Kids Have Reading Preferences…What’s Your Child’s Favorite Genre?

book inventory

Can You Name Your Kid’s Favorite Children’s Books?

Reading quality children’s literature is foundational to an authentic classical education, but how do you get the unengaged young reader to enthusiastically embrace reading? Involve him in taking an inventory of the books that he has read and truly enjoyed. Sit down with him, and brainstorm a list of books that he has read. Create a column for pros (+) and a column for cons (-); use these columns to list the things that he did and didn’t like about the books.  Here’s how to do it:

Start with one classic children’s’ book, and ask your child to tell you what she liked and didn’t like. For instance, maybe your daughter didn’t enjoy the animal battles in Brian Jacques’ classic Redwall children’s book, The Long Patrol, so tell her to write warfare in the minus column. But maybe she really enjoyed the conversations between the animals; if so, have her put personification in the + column. Right away this chart has helped to clarify the fact that you should help your daughter find ‘happy ending’ animal books with minimal conflict.

Take a “pro/con” inventory for 10-15 books so that you and your child begin to see patterns. Create a 5 star rating system, and let your child assign stars to each book just like the book critic gives 1-5 stars in favorable and unfavorable book reviews.  Better yet, save yourself some time, and grab a free copy of my own Literature Pro/Con Template.

Don’t assume that just because you loved a book at that age your child will love it, too. We are all individuals with preferences, and what you might find appealing to read may be extremely boring to your child. Pay close attention to her likes, and guide her toward books in the library or book store that reflect her past pleasurable reading experiences.


Literature by Genre:

  • Adventure
  • Autobiography
  • Biography
  • Christian Faith
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • Epic
  • Fairy Tales
  • Fine Arts
  • Historical Fiction
  • History
  • Legends/Folklore
  • Math
  • Novels
  • Poetry
  • Philosophy
  • Political Theory
  • Romance
  • Reference Books
  • Science
  • Science Fiction
  • Short Stories

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