Books & Reading

  •  The Young Hoosier Book Award 2016-2017 list is out! About the Young Hoosier Book Award Program. Guess what won the 2015-2016 awards? For the Picture Book category – The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt; for the Intermediate Book category – Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein;
    For the Middle Grades category – Unbreakable

Early Literacy

The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children. – US Department of Education

Early childhood literacy is the skills a child needs before learning to read. There are five part ways to help children develop them. They are

  • Talking
  • Singing and Rhyming
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Playing

Reading Readiness = Reading Success
Reading Success = Overall School Success

These kind of playful learning should not feel like work to you or your child!

  • Be playful and silly together.
  • Share a book every day, but stop when your child’s mind wanders. Keep it fun.
  • Read out loud from picture or chapter books. With babies, point to things and name them, too.
  • Say nursery rhymes, make animal sounds, and sing songs together.
  • Talk together about the story and pictures, explain the concepts.
  • Ask your child to name and describe things.
  • Get refrigerator magnets to help your child learn the alphabet, the sounds, and a few short words.
  • Talk with your child as you spend time together. Your child will soak up vocabulary like a sponge, so don’t limit yourself to simple words. Provide a language-rich environment!
  • Let your child see you reading, and he will want to learn how.
  • Buy your child some books of her own, especially the ones she wants to hear over and over.
  • Play rhyming and matching games, and make up more games together. If your child is named Jackie, call her “Jackie-zo-zackie” or “Jumping Jackie”, etc. Play “I Spy” by saying, “I spy, with my little eye, something in the room that rhymes with Mabel. What is it?”

Learn More About Early Literacy

Accelerated Reading Program

Accelerated Reading is a school-based program. Library staff has labeled many AR books to make it easier to find books at the right level. The labels are purple, and have the AR reading level right on the book spine.

Students read a book at their reading level, then take a test on the computer. Questions include vocabulary and comprehension for the story, and students earn points based on the number of questions they answer correctly. For more information contact your child’s school, or talk with your child’s teacher.

To look for a book with an AR test, go to Accelerated Reading.


40 Book Challenge Recommended Reading List

Books that Children’s staff recommends for readers doing the PCSC 40 Book Challenge. Most books are in the Children’s Room.

Realistic Fiction

  1. Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood by Varsha Bajaj
  2. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
  3. Lola Levine is Not Mean by Monica Brown
  4. George by Alex Gino
  5. Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly
  6. The Grand Plan to Fix Everything by Uma Krishnaswami
  7. Binny For Short by Hilary McKay
  8. The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye
  9. Wonder by RJ Palacio
  10. Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell
  11. The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

Newbery Winner

  1. The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
  2. El Deafo by Cece Bell
  3. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
  4. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  5. The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes
  6. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
  7. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
  8. Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
  9. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
  10. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

Science Fiction

  1. Sidekicked by John David Anderson
  2. City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
  3. The Jupiter Pirates by Jason Fry
  4. Space Case by Stuart Gibbs
  5. The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm
  6. The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson
  7. Geeks, Girls, & Secret Identities by Mike Jung
  8. The Arctic Code by Matthew Kirby
  9. Shadows of Sherwood by Kekla Magoon
  10. The Fog Diver by Joel Ross
  11. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
  12. Tesla’s Attic by Neal Shusterman


  1. A Pocket Full of Murder by RJ Anderson
  2. Doll Bones by Holly Black
  3. The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
  4. Jinx by Sage Blackwood
  5. Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
  6. Greenglass House by Kate Milford
  7. The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
  8. Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  9. Araminta Spookie by Angie Sage
  10. Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon


  1. Borrowed Names by Jeannine Atkins
  2. Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
  3. The Lightning Dreamer by Margarita Engle
  4. Beastly Feasts by Robert L. Forbes
  5. I Lay My Stitches Down by Cynthia Grady
  6. Blackbeard the Pirate King by Patrick J. Lewis
  7. Flutter and Hum / Aleteo y Zumbido: Animal Poems / Poemas de Animales by Julie Paschkis
  8. Dark Emperor by Joyce Sidman
  9. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  10. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Historical Fiction

  1. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
  2. Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
  3. Family Tree series by Ann M. Martin
  4. The Teacher’s Funeral by Richard Peck
  5. The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
  6. Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz
  7. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
  8. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
  9. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  10. Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin


  1. Malcolm at Midnight by W.H. Beck
  2. The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry
  3. The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
  4. The Clubhouse Mysteries by Sharon Draper
  5. The Unstoppable Octobia May by Sharon G Flake
  6. The Detective’s Assistant by Kate Hannigan
  7. The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson
  8. Enola Holmes by Nancy Springer
  9. Murder is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens
  10. Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud


  1. Poop Happened by Sarah Albee
  2. I Feel Better with a Frog in my Throat by Carlyn Beccia
  3. Emancipation Proclamation by Tonya Bolden
  4. Spies of Mississippi by Rick Bowers
  5. Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
  6. The Secret of the Yellow Death by Suzanne Jurmain
  7. We’ve Got a Job by Cynthia Levinson
  8. Beyond Courage by Doreen Rappaport
  9. Neighborhood Sharks by Katherine Roy
  10. Guts & Glory: The Vikings by Ben Thompson

Graphic Novel

  1. Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
  2. Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust by Loic Dauvillier
  3. Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch
  4. Pablo and Jane and the Hot Air Contraption by José Domingo
  5. Little Robot by Ben Hatke
  6. Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm
  7. Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
  8. Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi
  9. Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola and Emily Carroll
  10. Smile by Raina Telgemeier
  11. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang


  1. Terrible Typhoid Mary by Susan Bartoletti Campbell
  2. Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming
  3. Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull
  4. Barbed Wire Baseball by Marissa Moss
  5. Nurse, Soldier, Spy by Marissa Moss
  6. Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly by Walter Dean Myers
  7. Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told by Walter Dean Myers
  8. Bad News for Outlaws by Vonda Micheaux Nelson
  9. It Came From Ohio by R.L. Stine
  10. Who Was series (various authors)