An Index to my Book Lists (there is something for all ages here!)

I love to read good books, and I love to find good books for my family and friends to read. My project this month has been to compile my favorite book lists for all ages. You can view any booklist that you are interested in by clicking the links below. Happy reading!

The 10 Best Baby Board Books

50 Favorite Picture Books Part 1 (From A to I)

50 Favorite Picture Books Part 2 (from J to Z)

Awesome Authors of Picture Books

Engaging Books for Early Readers (age 4-7)

Beginning Chapter Books (grades 1-2)

Chapter Books for Elementary Age Readers (grades 3-6)

My Favorite Books (fiction)

My Non-Fiction Reading List

You can also check out my Book List Page here, which has links to all of the book lists I have compiled over the years (for seasons and preschool themes and more).

So…what books have I missed? What are your favorites?

My Favorite Books

I have been posting a lot of book lists recently, and now it is finally time to share my favorites! These are the books that I have enjoyed reading in the last few years. Be sure to check out my non-fiction reading list here. The books at the top of the list would be classed as juvenile or young adult fiction and would be appropriate for some younger readers as well as adults.

The Penderwicks (series) by Jeanne Birdsall

Wonder by RJ Polacio

Pamela Munoz Ryan (author): Esperanza Rising, Echo.

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mulally Hunt

Beyonders series by Brandon Mull

Shannon Hale: The Books of Bayern series, The Princess Academy series, Austenland, and others.

Jessica Day George (author): Silver in the Blood, Sun and Moon and Ice and Snow, The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy.

Ally Condie (author): Matched trilogy, Summer Lost

Jonathan Stroud: Bartimaeus Trilogy, Lockwood & Co. (series)

The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins (and The Hunger Games!)

The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer

Brandon Sanderson (author): Elantris, Mistborn (series)

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Rent Collector by Camron Wright

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer

Proper romances by Julianne Donaldson (Edenbrooke and Blackmoore) and Josi S. Kilpack (The Lady of the Lakes and A Heart Revealed).

Chapter Books for Elementary Age Readers (and beyond!)

This is list of the chapter books that we have read and enjoyed at our house. These books have been read by at least one or both of my two daughters (age 12 and age 9). I have tried to group them by grade level, but the levels are flexible. I have read and enjoyed many of these books (my favorites are marked with a *). Many of these books would make great family read alouds. 

Chapter books (3-5 grade)

*Harry Potter (7 book series) by J.K. Rowling

*The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (7 book series)

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater

Beverly Cleary (author): The Ramona books, The Mouse and Motorcyle, Henry Huggins, etc.

Ranger in Time by Kate Messner (6 book series)

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (13 book series)

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (9 book series)

Wayside Stories by Louis Sachar (3 book series)

Penelope Crumb by Shawn Stout (5 book series)

Roald Dahl (author): Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, and many others

Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace (4 book series)

*All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor (5 book series)

Marguerite Henry (author): Misty of Chincoteague and many other horse books

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brain Selznick

Leven Thumps by Obert Skye (5 book series)

The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynn Reid Banks (5 book series)

*Tuesday’s at the Castle by Jessica Day George (5 book series)

The Imaginary Veterinarian by Suzanne Selfors (6 book series)

The 39 Clues by various authors with multiple companion series

Spirit Animals by various authors with a few companion series

Wings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland (10 book series)

The Candymakers by Wendy Mass

*The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye

Janitors by Tyler Whitesides (5 book series)

The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein (4 book series)

Half Upon a Time by James Riley (3 book series)

I Survived… by Lauren Tarshis (10 plus book series)

Fablehaven series, Five Kingdoms series, The Candy Shop War series, and *The Beyonders series by Brandon Mull

*The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (4 book series)

The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer (6 books series)

Redwall by Brian Jacques (20 plus book series)

*A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (and others)

Story Thieves by James Riley (3 book series)

Liesl Shurtliff (author): The True Story of Rump, Red, and Jack (3 book series)


More advanced chapter books (4-6 grade)

*Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George (3 book series)

The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley (9 book series)

*Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

*Wonder by RJ Polacio

*The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander (5 book series)

*Rick Riordan (author): Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, Kane Chronicles, and others

*The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper (5 book series)

John Bellairs (author): The House with a Clock in Its Walls and other gothic mystery novels

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (8 book series)

Holes by Louis Sachar

*The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins (5 book series)

*A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

***Be sure to check Newberry Award Winners and Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award lists for more great recommendations.

