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100 of the Best Books for Kids

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Table of Contents
  1. Books for children under two
  2. Best Books for kids ages 3 to 5
  3. Best Books for age 6 to 8
  4. Best Books for ages 9 to 12
  5. Childrens Non-Fiction Books
  6. Kids will enjoy reading these great book ideas.
  7. Plus, check out the Top 40 Books to Read with your Kids this Year...

Story time is the most favorite time of the day for both of my boys.

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It’s something they always look forward to. Whether it’s a story before bed, a chapter before dinner, or a quick read during a break, they never tire of the adventures and characters from their favorite books.

Best Books for Kids in 2017

See Also

  • There is no such thing as too young for a book and these 10 New Baby and Toddler Books are a great way to start them out. 

We are always on the lookout for a new and exciting read. With this list of 100 of the Best Books for Kids, we can find our next favorite to match their reading skills. Books like The Pigeon Needs a Bath, Blizzard, This is a Moose, and Blue on Blue are perfect for my beginning reader. More advanced books such as The Book with No Pictures, Firebird, Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake, and My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish top the list for my older boy. This list is full of great books for all ages!

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Books for children under two

1. Ten Tiny Toes :: by Caroline Jayne Church
Caroline Jayne Church brings her adorable toddler art and lovely rhymes to this joyful twist on the tried-and-true classic, HEAD, SHOULDERS, KNEES, AND TOES.

2. Toot :: by Leslie Patricelli
Everybody does it: Kitty, Doggie, Daddy — even Mommy! And when Leslie Patricelli’s beloved bald baby does it while running, it sounds like a train.

3. If Animals Kissed Good Night :: Ann Whitford Paul
With whimsical art and playful rhyming verse, this picture book is now in board book format for the first time, perfect for bedtime snuggles.

4. Zoom, Zoom, Baby!: A Karen Katz Lift-the-Flap Book (Karen Katz Lift-the-Flap Books) :: by Karen Katz
Enjoy the ride with this interactive Karen Katz lift-the-flap board book that features different animals on the go!

5. Moo! :: by David LaRochelle
When Cow gets her hooves on the farmer’s car, she takes it for a wild ride through the country. Moooo! But a bump in the road brings this joy ride to a troublesome end. Moo-moo. . .

6. The Little Red Box of Bright and Early Board Books (Bright & Early Board Books(TM)) :: by P.D. Eastman
Perfect for the holidays, baby showers, and happy occasions of all kinds, this is a literacy-nurturing gift that babies can literally sink their teeth into!

7. Tickle (Leslie Patricelli board books) :: by Tickle (Leslie Patricelli board books)
A subject dear to children’s hearts is in the spotlight as Leslie Patricelli’s beloved baby character returns.

8. Hot Dog, Cold Dog :: by Frann Preston-Gannon
From award-winning author/illustrator Frann Preston Gannon comes this celebration of wiener dogs (dachshunds) in all their variety–perfect for dog-lovers of every age!

9. 1-2-3 Peas (Classic Board Books) :: by Keith Baker
From 1 to 100, every number is a roly, poly thrill in this Classic Board Book edition of 1-2-3 Peas!

10. Peek-A-Zoo! :: by Nina Laden
Read the clue . . . guess the animal . . . giggle wildly . . . and repeat! At long last, board book virtuoso Nina Laden has created a companion to her beloved classic Peek-a Who? (one of Scholastic magazine’s 100 Greatest Books for Kids with more than 800,000 copies sold).

11. Planes Go :: Steve Light
repare for liftoff with 8 exciting aircraft and the noises they make in this irresistible board book!The long, oversized format lends itself to the shape of the vehicles and stands out on the shelf, and the boisterous text begs to be read aloud.

12. Edgar Gets Ready for Bed: A BabyLit®First Steps Picture Book :: Jennifer Adams
Jennifer Adam’s charming story gives a sly wink to Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, and will have little literature lovers saying, “MORE! MORE!”

13. The Bunny Rabbit Show! :: Sandra Boynton
The latest addition to Sandra Boynton’s phenomenal bestselling Boynton on Board series, this book stars a cast of high-kicking bunnies performing in perfect unison to a lively song all about . . . them.

14. Honk, Honk! Baa, Baa! :: Petr Horacek
What do the animals say? Celebrated author-illustrator Petr Horácek explores the question in a colorful novelty board book for babies.

15. U is for Underwear :: Jesse Levison
Parents can begin to develop literacy in even very young children by exposing them to the letters of the alphabet, making U is for Underwear a fun and easy tool for imprinting little brains.

