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[Parent Tips] 5 Tips to Find Books for Advanced Readers

[Parent Tips] 5 Tips to Find Books for Advanced Readers

Congratulations! Your child is reading above grade level, and you’re feeling good about his or her future academic success. However, you could also be running into a few unexpected problems. Maybe your child is telling you he or she is bored with the books  you have at home, maybe your child is acting out or deciding to stop reading because he or she is not feeling challenged enough, or maybe you are concerned books at the right difficulty level deal with mature themes that aren’t appropriate yet.

How can you continue to feed your budding bookworm’s love of reading without exposing your child to content he or she is not ready for? Here are five tips on finding age-appropriate books for your advanced readers:

1. Find award-winning books

Children’s books that have been awarded the Newbery Medal were selected by a panel of school and public library children’s librarians as the “most distinguished American children’s book published.” Encourage your young reader to give these notable titles a try—you can rest assured that your child will be interested and challenged by high-quality content that’s sensitive to his or her age and understanding. And, there’s no shortage of Newbery Medal honorees. Book titles go as far back as 1922 (don’t forget to check out honorable mentions too!).

2. Look for complexity

It’s not merely advanced vocabulary that interests advanced readers but also more complicated genres, challenging structures, and different perspectives or themes. Check out this short list of books that meet these criteria from Education Week’s “The Book Whisperer” blog for some inspiration.

3. Consider nonfiction titles

Nonfiction books—like biographies, historical accounts, and personal narratives—can provide extra challenge for advanced readers without some of the thematic concerns that come with fiction titles. Plus, they can help cultivate young readers’ interests by introducing them to new topics.

4. Dive into series

If your child is a particularly speedy reader, series of books can help him or her from running out of reading material too quickly. Here are a few well-loved options from Common Sense Media to get started with.

5. Ask a librarian

Sometimes, the best move is simply to ask an expert. The librarian in your local library’s children’s section is sure to be a wealth of inspiration for your young reader. A children’s librarian will be able to give recommendations on what books are appropriate for your child’s age and reading level, as well as point out titles that are particularly new, engaging, and interesting. Some librarians have even started their own reading-themed Twitter feeds, where they offer reviews and must-read titles.


Looking for more tips to foster your child’s love of reading and make sure that he or she stays ahead of the curve? Check out these tips to Create a Literacy-Rich Home! And, if you’re looking for resources to further improve your child’s literacy skills, Study Island for Home provides standards-aligned, customizable reading and language arts activities that you can use to help your child stay ahead or catch up. Get started with a free trial today!'s picture
Elaine Ho
Elaine Ho studied Political Science and Education at the University of California, Berkeley and previously served in Americorps teaching and mentoring high school students. She is interested in connecting parents with the resources and information they need to help their children succeed. She also curates a free weekly newsletter called Beyond the Classroom, which collects the top need-to-know education news for parents.