ALA Recommended Reading

ALA Library Fact Sheet 23

List of links to ALA's literature award winners and various notable reading lists for all ages, sorted by age group.

General Lists (across two or more age groups; includes lists for tweens) | For Children | For Young Adults/Teens | For Adults | For Students (of all ages) | For Librarians, Readers' Advisory |

Shortcut URL for this page: http://www.ala.org/readinglists


This page is compiled by the ALA Library. Please send any needed corrections to Valerie Hawkins of ALA's Library.

For a list of upcoming event dates, see ALA's Celebration Weeks & Promotional Events 2015-2016.

The ALA Online Store at http://www.alastore.ala.org supports the reading events and programs listed here - including Banned Books Week, Born to Read, GLBT Book Month, National Library Week, Teen Read Week - with event posters and matching bookmarks, along with our popular celebrity READ posters and matching bookmarks, and with various other items, including banners, pens, and t-shirts.

The ALA Online Store also has available for purchase:

  • YALSA's (Young Adult Library Services Association) 2015 Reads 4 Teens Recommended Reading for Teen Patrons—digital download
  • Outstanding Books for the College Bound—digital download
  • See summer reading resources at ALA Library Fact Sheet 17 - Library Summer Reading Programs.

    Go directly to the reading lists by ALSC, YALSA, and RUSA.

    The ALA Library has collected reading lists of books about libraries and librarians.


    Lists and Awards Spotlight

    For suggested summer reading lists, see:

    - ALSC 2015 Summer Reading List for children (see previous years lists)
    - YALSA Summer Reading & Learning for teens and young adults
    - the finalists for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Fiction and Nonfiction for adults
    - the Booklist Reader for everyone!

    June is GLBT Book Month™

    2015 Teens' Top Ten Nominees announced

    2015 Teen Read Week™ website now live

    ALA unveils shortlist for 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction

    In the Margins Book Award lists released

    2015 In the Margins Social Justice/Advocacy Award Nominations

    The ALA 2015 Youth Media Awards were announced February 2, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. CT.
    American Library Association announces 2015 youth media award winners
    Kwame Alexander, Dan Santat win Newbery, Caldecott Medals
    The 2015 guide to the Newbery and Caldecott awards
    For additional information, see Books with more information on ALA's literary awards and reading lists.

    RUSA announces 2015 book and media awards for adults

    Booklist Editors' Choice and Top of the List picks, 2014 at the Booklist Reader

    Frequently Challenged Books. The ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) receives reports from libraries, schools, and the media on attempts to ban books in communities across the country. We compile lists of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools. The ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information. For more information on ALA's efforts to raise awareness of censorship and promote the freedom to read, please explore Banned Books Week. Explore the following pages for listings of banned/challenged books:

    YALSA's Teen Book Finder App for Android & iOS. YALSA's (Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of ALA) Teen Book Finder is a free app to help teens, parents, librarians and library staff, educators, and anyone who loves YA literature access to the past three years' of YALSA's awards and lists on their smartphone.

    Top Ten Most Re-Read Books List
    List of popular novels, plays, and poetry compiled for a 2004 news report by a committee of librarians and book review editors.


    General Lists (across two or more age groups; includes lists for tweens)

    • Alex Awards - YALSA announces 2015 Alex Awards - previous Alex Awards winners. 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.
    • Amelia Bloomer Project - Announcing the 2015 Amelia Bloomer Project List. 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.
    • Booklist Editor's Choice: Books for Youth, 2014. 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 below as best-of-the-year nonfiction and fiction books and picture books (sorted into sections for older readers, middle readers, and young readers).
    • Building a Home Library – 2014 Update. 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), has created four Building a Home Library bibliographies. These downloadable lists are intended to provide guidance to parents, grandparents and others interested in assembling a high-quality library for their children at home. The four 2014 Building a Home Library lists are available for children ages 0 to 3; 4 to 7; 8 to 11; and 12 to 14. Librarians, educators and others who work with families are encouraged to download and print these brochures and share them with parents, grandparents, and caregivers in their community.
    • Día Book Lists. El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day) is celebrated every year on April 30. Día book list brochures, provided in PDF format, include suggestions for children's books available in several languages, resource websites, and literacy tips for parents in both English and Spanish. The lists are divided into age groups: Ages Birth-4; Ages 4-8; Ages 8-12; and Ages 12-up.
      Building STEAM with Día Book lists. Intended to accompany El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Día) programming, these book lists are comprised of multicultural titles that showcase STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) topics. Lists are available for children from birth to 8th grade.

