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 the ALA Library.

For a list of upcoming event dates, see ALA's Celebration Weeks & Promotional Events 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:

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

The ALA 2016 Youth Media Awards including the Newbery Medal and Caldecott Medal, will be announced January 11, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. ET.

Booklist Editors' Choice and Top of the List picks, 2015 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 - 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. 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, 2015. 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, 2015. 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. 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. 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 - 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Notable Children's Books - previous Notable Children's Books lists. The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), selects titles for this annual list, which usually includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry and picture books of special interest, quality, creativity and value to children 14 years of age and younger. According to ALSC policy, the current year's Newbery, Caldecott, Belpré, Sibert, Geisel, and Batchelder Award and Honor books automatically are added to the Notable Children's Books list. For your convenience, Notable Children's Books that have also received other ALA awards, such as the Coretta Scott King Award, Michael L. Printz Award, Alex Award, and Schneider Family Book Award, are noted on this list.
  • (Mildred L.) Batchelder Award - previous Batchelder winners. The Batchelder Award is given to an American publisher for a children's book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originally published in a foreign language in a foreign country, and subsequently translated into English and published in the United States.
  • (Pura) Belpré Award - previous Belpré winners. Established in 1996, this award is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. The award is now given annually.
  • Books on Islam for Children and Teens - This list was developed by the Quicklists Consulting Committee of ALA's Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC, a division of ALA) in September 2010.
  • (Randolph) Caldecott Medal - previous Caldecott winners and honor books - Translated Caldecott Titles. This award is given by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picturebook for children.
  • Children's Book List for Parents® Magazine (Books about manners). This list, dated August 2010, was developed by the Quicklists Consulting Committee of ALA's Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC, a division of ALA) for an article in Parents Magazine.
  • Coretta Scott King Book Awards - previous Coretta Scott King Book Award Recipients. Given to African American authors and illustrator for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions, the Coretta Scott King Book Award titles promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream.

     

  • (Theodor Seuss) Geisel Awardprevious Geisel winners. The Geisel Award is given annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States.
  • Great Early Elementary Reads. The ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children, a division of ALA) 2011-2012 School-Age Programs and Services Committee recommends these titles for children who are just learning to read and beginning to read on their own. The books included were published between 2009 and 2011. However, many are part of a larger series that young readers also will enjoy. Librarians, educators, and others who work with families are encouraged to download and print the brochure, dated December 2011, and share it with parents, grandparents, and caregivers in their community.
  • Growing Up Around the World. Books as Passports to Global Understanding for Children in the U.S. - Five Bibliographies (PDFs) by the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children, a division of ALA) International Relations Committee, December 2005.
  • Hi-Lo Books for Upper Elementary Grades. The 2009 ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children, a division of ALA) School-Age Programs and Services Committee recommends these titles to reluctant readers in grades 3-6, available as a PDF.
  • Money as You Grow. This list was developed in May 2012 by the Quicklists Consulting Committee of the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association for the Money as You Grow initiative.

     

  • Nature-Focused Books for Children. This list was created by the Quicklists Consulting Committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC, a division of ALA) for the American Camp Association’s Explore 30 Camp Reading program, released May 2012, available as a PDF.

     

     

  • (John) Newbery Medal - previous Newbery winners and honor books - Translated Newbery Titles. This award is given annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
  • Resources for Children and Their Parents and Educators: Dealing with the Hurricane Katrina Tragedy. Compiled resources for children and their parents and educators dealing with the Hurricane Katrina tragedy in September 2005 by the Quicklists Consulting Committee of ALA's Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC, a division of ALA).
  • Resources for Children and Their Parents and Educators: Dealing with the Tragic Events of September 11, 2001: Books on Separation and Loss. Resources that were compiled to aid parents, teachers and caregivers in discussing with children and teens the terrorist attacks that took place in New York City, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
  • The Service Network for Children of Inmates Book List. This list of recommended books for children of inmates, also available as a PDF, was developed by the Quicklists Consulting Committee of the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, October 2009.
  • (Robert F.) Sibert Informational Book Medalprevious Sibert winners. The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award is awarded annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in English during the preceding year. Information books are defined as those written and illustrated to present, organize, and interpret documentable, factual material for children.
  • 2015 Summer Reading List - 2014 Summer Reading List. The Quicklists Consulting Committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC, a division of ALA) has updated our Summer Reading Lists with new and exciting titles to keep children engaged in reading throughout the summer. Three lists are available--for K-2nd, 3rd-5th, and 6th-8th grade students--as PDF brochures, available in color and in black & white.

 

For Young Adults/Teens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Adults

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Students (of all ages)

 

 

For Librarians, Readers' Advisory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for Best Book in Library Literature - previous ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for Best Book in Library Literature winners (2009-present). To recognize those who improve management principles and practice, understanding and application of new techniques, or further the education of librarians or other information specialists.
  • ALCTS Outstanding Publication Award. The Outstanding Publication Award is given annually by ALCTS (Association for Library Collections & Technical Services, a division of ALA) to honor the author or authors of the year's outstanding monograph, article or original paper in the field of technical services, including acquisitions, cataloging, collection management, preservation, continuing resources and related areas in the library field. Prior to 2011, the award was known as the Blackwell’s Scholarship Award. Papers published in LRTS (Library Resources & Technical Services, the ALCTS journal), were eligible for consideration. For the 2011 award, the criteria changed to exclude publications from LRTS, since the Best of LRTS award is given each year. Additionally, the criteria has been broadened to include papers covering all areas of technical services, not limited to acquisitions and collection development as was previously the case.