16. Mine! :: Sue Heap
From New York Times best-selling illustrator Sue Heap comes the perfect antidote for reluctant sharers everywhere.

17. Pocket Piggies Colors!: Featuring the Teacup Pigs of Pennywell Farm :: Richard Austin
The Pocket Piggies board books marry the inherent appeal of Teacup Pigs to the sweetness of the board book format. The photographs are full-color, full-page, and up-close.

18. Dinosaur Parade :: Shari Halpern
This colorful parade of dinosaurs is a visual feast for very young fans of prehistorical creatures. The simple text and bold illustrations are ideal for preschoolers who are fascinated with these magnificent animals.

19. Books Always Everywhere :: Jane Blatt
This joy of discovery is evident on the faces of these little kids as they open up a book and find a favorite story.

20. Early Rider :: William Rider
Read this board book alongside William Wegman’s 3…2…1…Circus! for an entertaining and educational puppy pairing.

Best Books for kids ages 3 to 5

21. Little Humans :: by Brandon Stanton
Street photographer and storyteller extraordinaire Brandon Stanton is the creator of the wildly popular blog “Humans of New York.”

22. The Pigeon Needs a Bath! :: Mo Willems
The Pigeon really needs a bath! Except, the Pigeon’s not so sure about that. Besides, he took a bath last month! Maybe. It’s going to take some serious convincing to try and get the Pigeon to take the plunge.

23. Mix It Up! :: Herve Tullet
Accept Hervé Tullet’s irresistible invitation to mix it up in a dazzling adventure of whimsy and wonder.

24. Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters :: Oliver Jeffers
Perfect for gift-giving, here isTHE alphabet book to top all others, an over-sized work of brilliance from the illustrator of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Day the Crayons Quit!

25. Have You Seen My Dragon? :: Steve Light
Enter a fascinating, ornately drawn cityscape and help a boy find his dragon while counting objects from hot dogs to traffic lights.

26. Uni the Unicorn :: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s New York Times bestselling story of friendship, unicorns, and the power of believing!

27. Blizzard :: John Rocco
This book about the wonder of a winter storm is as delicious as a mug of hot cocoa by the fire on a snowy day.

28. Little Elliot, Big City :: Mike Curato
Amid the hustle and bustle of the big city, the big crowds and bigger buildings, Little Elliot leads a quiet life. In spite of the challenges he faces, Elliot finds many wonderful things to enjoy―like cupcakes! And when his problems seem insurmountable, Elliot discovers something even sweeter―a friend.

29. A Perfectly Messed-Up Story :: Patrick McDonnell
In this interactive and engaging read-aloud, bestselling author and award-winning artist Patrick McDonnell creates a funny, engaging, and almost perfect story about embracing life’s messes.

30. Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories :: Dr. Seuss
A follow-up to The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss!

31. Flashlight :: Lizi Boyd
Inside a tent it’s cozy. But what is going on outside? Is it dark? Is it scary? Not if you have your trusty flashlight! Told solely through images and using a spare yet dramatic palette, artist Lizi Boyd has crafted a masterful exploration of night, nature, and art.

32. Gaston :: Kelly DiPucchio
This is the story of four puppies: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston. Can these puppies follow their noses—and their hearts—to find where they belong?

33. This Is a Moose :: Richard T. Morris
MOOSE? Yes, Moose! When a movie director tries to capture the life of a moose on film, he’s in for a big surprise.

34. 100 Things That Make Me Happy :: Amy Schwartz
In the grand tradition of “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens” comes an uplifting tribute to 100 everyday things worth celebrating.

35. Maple :: Lori Nichols
Lori Nichols’ enchanting debut features an irresistible, free-spirited, nature-loving little girl who greets the changing seasons and a new sibling with arms wide open.

36. Rupert Can Dance :: Jules Feiffer
Rupert has a big secret. When his owner, Mandy, is fast asleep, he likes to slip on her dancing shoes and dance the night away. Then one night Mandy catches Rupert in the act.

37. Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons :: Jon J. Muth
Caldecott Honoree and NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author/artist Jon J Muth takes a fresh and exciting new look at the four seasons!

38. A Library Book for Bear (Bear and Mouse) :: Bonny Becker
Curmudgeonly Bear succumbs to Mouse’s entreaties and discovers the joy of books in a hilarious story that fans will covet for their own library.