    • GLBT Book Month™. Starting in 2015, the American Library Association will mark GLBT Book Month™, a nationwide celebration of the authors and writings that reflect the lives and experiences of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. Originally established in the early 1990s by The Publishing Triangle as National Lesbian and Gay Book Month, June 2015 will mark the first commemoration of GLBT Book Month™ to be held under ALA’s auspices.  GLBT Book Month™ is an initiative of the American Library Association, and is coordinated through its Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table. To help libraries mark the occasion, ALA has launched the GLBT Book Month online resource center, featuring tipsheets and downloadable materials. Contact ALA's Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services with questions.

    • Graphic Novels Reading List - 2014 update | Graphic Novels Reading List - 2013 update | Graphic novels - 2012 update of core collection. In 2011, the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children, a division of ALA) Board of Directors directed the Quicklists Consulting Committee to create a list of core titles than can be used when starting or maintaining a children’s graphic novel collection. The intended audience is librarians selecting books for inclusion in public libraries serving elementary school-age children. We attempted to create a list of core titles that can be used when starting or maintaining a children's graphic novel collection. The list, both the 2013 and 2012 versions, is divided into age groups by school grade: Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8.
    • Lasting Connections, 2014. Each January in Book Links, we publish a partner list to Booklist’s Books for Youth Editors’ Choice selections. “Lasting Connections” highlights our top 30 choices for the K–8 classroom, all published in the previous year and all selected for their natural connections across the curriculum and to the Common Core State Standards.
    • Rainbow Project - 2015 Rainbow List. The Rainbow Project is a joint project of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table and the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association. The Rainbow Project presents an annual bibliography of quality books with significant and authentic GLBTQ content, which are recommended for people from birth through eighteen years of age.
    • Schneider Family Book Award - 2015 Schneider Family Book Awards recipients named. The Schneider Family Book Awards - The Schneider Family Book Award: A Legacy of Inspiration - honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Three annual awards each consisting of $5000 and a framed plaque, will be given annually in each of the following categories: birth through grade school (age 0–8), middle school (age 9–13) and teens (age 14–18). (Age groupings are approximations). Also see the Schneider Award Select Bibliography of Children's Books about the Disability Experience (PDF). This list contains some outstanding books that portray emotional, mental, or physical disability experiences, most published between 2000 and 2008. The grade level designations are intended as guidelines.
    • Stonewall Book Awards - 2015 Stonewall Book Awards announced - 'This Day in June' wins 2015 Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award - Stonewall Book Awards List (1971 through the present). The Stonewall Book Awards of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table of ALA are given annually to English-language works of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience, and include the Stonewall Book Awards – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children's and Young Adult Literature Award, the Stonewall Book Awards – Barbara Gittings Literature Award, and the Stonewall Book Awards – Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award.
    • Top Titles for Tweens 2013. ALSC's School-Age Programs and Services Committee is happy to share with you a list of this year's Youth Media Award winners that are especially suited to those in-between patrons, those who straddle that line between little kid and teenager, ages 10 to 14. Also, look back at the 2012 Tween Award Book List.

    • Tween Recommended Reads. List includes 25 titles chosen specifically to appeal to tweens and to encourage them to read, compiled by members of ALSC's 2013 School Age Programs and Services Committee. PDFs of the booklist are available online in full color and black and white and are free to download, copy and distribute.

    • University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries. An annual collection development tool published with the help and support of two divisions of the American Library Association (ALA): the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and the Public Library Association (PLA). University presses represent an often-undiscovered gold mine of resources for school and public libraries. Many books and reference works from scholarly publishers are valued far beyond the walls of any ivory tower. They can be the building blocks of learning and growing for high-school students, general readers, independent researchers, and involved citizens. For more than 20 years, a volunteer panel of PLA and AASL librarians review and select 400+ titles published by AAUP member presses to build this valued collection development resource. The bibliography is released in both print and online editions, distributed freely to 13,000+ librarians. Book entries include key bibliographic data, a thumbnail description, and a PLA and/or AASL rating.


    For Children


    For Young Adults/Teens


    For Adults


    For Students (of all ages)


    For Librarians, Readers' Advisory


    More lists of books for various age groups can be found in the continuously updated collection of reading lists from various library, news, and reading sources online that the ALA Library has bookmarked at Delicious.com.


    This page is part of ALA Recommends... compiled by the ALA Library. Contact us at library@ala.org with any questions. See the other lists of recommendations compiled by ALA member committees - 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; and ALA Recommended Web Sites: List of links to ALA's recommended web sites for all ages, sorted by age group.


    Last updated: May 2015


    For more information on this or other fact sheets, contact the ALA Library Reference Desk by telephone: 800-545-2433, extension 2153; fax: 312-280-3255; e-mail: library@ala.org; or regular mail: ALA Library, American Library Association, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611.