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Skokie Staff Youth Services

Youth Services


Blog Posts

Coping during COVID-19: A Message for Parents

Parents of young kids, this time is hard. For you, for your kids, for everyone. Our staff is here to help us all figure it out, together.

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Hot and Cool Summer Reads 2020

Drum roll, please! Announcing this year’s Hot and Cool Summer Reads lists!

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Lists

Science Fun!

Some science fact, some science fiction, all science fun. Books for preschoolers through grade 5.

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Picture Books for Tough Times

Books to share with little ones that can provide some inspiration, perspective, and comfort when the world feels like a scary place.

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Jewish American Heritage Month: Books for Kids

Enjoy these books focusing on Jewish Americans for babies through grade 8.

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Family Audiobooks

These audiobooks for families with kids in grades 4-8 are perfect for listening on a road trip, or a cold winter night, or bedtime, or whenever. These titles are available as CDs, downloadable audiobooks, or preloaded audiobooks.

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Free to Read: Chapter Books for Kids

We celebrate the freedom to read by highlighting books that have been banned, censored, or challenged in schools and libraries across the country.

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2018 Staff Picks: Books For Early Readers

Our favorite books for Kindergarten through Third Graders.

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2018 Staff Picks: Teens

Our experts select the best books of 2018 for teens.

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2018 Staff Picks: Books for Middle Grade Readers

Our favorite books for 4th-6th graders.

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Kindness Matters

These picture books emphasize the importance of being kind to everyone.

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Free to Read: Books for Kids in Middle School

We celebrate the freedom to read by highlighting books that have been banned, censored, or challenged in schools and libraries across the country.

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Adventures in Storytelling (for Kids)

The greatest adventure is the one you write! These books will get you started.

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2018 Staff Picks: Picture Books to Share with Our Youngest Readers

Our favorite books for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

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2019 Staff Picks: Books for Middle Grade Readers

Here are our favorite 2019 books for 4th-6th graders. Happy reading, everyone!

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2019 Staff Picks: Books for Early Readers

Our favorite 2019 books for kids in kindergarten through 3rd grade. Happy reading, everyone!

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2019 Staff Picks: Picture Books for Our Youngest Readers

Here are our favorite 2019 books to share with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. We hope that you enjoy these books as much as we do!

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Adventures for a Rainy Day (for Kids)

Turn a rainy day into an indoor adventure with these books.

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Adventures for Your Senses (for Kids)

Sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing--these books are designed to take you on a sensory adventure.

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Adventures for Your Imagination (for Kids)

Books to help you dare to dream.

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Anti-Racism Bookshelf for Young Kids

Books can help families approach issues like diversity, racism, empathy, and our differences and commonalities. This is a collection of books for grown-ups to share with young kids (preschool-2nd grade and up) to spark discussion and help address these tough issues. There are many additional guides to help parents broach these topics. [This is one of our favorites](https://booksforlittles.com/racial-diversity/).

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Outdoor Adventures for Kids

Whether you want to read about the great outdoors or go outside and get your hands dirty, these books will get you started.

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Help Stop Littering

For our friends of the earth who are ages 3-8, this collection of books introduces the problem of littering and offers some practical suggestion for things we can all do.

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Get Out of the House

This handy guide to imagining and creating activities and adventures in your backyard and beyond includes books for all ages.

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Books about Making Friends for Ages 3–5 and Caregivers

As young children move beyond family, they have the opportunity to make friends. While exciting, making friends requires social and emotional skills and resilience. Here are some of our favorite picture books to foster these skills in a fun way, as well as parent guides. Note: Originally developed for D69 TOPS Preschool Parent Group.

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Books about Bedtime for Ages 3–5 and Caregivers

Bedtime is an important routine, and it's not always an easy one. These picture books--some laugh-out-loud funny, some quiet, some interactive--offer lots of ways to entice your little one to bed and chase away their fears. Parenting guides offer helpful solutions. Note: Originally developed for D69 TOPS Preschool Parent Group.

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Books about Doing Good Together for Ages 3–5 and Caregivers

Studies have shown that even very young children will help adults without being asked. These books have been selected to help caregivers nurture this capacity in our children to make the world a better place. Note: Originally developed for D69 TOPS Preschool Parent Group.

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Books about Early Math for Ages 3–5 and Caregivers

Math opportunities are everywhere, from sorting laundry to cooking to looking for patterns in nature. Early math achievement is highly predictive of later math and reading success, so check out these engaging picture books and caregiver guides that will foster the idea that math learning is for everyone and can be a fun part of kids' everyday lives. Note: Originally developed for D69 TOPS Preschool Parent Group.

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Books about Adjusting to Preschool for Ages 3–5 and Caregivers

Enjoy reading these special books together to help your child navigate the excitement and anxiety that can come with the transition to preschool. Note: Originally developed for D69 TOPS Preschool Parent Group.