39. Baby Bear :: Kadir Nelson
This simple story works on so many levels: as the tale of a bear who finds his way home with the help of his animal friends; as a reassuring way to show children how to comfort themselves and find their way in everyday life;

40. Blue on Blue :: Dianne White
Discover the joys of a wild rainstorm in this poetic picture book, illustrated by a Caldecott Medalist.

Best Books for age 6 to 8

41. The Book with No Pictures :: B.J. Novak
A #1 New York Times bestseller, this innovative and wildly funny read-aloud by award-winning humorist/actor B.J. Novak will turn any reader into a comedian.

42. The Princess in Black :: Shannon Hale
Who says princesses don’t wear black? When trouble raises its blue monster head, Princess Magnolia ditches her flouncy dresses and becomes the Princess in Black!

43. Leroy Ninker Saddles Up: Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume One :: Kate DiCamillo
Yippie-i-oh! Saddle up for the first in a spin-off series starring favorite characters from Kate DiCamillo’s New York Times best-selling Mercy Watson books.

44. Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads :: Bob Shea
Drywater Gulch has a toad problem. Not the hop-down-your-britches, croaking-all-night toad kind of problem. The thievin’, hootin’ and hollerin’, steal-your-gold never-say-thank-you outlaw toad kind of problem.

45. The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure :: Doreen Cronin
They’re darling. They’re daring. They know their shapes! They’re chicks on a mission—and on this, their first (mis)adventure, the Chicken Squad launches a galactic backyard expedition.

46. Firebird :: Misty Copeland
In her debut picture book, Misty Copeland tells the story of a young girl–an every girl–whose confidence is fragile and who is questioning her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached. Misty encourages this young girl’s faith in herself and shows her exactly how, through hard work and dedication, she too can become Firebird.

47. The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry :: Peter Sis
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was born in France in 1900, when airplanes were just being invented. Antoine dreamed of flying and grew up to be a pilot―and that was when his adventures began.

48. National Geographic Kids Chapters: The Whale Who Won Hearts: And More True Stories of Adventures with Animals (NGK Chapters) :: Brian Skerry
National Geographic Kids Chapters picks up where the best-selling National Geographic Readers series leaves off. This new series offers young animal lovers who are ready for short chapters lively, full-color true stories

49. The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie :: Chris Van Allsburg
From two-time Caldecott winner Chris Van Allsburg, creator of Jumanji and The Polar Express, comes a poignant story of one hamster’s struggle with destiny. Being a pet store hamster isn’t much fun for Sweetie Pie, but life in human homes proves downright perilous.

50. My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish: The SeaQuel :: Mo O’Hara
Tom is looking forward to their annual family trip to the seaside, right up until he hears about the Evil Eel of Eel Bay–a monster that Mark is entirely too interested in. After all, even a BIG FAT ZOMBIE GOLDFISH might have a little trouble with a Super Electric Zombie Eel!

51. Judy Moody, Mood Martian (Book #12) :: Megan McDonald
It’s Backwards Day, so Judy Moody double-dares herself to become Queen of the Good Mood for one whole week. Can she do it?

52. Princess Pink and the Land of Fake-Believe #1: Moldylocks and the Three Beards :: Noah Z. Jones
This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers.

53. Mr. Wayne’s Masterpiece :: Patricia Polacco
In this inspiring true story, beloved artist Patricia Polacco conquers her fear of public speaking, allowing her to discover her remarkable voice. A wonderful companion to Thank You, Mr. Falker and The Art of Miss Chew, it celebrates the lifelong impact of a great teacher.

54. Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble :: Nick Bruel
In this seventh installment of the New York Times–bestselling series, Kitty encounters what may be her most formidable foe yet: her creator! Kitty soon learns that feline manipulation works both ways―especially when you’re at the wrong end of your author’s pencil.

55. The Vanishing Coin (Magic Shop Series) :: Kate Egan
Fourth grade was supposed to be a fresh start, but Mike’s already back in the principal’s office. He’s not a bad kid. He just can’t sit still.

56. Miss Brooks’ Story Nook (where tales are told and ogres are welcome) :: Barbara Bottner
A hilarious companion to the New York Times bestselling Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I don’t) about the power of stories and storytelling.

57. Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch :: Anne Isaacs
When Widow Tulip Jones of Bore, England, inherits a ranch in By-Golly Gully, Texas, and moves in with two trunks of tea, twelve pet tortoises, and three servants, hilarity ensues. The peaceful life suits the wealthy widow fine until word gets out and every unmarried man in Texas lines up to marry her.