Beginner Chapter Books

These books are great for children who are getting comfortable with reading and are ready to stretch to longer novels, generally in first and second grade (but the ages are not set in stone!). These also make great family read-aloud books. My favorites are marked with a *.

*Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne (50 plus book series)

A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy (26 book series). Also try Calendar Mysteries and Capital Mysteries.

*My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannet (3 book series).

The Dragon Sitter by Josh Lacey (8 book series).

The Yeti Files by Kevin Sherry (3 book series).

Ivy + Bean by Annie Barrows (10 book series)

Rainbow Fairies by Daisy Meadows (100 plus book series)

*The Sisters 8 by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (9 book series)

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner (150 plus book series)

Nancy Clancy by Jane O’Connor (8 book series)

Just Grace by Charise Mericle Harper (12 book series)

The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi (5 book series)

Recipe for Adventure by Giada De Laurentiis (5 book series)

Which books would you add to this list?

Engaging Books for Early Readers

These books are perfect for the child who is ready to listen to longer stories, or is just learning to read (ages 4-7). My very favorites are marked with a *.

*Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems

*Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel

Penny series by Kevin Henkes

*Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo

Little Bear series by Elsa Holmelund Minarik

Bunjitsu Bunny series by John Himmelman

The Princess in Black series by Shannon Hale

Mrs. Noodlekugel series by Daniel Pinkwater

Cynthia Rylant (author): Mr. Putter and Tabby series, Henry and Mudge series, Annie and Snowball series

The 10 Best Baby Board Books

These books are perfect stories to share with your little ones from day one!

Moo, Baa, La, La, La, and anything else by Sandra Boynton (Pajama Time, Barnyard Dance, But Not the Hippopotamus…)

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jr.

AB See by Elizabeth Doyle

Have You Seen My Duckling? by Nancy Tafuri

Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathman

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

Awesome Authors of Picture Books

These authors have written a number of picture books for children that are fantastic. I could fill up a favorites list with just the books from these authors!

Mo Willems: His books are laugh-out-loud funny and just fun to read!

All of his Pigeon books (The Pigeon Wants a Hot Dog);  Elephant and Piggie series; Knuffle Bunny trilogy; The Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed; Leonardo the Terrible Monster; and others.

David Ezra Stein: True to life stories with great illustrations!

Interrupting Chicken; Pouch; Leaves; Dinosaur Kisses; and others.

Kevin Henkes: Sweet, timeless stories full of life lessons.

Kitten’s First Full Moon; Waiting; Penny series; and any of the mouse books (Chrysanthemum, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Wemberly Worried, Sheila Rae the Brave, and others).

Eric Carle: Artwork that appeals to readers of all ages.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? (and other books co-written with Bill Martin); 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo; The Very Hungry Caterpillar; Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me; Little Cloud; From Head to Toe; and others.

Amy Krouse Rosenthal: Clever and funny stories.

Duck! Rabbit!; Little Pea; Little Oink; Little Hoot; Bedtime for Mommy; Spoon; and others.

Steve Jenkins: A wonderful combo of science and art to create fascinating non-fiction books! 

Actual Size; Just a Second; What Do you Do with a Tail like This?

David Shannon: Entertaining stories, with illustrations that match the intended audience.

No, David!; Duck on a Bike; A Bad Case of Stripes; Alice the Fairy; and others.

Honorable Mention goes to…

Virginia Lee Burton: The Little House; Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel; Katy and the Big Snow.

Mac Barnett: Count the Monkeys; Telephone; and he has written a few others I need to try.

Be sure to check out my 50 Favorite Picture Books list! Part 1 (A to I) and Part 2 (J-Z)

50 Favorite Picture Books: Part 2 from J to Z

Reading with my children is one of my favorite things to do. For this list I choose 50 of our very favorite picture books. Many of these books are laugh-out-loud-funny, many share important messages, and all are beautifully and creatively illustrated. This is Part 2 of my list, covering titles from J to Z. You can find Part 1 (A-I) here. Many of the authors listed here have also written other fantastic books, so this list can launch you into more great literature!

