Common Sense MediaBy Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media editor
Finding the right book for your kid can be a challenge. But if you guess right and keep new ones coming, you may be on your way to raising a lifelong reader.
Every month we highlight a few books for different ages -- some exceptional titles that could be the perfect thing to perk your kid's interest, get your reader hooked on a new author, or rediscover an old favorite. Here are our picks for July:
- For kids 3 to 7, check out Dragons Love Tacos, by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri, a funny picture book that warns of the dangers of serving dragons their favorite food topped with spicy salsa: It will make them breathe fire, and they could burn your house down. (Mild salsa is fine.) It's silly fun from start to finish, with dragons of every size, shape, and color and heaps and heaps of tacos on its entertaining spreads.
- For readers 12 to 17, there's Tokyo Heist, a sizzling mystery adventure in which two teen girls and one of the girls' artist dad get mixed up with art collectors, art thieves, and a missing Van Gogh painting sought by the yakuza, Japan's organized crime syndicate. The novel is well-crafted, suspenseful, and action-packed, with complex, compelling characters and lots of surprises.
- For teens 15 to 17, try Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein, a harrowing and heart-wrenching World War II story of two teen girls from the United Kingdom, working covertly for the Allies, who crash-land behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied France. Intricately plotted and loaded with well-researched historical detail, it's gritty and unflinching in its depiction of covert operations, the French Resistance, Gestapo torture, death, and the difficult moral choices made in wartime.
For more suggestions, check out our recommendation lists, including Summer Reading List, Books Like The Hunger Games, and our reviews of the latest chart-toppers on the New York Times Best-Sellers list.