Recommended Reading

** Fair notice**

This list is completely subjective and limited by my experience as a reader, which I did not really become an “avid reader” until I was in college studying elementary education and decided I didn’t want to be a hypocrite so I better start enjoying reading for pleasure.

And it is skewed through my interests or from books I see my children unable to put down or dragging me to the library to check out.

And I always support the amazing writers in my writers circle here in Champaign-Urbana, of which there are several.

On to my lists . . .

Historical Fiction

  • Number the Stars – Lois Lowry
  • Bud, Not Buddy – Christopher Paul Curtis
  • The War that Saved My Life – Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  • Breaking Stalin’s Nose – Eugene Velchin
  • Okay for Now – Gary D Schmidt

Novels in Verse

  • Inside out and Back Again- Thanhai Lai
  • Rhyme Scheme – K.A. Holt
  • Crossover – Kwame Alexander
  • Burn – Alma Fullerton
  • Loving vs. Virginia – Patricia Hruby Powell

Chapter Books

Middle Grade Fiction

  • The One and Only Ivan – Katherine Applegate
  • Mockingbird – Kathy Erskine

Picture Books

Board Books



  • Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
  • Divergent – Veronica Roth
  • Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery

For Grown Up Readers

  • The Cat Who . . . Series – Lilian Jackson Braun

For Writers

  • Wired for Story – Lisa Cron