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75 Books Every Kid Needs to Read, From Baby to Teen

Even after more than a decade of writing about children’s books and young-adult novels — and a couple more of reading them — I’ve got a crushing case of impostor syndrome when it comes to recommending the “best” books for kids. Who am I, an adult, to say which are the books your children and teenagers will like the most? That’s why this is not exactly that kind of list.

Instead, with the help of several other SheKnows colleagues, past lists we’ve published to this site, and a few of our own children, I put together this list of favorite board books, picture books, middle grade books, and YA novels. Some of them are classics we’ve known for generations, some are brand new award-winning books celebrating diversity. Some teach big lessons, and others are just plain fun. There are times when it’s comforting to read a book about someone who looks or feels just like you. But books are also the perfect window into someone else’s very different experience — and this is true whether you’re 1, 16, or 61.

I hope that I included books that represent many different young readers and their many different interests. But if your own favorites are missing from this list, I welcome your suggestions in the comments below.

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