There are lots of great kids' reads for September. By 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.
Check out Common Sense Media's Essential Books for Kids and Teens guide to find more than 150 of our perennial favorites. Plus, 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 September:
- For kids 5 to 8, there's Year of the Jungle, an autobiographical picture book by Suzanne Collins with cartoon-like illustrations by James Proimos, which hits bookstores Sept. 10. The Hunger Games author shows the loneliness and confusion a child feels when a parent is off fighting in the military, drawing on her own experience as a little girl whose dad was off serving in Vietnam. With so many families affected by current deployments, this kid-centered take on war is certainly timely, and its cute, upbeat heroine named Suzy is sure to draw readers in.
- For readers 10 to 12, check out How to Catch a Bogle, the first book in a fantasy trilogy set in Victorian London, in which a little girl is employed to draw out monsters called Bogles from their hidden dark places like wells and chimneys. With period detail, Dickensian charm, a brave heroine, and lots of suspense, this novel could make fantasy lovers out of historical fiction fans, and vice versa.
- For teens 14 to 17, there's The Beginning of Everything, a smart, engaging coming-of-age novel that shows how tragedy can divide a life into "before" and "after." Tennis champ Ezra learns this when he suffers permanent damage to his leg in a car accident, loses his star-athelete identity, and starts hanging out with the debate kids and film geeks, where he meets and falls for a quirky girl named Cassidy. Their poignant, realistic senior-year romance -- and the novel's many allusions to The Great Gatsby -- make this a perfect back-to-school choice.
What are some of your family's favorite back-to-school books?