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Favorite children’s books for all ages

Girl in library holding books on her head

The saying goes “reading is good for the mind and soul.”  Books can expand your imagination and transport you to new places, take you on adventures and teach lessons along the way. Below, see some favorite books from elementary to high school, including some well-loved classics, and new favorites to add to your “to be read” list. 



New Favorites: 

  • Angela’s Glacier by Jordan Scott
  • Ta-Da Koala! by Michelle Brown
  • When You Have to Wait by Melanie Conklin 

I LOVE this book! Especially now. It is a timely book with wonderful illustrations, but the message is the best. Its about kids having to wait…but adults can learn a thing or two by reading it, too. 

Excerpt from When you have to Wait by Melanie Conklin 

The seconds drag on... each one feels like forever. Why can’t you have it now? 
But while you wait, you might notice things: a possible new friend who is also in line, why homecoming hugs are extra special, and how beautiful the world is when you’re not racing by. 
Sometimes, when you have to wait, you find the good in the moments between now and later. 

Old Favorites:   

  • Anything by fan favorite authors Mo Willems and Dr. Seuss 
  • Brown Bear-Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr. 
  • Pete the Cat by James Dean, Kimberly Dean and Eric Litwin 
  • The Dinky Donkey by Craig Smith 

The Dinky Donkey series is SO FUN! I love to read it to patients. It’s creative, lyrical with it’s rhyming patterns and good to read to younger children because the rhyme is easy to follow and try to repeat. All a great basis for teaching reading! 

Excerpt from The Dinky Donky by Craig Smith

Wonky Donkey had a child, it was a little girl. HEE-HAW! 

She was so cute and small 

She had beautiful long eyelashes, she loved to listen to rowdy music, and she painted her hooves bright pink! 


Middle School 

New Favorites:  

  • Light and Air by Mindy Nichols Wendell 
  • Slugfest by Gordon Korman 
  • Just Shy of Ordinary by A.J. Sass 

Old Favorites: 

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney 

This series just appeals to so many kids – from boys to girls, young teens to older teens – it's a favorite to so many. 

  • Dogman series by Dav Pilkey 
  • Puppy Tale books by W. Bruce Cameron 
  • I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis 
  • Anything by Reina Tegemeier  

Reina Tegemeier books are akin to the Judy Blume books some of us read when we were young. They are thoughtful, intentional, relatable and have appealing graphics for kids today.  

High School 

  • Sky’s End by Marc Gregson 
  • Shut Up, This is Serious by Carolina Ixta 

Shut UP, This is Serious and IS serious. The content is definitely for mature high schoolers and older, but it covers many societal concerns like racial bias, diversity, class discrimination, etc. I definitely think it would resonate with older readers that like more serious genres. 

  • Yours from the Tower by Sally Nichols 

We hope this list helps you on your next library trip with your child and that you find a story you all can enjoy together! 

Hospital Based School Teacher