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Great titles to check out for readers of all ages

National Family Literacy Month

Ample research shows that being read to and reading for fun sets a child up for academic success. Children who are ready to develop the foundation needed to learn to read, expand their vocabularies and learn to love reading early on. Children who are strong readers go on to perform well on assessments and on tasks that require critical thinking. In addition, recent studies suggest that reading even helps people of all ages be more empathetic. 

It’s easy to get started: Just read to your child and spend time together enjoying books. Your local children’s librarian can suggest titles and provide tips. You also can access digital materials if you prefer. Stop by your nearest branch to learn how to get your card. 

In honor of National Family Literacy Month, observed in November, here are some titles your children are sure to love: 


For something a little different, try a beautiful book of accessible poetry by Joyce Sidman, “The Dark Emperor.” This children’s book combines lovely illustrations with poems about night-dwelling creatures. 

Our Margaret Sherry branch children’s librarian recommends “Out of a Jar” by Deborah Marcero for the positive feedback she received on it from her storytime parents. It’s a beautifully illustrated book for preschoolers that talks about processing feelings in a healthy way. 


S. E. Hinton’s “The Outsiders,” written when she was just 16 herself, still tops best-of lists over 50 years after its publication. The book was one of the first written for younger readers that addressed difficult topics. 

Another classic series that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages is Lucy Maude Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables.” The initial book recounts the story of what ensues when an elderly sister and brother who wanted a boy from an orphanage to assist them with the tasks on their farm instead receive the titular Anne. Movie and series adaptations abound. 


If you enjoy TV/movie tie-ins, try “The Magpie Murders” by Anthony Horowitz. The author is well-known to lovers of mystery for many of the early “Midsomer Murders” episodes and as the creator and writer for the long-running series, “Foyle’s War.” “The Magpie Murders” will air on Masterpiece! and Britbox in October. 

Readers who enjoy a dense historical novel with expertly crafted prose should try recently deceased Booker-winner Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall.” This work traces the life and times of Thomas Cromwell, adviser to Henry VIII. The novel was made into a series on Masterpiece. 

Sarah Crisler-Ruskey is director of the Harrison County Library System. Reach her at 

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