     

  • Booklist Core Collection articles. Dozens of articles by Booklist staff, naming pertinent titles in various book genres.

     

  • Booklist Professional Reading Roundup: Fall 2014. Professional reading materials are reviewed exclusively on Booklist Online, and to make sure you haven’t missed any, we present a roundup of titles reviewed from July 2014 to November 2014.

     

  • Booklist Professional Reading Roundup: Spring 2014. Professional reading materials are reviewed exclusively on Booklist Online and to make sure you haven’t missed any, we present a roundup of titles reviewed from December 2013 to June 2014.

     

  • Carnegie-Whitney Grant - past Carnegie Whitney Award winners. The Carnegie-Whitney Grant provides grants for the preparation, either in print and/or electronically, of popular or scholarly reading lists, webliographies, indexes and other guides to library resources that will be useful to users of all types of libraries in the United States.

     

  • Common Core State Standards: Resources from Booklist Publications - A new educational initiative brings enormous challenges for everyone, especially the teachers and librarians charged with summoning the energy and creativity required to implement the changes. We hope our coverage, including suggestions for linking individual titles with specific standards, will help educators address these new directives while extending our mission: to get the best books for children into the classroom and into the hands of students.

     

  • Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe New Talent Award. The Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe Award for New Talent affirms new talent and offers visibility for excellence in writing and/or illustration at the beginning of a career as a published African American creator of children's books.

     

  • Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement is named in memory of beloved children's author Virginia Hamilton. The annual award is presented in even years to an African American author, illustrator or author/illustrator for a body of his or her published books for children and/or young adults, and who has made a significant and lasting literary contribution. In odd years, the award is presented to a practitioner for substantial contributions through active engagement with youth using award winning African American literature for children and/or young adults, via implementation of reading and reading related activities/programs.

     

  • Donald G. Davis Article Award. Presented by the Library History Round Table of the American Library Association every second year to recognize the best published article written in English in the field of United States and Canadian library history. Articles published during the two preceding calendar years are eligible; e.g., articles from 2012 and 2013 may be nominated for the 2014 award.

     

  • Edward Swanson Memorial Best of LRTS Award. The Edward Swanson Memorial Best of LRTS Award is given to the author of the best paper published each year in LRTS, the official journal of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS).

     

  • Eliza Atkins Gleason Book Award. Presented by the Library History Round Table of the American Library Association every third year to recognize the best book written in English in the field of library history. Books published in the three preceding calendar years are eligible; e.g. books that appeared in 2013, 2014, or 2015 will be eligible for the award in 2016.

     

  • Ilene F. Rockman Instruction Publication of the Year Award. Administered by the Instruction Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association, this annual award recognizes an outstanding publication related to instruction in a library environment published in the preceding two years. The award honors Ilene F. Rockman's professional contributions to academic librarianship in the area of information literacy.

     

  • Justin Winsor Library History Essay Award. Presented by the Library History Round Table of the American Library Association annually to recognize the best essay written in English on library history. The award consists of a certificate and a $500 cash award, as well as an invitation to have the winner's essay considered for publication in Information & Culture: A Journal of History.

     

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Awardprevious Wilder winners. The Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. Beginning in 2001, it has been awarded every two years.
  • Louis Shores Award. Established in 1990, this award from RUSA (Reference and User Services Association, a division of ALA) recognizes an individual reviewer, group, editor, review medium or organization for excellence in book reviewing and other media for libraries. Award winners receive a citation. Complete list of winners, from 1991 to the present, at the bottom of the page.
  • May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award. ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children, a division of ALA) established the lecture series in 1969 with sponsorship from Scott, Foresman and Company. The lectureship is now funded by the ALSC May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Endowment, and administered by ALSC. The lecturer, announced annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, may be an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature, of any country, who shall prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature. This paper is delivered as a lecture each April, and is subsequently published in Children and Libraries, the journal of ALSC.

     

     

  • Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award. Presented by the ALA Library History Round Table, it recognizes outstanding dissertations in English in the general area of library history. $500 and a certificate are given for a work that embodies original research on a significant topic relating to the history of libraries. The biennial award is given in odd-numbered years. Dissertations completed and accepted during the preceding two academic years are eligible; e.g., dissertations from 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 will compete for the award in 2015.

     

  • Resources for Children and Their Parents and Educators: Dealing with the Tragic Events of September 11, 2001: Resources for Teachers/Professionals. Resources that were compiled to aid parents, teachers and caregivers in discussing with children and teens the terrorist attacks that took place in New York City, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
  • YALSA Professional Tools - YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of ALA) developed the tools on this page -- Career Development; ALA Council Resolutions; Recruitment; Toolkits and Bibliographies; Collection Development Tools; and Online Resources -- to help school librarians, young adult specialists, and others who work in libraries with their work with teens. Please use the resources listed on this site to find practical tools for your day-to-day work, as well as tools for developing your career.
  • YALSA's MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens. This award honors a YALSA member for developing an outstanding reading or literature program for young adults. The MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust.

     

  • The Zora Neale Hurston Award. This annual award from RUSA (Reference and User Services Association, a division of ALA), founded in 2008, is given to any ALA member who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African American literature. Complete list of winners, from 2009 to the present, at the bottom of the page.

 

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: December 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.