King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood

Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems

Leaves by David Ezra Stein

Lemons Are Not Red by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

LMNO Peas by Keith Baker

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

The Monster at the End of this Book

Mr. Postmouse’s Rounds by Marianne Dubuc

My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall

My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss

My Teacher is a Monster by Peter Brown

Not a Box by Antoinette Portis

Press Here by Harve Tullet

Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas

Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead

Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler

Snowmen at Night by Carolyn Buehner

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Tuesday by David Wiesner

Where the Wile Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham

Which titles would you add to this list?

50 Favorite Picture Books: Part 1 from A to I

Reading with my children is one of my favorite things to do. For this list I choose 50 of our very favorite picture books. Many of these books are laugh-out-loud-funny, many share important messages, and all are beautifully and creatively illustrated. This is part one of my list, covering titles from A to I. You can find Part 2 (J-Z) here. Many of the authors listed here have also written other fantastic books, so this list can launch you into more great literature!

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

AlphaOops! The Day Z Went First by Alethea Kontis

Bark George by Jules Feiffer

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

The Book that Eats People by John Perry

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld

Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Duck on a Bike by David Shannon

Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Conner

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Froodle by Antoinette Portis

George and Martha by James Marshall

Ghosts in the House! by Kazuno Kohara

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett JohnsonInterrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein

Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino

It’s an Orange Aardvark! by Michael Hall

I Yam a Donkey! by Cece Bell

 What favorite picture books would you add to this list?

My Non-fiction Reading List

When his adopted grandson entered college, George Washington lectured him thus: “Light reading (by this, I mean books of little importance) may amuse for the moment, but leaves nothing solid behind.”  (from Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow).

The books in this list are books that I feel are of much more than “little importance”and they leave behind lessons that are worth learning! I learned a lot from reading them and would recommend all of them to everyone!

The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Tell Your Family History, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More by Bruce Feiler

This book is a great handbook for families who, as the author states in the introduction, “have survived the parental death march of sippy cups and diaper caddies”. A guide for families who are facing the challenge of raising children in a modern world.

Leadership and Self-deception: Getting Out of the Box and The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict, both by The Arbinger Institute
These are both great books to read, with life-changing lessons if you open yourself up to it. A good reminder of how much our way of being influences the success we have in our relationships, both at home or in the workplace. Through an intriguing story we learn how and why we contribute to the divisions and problems we blame on others and the surprising way that these problems can be solved.

I Am a Mother by Jane Clayson Johnson

How do we get women to stop saying, “I’m just a mother”? Or, “I used to be such and such, but now I’m just a mother”? Jane’s fascinating personal story and unique insights will inspire women to raise their awareness and perception of this important–and often difficult–role.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

The author tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

I would recommend it for everyone to read. It is thought provoking on the subject of aging and death, and what that means in a modern medical setting. A topic that everyone is going to have to consider at some point, whether dealing with aging parents or ill loved ones or facing our own mortality.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Businss by Charles Duhigg

At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

This inspiring, exquisitely observed memoir finds hope and beauty in the face of insurmountable odds as an idealistic young neurosurgeon attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living?

Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism by Arthur C. Brooks

America’s Charity Divide: Who Gives, Who Doesn’t, and Why it Matters

How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton M. Christensen

In this groundbreaking book, Christensen puts forth a series of questions: How can I be sure that I’ll find satisfaction in my career? How can I be sure that my personal relationships become enduring sources of happiness? How can I avoid compromising my integrity—and stay out of jail? Using lessons from some of the world’s greatest businesses, he provides incredible insights into these challenging questions.

In Defense of Food: An Eaters Manifesto by Michael Pollan

Pollan proposes a new (and very old) answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Pollan’s bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

The last lecture he gave–“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”–wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

A biography well worth reading about one of the greatest men to ever live.

The Only Pirate at the Party by Lindsey Stirling

Dancing electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling shares her unconventional journey in an inspiring New York Times bestselling memoir filled with the energy, persistence, and humor that have helped her successfully pursue a passion outside the box.

I am Malala: How One Girl Stood up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai 

Malala’s powerful story will open your eyes to another world and will make you believe in hope, truth, miracles and the possibility that one person — one young person — can inspire change in her community and beyond.

What non-fiction books have inspired you?