Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences

Book Recommendations by Grade Level

Readers are always in search of the next good book. Reluctant readers sometimes aren't sure where to start, and literacy advocates can't possibly read everything available to find the best match for the readers in their lives. While I am opposed to over-reliance on levels, I hope these recommendations will offer teachers, parents, and students some general guidelines for book selections.


Generally, books are recommended for older readers based on complexity, content, and sophistication of the theme or main message. Books recommended for fourth grade readers and younger, for example, don't focus on dating or major cynicism about school. Books recommended for students in grades 5 - 8 don't typically contain strong language or violence, although some of them do refer to disturbing ideas, such as unjust social systems. When a book has complex vocabulary but the theme and content are fitting for most younger advanced readers, it is noted on the specific book's description page. Of course people should use their best judgment, not an age level, to determine which books are best matched to individual readers.