- 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!
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