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Books about Technology and Screen Time for Ages 3–5 and Caregivers

Achieving a balanced media diet in this time of pervasive technology is a huge challenge for parents and caregivers, both for themselves and for their children. These engaging picture books and parent guides can help. Note: Originally developed for D69 TOPS Preschool Parent Group

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Books about Emotions for Ages 3–5 and Caregivers

Managing emotions can be challenging for adults and can be even more difficult for young children experiencing powerful feelings for the first time. These titles provide guidance and strategies through stories and breathing exercises to empower children to recognize and express their emotions in healthy ways. Note: Originally developed for D69 TOPS Preschool Parent Group.

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Rhyme Time for Ages 3–5 and Caregivers

Not only are rhymes lots of fun to hear and say, they also serve as building blocks for reading readiness. Rhymes help children notice the sounds in words and encourage play with those sounds--important steps toward becoming a reader. Filled with clever and creative rhyming stories and poems, this varied list of titles is sure to delight. Note: Originally developed for D69 TOPS Preschool Parent Group.

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Books about Challenging Behavior for Ages 3–5 and Caregivers

Books to share with your children that will not only engage them but will also help them develop healthy ways to express their emotions and resolve conflicts. Guides for caregivers offer strategies for discipline guided by compassion and positive reinforcement. Note: Originally developed for D69 TOPS Preschool Parent Group.

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Pride Books for Younger Kids

Books featuring LGBTQ+ characters, topics, and themes for babies-grade 2.

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2020 Staff Picks: Ages 0-5

Our favorite books of 2020 to share with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

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2020 Staff Picks: Grades K-3

Our favorite books of 2020 for kids in kindergarten through 3rd grade.

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2020 Staff Picks 2020: Grades 4-5

Our favorite books of 2020 for kids in 4th and 5th grade.

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2020 Staff Picks: Grades 6-8

Our favorite books published in 2020 for kids in middle school.

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Speaking Up against Injustice

What can kids do to be embody the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. and other activists for change? Here are some great books to help inspire kids of all ages to stand up against injustice.

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Good Trouble for Grades 6-12

We're celebrating the extraordinary legacy of John Lewis, a lifelong civil rights activist and legislator. Learn about his life and how you can change the world for the better by standing up and speaking out for your beliefs.

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Good Trouble for Young Children

For Black History Month, our youth team is celebrating the extraordinary life of John Lewis, who stood up and spoke out for civil rights for more than 60 years. Here are some wonderful books about activism for our youngest citizens.

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Kids 'Guaranteed to Read' Nonfiction

Riveting nonfiction for kids in grades 3-6 who haven't found the right book yet.

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Kids 'Guaranteed to Read' Fiction

Engaging, fast-paced fiction for kids in grades 3-6 who haven't found the right book yet.

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Riveting Nonfiction for Grades 6-8

Enjoy these page-turners from some of the best writers of nonfiction. Daring rescues, scientific mysteries, horrific crimes, tragic lives--they're all here. And they're all true!

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Riveting Nonfiction for Grades 3-5

You'll be amazed by all the excitement packed into these fabulous, fact-filled books! From the mysteries of nature, to the icy terrain of Antarctica, and all the way to the moon--we guarantee there is something here for you.

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Women Politicians, Activists, and Peacemakers

These youth titles present fascinating women who made (and are making) our world a better place through their hard work, dedication, and emotional and physical strength.

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Women Artists and the Power of Creativity for Kids

Be inspired by the lives and creative passions of extraordinary women artists and creators. Enjoy these picture book biographies and great stories to stir your artistic imagination.

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Riveting Nonfiction for Babies through Grade 2

Help your little ones discover the world around them and awaken their curiosity about distant places or creatures that lived long ago.

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Poetry for Kids: Preschool-Grade 2

Delightful poetry books for younger kids, featuring animals, nursery rhymes, counting, silliness, and one great big cuddle!

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Poetry for Kids: Grades 3+

Poetry for kids who don't think they like poetry! Funny, snarky, and heartwarming poetry books that are quick to read and stay with you for a long time.

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Novels in Verse: Grades 1-4

Some novels in verse are a collection of related poem stories, while others tell just one story using a poetic writing style. Either way, here are some of our favorites for kids in grades 1-4. We hope you find them interesting and inspiring.

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Novels in Verse: Grades 5-8

Novels in verse are stories told in poetry rather than prose. Here are some of our favorites for middle school students.

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Pride Books for Grades 3-8

Books featuring LGBTQ+ characters, topics, and themes for kids in grades 3-8.

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Caring for Mother Earth

How can kids and families become better stewards of our planet? What does Earth need more of and, even more important, less of? Find the answers with these books for kids of all ages.

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Breezy Summer Reads 2021 (Grades K-2)

Amazing inventions, hilarious mistakes, killer animals (and cute ones), families of all kinds, and so much more! Our team of experts chose their favorite titles--from picture books to early chapter books--for the youngest readers. Vote for your favorites, watch videos and more on our [Summer Reads page](http://www.skokielibrary.info/summer-reads).

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Hot Summer Reads 2021 (Grades 6-8)

From dramatic rescues to chilling horror, to political romance, these books will keep you turning the pages! Vote for your favorites, watch videos, and more on our [Summer Reads page](http://www.skokielibrary.info/summer-reads).

