The Best Kids’ Books for Every Age (from 1 to 15)
Netflix and iPhones and Facebook are great, but there’s still nothing better than getting cozy on the couch and reading a story with your child. Here are 75 books that are guaranteed to engage and inspire, from age 1 to 15.
Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
This book is mostly about feeling textiles (ooh, cotton tail, scratchy sandpaper beard), so the earlier, the better.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
It’s a classic for a reason. (Don’t forget to look for the mouse hiding on each page.)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
So far, your kid just eats and sleeps, so he’ll totally identify with this adorable insect.
Say Hello Like This by Mary Murphy
Is your kiddo brushing up on her animal sounds? She’s gonna love this one.
On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
Your baby probably can’t grasp how special he is yet, but after reading this book, he’ll begin to understand how loved he is.
I’m the Best by Lucy Cousins
Teach your kiddo that confidence is great, but so is the ability to stay humble.
Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea
If your toddler is struggling with bedtime (hellooo, terrible twos), give this guy a read.
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
There are no words in this gorgeous picture book, so your kid can “read” it on her own.
Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems
Uh-oh. Drama ensues when Trixie and Daddy go to the Laundromat, accidentally leaving Knuffle Bunny behind.
Art & Max by David Wiesner
This gorgeous picture book about two friends that bond over painting is a work of art in itself.
Olivia by Ian Falconer
She’s precocious, she’s loud, she’s a pig and we love her anyway.
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
Your child won’t cry through this one, but you probably will.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Some four-year-olds are totally ready for a trip to the jungle, but if it’s too scary the first time around, hold it for a few more months and try again.
The Complete Adventures of Curious George by Margret Rey
It’s never too early to learn about being cautious and careful (and that yellow hats are awesome).
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña
Whether you’re city or country dwellers, this one is a must-read.
Miss Nelson Is Missing by Harry G. Allard, Jr.
Make sure to do a scary voice for Miss Viola Swamp.
The Stinky Cheese Man by Lane Smith and Jon Scieszka
This offbeat read will be just as entertaining for you, too.
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Guaranteed to be a favorite all through elementary school.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Read this when she wakes up on the wrong side of the bed.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
…And read this during a thunderstorm.
Eloise: A Book for Precocious Grown Ups by Kay Thompson
Sigh, we still dream of living at the Plaza Hotel.
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Prediction: Your daughter will be begging to go as Pippi for Halloween.
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
This 1908 novel about four animal friends in Edwardian England stands the test of time.
The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
Because the cartoon just isn’t the same.
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Beware Miss Trunchbull, the scariest villain in history.
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
It’s the compelling true story that started the whole Little House series.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Hard to believe this enchanting tale was written in 1911.
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
The pros and cons of living forever. Discuss.
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
An out-of-the-box fantasy that’s perfect for little adventurers.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
This new hit about an extraordinary boy with a facial anomaly will be devoured in a day, guaranteed.
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Because living in the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the coolest thing ever.
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Introverts (and detectives-in-training) will love this one.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Try this one together (it’s even weirder when you revisit it as an adult).
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
He’s been begging to read Harry Potter books for years, and he’s finally the perfect age to read ‘em on his own.
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
This collection of stunning stories about a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago is a must-read.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Buy him his own copy of this monumental classic. Buy two.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The story about a girl’s determination to survive will help your daughter appreciate the little things (and maybe stop complaining about not having a cell phone).
Watership Down by Richard Adams
A world war with bunnies. What’s not to love?
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
This 1970s coming-of-age novel is definitely dated, but the themes (um, training bras and periods) are timeless.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Brave Liesel’s tales of living in Nazi Germany will enthrall your teen, guaranteed.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Part mystery, part family drama, this gripping, out-of-the-box novel is in a genre of its own.
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
This quick read will teach your teen to celebrate what makes her different. Individuality rocks.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Whoa, this 1951 staple still feels like it was written yesterday.
That Summer by Sarah Dessen
So much more than just a beach read.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
A celebrated epic that will convert any reader into a fantasy lover.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
It’s a gritty read about a girl who refuses to tell anyone the secret of what happened to her…until one day, everything changes.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
It’s jaded teen required reading (that your kid will revisit a few dozen more times as an adult).