58. Just Grace Gets Crafty (The Just Grace Series) :: Charise Mericle Harper
Grace has lots of new and exciting things to share in the latest addition to the Just Grace series! There’s a new crossing guard in town named Marie who needs a bit of help making friends, a fun substitute teacher for Miss Lois, and most exciting, Grace and Mimi are going to have their own table at the craft fair!

59. Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake :: Julie Sternberg
From overcoming stage fright to having a secret crush, young readers will relate to Eleanor as she navigates the bittersweet waters of growing up.

60. Operation Bunny: Book One (Wings & Co.) :: Sally Gardner
When Emily Vole inherits an abandoned shop, she discovers a magical world she never knew existed. And a fairy-hating witch, a mischievous set of golden keys, and a train full of brightly colored bunnies are just a few of the surprises that come with it.

Best Books for ages 9 to 12

61. The Heroes of Olympus Book Five: The Blood of Olympus :: Rick Riordan
Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen-all of them-and they’re stronger than ever.

62. The Fourteenth Goldfish :: Jennifer L. Holm
Believe in the possible . . . with this “warm, witty, and wise” New York Times bestselling novel from three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm

63. Greenglass House :: Kate Milford
It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings.

64. Rain Reign :: Ann M. Martin
Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She’s thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special.

65. Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus (Origami Yoda) :: Tom Angleberger
The final Origami Yoda case file from the kids at McQuarrie Middle School! After successfully fighting to save their field trip in Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue!, Tommy and the gang prepare for a well-earned day of fun and adventure in Washington, DC . . . but of course it won’t be that easy!

66. Timmy Failure: Now Look What You’ve Done :: Stephan Pastis
The clueless, comically self-confident kid detective returns in a sequel to the New York Times bestseller Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made.

67. The Iron Trial (Book One of Magisterium) :: Holly Black
From NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a riveting new series that defies what you think you know about the world of magic.

68. The Boundless :: Kenneth Oppel
All aboard for an action-packed escapade from the internationally bestselling author of Airborne and the Silverwing trilogy.

69. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy :: Karen Foxlee
“Magic is “messy and dangerous and filled with longing,” we learn in this brave tale of grief, villainy and redemption that borrows from the story of the Snow Queen.

70. The Mark of the Dragonfly :: Jaleigh Johnson
For fans of Frozen, The City of Ember, and The School of Good and Evil, the New York Times bestseller The Mark of the Dragonfly is a fast-paced adventure story about a mysterious girl and a fearless boy, set in a magical world that is both exciting and dangerous.

71. The Glass Sentence (The Mapmakers Trilogy) :: S.E. Grove
A New York Times Best Seller. An Indiebound Best Seller. A Kids’ Next Top Ten Book. A Summer/Fall 2014 Indies Introduce New Voices SelectionA Junior Library Guild Selection. One of Publishers Weekly’s Best Summer Reads

72. Absolutely Almost :: Lisa Graff
From the author of the National Book Award nominee A Tangle of Knots comes an inspiring novel about figuring out who you are and doing what you love.

73. The Madman of Piney Woods :: Christopher Paul Curtis
Bestselling Newbery Medalist Christopher Paul Curtis delivers a powerful companion to his multiple award-winning ELIJAH OF BUXTON.

74. Nest :: Esther Ehrlich
For fans of Jennifer Holm (Penny from Heaven, Turtle in Paradise), a heartfelt and unforgettable middle-grade novel about an irresistible girl and her family, tragic change, and the healing power of love and friendship.

75. The Witch’s Boy :: Kelly Barnhill
The wrong boy will save your life, and you will save his.

76. The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing :: Sheila Turnage
The eagerly anticipated followup to the Newbery honor winner and New York Times bestseller, Three Times Lucky

77. The Meaning of Maggie :: Megan Jean Sovern
As befits a future President of the United States of America, Maggie Mayfield has decided to write a memoir of the past year of her life.

78. Revolution (The Sixties Trilogy) :: Deborah Wiles
It’s 1964, and Sunny’s town is being invaded. Or at least that’s what the adults of Greenwood, Mississippi, are saying. All Sunny knows is that people from up north are coming to help people register to vote.

79. The Copernicus Legacy: The Forbidden Stone :: Tony Abbott
Bestselling author Tony Abbott’s epic new middle grade series, the Copernicus Legacy, begins with The Forbidden Stone, a thrilling adventure packed with puzzles, intrigue, and action.

80. Five, Six, Seven, Nate! :: Tim Federle
In the sequel to Better Nate Than Ever, Nate Foster’s Broadway dreams are finally coming true.