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Cool Summer Reads 2021 (Grades 3-5)

Secrets, quests, magic, friendship, mysteries, bravery, and everything in between! These books will keep you guessing, make you laugh, and inspire you. Vote for your favorites, watch videos, and more on our [Summer Reads page](http://www.skokielibrary.info/summer-reads).

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Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Island Heritage (Grades 3-5)

Great stories by and about our Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

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Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Island Heritage (Kindergarten-Grade 2)

Great stories by and about our Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

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Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Island Heritage (Preschoolers)

Great stories by and about our Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

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Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Island Heritage (Grades 6-8)

Great stories by and about our Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

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Great Family Read-Alouds: Longer Stories to Share

Even when the kids are older and ready for chapter books, reading aloud together is still a great way to share stories--whether it's at the end of the day, on vacation, on a rainy day, on a snowy day, whenever! These titles are long enough to enjoy for more than a few sittings for families with kids in elementary school and beyond.

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Family Audiobooks for Younger Kids

If your child or children are ready to listen to a chapter book, see the titles in this list. These are in a number of formats: CD, downloadable audiobook, or preloaded audiobook--so they are perfect for long road trips! For the preschool crowd, we have a "Books with CDs" picture book section in the library. These books have an accompanying CD that can be played in cars that still have a CD player.

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Great Family Read-Alouds: Shorter Stories to Share

Even when the kids are older and ready for chapter books, reading aloud together is still a great way to share stories--whether it's at the end of the day, on vacation, on a rainy day, on a snowy day, whenever! These titles are long enough to enjoy in one sitting or a few sittings for families with kids in early elementary grades.

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Free to Read: Picture Books

We celebrate the freedom to read by highlighting books that have been banned, censored, or challenged in schools and libraries across the country.

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Books for Hispanic Heritage Month (Grades 1-8)

Books by and about people who identify as Hispanic, Latino, Latina, and Latinx, for kids in grades 1-8.

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Books for Hispanic Heritage Month (Preschool-Grade 1)

Books by and about people who identify as Hispanic, Latino, Latina, and Latinx, for kids up to grade 1.

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Coming Together 2022: Books for Grades 6-8

Enjoy materials selected for Coming Together 2022: Sharing Experiences of Disability. More at https://www.comingtogether.in

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Books You’ll Fall in Love With

Lovely books for babies through teens about love in many forms.

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Breezy Summer Reads 2022 (Grades K-2)

From picture books, to nonfiction, to beginning readers, to chapter books, these terrific books are sure to delight kids in grades K-2 and their grown-ups.

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Cool Summer Reads 2022 (Grades 3-5)

Mysteries, friendships, vampires and dragons, a magical train, two goats, two elephants, a life-changing game, and more. This year's books will keep you guessing, make you laugh, and inspire you.

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Coming Together 2022: Books for Grades K-2

Enjoy materials selected for Coming Together 2022: Sharing Experiences of Disability. More information: https://www.comingtogether.in

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2021 Staff Picks: Grades 6-8

Staff favorites from 2021 for kids in grades 6-8.

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Honoring Native and Indigenous Voices: Books for Older Kids

Books by and about Native and Indigenous people and communities for kids ages 8 and up.

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Honoring Native and Indigenous Voices: Books for Younger Kids

Books by and about Native and Indigenous people and communities for kids ages 0-8.

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2021 Staff Picks: Ages 0-5

Staff favorites from 2021 to share with kids ages 0-5.

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2021 Staff Picks: Grades K-3

Staff favorites from 2021 for kids in grades K-3.

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2021 Staff Picks: Grades 4-5

Staff favorites from 2021 for kids in grades 4-5.

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Coming Together 2022: Books for Grades 3-5

Enjoy materials selected for Coming Together 2022: Sharing Experiences of Disability. More at https://www.comingtogether.in

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Hot Summer Reads 2022 (Grades 6-8)

The Hot Summer Reads list for 2022 includes graphic novels, horror, romance, political thrillers, and much more!

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Back to School

Get ready to go back to school with these great books!

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Chapter Books with Pictures

Chapter books with pictures allow readers to experience books on multiple levels. Great tools for encouraging new readers, pictures can tell their own story. They can also deepen the reader's understanding of the narrative.

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The Book Was Better Than the Movie

Movie adaptations of beloved books can be polarizing. Here's a list of children's books that have been adapted into movies--whether we like the movie better or not!

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Stories to Read in the Dark

The dark can be filled with wonder, nocturnal creatures, and magic. Here are some books that celebrate the enchantment that can only be experienced when the lights are out.

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Great Graphic Novels

Offering both visual and narrative elements, graphic novels offer multiple points of entry into a story, creating a deep and rich reading experience. Here are a few we really love!

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Big Topics for Little Kids: Worries and Anxiety

Being worried or anxious is not just for grown-ups: kids feel these things too. These books will help kids identify how they're feeling and learn to manage their feelings so they don't overwhelm them. Part of our big topics for little kids booklist series focusing on grades pre-K-2. Find more books on worries and anxiety: bit.ly/BigTopicsWorry2

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