I am a long-time teacher and avid reader, so some people make the assumption that I am a good source of recommended literature for children and young adults. Sadly, I am not. I have given up on the dream (delusion) I once had that I could be an expert on everything, and content myself to be kind of good at a few things. I have less time for reading than I would like, and am often immersed in a series of “grown-up” books or a stand-alone novel, but don’t make time to keep up with the thousands of wonderful books written for young people.
I do, however, know where to look. My main recommendation for you, which leads to a whole world of other sources and educational activities, is the local public library (which I consider to be one sign that democracy and civilization still exist in our society). Since I live in Phoenix, I am referring specifically to the Phoenix Public Library.
I have explored the library’s website pages dedicated to kids and teens, and it’s clear that I have barely scratched the surface. Here is just a partial list of what’s available. You can view these and more by clicking the navigation links at the top of the library’s web page (link below). Many do not require a library card, although cards are free to Maricopa County residents in person or online.
- Reading lists for K-6th grade, organized by grade.
- Great Children’s Book Collection — librarian-picked classic books
- Stories & More — SO much more: a calendar of events to attend at various branches. Not just storytimes, but coding, games, how to draw comics, etc.
- Kindergarten Bootcamp (for kids entering kindergarten in the fall of 2020)
- CodePHX — a project to “introduce tomorrow’s leader to the fundamentals of computer coding” — for various age groups
- Apps for Kids
- Teen Book Lists — staff picks for teens
- StudentHQ — online resources for help with homework, ACT/SAT, available 24/7 with a library card
- Things to Do — fun activities and events just for teens at various libraries: employment assistance, strategy game day, GED classes
Of course, one can Google and find many other sites with recommended reading for all ages. but why not start close to home?
You can access the main library website here.