4 Tips to Choose a Book for Your Child

Enrichment Therapies

August 9, 2022

speech pathologist assisting student in reading

By: Haley Hall, Learning Specialist

I’ve heard it many times—“How do I choose a book for my child? Is this the right level? What series do you recommend?”

It can feel overwhelming walking into a library or bookstore with the intent of choosing a new book for your child. You want to find a book they will enjoy, that is age-appropriate, that isn’t too easy, that isn’t too difficult, and that they will maybe even pick up and read entirely on their own, giving you a few moments of peace and quiet.

We get it. This is no easy task. Here are four tips to make choosing a book for your child a little less daunting.

Do Your Research. 

Before arriving at the library or bookstore, know the layout. Head directly to the section where you anticipate finding appropriately leveled books. Most bookstores have a section with picture books, board books, easy readers, fiction/chapter books, nonfiction books, and audiobooks/books on tape.  You’ll also likely find a section with new books displayed or books related to a holiday or special theme. 

Also included in doing your research should be contacting your child’s teacher or looking at a recent progress report to determine what level of books your child has been reading. Levels vary depending on each program, but they will give you a general idea of the section of the bookstore you should head to. 

Check out the Scholastic Book Wizard (https://bookwizard.scholastic.com/). This is an amazing tool that will help you find some book ideas before you step foot in the bookstore.

Test Your Child’s Literacy in the Moment

Choose a book that fits your child’s interests, and open it to the middle of the book. Have your child look at the page and read the words. Put up a finger for any words that are misread. We want children to be able to read most of the words effortlessly. If your child is sounding out every single word on the page, it may be too difficult. If your child zips through the whole page without errors, try something harder.

Gauge Your Child’s Comprehension Ability

Ask your child to tell you about the page they read. Can your child give you a general storyline or tell you the main idea?

Support Your Child’s Interests

If your child has their heart set on a specific book, get it. If it’s too difficult for your child to read on their own, tell him/her that you can’t wait to read it aloud as a family. Make sure to get some books that your child can read through too. You want to foster a love of reading with your child, and finding “just right” books is taking a big step in the right direction.

I hope these tips help you feel confident as you walk into the library or bookstore. And when you hand over that perfect title to your child, just sit back and relax while they get lost in the magic of a good book.

Do you feel your child is not performing at the level they should be? Enrichment Therapies Learning Center has worked with thousands/hundreds of families to close that gap. Contact us today to start down the path of your child becoming a more confident and able reader.

Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs.  At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success. Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.


740 Community Drive, Unit A

North Liberty, IA 52317



5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131


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