Recommended Reading

Our Award Winning & Notable Books and Media page is a good place to start looking for that next great read, but below you’ll find links to more lists of books and media for all ages and interests. Browse the lists and see what treasures you can uncover.


For Children   


  • Notable Children's Books - previous Notable Children's Books lists. Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children's books. This list includes the current year's Newbery, Caldecott, Belpré, Sibert, Geisel, Printz, Batchelder and Coretta Scott King Award and Honor books, as well as those that have been awarded the Schneider Family Book Award and/or were named a Best Book for Young Adults.


  • American Indian Youth Literature Awardprevious American Indian Youth Literature Award winners. The children's book award was created by the American Indian Library Association (AILA, an affiliate of ALA) as a way to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians.



  • (Mildred L.) Batchelder Award - previous Batchelder winners. The Batchelder Award is given to an American publisher for a children's book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originally published in a foreign language in a foreign country, and subsequently translated into English and published in the United States.



  • (Pura) Belpré Awardprevious Belpré winners. Established in 1996, this award is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.



  • Building a Home Library. The ALA-Children’s Book Council (CBC) Joint Committee, with cooperation from the Quicklists Consulting Committee of ALA's Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC, a division of ALA), created this list to provide guidance to parents, grandparents, and others interested in assembling a high-quality library for their children at home.



  • (Randolph) Caldecott Medalprevious Caldecott winners - Translated Caldecott Titles. This award is given by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picturebook for children.



  • Coretta Scott King Book Awardsprevious King winners. Given to African American authors and illustrator for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions, the Coretta Scott King Book Award titles promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream.



  • Dealing with the Tragic Events of September 11, 2001. Resources that were compiled to aid parents, teachers and caregivers in discussing with children and teens the terrorist attacks that took place in New York City, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 -- including books on separation and loss.



  • (Theodor Seuss) Geisel Awardprevious Geisel winners. The Geisel Award is given annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States.



  • Great Early Elementary Reads. The ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children, a division of ALA) 2007-2008 School-Age Programs and Services Committee recommends these titles for children who are just learning to read and beginning to read on their own. The books included were published between 2005 and 2008. However, many are part of a larger series that young readers also will enjoy.



  • Growing Up Around the World. Books as Passports to Global Understanding for Children in the U.S. - Five Bibliographies by the ALSC International Relations Committee.



  • Hi-Lo Books for Upper Elementary Grades. The 2009 ALSC School-Age Programs and Services Committee recommends these titles to reluctant readers in grades 3-6.



  • (John) Newbery Medalprevious Newbery winners - Translated Newbery Titles. This award is given annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.



  • Resources for Children and Their Parents and Educators Dealing with the Hurricane Katrina Tragedy. Compiled resources for children and their parents and educators dealing with the Hurricane Katrina tragedy in September 2005 by the Quicklists Consulting Committee of ALA's Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC, a division of ALA).



  • Schneider Family Book Awardprevious Schneider winners. The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.



  • (Robert F.) Sibert Informational Book Medalprevious Sibert winners. The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award is awarded annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in English during the preceding year. Information books are defined as those written and illustrated to present, organize, and interpret documentable, factual material for children.



  • (Laura Ingalls) Wilder Awardprevious Wilder winners. The Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.



For Young Adults/Teens   



For Adults   


General Lists (across two or more age groups)   


  • 2009 Alex Awards - previous Alex Awards lists. ALA's Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) spotlights ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. The winning titles are selected from the previous year's publishing. The award is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust and Booklist.



  • 2009 Amelia Bloomer List - Amelia Bloomer Project. The list presents well-written and well-illustrated books with strong feminist messages that affirm positive roles for girls and women. The works are recommended for young people from birth through eighteen years of age.



  • Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature (May 2008). The Asian Pacific American Librarians Association presents awards to books that promote Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage in three categories: Adult Non-Fiction, Illustration in Children's Literature, and Young Adult Literature.



  • Booklist Editor's Choice: Books for Youth, 2008 (Jan 2009). Committed to providing a broad selection of outstanding books that mixes popular appeal with literary excellence, the Books for Youth editorial staff has chosen the titles as best-of-the-year fiction, nonfiction, and picture books for children from preschool through 12th grade.



  • Rainbow List 2009 - Rainbow Project. Annual reading list of books for beginning readers through 12th grade that validate same-gender lifestyles, including portraying GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or questioning) characters in a realistic and prominent manner.



  • Schneider Award Select Bibliography of Children’s Books about the Disability Experience. This list contains some outstanding books that portray emotional, mental, or physical disability experiences, most published between 2000 and 2006. The grade level designations are intended as guidelines.



Reference Books (for children, teens, and adults)   


Check out more recommendations from ALA:


ALA Recommended Listening
List of links to ALA's recommended music and spoken-word recordings and audiobooks for all ages, sorted by age group.

ALA Recommended Viewing
List of links to ALA's recommended DVDs and videos for all ages, sorted by age group.

ALA Recommended Web Sites
List of links to ALA's recommended web sites for all ages, sorted by age group.