08/16/2012 01:10 pm ET Updated Oct 16, 2012

Great New Books for Kids of All Ages


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.

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 August:

  • For kids 3 to 7, check out It's a Tiger! by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Jeremy Tankard (Chronicle Books). A little boy is on the run from a tiger, but no matter how often he gets away, the beast keeps turning up again in this silly, mock-scary adventure that's perfect for read-aloud. Readers are swept up in the action as the boy breathlessly shouts out instructions as if they're on the run with him, telling readers when to duck, run, jump or hide. "Yikes! He's gaining on us!"
  • For readers 8 to 12, there's The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, by Glee actor Chris Colfer (Little, Brown), which follows the adventures of brother-and-sister twins who fall into a storybook world inhabited by classic fairy tale characters like Cinderella, Goldilocks and Snow White. The twins learn a lot about themselves as they encounter a giant frog, trolls and wolves, as well as many princes, princesses, heroes and villains in their quest to get home again. It's a captivating and heartfelt tale.
  • For teens 13 to 17, try Monument 14, by Emmy Laybourne (Feiwel & Friends), a cleverly constructed suspense novel in which a busload of 14 students, ranging from elementary to high-school kids, are trapped inside a big-box superstore. Over 12 days, they must learn to work together in order to survive poisonous gas, violent visitors and their own weaknesses and fears. It's tense and exciting and should grip teen readers.

For more suggestions, check out our recommendation lists, including Summer Reading List, Books Like The Hunger Games, and our reviews of the latest chart-toppers on the New York Times Best-Sellers list.