Childrens Non-Fiction Books

81. Brown Girl Dreaming :: Jacqueline Woodson
ouching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world.

82. Animalium (Welcome to the Museum) :: Jenny Broom
Animalium presents the animal kingdom in glorious detail with illustrations from Katie Scott, an unparalleled new talent.

83. Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla :: Katherine Applegate
Captured as a baby, Ivan was brought to a Tacoma, Washington, mall to attract shoppers. Gradually, public pressure built until a better way of life for Ivan was found at Zoo Atlanta.

84. The Story of Buildings: From the Pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and Beyond :: Patrick Dillon
Aspiring architects will be in their element! Explore this illustrated narrative history of buildings for young readers, an amazing construction in itself.

85. I am Albert Einstein (Ordinary People Change World) :: Brad Meltzer
We can all be heroes. That’s the inspiring message of this New York Times Bestselling picture book biography series from historian and author Brad Meltzer.

86. 642 Things to Write About: Young Writer’s Edition :: 826 Valencia
Write a to-do list for a villain. Describe your dream tree house. Create a haiku about your shoes.

87. Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos :: Stephanie Roth Sisson
For every child who has ever looked up at the stars and asked, “What are they?” comes the story of a curious boy who never stopped wondering: Carl Sagan.

88. Tuesday Tucks Me In: The Loyal Bond between a Soldier and His Service Dog :: Luis Carlos Montalvan
As narrated by Tuesday, Tuesday Tucks Me In is a day in the life of this service dog extraordinaire and tail-wagging ambassador for all things positive and uplifting in the world.

89. A Child’s Introduction to Art: The World’s Greatest Paintings and Sculptures :: Heather Alexander
The newest volume in Black Dog’s best-selling, award-winning Child’s Introduction series explores the fascinating world of art and artists and includes do-it-yourself art projects throughout.

90. What Is the Statue of Liberty? (What Was…?) :: Joan Holub
The gift was to commemorate the 100th birthday of the United States, and just packing it was no small feat–350 pieces in 214 crates shipped across the ocean. The story of how the 111-foot-tall lady took her place in the New York Harbor will fascinate young readers.

91. Guys Read: True Stories :: Jon Scieszka
on Scieszka’s Guys Read anthology series for tweens turns to nonfiction in its fifth volume, True Stories. The fifth installment in the Guys Read Library of Great Reading features ten stories that are 100% amazing, 100% adventurous, 100% unbelievable—and 100% true.

92. The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights :: Steve Sheinkin
An astonishing civil rights story from Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin.

93. National Geographic Kids 125 True Stories of Amazing Pets: Inspiring Tales of Animal Friendship and Four-legged Heroes, Plus Crazy Animal Antics :: National Geographic Kids
This page-turner offers 125 heart-warming and hilarious anecdotes, illustrated with full-color photos of these intriguing animals.

94. Ballerina Dreams: From Orphan to Dancer (Step Into Reading, Step 4) :: Michaela DePrince
Perfect for newly independent readers—the amazing true story of Michaela DePrince, one of America’s top ballerinas.

95. Born in the Wild: Baby Mammals and Their Parents :: Lita Judge
What do grizzly bear cubs eat? Where do baby raccoons sleep? And how does a baby otter learn to swim?

96. Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything :: Maira Kalman
Renowned artist Maira Kalman sheds light on the fascinating life and interests of the Renaissance man who was our third president.

97. Inside Charlie’s Chocolate Factory: The Complete Story of Willy Wonka, the Golden Ticket, and Roald Dahl’s Most Famous Creation. :: Lucy Mangan
Celebrate the 50 years of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with this scrumdiddlyumptious book about the iconic novel and author!

98. A Baby Elephant in the Wild :: Caitlin O’Connell
Last summer, the Sibert Honor–winning duo Caitlin O’Connell and Timothy Rodwell witnessed the birth—and growth—of a baby elephant.

99. Leaving China: An Artist Paints His World War II Childhood :: James McMullan
A memoir in paintings and words by internationally acclaimed illustrator, author, and teacher James McMullan.

100. Spic-and-Span!: Lillian Gilbreth’s Wonder Kitchen (Great Idea Series) :: Monica Kulling
Lillian Gilbreth was the subject of two movies (Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes), the first woman elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and the first female psychologist to have a U.S. postage stamp issued in her honor.

Kids will enjoy reading these great book ideas.

Plus, check out the Top 40 Books to Read with your Kids this Year…

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