September 01, 2020
Get your kids hooked on books (not screens!) with page turners for every age
When it comes to getting your kids to love books, “Start early,” says Circle cofounder and children’s book author, Jelani Memory. In an era dominated by screens, video games, and social media, it can be tough to raise kids to appreciate life offline, outside of screens. “Read early and often,” he says. “Let them read to you. It’ll give them the confidence to read by themselves.”
September 6 happens to be National Read a Book Day, so we pulled together a list of this year’s top books for kids of all ages to help spark their imagination and encourage them to spend time offline with some quiet, focused reading. Whether your kid is just starting to read or is well into middle school, these books are sure to surprise, delight, and inspire kids of all ages.
Who Will You Be? By Andrea Pippins
A poignant picture book about how family and community help shape who kids grow up to become, Who Will You Be? is a simple, easy read to share with your younger reader.
The Box Turtle By Vanessa Roeder
A turtle born without a shell, Terrance grows up using a cardboard box as a substitute. After being picked on by other turtles, he sets off in search of a new shell. A story of finding yourself and embracing your weirdness, The Box Turtle is an excellent read for kids who like to take a slightly different path in life.
The Bug Girl: A True Story By Sophie Spencer and Margaret McNamara
Seven-year-old Sophie loves bugs and wants to share her passion, but bullies push her to stop—until hundreds of female scientists reach out to her and tell her to follow her passion. Based on the true story of author Sophie Spencer, this heartwarming tale is sure to inspire kids to never be afraid of their passion.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar By Eric Carle
Maybe it’s already on your list or you grew up with it yourself, but this book about—of course—a very hungry caterpillar is an essential read for a budding young bookworm… or caterpillar.
Meet the Planets By Caryl Hart
Take a galactic trip with your young space cadet to all the planets in the solar system. Help your kids learn all the planets’ names and the order they’re in with the fun and catchy rhymes in Meet the Planets.
A Kids Book About Racism By Jelani Memory
The one conversation that’s never too early to start, this book was written to be an introduction for kids and to help parents who might not know how to approach talking about it.
The Runaway Princess By Johan Troianowski
Princesses aren’t supposed to like adventure, danger, or running away from home—unless they’re Princess Robin. Kids who like a good laugh, fast-paced storytelling, and an unusual protagonist will love this adventure tale.
Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland By Yayoi Kusama
A slightly different take on the classic Alice in Wonderland story, this version offers the same story but with the eccentric drawings by Yayoi Kusama. Kids will get lost in the timeless tale and artistic wonder of Kusama’s drawings.
The 39 Clues By Rick Riordan
Quick and quirky, The 39 Clues is packed with fun, mystery, and adventure, as series stars Dan and Amy set about solving the mystery of the Cahill family. Kids also love the interactive website—a good way to encourage active screen time.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid By Jeff Kinney
A hit with 10-year-olds and adults alike, Diary of a Wimpy Kid follows Greg, a “regular” kid with a “regular” (but hilarious) life. It’s almost impossible to get past a few pages without breaking out into bouts of laughter.
Dork Diaries By Rachel Renee Russell
Get to know Nikki Maxwell in this hilarious story of middle school drama. With a unique take on storytelling, Dork Diaries is part book and part graphic novel, but also encourages readers to doodle on the pages, use it as their own journal, and take an active role in carrying on their own story.
The House in the Cerulean Sea By T.J Klune
Linus Baker is a by-the-book case worker for the “Department in Charge of Magical Youth” and is sent to investigate the strange happenings of magical kids at a boarding school with a dark secret. Fans of the Harry Potter series will appreciate this sentimental tale of magic and mystery with what may seem like some familiar tropes.
The Upside of Falling By Alex Light
Becca Hart and Brett Wells decide to pretend to be dating, so they can focus on their futures instead of what they think are petty high school rumors and problems. But when the lines start to blur between fake and real love, they wonder, maybe they got it wrong? Quick, easy, and fun to read, this book captures the awkwardness of teen dating.
The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly By Jamie Pacton
Kit Sweetly works at a medieval-themed restaurant as a waitress while her brother works as a knight in the jousting ring. While only men can work the role, Kit secretly takes her brother’s place one day and wins a joust—and launches to Internet fame, to the ire of her brother, boss, and many more. Witty with lots of modern commentary, Kit Sweetly is sure to save kids from boredom with its knightley gusto.
Tweet Cute By Emma Lord
Two teens who happen to go to the same school and both run foodie accounts on Twitter get into a “flame war” over a supposedly stolen recipe, but end up sparking the romance of the century. Lighthearted, fun, and topical, Tweet Cute hits close to home for a lot of digital natives growing up today—and gives some insight into teen lingo for parents, too.
This is All Your Fault By Aminah Mae Safi
On the first day of summer, three young women with very different backgrounds find out the indie bookstore they work at is closing. They have to join forces in order to save it, but there’s one other problem: they only have one day to do it. A celebration of literature, bookstores, and overcoming differences alike, This is All Your Fault captures readers from the first page to the final sentence.