In our hurried lives, it’s not easy to find the time to browse and discover books—but you can get creative and work together as a family to build a place of discovery and comfort for you and your children. And even a handful of books can improve reading skills.
A home library should be more than a random pile of books—it should reflect the ideas, skills, interests and values of your family. It can be a collection that says: “We are a family that reads, and we collect poems, stories and information that matter to us.”
It can also provide convenient access to favorite titles or unusual books that you might not easily find at your public and school libraries.
When in doubt, look for award stickers to help guide your selections. Librarians, educators and book industry professionals read widely to pick the best books each year for the awards, and the lists of winners are wonderful choices for you to own. But remember to honor your own children’s choices, too.
Start Small and Have Fun
- Expand your home library by looking for additions at public library book sales, garage sales, thrift shops and used bookstores.
- Explore resources in your community: Unlikely places, such as doctor offices sometimes have free books to give away.
- Let your friends and relatives know that books are important to your family. Create book wish lists for birthdays and holidays.
The “best” books for your children, ultimately, are the books that will make them want to curl up on the couch and read together as a family. Have fun with your home library—and make it truly your own!
Diverse Kids and Young Adult Lit
Best Stem Books *
Janet Wong, Christi Showman Farrar and Susan Polos are members of a joint committee of volunteer book experts—
librarians, teachers, authors and publishers—representing the American Library Association and the Children’s Book Council.