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Children's Book Reviews

Walking into the children's section of a bookstore or library can be overwhelming. Shopping for books online can be even harder because there is no sales assistant or librarian to assist you. Aside from subject matter, finding a book that is the appropriate level for your child's age and reading ability can be a challenge. If you are familiar with the basic genres, it can help you make better book choices.

Picture Books - Parents are usually most comfortable choosing picture books. Picture books are read aloud by parents of young children. As early readers, children often read picture books first. Even with picture books, the word count and level of language sophistication can vary greatly. When you kids are just beginning to read, look for sparse word count and simple language.

Quick as a Cricket
by Audrey Wood and Don Wood
Loud Emily
by Alexis O'Neill and Nancy Carpenter
Chapter Books - Chapter books range from easy-to-read to books of 100 pages. The easy to read books are terrific for emerging readers, and the longer chapter books are for readers who are ready for a full story, and can read independently.
Frog and Toad
by Arnold Lobel
Amber Brown is Not a Crayon
Paula Danzinger

Middle Grade Novels - For more advanced readers, typically age 8 and up, the middle grade novel offers a more sophisticated storyline, including fully developed characters and subplots.

Because of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo
Young Adult Novels - This is the category that parents of 'tweens and teens must be cautious about. The writing style and plot lines are can be as sophisticated as adult novels. More recently, the themes of young adult novels have become "edgy" and may not be appropriate for your young reader. If you have a 12 year old who is an advanced reader, you need to be especially diligent. There are some tame young adult books, but some contain content including drug use, sexuality, child abuse, and more.
The Uglies
by Scot Westerfeld
If you need more advice about the right books for your family, check with your child’s teacher or your local librarian.children book club
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Like A Maccabee - This middle-grade chapter book tells the story of Ben, a 10-year-old boy who is gearing up for a championship soccer game while adjusting to the changes in his family that have occurred since his grandfather moved in. Ben faces challenges at school, including the bully from the opposing soccer team, and frustrations at home.

About Barbara Bietz

Barbara is a writer from Oak Park, California. Her favorite pastime is reading children's books. She enjoys writing for adults and children. Her work has appeared in numerous publications. Visit Barbara's website at www.BarbaraBietz.com and blog - Talking about great kid's books and sharing ideas about writing for kids. http://barbarabbookblog.blogspot.com/
Listen to an Interivew with Barbara Bietz

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