Finding appropriate reading material for a child is not always an easy task for a parent. Mom and Dad certainly strive to identify literature that encourages their children’s interest in reading, yet sometimes it can be difficult to determine if a book is either content- or reading-level appropriate. As much as we’d love to read everything before our kids get their hands on them, in all likelihood that’s not going to happen. Luckily, there are a couple of online resources that parents can refer to for help (in addition to talking with your local KDL librarian).
Story Snoops and Common Sense Media are two websites that are helpful tools for parents to utilize in navigating the vast amounts of books available for children. They provide reviews of a wide range of youth and teen fiction. In addition to the reviews, each website gives recommendations for what age level is appropriate for reading a particular book based on its content. Both also have some of their own unique features. For example, Common Sense Media has a “Great Handpicked Alternatives” generator that provides titles that are similar to a particular book in subject content, but might be directed to a different age- or reading-level. Story Snoops has a section for each book it reviews called “the scoop,” which describes the book’s content in a way that’s essentially a “head’s up” or “spoiler” of what subject matter a reader will encounter over the course of the story.
Posted by: Adam