Readers' Advisory for Children and Young Adults

An Instructional Session by Tanya Rogoschewsky



Resources to Use

There are numerous resources to help you when providing reader's advisory. I have organized them into two different groups: resources on how to provide successful reader's advisory and resources to help you find books to recommend.

Resources on the 'art' of Reader's Advisory

Elkin, Judith, Briony Train, and Debbie Denham. Reading and Reader Development: the Pleasure of Reading London: Facet, 2003.


Jones, Patrick. Connecting Young Adults and Libraries: A How-to-Do-It Manual. 2nd ed. New York: Neal-Schuman, 1998.


Prytherch, Raymond John. The Basics of Readers' Advisory Work London : Bingley, 1988.


Saricks, Joyce G. Readers' Advisory Service in the Public Library. 2nd ed. Chicago: American Library Association, 1997.


Shearer, Kenneth D. and Robert Burgin, ed. The Readers' Advisor's Companion. Englewood: Libraries Unlimited, 2001.


Resources to Help you Find that Perfect Book

There are many books available that can help you suggest books. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but will help you get a sense of the types of resources available and what will best suit your library and budget. Many libraries have also developed good read-alike lists that can be very helpful for those less familar with children and young adult books.


Baker, Deirdre F and Ken Setterington. A Guide to Canadian Children's Books in English. Toronto: M&S, 2003.

- Good source for Canadian content
- Indices: Title, Author, Subject
- Organized by category/genre (e.g. picturebooks, poetry, etc.), further subdivided by age
- Authority: books were included on the basis of ‘Canadian-ism’ (Canadian author or illustrator) and literary merit (as determined by the authors)


Backes, Laura. Best Books For Kids Who (Think They) Hate to Read : 125 Books That Will Turn Any Kid into a Lifelong Reader. Roseville, Calif.: Prima Pub., 2001.

- Longer, more detailed book descriptions
- Better for browsing than searching
- Includes section on why it will appeal to reluctant readers and what else to recommend if they liked this book
- Indices: Author, Title, General (some subject headings)


Gillespie, John T., ed. Best Books for Young Teen Readers, Grades 7 to 10. New Providence, N.J.: R.R. Bowker, 2000.

- 11, 000 books included. It includes fiction, non-fiction and adult books suitable for young adults
- Multi-purpose use: good for collection development as well as reader's advisory.
- Indices: Author, Title, Subject
- Can be laborious to use
- Organized by subject area and literary form. Some sections are further subdivided. (e.g. fiction is divided into types of fiction such as mysteries, romance, horror, historical, etc.). No organization by age groups


Lynn, Ruth Nadelman. Fantasy Literature for Children and Young Adults: A Comprehensive Guide. 5th ed. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2005.

- Organized by categories of fantasy (e.g. animal fantasy, magic adventure, time travel, alternate worlds, etc.)
- Very comprehensive listing. Highly recommended titles (marked with star designation)
- Difficult to locate an age appropriate level book quickly
- Indices: Author, Title, Series, Subject


Odean, Kathleen. Great Books about Things Kids Love : More than 750 Recommended Books for Children 3 To 14. New York: Ballantine Books, 2001.

- 750 books: mostly non-fiction, but includes limited fiction
- Organized into 8 major categories with entries listed by reading level (younger to older)
- Difficult to locate an age appropriate level book quickly
- Includes Tips for Adults section on reading aloud, book clubs, books & field trips, etc.


Odean, Kathleen. Great Books for Boys : More than 600 Books for Boys 2 to 14. New York: Ballantine, 1998.

- 600 books: nonfiction and fiction
- Organized by format or reading level, then subdivided by fiction genres or non-fiction subjects.
- Indices: Author, Title, Category


Odean, Kathleen. Great Books for Girls: More than 600 Books to Inspire Today's Girls And Tomorrow's Women. New York: Ballantine Books, 1997.

- 600 books: primarily fiction, with some biography
- Organized like Great Books for Boys
- This book has a stated agenda – to promote women through fiction


Thomas, Rebecca L. and Catherine Barr. Popular Series Fiction for K-6 Readers : A Reading and Selection Guide. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.

- Series are organized alphabetically – no separation of reading levels
- Organized by series title: each entry includes the series title, author, publication information, reading level, genre, book description, list of titles in the series




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Last Updated: March 20, 2006.