Finding Books to Grow a Reader

Our summer reading program is halfway over, but no matter what time of year it is, reading 20 minutes a day is a good goal. For some children this is not a problem. They already love reading and devour books without any reminders. Other children may see reading as a chore, or something that they “have to do.” It can be a struggle to motivate this child to read. Both of my boys were reluctant readers, but I knew once they found the right book, the door to the beauty of reading would open. The library has tools available to help you guide your child to find books that will open the door for them, too.

Knowledgeable staff: Bring your children to the library and ask them to tell us about themselves. What they like to do in their spare time? What has been their favorite book so far? With this information, staff can make a few suggestions. Check out a stack of potentially good reads. Have your child read at least the first chapter and give the book a chance. Hopefully they will enjoy at least one of the books selected.

NoveList Plus : This is a database available through the library website in our online resources. You can put in the title of a book that your child has enjoyed reading and then click on it. Over to the right, a list of read-alikes will appear. If you click on “view all,” NoveList provides a printable list of the books. You can also do an advanced search and use the limiters (Genre, age, AR interest level,…) to help narrow the search.

Common Sense Media ( This website provides a great way to learn more about books and their content. Simply put in the title of a book and then click on it to get more information such as the book’s target age, and “what parents need to know” (educational values, positive messages, violence, language, etc.). This tool informs you about a book if you don’t have the time to read it before your child reads it. It also provides reviews for television shows, movies, apps, and more.

-Lynn Thomas is the Children’s Librarian for New Castle-Henry County Public Library

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