Reading Together

En Espanol

Reading together and being involved in what your kids are reading helps them in school while also reinforcing the joy of reading. And reading together doesn’t have to stop once your kids can read on their own. Reading anything—comics, poems, graphic novels, magazines or books—out loud together is a great way to spend time with older kids and teens.


  • Get a free library card. A library card is your ticket to a world of resources for education and entertainment for the whole family: books, e-books and e-readers, digital audio books, movies, magazines, games, and many other traditional and digital resources.
  • Read your school’s or school library’s newsletter to learn about special programs and family literacy activities at the school library.
  • Attend storytime or sing-along class. Many libraries offer weekly programs for parents and caregivers and their babies, toddlers and kids.
  • Nearly every state has a “children’s choice” book award targeted to the reading and interest levels of a specific range of grades. Your school librarian can connect you with these lists. Encourage your child to participate or, better yet, read the selections together.
  • Ask your school librarian for book lists appropriate for your child’s reading and interest level and curriculum of your school.
  • Anytime is a good time to read, but summer is an important time to keep it up. Participating in a library summer reading program can make the difference between summer setback and summer success, leading to better academic performance when kids and teens return to school in the fall. Plus, libraries make summer reading fun, with incentives, arts and crafts and special events designed to enhance the reading experience.
  • Pick out books together. Try out award-winning books from the Association for Library Service to Children, like Newbery Medal and Caldecott Medal winners and other notable children’s books and media. Visit and click on “Parents” to find lists and other resources for parents and caregivers.
  • Thousands of books are published each year for teens. Go online and check out the Young Adult Library Services Association’s lists of award-winning books and other recommended reading to help explore new genres and discover new authors. Visit
  • Every fall, Teen Read Week™, sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association, encourages teens to read for the fun of it.  Check out your library for special programming during the week.
  • Encourage your teen to join a library book club. Book clubs are a great way for teens to get together outside of class and talk about the books they want to read for fun. Comics clubs for teens at the library are similar to book clubs and can focus on popular media like comic books, graphic novels, manga (Japanese print comics) and anime (Japanese animation).


  • Be a role model. Let your kids see you reading just for the fun of it. Bring a book, e-reader or magazine everywhere. Talk with your kids and teens about what you are reading.
  • Read to your kids, starting at birth. Being read to and hearing nursery rhymes — in any language — teaches a baby about emotions and expression. For tips on fostering a love of reading, visit the Association for Library Services to Children’s website at Click on “Parents” then “Born to Read.”
  • Reading doesn’t have to stop when you’re on the go. Check out audiobooks of family-friendly titles or movies for your next road trip. Check out Odyssey Award winners, honored as the best audiobooks produced for children and/or young adults, or look for children’s videos that have won the Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video. Visit and click on “Awards and Grants,” then “Book and Media Awards” in the left navigation.

The much anticipated American Library Association Youth Media Awards were announced Monday to an enthusiastic crowd at ALA's Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.

Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA's Youth Media Awards are selected by judging committees of librarians and other children’s literature experts. They serve as a guide for parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the very best materials for youth.

A list of all the 2013 award winners follows:

Screenshot: Neil Gaiman in a graveyard

All Hallow's Read! The idea is simple.  This Halloween give someone a scary book to read.  While collecting as much candy as humanly possible is very important - especially to kids - sharing a love of reading is even more important.


Not sure where to start when it comes to picking scary books for children and teens? Here's a list of recommended titles from Booklist magazine's Gillian Engberg.

When you and your family head to the library this week, consider checking out some of this year’s Youth Media Award winners.

Announced on Jan. 23, the Youth Media Awards reflect the very best reading and viewing materials for children and teens.  Known worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media Awards are selected under a cloak of secrecy by national judging committees composed of librarians and other children’s literature experts.

William C. Morris Award - Finalist

Interested in knowing who the next sensation in YA Lit might be?  Want to impress your kids by dropping the names of some of the hottest new voices in young adult literature?

The shortlist for the William C. Morris Award was recently announced.  The award is issued annually to the best book by a first-time author writing for teens, by the Young Adult Library Services Association.


The 2012 finalists for the William C. Morris Award are:

Man reading to baby

All parents want their child to succeed academically.  There's certainly no shortage of advice available on the Internet and in parenting magazines.   It can be overwhelming to keep up.

So here's a secret.  Research shows that there's one thing parents can do that will dramatically alter their child's chances of success.  It's simple and, thanks to your local library, it's free.

The answer: Read to your child.

Cropped book cover: Smile (happy face with braces)

Graphic novels are exploding in popularity, and there's good reason behind this phenomenon.

This sometimes misunderstood type of book is a full-length story told in paneled, sequential, graphic format - different from book-length collections of comic strips or wordless picture books.

Screenshot: Barbara Jones

Kids and curiosity go together. Sometimes the books that challenge the minds of children the most are the books that some people feel are inappropriate for them. Children are thinkers, and they can only grow if we give them the opportunity to read all types of literature.

Boy Reading

Around the time that Benjamin Harrison was president of the United States and Yosemite National Park was brand new, summer reading programs started taking hold in libraries as a way for parents and teachers to keep kids reading during their summer vacations. On farms and in city neighborhoods alike, children were able to take a reading tour of Yosemite long before families could climb in their car and head for a vacation in a national park.

Vintage book Illustration: Spaceship

If you enjoy science fiction/ fantasy books, here's the summer reading list for you.These books, all reviewed in Booklist in the past year, deliver some of the most exciting reading around.

Girl Reading

Librarians excel at choosing great books for teens as well as matching the right book or other material to the right teen.